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How To Do Research: Searching for Information

A guide on how to conduct academic research.

Searching for Information

Once you have decided on a topic and determined what types of sources you need for your research, you are ready to begin searching for your information.

It is helpful to create a search plan using the steps below to keep your search on track:

  • Determine where to search for your information. 

For articles, look for a library database that matches your research topic. You can find an alphabetical list of all of the library's databases and their descriptions here. For recommended databases, see this page in the Research Guide for DBA Students.

  • Select your keywords, or search terms, that can be used to search for your information. 

Keywords are the most important words in your topic statement; they define what your topic statement is about. The more keywords you can think of to describe your topic, the better! It may be helpful to keep a keyword list when you are researching a topic to help you remember words you have already tried, the combinations you have used, as well as new keywords you may want to try.

  • Decide what search strategies you can apply to your searches to retrieve the best results.  

Remember that research is an iterative process, so that you may need to repeat search steps discussed in this section more than once to retrieve the best information for your research project.

If you are uncertain about your results on the first try, don't be afraid to revisit different steps until you are satisfied that the information you retrieve will support your research.

See the drop down options in this tab at the top of the page for additional information on searching for your topic in the library.

Developing Keywords for Database Searches

Advanced Search Strategies

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Research Appointment

Schedule a Research Appointment

The CSU librarians can support you during the research process with personalized reference services. We are happy to help you with the following tasks:

  • Accessing and using the CSU Library databases in order to create a peer-reviewed literature review with library resources
  • Using free personalized database folders within multiple database platforms to organize your research
  • Brainstorming keywords and recommending search limiters to use
  • Locating the dissertations and theses that may support and inform your research process

Schedule a Research Appointment today!