I hope this guide will provide some useful starting places as you work on your research assignments. 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
pisces wave art 1, photo by Pam Link, Flickr, Creative Commons License
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.
You can use the filters on the results screen to refine your search and improve your results. For example, try limiting to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals to find scholarly articles, or filter your search to eBooks and Books. Click Show More to see all content types. Magazines can be a good choice for finding essays published in the popular press.
Because SuperSearch contains so much content from so many different kinds of sources and disciplines, it can sometimes be hard to focus a search to get the most relevant results. At the same time, SuperSearch is also not comprehensive and can miss key sources. To search with more focus, precision, and depth, try the databases on the Find Books & Articles page of this guide.
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.
"environmental justice" AND feminism
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 any one of the terms in the first set of parentheses along with any one of the terms in the second set.
("environmental justice" OR "environmental racism") AND (feminism OR intersectionality OR ecofeminism)
Use an asterisk * to find variant endings. This will expand your results.
("environmental justice" OR "environmental racism") AND (feminis* OR intersectional* OR ecofeminis*)
The Best American Magazine Writing is compiled annually by the American Society of Magazine Editors. Click on the date to access the e-book for that year.
If you find a book that is only available in print, see if you can find it in the Internet Archive. You can borrow digitized copies of books for up to 14 days with a free account.
Search Tips: The default search is in "Metadata," which means it's searching in the information about the book, rather than in the contents of the book itself. This will be a more focused search and is particularly useful for finding books by or about a particular author. You can change "Metadata" to "Text Contents" to search for keywords in the full content of all of the Internet Archive's digitized books.
Access is generally limited to one user at a time per book, so try to return the book as soon as you're done to make it available for others.