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ANTH:4995 Anthropology: Honors Research Seminar: Search Strategies

Pay attention to language

Pay close attention to the words, concepts, and terminology authors use to discuss your topic. Keep a running list of words related to your topic. Use these terms in combination with the search tips below to be strategic about your searching. Look for subject terms or author supplied keywords to help you develop your list of keywords.

Search tips

Google Scholar is your friend, especially if you map your browser to the UI Libraries.

  • Use the "cited by" link below a record for a list of articles citing the source
  • Web of Science database is a citation reference with options to explore individual article and author citations

Click on the "ViewIt@UILink" in your results list for UILink services including full text (when available), links to the InfoHawk+ Catalog, Interlibrary Loan requests and more. Use Google Scholar effectively off-campus by changing your library links settings. 

NOTE: Even with your library links mapped to the UI Libraries, Google Scholar is only searching a small portion of the resources available.

Google Scholar cited by links are great for finding additional articles on a topic and authors in conversation with each other.

Always sign in with your hawkid and password when using InfoHawk+.

Make use of your e-shelf/save items in InfoHawk+.

Make use of InfoHawk+ and other database filters. There are often filters that allow you to retrieve only peer reviewed articles.

Keywords, broader terms, narrower terms

Use a variety of keywords to describe your topic. Keep a running list of terms you find as you search. You will often run across vocabulary to describe your topic that you may not have thought of on your own.

  • global warming OR climate change
  • alternative fuel OR ethanol OR hydrogen OR emissions
  • prisoner OR incarcerated person

Remove all "stop words" from your search. Stop words include articles, prepositions, or any word not crucial. Examples: a, an, the, in, on, of, are, be, into, which, about, that, etc.

Use quotation marks for phrase searching

  • "interpersonal relationship"
  • "child welfare"
  • "sexual health"
  • "white savior"

Use truncation to get the database to search for a root word plus any possible endings

  • flood* = flood, floods, flooded, flooding
  • econom* = economy, economic, economical
  • psycholog* = psychology, psychological, psychologist

Use AND, OR, and NOT to combine your search terms

  • (sexual health OR sexuality) AND (aging OR older people)
  • "climate change" AND migrat* AND "global north"
  • "land grant" AND (university OR college)
  • dolphins NOT football