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Hamersly Library

SPAN 335 - Contemporary Spanish Society Through Film: Research Tips and Tricks

Finding Things in Primo

Primo is the library's main search engine for electronic and print materials.  The easiest way to get to Primo is from the search box on the library's home page.

Three important things to keep in mind about Primo, especially for this class, are:

  1. Just because you can find something there doesn't mean we have it - Primo also keeps track of materials held at other regional libraries if you're searching the "WOU and Summit" section.  If you search "WOU, Summit, Articles, and etc." then Primo will find things worldwide.

  2. Just because you can't find something there doesn't mean we don't have it - Although Primo is supposed to be a one-stop-shop, it's not perfect.  If you're looking for something and can't find it in Primo, don't despair!  Stop by, call, or e-mail the reference desk, and a librarian will double-check to make sure we really don't have the item you want.  Especially for article searches, it can be much more effective to search in a particular database, instead.

  3. You can search in Spanish or English - Especially if you're using the global search option, you can use Primo to try and hunt up all sorts of Spanish-language resources.  Universities, museums, and other institutions around the world have items in this Primo search option, so you can find interesting images, videos, and audio files (as well as text) that might be available online for free.

Internet Research

SEARCH ENGINES

Because different search engines search the Internet in different ways, you should always search more than one search engine when looking for information for your research. Try a mix of these alternatives:

Google 

Bing

Ask.com

Yahoo

DuckDuckGo

Because you are using websites for college research (and not just personal knowledge), the information you use must be accurate and credible.

Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply and Questions to Ask can assist you with this process

 

SEARCH ONLY SPECIFIC DOMAINS

One tip that can be particularly helpful is to limit what you're searching by specifying a set of domains (the ending of a website URL).

For instance, a search for "Victor Erice" will get you vastly different results if you just look on Google, versus if you tell Google to ONLY look at websites that end with .edu, which is the domain for universities in the US. 

In Google, you can do this by adding the phrase site:.edu to the end of your search.  (Unfortunately, Spanish universities don't have a specific domain, so the best you can do is site:.es to find all Spanish web pages)  Other search engines often have advanced options that can achieve the same effect.

Since many archives and universities make historical pictures and documents available online at no cost, you can often find some fascinating information this way. 

However, don't assume that just because something is hosted on a university website, you don't need to check its authenticity.  Many faculty have personal blogs on university websites, and some also have strange senses of humour.