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INFO7000/Graduate Student Guide/Fiesler/Fall22: Getting Started


Welcome to the research guide for INFO 7000.

As your librarian, I can help you locate resources, purchase items you need, help you find and use items such as films for your classes and research, teach information literacy/library research sessions for your classes, and answer any questions you have about library services and resources.

I am happy to meet with you or your students to discuss your research or any other topic. Please email me or schedule an appointment via the links on the right side of this page.

Library Research

It is often assumed that graduate students know how to do library research. This is not always the case.

Here are some basic steps for doing library research. For more assistance, please see the Library's guide to Research Strategies or contact your librarian.

  1. Identify your topic. Search for information on what is currently known about your topic. Popular articles and websites are fine for this part of the process. Graduate students often look at the research being done by specific researchers or labs.
  2. Develop search terms or "keywords." These terms are important for searching in library databases. You will want to include synonyms and alternate terms. Always look for more search terms in articles you find on your topic.
  3. Do an Initial search. One good place to start is on OneSearch, the search bar on the library main website. This search tool is sort of like Google for the libraries. Try combinations of your search terms to see what comes up. Use the filters to limit the huge number of results.
  4. Select a database to search. Some databases are for general (such as Academic Search Premier) and others are more specific to a subject area.  If you go to the library's research guides, you can see a list of the best databases to search for different subject areas.
  5. Databases are not Google.
    1. You need search terms (keywords) to search for articles on a given topic. Except in Google Scholar and sometimes in OneSearch on the main library website, natural language (sentences) will not work.
    2. Use separate rows (search boxes) for your different terms when possible. If this is not possible, put AND between terms.
    3. Use quotation marks around terms you want to keep together in a specific order.
      1. Example: "social media" AND "mental health"
    4. Use the filters, usually located on the left side or top of the page, to limit results.
    5. You can use an asterisk (*) to search many variables of a word, so for example child* would bring up child, children, childhood and all similar words. This can be helpful, but beware that truncating some words can be problematic. For example, "soc*" could bring up too many unrelated words (society, social, socialite, socialism, socket, etc.).
    6. Use Google Scholar! It has some issues (your search history influences the search algorithm, for example, and you can't utilize as many filters or control the search as well as in other databases) but it can be an excellent search tool. It is not full text, so you may need to get access to some articles by connecting to GS through the library website or enter your CU email in your account settings to view CU resources.

Engineering Librarian

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Elizabeth Novosel