Search the Libraries for books, journals, articles, media and more.
Important tip! If you are off campus you need to be logged into the libraries website to access the full text of resources. Make sure to sign in on the top right with your X500 and password.
Once you have decided where to search here are some tips that can help in finding the best sources for what you need. You can also check out the library tutorial creating an effective search strategy to learn more about these tips.
Putting quotes around a phrase tells the database that you want those words in that exact order. For example "genetic sequence" instead of genetic sequence.
Scholarly words and spell out acronyms and abbreviations
Try to use scholarly words for your topic. Try thinking about who has created the sources you are looking for and how they would talk about the subject. For example a geneticist might use the scientific name of the organism they are working with instead of the common name.
It can also be helpful to think of any synonyms, or other words that mean the same thing, that you can use in your searching. This way if different experts are talking about the same topic in different ways you can still find them.
Limits and advanced search
Improve your search results by using checkboxes, drop down lists, and filters (just like a shopping website). For example you can limit your search to scholarly or peer reviewed or a particular date range.
Use the resources you find to locate more
Once you have found a good source you can use it to find more like it by
- Looking at the title and/or abstract for additional keywords
- Looking at the reference list to see if any of the sources the author used to write their work can also be useful to you.
- Looking at what sources have cited your original source to see if they fit your needs.
- For more information about using sources to find more sources check out the library tutorial using citations to find journal articles and books
A citation manager is a software tool used to create personalized databases of citation information and notes. They allow you to:
- import and organize citation information from article indexes and other sources,
- export your citations into Word documents or other types of publications,
- format citations for your papers and bibliographies using APA and many other styles, and
- include your own notes.
Choosing a citation manager
- Guide to Citation Managers at UMN
- Citation managers used at UMN compared
- Wikipedia's comparison of reference management software
- If you want to explore citation managers in more detail. you can use the libraries tutorial What is a citation manager and when to use one.