Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

College Bound, High School Visit: Session 2

What kind of cook are you?

Kitchen counter filled with groceries        Red apple

Forming a research statement

Searching oddities in different databases

Beginning in ScienceDirect, here is the search strategy I added:

(ethic* or Philosoph* or moral*) and (illegal* or unlawful* or "against the law" or punitiv*) and (access* or use or download* or rip* or copy) and (prohibit* or prevent* or deter*) and ("college student*" or "young adult*" or undergrad*)

In JSTOR, you will have to limit the number of * you use to three instances. There are alternate symbols you can use; just check the help screens. Also, keep in mind that you will be searching the full-text of every article included in the database. This could result in a mere mention of your terms, perhaps separated across multiple pages, and thus unrelated.

In the big vendors like Proquest and Ebsco, look to see all the different subject-specific databases that are housed within. Depending on the interdiciplinary nature of your topic, you may find many relevant databases that can be searched simultaneously. Be on the lookout for thesauri to help you identify the most appropriate subject terms according to a discipline and/or browse the records of relevant articles to identify subject terms that will help improve your search.

In Worldcat, you will be searching through books and the contents within books (e.g., tables of contents, chapter titles). Do not immediately discard a book because of a broad title. The perfect chapter could be waiting for you within. Be sure to set limits so that you are not inadvertently searching children's books or novels. These materials could easily be housed outside of UR, so be sure to register for Interlibrary Loan.

In Google Scholar, do not use AND but OR will work. Google prefers to infer various endings to terms and thus, the * will not work. There are a few limiters you can set under the Advanced Search, as well as after you have retrieved some results.


Screen shot of a Google Scholar search

Getting to different databases

In our first class, we used the Articles & Books tab from the UR library homepage. Today, we'll be searching for specific database names. Look for the right tab.

Beyond the library databases, you may also be asked to search in Google Scholar.

Screen shot of the UR library databases search


If you are ever unsure of which databases might be best for your topic, look below the search bar and choose Browse By Subject.

Working through multidisciplinary databases

The key to this team-based assignment is to search different databases (one database per student within a group) with similar search strategies to see what results emerge.

  • Do you get the same set of resources? Different?
  • Which database did you find easiest to navigate?
  • How can you move beyond a set of decent results to even more related sources?

Making sure you access materials within and outside the library