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Searching scholarly information

Searching for relevant scholarly information can be a challenge. Keywords can narrow or broaden the amount of information you will find in the catalogue or other databases. These tutorials can help you with navigating the catalogue and other databases.

How can you find scholarly information?

If you are searching for information, specific´keywords´ are important. Keywords can narrow or broaden the amount of information you will find. Try out which keywords and synonyms are useful for your topic. You can find keywords in titles or abstracts. Here you find three forms which can help you search for literature in a systematic way:

  • Form Key words. In this scheme you can collect and group the search terms you use together with their synonyms, more general and more specific terms.
  • Form Search process. Here you can keep record of which (combinations of) search terms you used in the various databases.
  • Reference list. This form can be used to compose your list of references and have a critical look at each title you found by some important criteria.

This tutorial helps you with finding the right keywords (Source: Auburn University Libraries. Use course name: ENGL 1023-001). 

Start tutorial

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In search engines like Google you can find a lot of information, but you do not always have full access to scholarly articles. The library gives access to a lot of scholarly databases. All items from the Leiden University Libraries collections: (e)books, journals and databases can be found in the catalogue. The catalogue automatically searches for all of the entered search terms in one document unless you use OR. When outside the university premises, please log on to the catalogue with your ULCN account. Search for titles or subjects of your interest and click View Online (if available).

In the tutorial Working with the catalogue you learn how to search, how you can loan books and read articles online. 

Start tutorial Working with the catalogue

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At the start of your research you can use sources like: Wikipedia, newspapers and blogs. If you formulated keywords and a research question, you can search various databases. In Find databases you can find all the databases the library has access to. In the subject guides you can read which databases are relevant for your research. In these tutorials you learn about finding general and subject specific information.

UBL tutorials  
Finding information on chocolate General tutorial
Silk Roads Chinese studies
Refugees LUC / Political Science
James Bond International Studies
Cold war International Studies
Francis Bacon Art & Art History

Did you know that you can get help with doing research?

  • Ask your question online
  • Or make an appointment to meet with a librarian and get help doing your research. Subject librarians can help you with: finding information, developing effective search strategies, searching the library catalogs and databases and evaluate information sources.
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