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Introduction to Research

These pages offer an introduction to the research process at an introductory level.

Database Searching Tips

Are you able to search

  • For only Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed Sources?
  • By year of publication?
  • By subject?
  • For cited sources?
  • Subject-specific features?

Use advanced search strategies

  • Use Boolean Logic - "AND" to combine terms, "OR" to compile a list of synonyms or similar concepts, "NOT" to eliminate a term
  • Search for word variations by using the asterisk* to truncate the root word, ex. librar* searches for libraries, library, librarian 
  • Notice Subject Terms assigned to describe an article and use them in your search

Once you find your articles

  • Can you save them to a folder to review, email, or print later?
  • Can you select a bibliographic style manual for the citations?
  • Are there links to works cited?
  • Is there an indication if this article has been cited?
  • Is there full-text attached?
  • Can you link to full-text in another source?

Most databases will have a Help section explaining its features

Best Bets Databases

These databases are good for a variety of topics and are good places to start. Take a look at their descriptions and see if they're a good fit for your research topic!

Finding Information Resources

In many of your college courses, you will be asked to use scholarly (or peer-reviewed) resources. In this context, "Scholarly" means that an article was written by an expert in that field, and published. Most, but not all, scholarly resources go through what's known as "Peer Review", which is the process of putting an author's work through the scrutiny of other scholars & experts in their field.  

There are scholarly books, but most often, your professor will be expecting you to use an article that was published in a peer-reviewed journal. But where to find these scholarly journal articles? Beeghly Library provides access to hundreds of scholarly articles through its many academic databases

You can also search for journal articles right from the library's home page using the main search bar search!

Searching for Information 101

This video shows you how to perform your search successfully in library databases & Google to get the resources you need!

Searching for Information in Academic Search Complete

Academic Search Complete is a multidisciplinary database that addresses a variety of subjects areas. It is the most popular database here at Heidelberg and is useful for a large variety of topics! Since most of our databases are provided by a company called EBSCO, once you master using Academic Search Complete, you can successfully use many of our other databases because they look and function exactly the same!