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LIBS 138: Wild Things - Attitudes to Being Animal, Being Human

Research Guide for LIBS 138

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Search FAQs

1. How do I search for my topic?

  • Identify the keywords of your topic and use those as your search words
  • Each article has tags assigned to it, words or shorts phrases that make them searchable - you want your search words to match those tags
  • Words like factors, effects, issues, relationships are usually not used as tags - don't include them as search words
  • Since you are studying debates, you may need to do two separate searches for articles about each side of the debate and use them to draw your own conclusions
  • Example topic:: How do we balance the hunting rights of indigenous people with the need for wildlife conservation of endangered species in nature reserves?
    • Search 1: indigenous people hunting rights nature reserves
    • Search 2: wildlife conservation endangered species nature reserves

2. How do I focus the search hits to just scholarly sources?

  •  Use Refine Your Search in Summon to focus your search results to just scholarly sources with current research
    • Check the box beside Scholarly & Peer Review
    • move the Publication Date scroll bar over to 2000 to present

3. How do I know my search words match the tags assigned to articles about my research question?

  • As you scroll through the search hits, look at the Subjects (tags) assigned to the relevant articles you find, and see if they match your search words 
  • Subjects (tags) also help you identify the specific issues around your topic so you can give it direction and develop it into a focused research question
  • Example: some articles use indigenous populations or native people to describe indigenous people
  • Modified search: (indigenous OR native) (people OR populations) hunting rights wildlife conservation
    • (indigenous OR native) will search for articles or books tagged with any of the words in parentheses

4. I have too many search hits, and a lot of them seem irrelevant. How do I focus them?

  • When you find an article that looks interesting, look at its assigned tags (words) 
  • Add any relevant tags to your search 
  • This will also help you develop your research topics and search for articles about your main ideas
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