I hope this guide will provide some useful starting places for your research, as you work on your sourced papers. I'm available and happy to consult with you about any part of the research process, from finding and evaluating sources to understanding how to cite them. You can email me (email@example.com) or make a Zoom appointment on my calendar: bit.ly/storzappt. We can also arrange a time for a text chat — whatever works for you!
Karen Storz, Research & Instruction Librarian
SuperSearch is a great place to start for journal articles, books and almost everything else the library has, in one easy to use interface.
For searching with more focus and precision, try one of the databases recommended on this guide.
Because SuperSearch contains so much content from so many different kinds of sources, the results can sometimes be overwhelming and hard to focus. At the same time, SuperSearch is also not comprehensive and can miss key sources. To search with more focus, precision, and depth, be sure to try the databases recommended on this guide.
For more on how to search, see the Search Tips & Tutorials page of this guide.
Databases can contain a combination of full-text (ready to read online) and citation information that can lead you to articles, book chapters, or books. Some databases, like Academic Search Complete, are multidisciplinary. Others, like PsycINFO or GenderWatch, focus on specific subjects such as psychology or women's and gender studies. The databases here are just a few that could be useful for the kinds of research topics you might be pursuing in this course. Check out our Database A-Z list and sort by Subject to see other relevant databases. It's always a good idea to search in more than one database.
Unsure about what database to use? Ask me!
These search tips work in SuperSearch and most library databases.
Use quotation marks " " to search words as a phrase. This will narrow your results.
Use AND to combine multiple concepts in your search. This will narrow your results.
selfie AND "self esteem"
Use OR to find different ways your topic could be expressed. This will expand your results. Group these related terms in parentheses, so the database interprets them first. The following search will find results that have either one of the phrases in parentheses along with selfie.
selfie AND ("self esteem" OR "body image")
Use an asterisk * to find variant endings (e.g., gender, gendered, feminine, femininity, etc.). This will expand your results, because again, you're providing more options.
selfie AND (gender* OR "sex role" OR feminin* OR masculin*)
Many databases allow you to limit your search to peer-reviewed articles. Learn about peer review in this short video (from the University of Kansas Libraries).
Here are some criteria to keep in mind when choosing and using both print and online sources:
Unsure about a source? I'm happy to help!!
This guide from Ryerson University provides a great example of some ways you might use sources when writing about a very recent topic, especially if there isn't much scholarly work on the topic yet.