Search strategy
Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research on technologies of writing and other related topics.
  1. Begin by using the keyword brainstorming worksheet docx to help you tweak your research question, identify keywords and related terms, and keep track of what you find.  
  2. Search in a library catalog (Summon, OBIS, OhioLINK and/or WorldCat) to find books and reference sources.  They provide BACKGROUND and CONTEXT, review and SUMMARIZE earlier work, help you FOCUS your topic and provide CITATIONS to important books, journal articles, conference papers, interviews, etc.
  3. Next, search research databases to find articles. The Library has hundreds of databases available, but the ones listed below are good places to begin.
  4. You may also wish to use Google or Google Scholar to search the Internet.  Take advantage of Google's advanced search features!
  5. Finally, use the CRAAP test worksheet pdf to evaluate the sources you find!
Core research tools
  • OhioLINK Library Catalog Unrestricted Resource represents the holdings of nearly 90 academic libraries around the state, plus some large public libraries.  You can borrow materials from other libraries through the OhioLINK catalog. Most items are delivered within 3 - 5 business days.
  • Summon is a library search engine that helps you discover a wide range of materials regardless of subject area or format.  It's a great starting pointn for many research projects.  Try it and see what you can find!
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad) helps you get books and articles that aren't available at Oberlin.

Library of Congress Subject Heading possibilities
  • Social media
  • Social media -- History
  • Social media -- Influence
  • Online social networks
  • User-generated content
  • Writing
  • Writing -- History
  • Digital media
  • Microblogs -- Social aspects
Finding articles
Academic Search Complete Restricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images
Good for many areas of study!

Communication & Mass Media Complete Restricted Resource Some full text available
Most comprehensive coverage for communications and mass media issues.

JSTOR Restricted Resource Some full text available
Full text digital archive of core scholarly journals with complete back runs of many titles in nearly all areas of study.  Current issues (usually the last 3 - 5 years) are not digitized by JSTOR and may be obtained elsewhere. 

MLA International Bibliography Restricted Resource
An index to books and articles published on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. Coverage includes literature from all over the world.  THE source for scholarship on literatures and languages.  

OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center ( EJC) Restricted Resource Some full text available
Includes the full text of more than 7,000 online research journals covering many subject areas. Most electronic indexes available to the Ohio academic community link from article citations to the full text in the EJC. 

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I Restricted Resource
Citations and abstracts for dissertations and theses on all subjects from around the world.  Limited previews are available for some recent dissertations. Also consider PQDT Open --  full text of open access dissertations and theses free of charge

Web of Science Restricted Resource
Includes the Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index.  Particularly good for cited reference searching.
Research help
Other resources
Keyword excercise  -- use this worksheet to help you tweak your research question, identify keywords and related terms, and keep track of what you find.

CRAAP test
  -- this rubric is good for helping you to evaluate the sources you find, both in print and online.
Writing & citation help


ProQuest RefWorks is a citation management tool that helps researchers gather, manage, store and share information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies in a wide variety of styles.
  • Search - OBIS, OhioLink, PubMed & Scopus
  • Share - Folders via URL
  • Store - PDFs online and take notes
  • Read - Search your references fulltext and save searches
  • Write - Create a simple reference list and use Write-N-Cite to format paper in Microsoft Word
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