A research challenge for intercultural studies topics is that they tend to be interdisciplinary.
First you start by thinking about your topic. What do you know? What don't you know? What are some key terms/phrases that describe your topic?
Next you think about where to do your first search. Some subject-specific databases might be a starting point if your topic is associated with a discipline like theology, sociology, or education. Subject specific databases for these areas can be found on the library home page under the database tab. Select search by discipline.
Bible Theology - ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials Plus
Sociology - SocINDEX with Full Text
Psychology - PsycINFO
Education - ERIC
If your topic does not fit in a specific subject area, search Google Scholar. Make sure you have set your Google Scholar preferences to show library links so you have a "Find it @ Wheaton" link to retrieve full text.
You can, but if your topic fits in a subject areas, using a subject specific database for your a first search will not be as overwhelming as searching Google Scholar or the "ALL" search on the library web site. The database limits you to a subset of information.
Use your first search as an opportunity to find additional terms and phrases to use in subsequent searches. Finding the best terms/phrases to use in your searching is key to finding relevant resources.
Common-place terms may differ from the vocabulary used in scholarly writing. When you are in a subject specific database look for terms or phrases used in the abstracts, subject headings, and descriptors.
Google Scholar's "cited by" feature
Whether you are using a subject specific database or Google Scholar, Google Scholar has a "cited by" link that allows you to find related research.
When looking at the results of a Google Scholar search or searching Google Scholar by title, you will get a "cited by" link for each entry in the results list.
"Cited by" is the number of articles that have the article "cited" in their references.
When you click on the "cited by" link you will be given the option to "search within" the results displayed.
The number of times an article is cited can also be a reflection of its importance.
Don't be concerned if your search iterations lead you to change or refine your topic. This is quite common. The key is finding the words and phrases that are used in the literature to describe your topic.
The library home page search will also allow you to limit to ebooks, many which are edited volumes with chapters written by scholars in the field.
Proquest Dissertation Abstracts & Theses
Another place that can be helpful is searching in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global Full Text.
When someone writes a dissertation, they are expected to do an exhaustive search on their topic. That means that a dissertation will have a lot of references.
Searching for a dissertation on your topic can give you articles as well as key authors/scholars in the field to use in subsequent searches.
Don't forget that you can also use Google Scholar to take advantage of the "cited by" feature.
If the subject area of your topic has a key database, e.g. PsycInfo or ATLA, use that database to start, otherwise use the "ALL" search on the library home page and Google Scholar.
Your initial goal should be to discover the terms and phrases that are used in scholarly writing on your topic.
Don't forget to look at the the subjects or descriptors that are used in subject specific databases.
Use the terms/phrases that you find to redo searches using the "ALL" search on the library web site and
Google Scholar. Then do additional searches.
To search for a phrase, enclose the words in quotes.
Search other subject specific databases to get discipline perspectives on your topic.
Search Proquest Dissertation Abstracts & Theses. Dissertations have a lot of references.
Perform title searches using Google Scholar to take advantage of the "cited by" feature.
Don't forget to look at the references cited in relevant articles.