1. Take a step back and think about your research question.  Are you trying to find a source to match an argument you've already developed?  That might be your problem.  Academic research is easiest when it is based on open-minded exploration.  Keeping your mind open to the possibilities in the sources you have found might be the key to a stronger, more interesting and original argument.
  2. Reconsider your keywords or search terms.
  3. Plan to do several related searches instead of looking for everything in one place. 
  4. Remember, if you have a few relevant sources, you can use them to find more.
  1. Use the advanced searching features in your database.  
    • In 1Search, you can use the topic facet to focus results or identify new search terms:

OSU Libraries 1Search Topic facet


    • By default, 1Search searches very broadly. It will find any article that includes your search terms anywhere in the full text.  If you switch to Advanced Search, you can use the Fields dropdown menu to force 1Search to focus on articles where your terms appear in the title.  This will be a much more specific search.

OSU 1Search Advanced Search interface



    • 1Search will make some recommendations for additional searches.  Look at this facet for ideas.

OSU 1Search suggested searches facet