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SPAN 308: Comunidades bilingües

This research guide was created to support students enrolled in Spanish 308

Step 3 - Finding Information

Green magnifying glass icon with checkmark inside from Noun ProjectFinding information requires a lot of skills that you may not be aware that you have or that you are developing. Use this page to learn strategies for HOW to find the most relevant information to meet your needs.

Use the sub-pages to learn WHERE to search for research on your topic or course theme.

Selecting the Right Number of Keywords (Video Tutorial)

Check out the video from Kimbel Library to help you locate scholarly journal articles in library databases. 

The video is licensed under a Creative Commons (CC) BY-NC-ND 3.0 license: http://tinyurl.com/2t9all

Strategies for Narrowing your Search to get Better Results

Below are 4 top strategies to narrow your search:

  1. Use AND between keywords to find articles where two or more keywords appear together

Aspirin AND Children AND Reye's Syndrome = Venn Diagram showing overlap between all three terms indicating search results will include all three.

Image from University of Minnesota Libraries

  1. Use the filters/narrowers in the search interface to limit your search results to a specific date range or resource type (format: book, journal article, news article, etc.)

LibrarySearch showing Aspirin AND Children AND "Reye's Syndrome" with filters for Resource type: Articles and Date: 2009-2019 applied.

  1. Add a Subject Term (found in a database's Index or Thesaurus) to your search to find results that are "tagged" with that term to indicate they are "about" that topic/idea. Tip: Use just 1 or 2 Subject Terms per search so you don't get too narrow too quickly and end up with too few results.

Screenshot of Academic Search Premier Database showing the location of the thesaurus or "Subject Terms" search interface 

After adding a Subject Term to your search, click "Search" and then combine with additional keywords using AND. Note where the Subject Term shows up in your results:

Screenshot of Search using the Subject term "Reye's syndrome" and where it appears in the results

  1. Choose a database that is limited to your major, subject, or discipline. Use the link below to find a research guide with database recommendations for your discipline!

Boolean Searching Infographic

Thanks to IUPUI University Library for allowing reuse of this graphic under a Creative Commons license.

Boolean search infographic - text description available at link

Step 3: Pause to Reflect

Did you find the information you needed? Will it help you answer your research question? If not, it might be time to reach out to a Subject Librarian for an appointment.

As researchers, we should approach the evidence we find with an open mind. Research should broaden or inform our perspectives, and not confirm our own biases. If your research is just a collection of cherry-picked quotes, you may need to go back to the library catalog (LibrarySearch) or the article databases to gather more information and other perspectives to consider. 

Cherrypicking

"kirschenpflücken 2006-06by Brigitte Rieser is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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Choosing the Right Keywords Matters

Green key icon from Noun Project

The keywords that you type into any search box makes a difference, especially when finding academic or scholarly work.

Why? For example:
  • Researchers and those in the field may use a subject-specific word.
  • Not everyone uses the same word to describe the same topic. Consider how many words there are for "job" and their slight meanings.
Tips:
  1. Make Sure you Get it All
  2. Avoid Sensationalism
  3. Be Skeptical - Write Down Your Questions As You Read
  4. Choosing the Right Words for Academic Conversations
  5. Check Google or Wikipedia to learn what Terms Researchers use

Library Databases vs. Search Engines (Video Tutorial)

Watch this video from WHMS Library to understand the difference between library databases and search engines.

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