Research Seminar

Course #: RE407

Library web site

  • the quickest tour ever: COVID-19, Library reopening, books, articles, journals, theses, Interlibrary Loan

Examples of research

Database searching tips

  1. Developing a research question: for graduate students
  2. Consider word variations and synonyms; think about how others might refer to your ideas
    • e.g, child death, perinatal death, neonatal death, stillbirth, sudden infant death, etc.
  3. Better searching using AND, OR, NOT
    • AND (all terms) OR (one of the terms) NOT (exclude terms)
    • Proximity searches (depends on database, e.g, N#, or NEAR/#
  4. Limit or expand terms
    • "quotation marks" (exact) truncat* (truncate, truncates, truncated, truncation, etc.)
  5. Employ search limiters (available limiters depend on the database)
    • peer reviewed, article type, date, note subject terms assigned to the records
  6. Identify key publications and authors
    • note citations, and cited references, repeated author names
  7. Document and track everything you do in the steps above
too many search results?
  • if you get too many search results, use narrower  or more specific search terms
    • e.g. “christianity” instead of “religion” (or other faith traditions)
  • try adding more concepts to your search
    • e.g., “canada” (or another specific country) AND “religion” AND immigration)
too few search results?
  • think in terms of broader categories (“religion” rather than “hinduism”)
  • add alternate terms for each concept (“immigration" OR “emigration”)
  • always review bibliographies; one author can lead you to others in the field

Choosing a Library Database (to find articles)


  • Search Omni to identify books at Laurier (COVID: requests to other libraries not possible)
    • limit to "Available Online"
    • limit to "Books and eBooks"
  • Search within ebook collections to search within the full text of eBooks
    • as opposed to searching just the title in Omni

note about ebooks

While Omni contains a catalogue record (author, title, etc.) of our eBooks, an Omni search does not search the full text of each book. Instead, you need to visit and search the various sites where our eBooks are stored. Some examples include:

Remember other types of resources

click on Research Materials at the top of this page to see the other types of sources you might want to use, including videos, theses, and statistics.

Predatory Journals

Managing Citations