Your Liaison Librarian also recommends:
For a more comprehensive list of available library subscription databases, please see the 2 links to all HPD and NSU databases below.
Every database has this option:
Setup an Account or Folder on each database you search.
EndNote is a software application that is free to all NSU students, faculty and staff.
Why use Endnote?
Once you have selected a topic and reviewed general resources, you must decide what exactly interests you most about your topic. For example, you may have chosen globalization as a topic, but when you run a search for globalization in the Library databases, you get over 12,000 results! In a situation like this you will need to narrow your search. What about globalization interests you? Try adding some keywords to globalization to come up with a smaller, more manageable, set of search results. You may also find that your research topic is much too narrow, or focused. Trying to look for articles about the effects of globalization on outsourced employees living in Hyderabad, India, will more than likely return zero results. In this situation you need to broaden your topic by taking away some keywords or being less specific about your research topic.
globalization = too broad
globalization on outsourced employees living in Hyderabad, India = too narrow
globalization on outsourced employees = manageable topic
As mentioned above, it’s important to choose a topic that is not too narrow or too broad. It is also helpful to select a topic where you can effectively explore relationships, i.e., globalization and human rights. Try forming your keywords into a question. Using the example of globalization and human rights, you may come up with the following: Is there a relationship between globalization and the human rights of workers from local host countries? By posing your research topic as a question, the resources you will need become clear.
keywords = globalization, human rights, outsourced employees
research question = Is there a relationship between globalization and the human rights of workers from local host countries?
As you continue searching, refine your search by adding or combining different key words that further explore your topic. You may find you need to modify your question. Carefully read and evaluate scholarly research articles to determine their suitability and validity. Use information from selected articles to form a response to your question. Your conclusions can then serve as your hypothesis/thesis statement that will direct your paper. Using the above example, we might end up with the following hypothesis: If human rights are negatively affected by globalization, then a universal code of human rights may positively affect the rights of workers in local host countries.
Understanding how to narrow or broaden your topic as well as learning how to turn your topic from a research question into a hypothesis statement can be helpful. It’s not only important to recognize when these steps need to occur, but it’s important to know what to do to carry out these steps. Once you have developed a hypothesis/thesis statement, you will want to begin thinking about the type of information you need and the best approach to finding it.
The sub-pages in this section will describe techniques for searching in the Library's databases.
Searches by topic or subject
Keyword searching (the default in most databases) :
Try mixing both approaches.
Give your self plenty of time - in depth searching is not the same as googling
---Use the HPD Library Catalog to locate print and e-journals
Plan your strategy:
Read background information to find search terms:
Identify search terms:
Selecting your articles:
Ask your librarian for help at the BEGINNING of the research process!
1. Looking for ARTICLE titles that exactly match your topic.
2. Search terms are too narrow or too broad.
3. Missing citation pearls.
4. Forgetting to save searches that produce great results for use later
5. Keep your topic general until you've done some background searching.
J Prosthet Dent. 2010 May;103(5):321-2.
Antimicrobial filling of implant cavities.
Kern M, Harder S.
Journal title: Journal of prosthetic dentistry
(look up the abbreviation in PubMed Journals database)
Date: May 2010
Authors: Kern M and Harder S
Article title: Antimicrobial filling of implant cavities
Articles that are published in peer-reviewed or refereed journals are recognized as scholarly contributions to their academic or medical field. You can identify peer-reviewed journals by searching for the journal title in Ulrich's Periodical Directory.
Grey literature is literature produced by government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats, but which is not controlled by commercial publishers. Therefore, grey literature can at times be difficult to identify and obtain. It includes theses and dissertations, conference papers and proceedings, research reports, government documents, technical notes and specifications, proposals, data compilations, etc. Often grey literature does not have an international standard book number (ISBN) or an international standard serial number (ISSN).
It is crucial to note where the term “grey literature” derives from. Grey literature comes from the uncertainty of the status of this information. Grey literature is essentially any document that has not gone through peer review for publication. You may be questioning what is the benefit of looking at this type of literature if it is not peer reviewed? The benefit is that grey literature can be published much more quickly since it does not have to be subjected to the lengthy peer-review process. As a result, in cases where there may not be much information on a topic in peer-reviewed research, grey literature may prove a very valuable source of information. Learn more about Grey Literature here:
Once you have found a research topic of interest and developed a hypothesis, you are ready to begin conducting scholarly research. Through your research, you will be exploring and addressing the relationships between the variables in your hypothesis. During the course of your research, you may find information that contradicts your research statement. When this happens, you will want to try to find more information that confirms or denies the contradictory information.
You may also determine that your original research question needs to be revised. In this case, you can identify new concepts through database searches, further examine the relationship between the concepts, and review your search strategy to incorporate these new concepts.
It may also be helpful to also maintain a log of previous database search results based on different search methods and modify them accordingly. Once you have answered your initial research question, you should not stop your research before determining if the original information need has been satisfied or if additional information is needed.
Primary resources contain first-hand information, meaning that you are reading the author’s own account on a specific topic or event that s/he participated in. Examples of primary resources include scholarly research articles, books, and diaries. Primary sources such as research articles often do not explain terminology and theoretical principles in detail. Thus, readers of primary scholarly research should have foundational knowledge of the subject area. Use primary resources to obtain a first-hand account to an actual event and identify original research done in a field. For many of your papers, use of primary resources will be a requirement.
Examples of a primary source are:
How to locate primary research in NCU Library:
econdary sources describe, summarize, or discuss information or details originally presented in another source; meaning the author, in most cases, did not participate in the event. This type of source is written for a broad audience and will include definitions of discipline specific terms, history relating to the topic, significant theories and principles, and summaries of major studies/events as related to the topic. Use secondary sources to obtain an overview of a topic and/or identify primary resources. Refrain from including such resources in an annotated bibliography for doctoral level work unless there is a good reason.
Examples of a secondary source are:
Locate secondary resources in NCU Library within the following databases: