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Planning Your Research
Research 101 is a guide to the research process from selecting a topic to citing your sources. If you need to review the process click on the following link.
*Conducting preliminary research in the UK Libraries catalog or a specialized database to determine, generally, what information exists with which you might work. The amount of information you find in this initial foray can help you refine your research question. If you are deluged with information what search techniques would make your results more specific? If you find too little information, how would you modify your search to increase your results?
Think about the search words, phrases and combination of terms you might have to use to perform your search and modify your search results. If a database offers a thesaurus, consider using it first to discover the specific language to use when searching that database. Using subjects or descriptors or searching keywords in the subject field can make your search results more precise. You might also have to think about:
Variant spellings: Globalization, Globalisation (British spelling)
Variations of a root word: Compute, Computers, Computerized
Singular and plural forms of words
Abbreviations and acronyms: UN OR United Nations, ASEAN OR Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Changes in language: Colored, Negro, Black, Afro-or- African-American
A search strategy also involves thinking about how to combine search terms. AND and OR are words used to tell the search software how to query the database and return search results. For instance in the search "globalization AND 'latin america'" both terms must have appeared somewhere in the database records for to have been included in the search results. In the search "globalization OR 'international relations'" any match for that word or phrase will be in the search results.
Check out Database Searching for tips to help you do the most efficient and effective searching whether you are searching Google or any of the UK subscription databases.
Reference and Information Services
William T. Young Library
Responsibilities: General Reference, Information Literacy and Library Instruction, Reference Collection Management, Academic Liaison for Social Work