1) Scan encyclopedias in the discipline of your choice.
They provide overviews of issues and research trends in a discipline.
- For discipline-specific information, see the library's specialized online encyclopedias.
- Credo Reference A collection of encyclopedias in various disciplines. The "concept map" search allows you to explore general topics and refine them, using an interactive map of topics and subtopics. Credo offers a video demonstration of this feature.
- Opposing Viewpoints in Context : Easy to browse set of resources on controversial social issues.
- Virtual reference collection: a list of online sources to find information on everything. For example:
- Academic OneFile : A huge and highly heterogeneous multidisciplinary mix of scholarly, journalistic, practitioner and popular sources, with much direct full-text included. Use the list of related subjects to explore a topic.
- For a detailed overview of resources in each discipline, see the library's Research Guides.
Some search engines provide suggestions for more search terms. Concept mapping tools allow you to visually brainstorm the various aspects of a topic (as shown in this 3' video)
- DeeperWeb: powered by Google, it allows you to refine your search by adding or excluding words in Deeper Cloud (see image), by selecting specific categories of information, and more.
- Spezify. A search engine that presents results as images.
- Bubbl.us. Concept mapping made easy...
- Text2Mindmap. Another concept mapping visualization tool.
- KL has a list of specialized databases (specific to disciplines) under Databases by Subject.
- Research guides offer more specific suggestions for the best databases, websites and other resources on a given discipline or topic.
When using databases that are not full-text, click on to access the text of the articles.
To make sure that you find peer-reviewed articles, you can:
- limit your search to "peer-reviewed" (also called refereed) articles.
- check whether a journal is peer-reviewed in Ulrich's Periodicals Directory . Enter the journal title in the search box. When you find it, check whether it has the icon in front. If so, it is peer-reviewed.
- check the website of the journal, or a print copy, to see if they mention anything about peer review.
Assistant Professor, Humanities Librarian
- See the HC 390 Guide to Starting Your Research to find your librarian.
- Workshop Slides from How to Start Your Honors Thesis Research:
You may request materials we don't have and we'll borrow them from another library for you.