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Social Work

5 research tips from your librarian

5 Research Tips from your Librarian

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1. Develop Keywords

  • Brainstorm as many terms and concepts to describe your topic as you can
  • Use encyclopedias & thesauri if needed

2. "AND" "OR" & "NOT

  • Combine terms with "boolean operators" to tell the database what you want to find
  • AND: narrows results
  • OR: broadens results
  • NOT: excludes terms

3. Use Filters

  • Filters help narrow your results further and work the same way they do on shopping websites
  • Common filters include: date, source type, peer reviewed

4. Citations

  • Many databases will provide you with a citation for articles
  • HOWEVER, make sure to check these against the APA manual as often times they are improperly formatted

5. Save the PDF

  • When you find a good article, save the PDF!
  • Do not copy the URL from the domain bar as that will time out
  • Having the PDF also mean you can read the article regardless of internet access