- Consider the types of sources that you need for your research:
- Do you need primary or secondary sources?
- Do you need books or journal articles? Popular publications for a general audience or scholarly resources for academics and professionals? All of the above?
- Do you need the most recent information available or historical information?
- Brainstorm words, synonyms, alternative spellings, and jargon that could be search keywords to describe your topic. For example: self-driving car, driverless car, autonomous vehicle, etc.
- Only use important topic terms in your search. Example words that ineffectively limit your search: effects, causes, pros and cons, increase, decrease. They're not worth typing.
- To improve your search results, enclose phrases in "quotation marks." For example: "British Columbia" or "climate change".
- To find variant endings for a word, use the * asterisk (truncation symbol). For example: parent* finds parents, parenting, parenthood, parenteral.
- Many items have direct links to get the full text online. For those that don't, use Get It! to determine if we provide full text online or in print.