1. Browsing Current Events Issues And Topics
A good way to begin researching a topic that is new to you is to Browse Issues and Topics. From the home page, you can link to the some of the most commonly studied issues of current and international importance. Or you can click View All to display the total list of topics. Then simply click a topic and the system will show you search results as a Portal.
The Portal pages within Global Issues in Context bring together overview and background information on the topic, along with links to a variety of information sources for further study.
2. Browsing Issues And Events By A Region Or A Specific Country
Another way to begin your research is to use the World Map. This interactive map lets you zoom in to a region of the world or to a specific county and view a list of topics pertinent to that area. Then simply click a topic and the system will show you search results as a Portal.
3. When You Have A Topic In Mind
Use the Search box to type in the topic, event, issue, country, person, etc. that you are researching.
4. Be Specific
By using more search terms to narrow your search, you can locate documents that fit your information needs better. The following sample results are hypothetical:
- A search on iraq yields 1,527 results
- A search on iraq war yields 623 results
- A search on iraq war probe yields 12 results
5. Find An Exact Phrase With The Help Of The Proximity Operators.
Proximity operators are used between two search terms to indicate that the terms must occur in a record within a specified distance of each other for that record to match. Words that are close to each other are more likely to be related than words that are far apart.
A proximity operator has two components:
- A letter that indicates the direction
- A number that indicates the distance in words
There are two proximity operators:
- Wn The W (within) operator specifies that the word that follows the operator must occur within n words after the word that precedes the operator for a record to match. For example, the search expression shared w3 values matches any records in which the word values occurs three or fewer words after the word shared.
- Nn The N (near) operator specifies that the words on either side of the operator must occur within n words of each other in either direction for a record to match. For example, the search expression memory n5 repressed matches any records in which the words memory and repressed occur within five or fewer words of each other in either direction.
You can use proximity operators only when searching indexes made up of individual words, such as a title index. They are most useful in indexes of large areas of text, such as keyword and full-text indexes.
Note that proximity operators can be used only between two words, not between a word and an expression within nesting operators (parentheses)
- Invalid expression: fleas n10 (dogs or cats)
- Valid alternative: fleas n10 dogs or fleas n10 cats
6. Broaden Your Search By Using OR.
Unless you tell the search engine otherwise, it finds only those documents containing all of the words that you specify. By inserting OR between your search words, you'll find documents that contain as few as one of your requested words. Using OR will increase the number of documents that are found; use OR if your search isn't finding enough documents. For example, type racism OR prejudice.
7. Use Plural Of Other Word Endings.
For example, if you are looking for discussions of murder, search for various forms of the word in one of the following ways:
- Use the OR operator as the connector. For example: murder OR murders OR murderer OR murderous
- It is also possible, depending on the desired search term, to use a wildcard character to retrieve various forms of a word. For example: murder*
8. Try Using Synonyms For Your Original Words.
For example, enter nervous breakdown or mental breakdown. Again, the Subject Guide Search will be helpful in suggesting terms.
9. Check Your Spelling.
If you type gantomino instead of guantanamo, your search won't find any matches.
The search engine is not case sensitive. That is, use of capitalization does not affect the results of a search. For example, the following full text searches are considered the same:
astronaut and spaceship or "outer space"
astronaut AND spaceship OR "outer space"
astronaut and spaceship or "outer space"