Research Seminar

Course #: RE407

Find books (and e-books, videos, music...)

  • Search Primo for books on your topic.
    • NOTE default search is both books and articles so choose the “books” tab if you want to eliminate articles.
  • Start with broad keywords (e.g. “religion and immigration”)
    • click “refine your results” (left-hand side) to narrow results
    • TIP: Find additional clues for terms in the titles and abstracts of books and articles
    • TIP: For additional books, click the "details" link of a book that looks pertinent, and then the subject link(s) for that book
    • TIP: Are the books on your topic checked out? You can always use an e-book
    • TIP: You can also order a book or a photocopy of an article from another library at no cost to you

Note about ebooks

  • Laurier's ebooks are just as scholarly as our print books; included within Primo
  • Some of our ebooks can be downloaded and read on mobile devices (but not on the Kindle)

Find articles

  • A good place to start is Primo search. Choose the “articles” tab
    • TIP: This search can sometimes cast the net TOO wide, similar to Google Scholar

What is a library database?

Navigating Library Databases

Well developed research questions can only be developed with a comprehensive understanding of prior research and theory. This understanding is informed by research literature. The challenge is to use the appropriate tools and methods to ensure your search for this literature is both methodical and complete. Here are some steps to fine-tune your searches.

  1. Formulate specific research questions
    • identify the key elements of your questions
  2. Consider word variations and synonyms
    • widen the scope of your results; think about how others might refer to your ideas
    • e.g, academic outcomes = school performance, grades, GPA, entrance exams, college admission, etc.
  3. Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)
    • AND = results will contain all the terms
    • OR = results will contain at least one of the terms
    • NOT = results will exclude the term
    • Parentheses and Boolean operators can be used to set apart search groups
  4. Limit or expand terms
    • "quotation marks" = exact
    • truncat* = truncate, truncates, truncated, truncation, etc.
  5. Employ search limiters (available limiters depend on the database)
    • peer reviewed, article type, date
    • in PsycINFO, can include
      • age group, population group, methodology
  6. Identify key publications and authors
    • note citations, and cited references, repeated author names
  7. Document and track everything you do in the steps above

Choosing a Library Database

Too many search results?

  • If you get too many search results, use narrower search terms
    • e.g. “christianity” instead of “religion” (or other faith traditions)
  • Try adding more concepts to your search
    • e.g., “canada” (or another specific country) AND “religion” AND immigration)
    • adding more terms that are linked by “AND” will decrease your number of search results
    • Better Searching Using AND, OR, NOT (video)

Too few search results?

  • Think in terms of broader categories (“religion” rather than “hinduism”)
  • Add alternate terms for each concept (“immigration" OR “emigration”)
  • Adding more terms that are linked by “OR” will increase your number of search results
    • TIP: Look at book and article bibliographies. One author can lead you to others in the field

Other types of Resources

Click on Research Materials at the top of this page to see the other types of sources you might want to use, including videos, theses, and statistics.

Create the bibliography

Please note: The Library is committed to providing programs, events and services that are accessible to all. Please contact us if you require accommodation due to a disability.