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Research Planning Guide

Use this guide to learn about the research process and plan your research project.

Subject or Thesaurus Searching

Sometimes the key to finding the best articles is to first find the best search terms.  Some databases (especially EBSCO and GALE) make it easy to find the right words for your search.  Look in the toolbar for an option called "Subject Terms," "Thesaurus," "Subject Guide," or similar. 

  • Example: You want to write about multiculturalism in the work place.  But you're not getting useful results.  Try the Subject Search (in EBSCO), and you will find that "Diversity in the Work Place" is a better term.  You might also get other good ideas!

Finding a Specific Article

What if you're looking for a specific article?  Maybe your professor has recommended it, or you found a citation in a book or journal.  What should you do? 

  1. Determine the SOURCE - what journal, magazine, or other publication printed the article?
  2. Choose a database that is likely to include this kind of source.
    • Example: If you're looking for Harvard Business Review, try a business database, like EBSCO's Business Source Complete.
  3. Look in the toolbar for an option for searching publications.  You might see "Publications," Publication Search," or "Browse Titles." 
  4. Type in the journal title (if possible), or browse through the list of available journals to see if that title is included. 
    • WARNING:  journal titles may be listed, but that doesn't always mean that they're available in Full Text format.  In some databases your title might come with citations only.
  5. Some databases will allow you to specify the year, month, issue, and other criteria.  Make the appropriate selections to view all articles from that issue.

OR:

Choose to search within the publication, and use words from the title of the article to narrow your search.

OR:

Try the Journal search feature in WorldCat.  Type the title of the journal or magazine you need in the search box. Results will show the databases that provide access to that journal. Note: even though the journal is available, it might not be available for the date or issue you need, and access to the article may not be available in full text. But this search feature will give you a place to start.

As always, if you need assistance finding a specific article, your friendly DBU librarians are always willing to help.