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Creating a Query

A successful search often begins with effective search terms. Where do you find terms?

Choosing your search terms and combining them into a logical query is a critical step. If you do this poorly, you'll get poor results. Databases are only as good as the questions you ask them!  While search engines like Google do best with strings of words, other more structured databases can offer you more refinement.

The first thing to do is separate your question into its component concepts. Say you're wondering about concrete, steel, and glass structures in architecture and infrastructural design. This question is best broken into smaller parts:

  1. Architectural design
  2. Infrastructural design
  3. structures in architecture
  4. structure in infrastructural design

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a great way to find scholarly articles or book citations.  After searching, look for features in your results that can help you find related articles:

  • The Cited By feature will show you who cited an article so you can follow the citation trail. 
  • Click Related Articles to find other articles on topic. 

Linking Google Scholar to Buswell's collection can help you find your results more efficiently. The PDF below shows you how to link Google Scholar to Buswell Library so you can check if we have access to a resource. Also, use the Cited By feature to follow the scholarly conversation. 

Google Scholar Search