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Tips on Starting Your Library Research


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Created by the University of Arkansas Libraries for a Popular Culture class.

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Tips on Starting Your Library Research

  1. 1. Search Tips University of Arkansas Libraries January 2014
  2. 2. How to Start a Search  Focus/narrow  Project  Do your topic on the Vikings? a subject search in the library catalog to get a list of subtopics for “Vikings”
  3. 3. You may discover you’d like to research Viking folklore, or the Viking period in Ireland. If you like, you can click on the topic to see the books we have.
  4. 4. Here’s the catalog record for the book. It’s a good idea to start with a book, especially a reference book, to get some background info and terms for your topic.
  5. 5. Choosing Search Terms  Topic: collapse of Viking settlements in Greenland  Pick out most important words   Viking and Greenland Find synonyms for these words  Example: ???? Collapse  Failure  abandonment 
  6. 6. Search Tips  AND  Narrows your search results by adding more requirements  Vikings and Greenland  OR  Expands  your search Collapse or abandonment or failure  NOT  Narrows  your search Vikings not Dublin
  7. 7. Search Tips  Quotes   Use for phrases Brings back only occurences of the exact phrase:   “ecological collapse” Truncation   Use * to find variants of a word root Ecolog* brings back ecological, ecology, ecologist
  8. 8. Combine Search Operators  Use parentheses () to organize similar terms:  Viking* and Greenland and (collapse or failure or abandon*) not Iceland