When beginning research, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Starting off in an organized fashion will save you time and make life easier. Understand the types of articles you need to find for your assignment. Do you need scholarly, peer-reviewed, or trade? Maybe you need a mix. Make sure you know exactly what your professor wants BEFORE you begin. Secondly, know the difference between the types. Use the tutorials or the charts and tips throughout this guide, Research in an appropriate database like Compendex, Scopus or Web of Science. These are already focused on research literature. Remember, trade journal articles may be mixed in your results. So make sure the articles you select meet your research needs by evaluating your sources. Consider using a citation manager like EndNote to organize all your citations. This will make it much easier when you write your paper. Finally, if you need help, ask a librarian! Set up a consult appointment to get you off on the right start or if you get stuck, we can help you get back on track. Remember, finding information is our specialty!
1) Understand your assignment research requirements. Do you need statistics? Data? Research articles?
2) Turn your research topic into a question. This narrows the focus and makes it more manageable.
3) Develop a search strategy using key words to find articles. Identify the databases you will use.
5) Review your information and if it isn't answering your question go back and research some more, using additional keywords and perhaps a different database.
6) Ask a librarian at any point in the process for assistance. We are here to help you succeed!
Feel free to make consults with either me, Jan or both of us. We each have a different focus and specialize in different databases. She handles chemistry/physics/astronomy (SciFinder Scholar (CAS) and Reaxsys, ArXiv, etc.) and I focus on the numerous engineering databases.
When looking for articles on your topic, start with these databases. They are already focused by subject and unlike Google, have filtered out sites and sources that would not be used in academic papers or research. This will save you time and result in a better paper.