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SOCL 281: Sociology of Travel & Tourism (Germann Molz)

Research Strategies

Identifying Search Terms:

- Use keywords or brief (2-word) phrases instead of sentences -- one or two for each part of your topic.

- Use concepts and other nouns as your keywords.  Think of words that are likely to be used in titles (or that you have seen in titles).

- If your keywords aren't turning up many results, you may need to:

  • Try thinking of synonyms or other ways of phrasing your topic. If you can find one or two relevant articles, check to see what subjects are listed for them and try to build keywords from there. 
  • Try a broader search (broader topic, broader date-range, etc.)

Building on Your Research:

No piece of research stands alone; each is part of a broader scholarly conversation in that topic/ field. You can use a single article  or other resource to find other, similar research by tracing the paths of that conversation:

Keywords – Check the abstract, subject terms and full-text to discover the vocabulary being used in this particular scholarly conversation.

Subject Terms – Subject terms not only provide insight into vocabulary you should use but also serve as search tools – click on these tags in any database (or the catalog) to find more resources on a given topic.

Cited References – Check the references list (or bibliography) to see what previous research this resource is drawing on. From here, you may wish to consider: 

- Previous articles or books published on your topic
- Other authors who have published on your topic
- Journals where your topic is frequently discussed

Times Cited – Check Google Scholar to see which articles or books have cited your sources, and to find more-recent research which builds on your original information.

** Once you find a new resource, you can also trace the scholarly conversation around that book/article to find even more resources! 

For a simpler, graphic representation of this research strategy, download the handout below: 

Workshop Citations

Once you find the article, explode it!

Step 1:  Read the abstract for this article, if it is available.  Also look at the subject terms suggested by the database.  Are there any keywords related to the topic that might be helpful for future searches?

Step 2:  Who are the authors?  Have they written anything else on the topic?  (You can either click the author's name in the database, or search the author's name in CrossSearch).

Step 3:  What is the title of the journal the article was published in?  Does the title sound like it might have more information that could be useful related to the topic of the article?  

Step 4:  Look at the works cited list for the article.  Are there any sources listed that could potentially be useful for further research on this topic?

Step 5:  Search for the article in either Google Scholar or Scopus.  How many articles have cited it?