Friday, April 08, 2016

Sorry, all out of answers for today

Q. My search term doesn't produce results. What should I do?

1. Try a different one?

2. Ask a Reference Librarian. They live for questions! Toss a research question at a reference librarian and he'll pounce like a puppy on a junebug.

3. Ever heard of browsing? If the first book you grabbed from the shelf does not immediately offer up the one very specific piece of information that will make your paper complete, you could skim through other chapters or flip through the index or look at nearby titles on the library shelves or scroll through the online catalog, or you could even look at the Works Cited of a journal article and see where others are finding information on the topic.

4. Funny, but we have experts on that very topic teaching right over in the next building. Have you respectfully approached them and asked for advice on a good place to find a general introduction to the topic and maybe develop some essential vocabulary?

5. Nothing at all. Just turn in the paper with the sources you've already found, even if they're all for-profit web sites peddling the latest conspiracy theories. Surely no one would expect you to come up with new search terms out of your own sweet little head!    

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