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ADSY114 Research Techniques & Processes



Think Like a Librarian

How does a librarian think? In general, we:

  • think in categories
  • experiment
  • learn how the tools work

spiral image showing process of narrowing topic

In a particular search, we start broad, and get narrower, roughly in this order:

  1. Which fields ask questions about that topic? (And what kinds of questions are they asking?)
  2. Which resources do we have at our disposal to find information in that field?
  • which research guides
  • which tools in the catalog,
  • which databases?
  1. What expert terms does a subject encyclopedia suggest?
  2. Which terms in which databases return the most relevant results?
  3. Collect articles.
  4. Then we start reading for detail.

Spiral image courtesy of: Weisstein, Eric W. "Golden Spiral." From MathWorld--A Wolfram Web Resource.

Picking a Topic IS Research

A 3-minute video courtesy of North Caroline State University Libraries


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Steve Runge
308 O'Neill Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
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