Develop a search statement to search databases (including news databases), the catalogue, and other academic sources
A search statement includes a list of keywords, combined using Boolean Operators (AND; OR; NOT)
- AND - this will combine concepts, all of which must be found in your list of results
- media AND children
- OR - either this concept or that concept (or both). This is helpful for generating a list of synonyms. Use synonyms to anticipate the different ways different authors may refer to the same idea. A thesaurus can be helpful for this
- internet OR web OR online
- NOT - do not include this concept
- migration NOT bird
- Quote marks - find a specific phrase
- "human rights"
- Truncation - any other combination of letters to follow
- Canad* - will find Canada, Canadian, Canadian's, etc.
- journalis* - will find journalism, journalist, journalistic, etc.
- Combine one or more of these operators
- Put a list of synonyms in brackets
(smartphone OR "mobile phone" OR "cell phone") AND (societ* OR cultur*)
What are Keywords?
Keywords are words or short phrases that represent the main ideas in your research topic or question.
In Google, you can search using full sentences. Library databases are not as smart as Google and do not understand full sentences, spelling mistakes or conversational language.
Instead, you have to consider the words that authors are using the write about a topic.
To come up with keywords, identify the most important words in your research question or topic.
- State your research question or topic.
Do video games increase violence in teens?
- What are the key concepts? Think nouns and noun phrases.
Do video games increase violence in teens?
- List related terms
- Consider how different people or communities talk about the concept.
- Consider how language has changed over time.
- Think of broader terms, narrower terms, or synonyms.
Consider these questions to generate more search terms
- WHO: Who is involved? Whom does it effect? Is there a specific population you will focus on?
- WHERE: Where did it begin? Do you want to focus on a specific geographic region?
- WHEN: When did it begin? Do you want to focus on a specific timeframe?
- WHY: Why does it matter? Why do you think we should investigate?
Try different search combinations and strategies! The process is iterative.
- Alternative words to use instead of "policy": guideline, initiative, strategy, framework
For the fullest information on government policy, it is often necessary to search across the full range of government publications.
- The Debates cover arguments for and against policies
- Statutes codify policies
- The Budget sets out fiscal policy
- The Public Accounts track the money spent to realize the policies
- Annual reports (of departments, of programs, on acts) track implementation of policies
- Statistics measure the impact of policies
- Audit reports evaluate policy effectiveness
- News releases announce new directions in policy
Check the division of powers and responsibilities for different levels of government
Documents and publications
- Policy areas (includes overview, legislation, institutions responsible, statistics and press releases on the topic)
- European Commission (EU's executive body)
- preserved websites about Research & Development projects funded by the EU
- search by term and address (URL)
Google custom searches for climate, economy, development, foreign policy, public policy, geographic pages and more.
Search globally for your policy topic:
- Official website of the European Union
Activities, institutions, documents and services of the European Union.
- European Union | Country profiles
- European Union | Principles, countries, history
- Europe Direct - answering your questions about the EU
Find the local and country contacts for help with general or in-depth questions about the EU and its policies - by e-mail, phone, or in person.
- EU ABC
Dictionary of Eurojargon and acronyms.
Information about (the role of) Institutions and links to publications.
OMNI Search engine located on the library home page
use filters on the left hand site and narrow down results to "Books"
OMNI Search engine located on the library home page, allows you to search across many of the library's collections simultaneously.
- Research and Writing in International Relations
- A Student's Guide for Writing in Political Science
- The craft of research
- Conducting your literature review
- Mining social media : finding stories in internet data
This guide provides basic information on how to cite sources and examples for formatting citations in common citation styles.
You do not need to cite common knowledge (widely-known, generally-accepted information that is not attributable to one source).
Why is Citing Sources Important?
- To give credit to ideas that are not your own
- To provide support for your argument
- To enable your reader to find and read the sources you used
- To avoid infractions
What Needs to be Cited?
- Exact wording taken from any source, including freely available websites
- Paraphrases of passages
- Summaries of another person's work
- Use of another student's work
- Use of your own previous work