Searching Techniques

1. Select keyword search terms for your topic

  • Choose words that represent the key concepts of your research topic or question

2. Create a search string using Boolean operators (must be in CAPS when searching Omni)

  • Sample search: "feminist geography" AND (perspective* OR viewpoint*)

  •   --> think of synonyms for each concept and groups synonyms with brackets using OR to connect them
  •   --> use AND operator to search multiple ideas and/or phrases
  •   --> use the truncation symbol * (asterisk) to replace word endings or variant spellings, ie: enviro*
  •   --> use quotation marks to ensure that words are searched together as a phrase

3. Select a Database from the subject-specific databases for Geography

4. Use database filters - to obtain high quality, academic literature, remember to refine your search by selecting the following filters:

  • Peer-reviewed articles
  • Articles
  • Subject (optional)
  • Date

Tip 1: Filter your search to find scholarly journal articles .Other sources are published in different formats (ie: newspaper or magazines) are written for specific audiences and they do not all have solid authority as with the scholarly, peer reviewed literature.

Tip 2: Follow the subject links in any book (or journal) record to find books on similar topics. These words are part of a controlled vocabulary of pre-selected terms used to describe the contents of a book (or journal article).

Tip 3: Check the bibliographies of journal articles to find additional relevant sources.

Tip 4: If you are unsure if a journal is peer reviewed, check Ulrichsweb. It is the definitive source that lets you know what type of journal you are using by 'content type'.

Content last reviewed: December 3, 2019