Top Ten Things You Need to Know About Finding
10. Don’t wait till the last moment to start your research!
Research is long and quarters are short: if we don’t have something you need, we can probably get it for you elsewhere, but not instantly.
9. Research is a word game.
Try various techniques to improve the accuracy of your searches: use AND and OR to combine groups of search terms....
8. Google doesn’t have everything.
Hard to imagine, but Google only provides access to a fraction of 1% of what’s “out there” on the web.
Learn to use other tools to find information that’s “invisible” to Google.
7. Use Advanced Search features.
Many databases include “Advanced Searching.” By using it, you can quickly and easily improve the accuracy of your searches—and have fewer but higher quality search results.
Ask a Librarian to show you some of the tricks.
6. A lot of things aren’t online at all.
The Scarborough Library plus libraries in West Virginia and elsewhere—has millions of books, articles, documents, videos, etc. that aren’t online. Anywhere.
Visit us; we’ll help you find ‘em.
5. Use Wikipedia—and other encyclopedias—carefully.
Encyclopedias are good places to get beginning background info, especially if you use a Subject encyclopedia, such as The Special Education Encyclopedia.
4. Evaluate! Evaluate! Evaluate!
Don’t believe everything you read. Or see. Or hear. It’s up to you to determine if the information you are using is reliable or not. Librarians can help with this, too!
3. Research is not a straight line.
It's a process, a spiral, an evolution. One piece of new info can take you back to places you've already been.
You may need to change course, even reverse direction from time to time.
2. Find more sources than you think you’ll need.
Some sources that you’ll find just won’t work for your research needs.
But, if you collect “extra” sources at the beginning, you probably won’t have to backtrack and re-do your searches later.
1. Ask a Librarian!
Don’t let the frustration level build up before you ask for help: In person. Phone. Email. Make an appointment. Ask us!