Western Libraries

Earth Sciences 4490E/4999E

Senior Honors B.Sc. Thesis

Developing Search Strategies

  • Select keywords from your research topic
  • Find synonyms or related terms for each of the keyword you identified above
  • Use Boolean operators (AND, OR) to connect your keyword; Combine concepts using AND, and combine alternate terms within a concept using OR
  • Select search tools (library catalogue, databases, etc.)
  • Conduct your search
  • Review your search results and revise your search if necessary

Use the Search Strategy Worksheet in the Library Handout to help you develop your search strategies.

Finding information on your topic

If you are new to your topic or would like to start by reading some more general background information, here are some good places to start:

Note: Review articles, an important source of background information, can be really helpful in getting started: They synthesize key research on your topic and normally are written by experts in your fields. Review articles are generally published in journals and can be found in databases.

You can find primary information sources, such as articles and conference papers in the following databases:

Need registration to use the following database:

Check the Finding Dissertations guide for dissertations and theses

Visit the Earth Sciences library guide for more resources

What if the library doesn't have an article or book you want?   Use the Interlibrary Loan / RACER system to request it from another library (generally free of charge for Western users).

Research Process Toolkit

The tutorial toolkit is a collection of Western Libraries tutorials specific to the research process.  Organized as a step by step series from the beginning to the end of the research process, this toolkit helps equip undergraduate students with essential research skills along with the knowledge of various ways the Library can help

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