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You're in Good Company: 3rd Annual Mini-Conference for Graduate Students in the Humanities, Aug. 23, 2016

Being held Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at the Kopolow Business Library in Simon Hall. Prior registration required.

Search like a Pro!

Learn some new techniques that will help you to search Google like a pro! We will also take you on a guided tour of the search options on the library website, including Primo, the libraries' latest search tool that searches across hundreds of catalogs, indexes, and databases and enables users to create an annotated e-Shelf for search results.


WU Library Resources

For questions about Primo or the New Website, contact your subject librarian or library staff via Ask  Us!



Electronic databases make it easy to find scholarly articles or to find articles written within a specific time period.



--Start generally. Begin your search using a multidisciplinary database such as Academic Search Complete, JSTOR, Project Muse, Scopus, or Web of Science.

--Improve your keyword search. For example: If you are researching the current designs of hybrid vehicles, be sure to combine terms such as "design AND hybrid vehicles".  For more tips on developing search terms in library databases see the "Testing your Topic" box in Step 1: Exploring an idea.

--Search subject-specific databases. In addition to having many general/multidisciplinary databases, WULibraries also provides access to hundreds of subject specific databases. Simply select the subject of your research area from the box Find Databases by Subject.

--Obtaining an article. Depending upon the database, full-text may not be immediately available. Always first look for a link to the full-text of an article (typically you will see a pdf or html link).  If this is not available, look for the  button. Additional details on using the Get it! button.


Image source:
DATABASE at Postmasters, March 2009/
mandiberg / CC BY-SA 2.0



Have you ever wondered about how Google works? This question is answered by the links below.

How to improve your searching.

1) Selecting a destination (defining your topic)

    a) What are you working on?
e.g. Gender and genius in Goethe's Werther.

    b) State your topic as a question.
e.g. How does Goethe's Werther engage with the gender dimension of the contemporary concept of genius?

    c) Identify the main concepts or keywords in your question (broad to narrow)
    e.g. 18thC AND genius AND gender AND (Die Leiden des jungen Werther OR The Sorrows of Young Werther)


2) Know before you go (using Reference Sources/Wikipedia/Google)

Establish your knowledge base / Identify key sources. / Refine your searching vocabulary.

    a) Who are the main theorists on your topic?

    b) Find an undergraduate syllabus on your topic.

    c) Find a quotable definition of one of your keywords.

    d) In Wikipedia look up a main theorist on your topic. 

    Look at the Talk tab for discussion of the content. Is this entry a Featured or Good article?
    Look at the History tab -- for edits to the entry. When was the page last modified?


3) Embark (finding known sources)

    a) Find the call number (book title known):
     Kleist, Heinrich. Die Verlobung in St. Domingo et al. Stuttgart: Reclam, 1984. Print.     

     À Vous, Vierge De Douçour: Ad Te, Virgo, Venio: Motet. Paris: L'Oiseau Lyre, 1938. Musical score.

    b) Find the call number (chapter title known):
    You only took a note of the chapter title. "What were the motives and effects of colonization and migration?"  
    You remember that the book had a yellow cover.

    c) Find a specific article:
    Delap, Lucy. "The Superwoman: Theories of Gender and Genius in Edwardian Britain." The Historical Journal 47.1 (2004):

   d) Find a bibliography from a book chapter without going to the library; try Google and/or WU Catalog.

    "On Myth, History and National Belonging in the Nineteenth Century." Languages of Community:The Jewish Experience in the
    Czech Lands.
Kieval, Hillel. Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, c2000. 

    e) Find a page reference for this quote:

    "By the time we arrived as evening was approaching, I felt as sore as a rock must feel when the waterfall has pounded      on it all day long." from this book: Golden, Arthur. Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel. New York: Knopf, 1997.


   4) Into the unknown! (discovering new sources)

    a) Find a review of:
    Battersby, Christin. Gender and Genius: Towards a New Feminist Aesthetics. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1990. Print.

    b) Sign into Google Scholar. Go into Settings and create your preferences. 

    c) Go to Advanced Search within Google Scholar & use four features of it with your own research interests.

    d) Set up an alert for your search.

    e) Go to WU Databases find the MLA Bibliography and search on your research.

     Use the "Select a Field Option"
    Refine your search by Publication type, Period. Language.   
    Bring up a record and look at subject headings/descriptors associated with it.