Monday, September 10, 2012

Think like a librarian

Below you will find my top ten search tips for making your research more effective and efficient:

  1. Use the list of references or citations at the end of an article, chapter of a book or even within a web site. They provide an excellent starting point to help you understand the topic a little bit better
  2. Use Wikipedia to define a topic or concept. Just don’t stop there.
  3. Use the Library of Congress Classification system for call numbers of items that may be useful to your search. Then you can browse the shelves in the library
  4. Use a thesaurus. Almost every database has a thesaurus built-in; use the thesaurus to help you find suggested related terms. Perhaps you are not using the right term, the thesaurus should help you to find the correct term.
  5. Use the advanced search option if you know more details about what you are looking for, such as, an author, a date, a publication name or a subject area.
  6. Use the limiter features to narrow your search once you are on the results page
  7. Start with a general database. You will likely discover other databases that will be useful to you, through the library’s link resolver service.
  8. Pay attention to where the information is found and the language that is being used within your discipline
  9. When you discover a successful search string, set up an alert or RSS feed to continually receive new content on that topic
  10. Ask when you need help!

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