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Informatics Institute 8810: Research Methods in Informatics

The Basics

Choose the right tool for the job

  • What kind of information do you need? Background information or primary research?

Know Thy Resource

  • What's included? What's not? How does it search?

Think before you search

  • Break topics into concepts
  • Think about your keywords, synonyms, alternate spellings

Searching is an iterative process

  • There is no one perfect database (or one way to get to the information)
  • That's why they call it re-search...

Let the information come to you

Keep track of what you're doing

  • Take notes! Email yourself search results!
  • Use a citation manager (e.g., EndNote; Mendeley)

Major Resources

Accessing Library Resources from Off-Campus

Use our proxy server or VPN
You can get to our online journals and books from anywhere in the world. Start from a library page and enter your username (first part of your email address and your email password) when you reach the MU Libraries Proxy server.

You can also use the MU VPN to get into library resources.

More information on off-campus access.

If you need a journal article that's in print at a campus library, we'll scan it for you.
In all of the library databases (PubMed; Scopus; Web of Science; etc.), you'll see a FindIt@MU button linking you to the Libraries' subscription. If the article is available in print in a campus library or in our off-site depository, click on Request a Copy to use our Document Delivery service. We'll scan and send it to you (for free! what a deal!).

If you need a journal article that MU doesn't have it, we'll get it for you.
If FindIt@MU says that the item is not available on campus, click on Request a Copy to use our InterLibrary Loan service. We'll get the article from another library and send it to you electronically.

Pro Tip: If you end up at a publisher's web site that asks you to pay for an article, don't do it! Access the journals via library pages to be connected to our subscriptions.

Pro Tip: Configure Google Scholar to show the FindIt@MU information on your results page. You can install the Google Scholar browser plug-in.