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Hamersly Library

WR 300 - Technical & Workplace Writing, Dr. Sarver: Advanced Research

Recommended Databases

Topics for this class are wide-ranging and thus resources could be found in a variety of databases. Below are a few relevant examples, but please consult WOU's full list of databases and research guides to specific subjects for further options.

How to Find Articles Listed on a Reference Page--Find It @ WOU

Do you have an article citation from a reference page?  Get the article by using Find It @ WOU. The potential results are:

  • You'll get a link to the article in a database
  • The library has the journal in print.  You can a) retrieve the necessary volume and issue from the shelves, or b) request the Scan & Deliver service. 
  • The library doesn't have the journal you are looking for, but you can request the article through Interlibrary Loan.

How to Find Articles from a Reference Page--Google Scholar

Do you have an article citaiton from a reference page? 

You can search for the article by knowing the article title in Google Scholar 

Type in the Article Title in the Google Scholar search box. Use Google Scholar from WOU Library in order to use Find It@WOU feature).

Locate your article (use author, journal title, volume/issue, page numbers and year to verify it is the correct article). If PDF available open PDF. If PDF not available, select Find it@WOU 

If you selected Find it @WOU select a database the article is available in and use citation information to locate article. If no databases are available, select WOU Interlibrary Loan. 

Advanced Google Searching

Google Scholar

In order to search Google for scholarly sources, use Google Scholar. Make sure you're signed in through the library's webpage if you're off-campus! That way, you will see links in your Google Scholar search that send you straight to the article through WOU, if we have access to it.

General Google Searching

Heed your instructor's advice regarding Google searching. Make sure your sources meet the following standards:

  • Accountability
  • Accuracy
  • Objectivity
  • Timeliness
  • Usability
  • Diversity

Go to www.google.com and try each of the searches below to see how they change your results. You can also try these techniques using Google's advanced search form.

Part 1: Search by Domain Name

In the search box, enter some keywords as you normally would and then add this to the end of your keywords: .domain (e.g. .edu, .gov, etc.)


Common Domain Names:


.com  generic domain, usually commercial, but anyone can use it

.edu  limited to U.S. educational institutions

.gov  limited to U.S. government

.org  usually non-profit organization, but anyone can use it

.mil  limited to U.S. military

.museum = museums

.net = networks, but anyone can use it

Part 2: Search Using Special Characters

Exert greater control over your search results using special characters called search operators. 

Common search operators:

Search for an exact word or phrase using quotation marks (" "): "keywords"

Exclude a word by adding a dash (-) before the word you'd like to exclude from your results: -keyword

Include a "fill in the blank" by using an asterisk (*) before or after a word or phrase: keyword

Search for pages that are similar to a URL by using related:keyword

 

Part 3: Search by File Type

This technique allows you to limit your search to a particular file type. It can help you find reports, newsletters, articles, fact sheets and similar documents.

In the search box, add this to the end of your search: filetype:PDF  *Note: Use PDF not .PDF (with a period)*

Other Common File Types:

doc or docx = Word document

xls or xlsx = Excel spreadsheet

ppt or pptx = PowerPoint

Contact WOU Library

Information: 503-838-8418

Reference: 503-838-8899

Text message: 503-383-9681

E-mail: libweb@wou.edu

CRAPP Test

Does it pass the CRAPP test?

Currency: the timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance: the importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority: the source of the information

  • Is the author's name visible? Does the author have an affiliation with an organization or institution?
  • Does the author list his or her credentials? Are they relevant to the information presented? 
  • Is there a publisher, mailing address or telephone number included, as well as an e-mail address? 
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?

Path: how you got there

  • Was it found via a search conducted through a search engine? Unlike library databases, the accuracy and/or quality of information located via a search engine will vary greatly. Look carefully!
  • Was it recommended by a faculty member or another reliable source? Generally, an indicator of reliability.
  • Was it cited in a scholarly or credible source? Generally, an indicator of reliability.
  • Was it a link from a reputable site? Generally, an indicator of reliability.

Perspective: the reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade? Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Are sources of factual information or statistics cited? Is there a bibliography included?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial? Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
  • Compare the page to related sources, electronic or print, for assistance in determining accuracy.
  • Are there ads? Is there a relationship between the ads and the content or are they simply providing financial support for the page?

Another test: