You can use the keywords from your research topic to search for journal articles or books on a topic - usually in a database.

Start broad

Start your searches with broad searches (2-3 keywords, not too specific) in a general database like 1Search or Google Scholar - this gives you more options and flexibility when you're considering what direction to take.  Google Scholar is simple to search in, but it does take some practice to learn how to get articles that are not freely available and to make sure you are choosing the best scholarly articles. Use the guide on the left side of this page for tips on using Google Scholar.

Remain Flexible

1Search will let you scan the OSU Libraries' collection for books and articles you can use, and if we don't have what you need at OSU, the library can also get books or articles from other libraries. Be willing to consider sources that take a few days to get here. Learn more about requesting both books and articles from other libraries using the guide on the left side of this page.

Try a Variety of Sources

If you want to explore some other routes for finding sources, you may want to search in a subject database.  Subject databases are available through the library for almost every topic, from Anthropology to Zoology.  Use the database subject filter to choose a database that matches your topic.

Screenshot of the subject databases refine by subject drop-down menu