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TC 302: Water, Ethics, Law and Politics / Cohen

Gathering keywords and ideas "quickly"

Keyword tips

How do we sift through long results lists?

  • Pull keywords from titles, abstracts, subject terms and journal or publication titles as you glance over your results. Write down the new words you are learning, the disciplines people are writing in, the directions or themes you see popping up. Like this:
    • I did a clumsy keyword search in Academic Search Complete (linked below): Fracking and Pollution (yes, I actually wrote fracking and the database picked up on the synonym; that is not consistent across databases). Here is a screenshot of a portion of my results and how I looked at that list to circle alternate keywords and highlight stakeholders or disciplines. 

Google Scholar

You probably want to search Google, huh? Don't be embarrassed! Here's a couple head's ups:

  1. Your results list is going to be very long
  2. Unless you brainstorm a very effective keyword search, your top results may not be relevant
  3. Use Google Scholar! But use the link in the ARTICLES tab on the main UT Libraries homepage because when you're off-campus, it signs you into our subscriptions! Here's the link. If you use Google Scholar, access the Advanced Search (which is lousy) by clicking the downward arrow in the search box. Also, remember that not everything in Google Scholar is scholarly. Evaluate each and every source (see evaluation tab if you need support).

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