Take some time to think about your key terms and how they may appear in a database's search results.
*Learn more about Brainstorming on our Tools for Brainstorming LibGuide.
Brainstorm your key terms and consider:
Social media: sccial network, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TicTok
Teleconferencing: teleconferenc*, web conferenc*, video conferenc*, Skype, WebEx, Adobe Connect, Zoom
Develop an online search strategy using appropriate Boolean operators, proximity operators, and truncation / wildcard characters.
Many Ebsco databases include the expander "Apply Equivalent Subjects" that are automatically selected by default when performing unqualified keyword searches. This may be helpful with relevancy of results and discovery of terms in the established subject headings in the controlled vocabulary.
To locate articles from scholarly journals, search any of the following research databases:
Popular materials are written at a level that can be read and understood by the general population. Popular materials may be written by authors who do not have specific expertise or training in the topic discussed, and the materials are often published quickly.
Scholarly materials are written at an academic level and present the findings of scholarly research. These materials often go through a "peer review process" which validates the author(s) research methods and conclusions. To determine if an item would be considered scholarly, look for the following characteristics:
For example, start out in Academic Search Complete. Above the search box, located the link for "Choose Databases."
Many of the skills addressed in this guide are covered more in-depth in our Information Literacy Modules.
Review Module 2: The Research Plan: Developing Research Questions: This module will discuss the earliest stages of a research plan: developing research questions using brainstorming and mind mapping techniques.
Review Module 3: The Research Plan: Developing Online Search Strategies: This module focuses on basic approaches to developing effective online search strategies including searching with Boolean operators and truncation.
Review Module 5: The Research Plan: Popular and Scholarly Sources: This module distinguishes among popular, professional, and scholarly sources in order to aid in the research plan decision-making process.
Review Module 6: The Research Plan: Choosing Appropriate Databases: This module focuses on choosing appropriate databases for specific research needs among the hundreds of databases available through The University of Akron Libraries. Choosing between databases based on coverage (general or subject-specific, dates covered, etc.) and formats available will aid in the research plan decision-making process.
Review the following two modules:
Module 9: Searching Periodical Databases (Basic): This module will lay the foundation for searching using periodical databases: performing basic keyword searches and examining database records for the citation, abstract, subject headings, and availability.
Module 10: Searching Periodical Databases (Advanced): Building on the skills discussed in Module 9, this module focuses on more advanced searching of periodical databases, including using field-specific searches and limiters to locate focused information.
Helpful guides to citation styles: