By entering your search terms into the Library's Online Catalog, Central Search, you will be provided access to a wealth of resources in addition to many suggestions for refining and supercharging your research. For example,let's say you are interested in the topic of "Atlantic History" (which is very broad) and you search the online catalog. You will receive a "Googlicious" number of results (5,251):
Unlike Google, however, on the left side of your results page, you will find a number of ways to further define your search (decrease and finetune) the results (such as by format and resource type) as well as important pieces to the research puzzle as provided by these filters:
Subject: many research topics cross a variety of disciplines - what aspects of the topic do you see? What subjects are appropriate for your course and your research need?
Creation Date: for History, you probably won't need to filter by date, but for many topics, you may want to limit to the most recent information.
Author/Creator: a great way to understand who writes often on the topic and who may be considered the experts in this field.
Journal Title: this filter will list the scholarly journals in the disciplines related to your topic. A great way to advance your knowledge of your discipline.
Collection: this is an excellent way to identify the databases where you may find the most number of results. For example, you might have assumed that History Reference Center would have the best search results. However, this filter which shows the number of results by database name found shows that many more results are found in the Jstor database.
Here is a sample search using the ABI/Inform database.
I. Set up folders to store items of interest. You can always delete the items if you change your mind. Caveat: folders are stored on the computer's hard drive so you will only want to use this tip on your laptop or computer at home!
2. Recent Searches: Look at your search history. Why? You can tell which keywords yielded the most number of results so that you can tweak your search a bit or backwards to a more fruitful search.
3. Set Search Alert: Set up an email alert for your search.
Let the database do the work for you even when you are sleeping! After you conduct a search in the library database, look for a "Save Alert" option such as the one shown for ABI Inform. In some cases, such as with the Ebsco databases, you may find it under the 'Share' menu. You can set up an email alert so that every time an article is added related to your search term(s), you will be one of the first to know!
Google Scholar is a subset of Google allowing users to search scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.
What you find may be available in one or more ways:
1. Freely available on the web (i.e, open access). Click on the link for the article,
2. Available for a fee behind a "paywall". Request the article through Interlibrary Loan,
3. Freely available through one of CCSU's research databases. Look for (click on) the 'Find a Copy @ CCSU' link. ***
*** If you are off-campus, you will need to configure your device to see the 'Find a Copy' link. Here's how:
While Google may seem like a comfortable sweater to most of us, there are other search engines that have special features (e.g., protecting your privacy) and are designed to accomplish specific search tasks (e.g., searching for online videos). These articles provide some suggestions:
Also, if your search is not fruitful through one search engine, results may (will) differ when you use another. Don't miss out!