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Problem Solving: General Resources

A guide to resources for problem solving papers.

General Resources

Problem-Solving Resources

General Search Strategy

The research path usually follows these steps:

  • Pose a question
  • Identify the types of information that might help with an answer
  • Identify where that information might be collected or published or otherwise to be found
  • Identify which tools might give you access to that collected or published information

This guide highlights different types of tools the library provides.

Two tips that apply to most research:

  • Watch the language.
    • Computer retrieval relies on matching terms, so if you're not using the same terminology as others, you may not have good retrieval. Watch for terminology, descriptors, subject headings in your search results.
    • Different disciplines or communities may use different terminology for the same thing. Non-American spelling or names of places might be different.
    • Think of synonyms for words and also for broader or narrower terms.
  • Who's doing the talking?
    • Watch for authors, sources mentioned, publications or publishers, agencies or other groups that collect data. One source can lead you to another. The website of an organization tracking an issue may be more up to date than any published materials.
    • Who's left out? Sometimes it's hard to tell, but it's good to look over your sources to see if anyone concerned might be left out of your investigation or excluded from the usual communication channels.