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SOCI 302: Research Methods Lab: Home

Pre-Assignment for Lab Library Session on 9/9/19

1. Watch the following Refworks video to learn or refresh your Refworks skills. 

2. Create or log into your Refworks account. 

3. Brainstorm a few keywords for your research topic, then search the library database SocINDEX with them. Find 3 articles relevant to your topic, and export those articles from SocINDEX to Refworks. (If the articles aren't perfect it's fine - we will talk about more search tips to get better results and additional databases in your lab session). 

4. Reflect on different mechanisms scholars use to communicate with each other - we will discuss in this class. 

Search Strategy

Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research:

  • Begin by using the keyword brainstorming worksheet to help you tweak your research question, identify keywords and related terms, and keep track of what you find.  
  • Search in a library catalog (Summon, OBISOhioLINK and/or WorldCat) to find books and reference sources.  These sources will:
    • provide BACKGROUND and CONTEXT
    • REVIEW and SUMMARIZE earlier work
    • help you FOCUS your topic and
    • provide CITATIONS to important books, journal articles, conference papers, interviews, etc.
  • Next, search research databases to find articles. The library has hundreds of databases; those listed on this guide are good places to begin.
  • You may also wish to use Google Scholar to search the Internet.  This is a great tool for doing cited reference searches.
  • Finally, use the CRAAP test worksheet to evaluate the sources you find.


Summon logo

Search approximately 300 million books, scholarly articles, newspaper articles, data, digital audio, digital video, digital images, government documents and more. It draws from the library catalog (OBIS), many of the full text and article indexing databases, as well as digital repositories from colleges, universities, research centers, and other open-access archives on the web. 

Research Help