This is a life skill that will help you not only in doing research assignments, but in your everyday life as well.
Knowing how to find relevant, reliable, and accurate information can help you make informed decisions about things like what college you might like to attend, where to vacation this summer, purchasing a new car, financial aid options, and more.
This will be your life raft in the information tsunami that is the 21st century. Pay attention and hold on tight!
Tips from the UN on Researching an Issue
Look at the UN Economic and Social Development page, which has an index to some prominent issues as well as a list of UN agencies that work in various issue-areas. Also, through the United Nations Documentation Center, you can find resolutions and voting records from the current and previous years.
Visit non-governmental organization (NGO) websites. NGOs are an important part of the UN system, in part due to the valuable research and information they generate. Look for NGOs that address your topic.
Read academic publications. Although they can be complex, they provide in-depth information on many issues. Professors, students and researchers are constantly conducting studies and publishing papers.
*Thank you to CD McLean at Berkeley Prep for these tips!
Used with permission. Created by Johnson & Wales University library.
World Health Organization
Get the most out of Google Scholar with some helpful tips on searches, email alerts, citation export, and more.
- Finding recent papers- your search results are normally sorted by relevance, not by date. To find newer articles, try the following options in the left sidebar: click "Since Year" to show only recently published papers, sorted by relevance; click "Sort by date" to show just the new additions, sorted by date; click the envelope icon to have new results periodically delivered by email.
- Locating the full text of an article- Abstracts are freely available for most of the articles. Alas, reading the entire article may require a subscription. Here're a few things to try: click a library link, e.g., "FindIt@Harvard", to the right of the search result; click a link labeled [PDF] to the right of the search result; click "All versions" under the search result and check out the alternative sources; click "Related articles" or "Cited by" under the search result to explore similar articles. If you're affiliated with a university, but don't see links such as "FindIt@Harvard", please check with your local library about the best way to access their online subscriptions. You may need to do search from a computer on campus, or to configure your browser to use a library proxy.
- Getting better answers-If you're new to the subject, it may be helpful to pick up the terminology from secondary sources. E.g., a Wikipedia article for "overweight" might suggest a Scholar search for "pediatric hyperalimentation". If the search results are too specific for your needs, check out what they're citing in their "References" sections. Referenced works are often more general in nature. Similarly, if the search results are too basic for you, click "Cited by" to see newer papers that referenced them. These newer papers will often be more specific. Explore! There's rarely a single answer to a research question. Click "Related articles" or "Cited by" to see closely related work, or search for author's name and see what else they have written.
*Tips obtained from Google Scholar's help section. To learn about setting up alerts and more, check it out here.