Search Macalester Worldcat for materials owned by the Macalester library and thousands of other libraries around the world. Note that while articles are included in Worldcat, they are limited. The best place to search for articles is the appropriate subject database for your field, Google Scholar, and Web of Science.
1. Sort your search results by Best Match to see the results closely related to your search terms at the top.
2. Look at subject headings of records for additional search terms. This is useful even if the item is only loosely related to your research topic.
3. If looking for primary sources, add the word "Sources" as part of a subject search. You can search subjects by typing "su:" into the search box. E.g. su:civil war sources.
Examine and analyze both the references used by an article or book, and the subsequent articles/books that cited a source. Following this "citation trail" forwards and backwards allows you to truly discover the scholarly conversation surrounding your research topic. Many disciplinary databases include references and citing sources. The two databases listed below are great places for finding scholarly literature and also offer some citation trail searching. Note that Web of Science allows you to look at the references for an article/book, the other sources that have cited that article/book, and to find other sources that have use the same references. Google Scholar only allows you to see what other articles/books cite an article, but contains the most current scholarship.