The following strategies will help you refine your information search and do it fast as well as more effectively so that you get the sources from online libraries in the United States. Remember that most databases normally recognize the tools below but not all. Also many have built-in tools to simplify the process. Look at the advanced search areas on any database or search engine and see what your options.
What to Note
It is usually important to remember that many search engines and online libraries in the United States do not understand the natural language. That means typing in a question or sentence will likely not get you the results you expect. Therefore, instead of typing the question you are searching for, type the keywords for the topic while considering how someone can answer that question. For instance, instead of typing “What are the present views regarding illegal immigration?” just type, “illegal immigration public opinion.” Use the advanced search screen option to limit the search year.
Get Started Early Enough
Research is a repetitive and usually a time-consuming process even for the most skilled researchers. Therefore, the sooner you start, the more time you will have to evaluate your resources and have time aside to select new resources if the literature you thought was superb turns out to be irrelevant.
After you select a topic, spend some adequate time thinking about various ways it may be referred to. That includes the words the authors use when writing about a certain topic.
Do Preliminary Research
If you are unfamiliar with the subject at hand, find an encyclopedia piece or search on the internet for some relevant background information. Getting the background knowledge will make it a lot simpler to choose resources later. That is the point whereby Wikipedia becomes a very handy resource. Just skim through the literature for some common terminology and ideas as you check out the online resources linked at the very bottom of the page. After that, move to the library databases as well as the catalog to search for the authoritative and reliable resources.
Search in Library Databases
Online libraries in the United States are designed to be utilized for research, and they are the best tools for getting articles. Although their interfaces may look different, most databases have very handy tools that are specifically designed to help users locate the best articles for their research, which may not be available in the online search engines. Also, most of the databases listed by the library are usually subject-specific hence they do some operation for you by excluding articles that are not in your discipline. Therefore, always check the subject guides for opinions on the databases that may be most useful for you. IEEE Xplore is an example of such libraries.
Utilize the Available Sources
At the end of all scholarly articles or books, you will always find a list of references. Take advantage of that to find more useful resources. If you get stuck, seek professional help. Librarians boast of specialized training in searching and locating information.