Search strategy

Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research in nearly any humanities or social sciences discipline:
  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 (click to download!) to evaluate the sources you find.
     


Managing your research time

You may find it helpful to develop a timeline to keep your research on track. These assignment calculators help break down research projects into a series of manageable steps, and gives some tips on what to do at each step along the way. Enter your project's due date to get started!
 
These are just a couple of examples. There are other similar tools out there on the internet. Look around -- you may find another one that you prefer.
Finding books and reference sources
OBIS: Catalog of the Oberlin College Library Unrestricted Resource
OhioLINK Library Catalog Unrestricted Resource
WorldCat Restricted Resource
Interlibrary Loan
Summon -- searches across a wide range of library content, not just books! It includes journal and newspaper articles, data, digital audio, video and images, and so much more. Try it and see what you can discover. 
Research databases -- good for all subjects
These are good for getting started in any subject area, but consult with a librarian to discover subject-specific databases for your research.

Academic Search Complete Restricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images
Multidisciplinary - good for nearly all subjects. Scholarly and trade journals, popular magazines, newspapers, conference proceedings, book reviews, and more. 

OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center ( EJC) Restricted Resource Some full text available
Scholarly journals in humanities, social sciences,and natural sciences, as well as engineering.

JSTOR Restricted Resource Some full text available
Scholarly journal archive for the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences;  most journals 2-5 years out-of-date

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I Restricted Resource
Citations and abstracts for dissertations and theses on all subjects from around the world. Previews and full text available for some titles.

Sage Knowledge Restricted Resource Some full text available
Dictionaries, encyclopedias, guides and handbooks from a range of social science fields.

Web of Science Restricted Resource
Scholarly literature in the sciences, health and medicine, social sciences, arts, and humanities and proceedings of international conferences, symposia, seminars, colloquia, workshops, and conventions.  Includes cited reference searching across many databases. Search all databases in Web of Science (includes Medline and BIOSIS, direct link for on-campus users). Dates of coverage: 1965 to present.  
Research help
Literature review help
Literature review introduction -- this page explains what it is/its purpose, strategies for approaching it, and questions to consider along the way.

Literature review worksheet -- a tool to help you examine each source that you are considering including in your literature review. Also gives you a chance to practice your critical evaluation skills by writing a brief appraisal of each source.
Writing & citation help
WRITING HELP
KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR SOURCES


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
  • Check out video tutorial! ProQuest-branded tutorials are also availble on YouTube. Online user guides are also very helpful.
Apply for a scholar study
What are scholar studies?
Scholar studies are the small offices along the front of Mudd on floors 2-4. They may be reserved by honors students for one semester (or in your case, one summer). Scholar studies are limited in number and in high demand. 

How can I apply? 
Read the fine print, and then submit a completed application form to Bill Ruth in the Main Library Adminstrative Office.
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