Western Libraries

Earth Sciences 4490E/4999E

Senior Honors B.Sc. Thesis

Developing Search Strategies

Select keywords from the research topic

  1. Find synonyms or related terms for each the keyword.
  2. Use Boolean operators (AND, OR) to connect keywords: combine concepts using AND, and combine alternate terms within a concept using OR.
  3. Select search tools (library catalogue, databases, etc.)
  4. Conduct your search.
  5. Review your search results and revise your search if necessary.

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

Finding Information on Your Topic

General background information:

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

Primary information sources, such as articles and conference papers:

Need registration to use the following database:

The Finding Dissertations guide will help locate dissertations and theses.

The Earth Sciences Library Guide suggests more resources.

What if the library doesn't have an article or book you want? Use the Interlibrary Loans system to request it from another library, 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.