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GEOG 103 Research Guide (Edwards)


What is OneSearch?

With OneSearch you can search most databases and the FSU and USMAI catalogs all at the same time!

OneSearch Frequently Asked Questions

1 - Decide on your topic

Make sure that your topic fits the assignment, and consider whether it is too broad or too specific.

If it is too broad, there might be too many resources to work with, and it will be difficult to focus your assignment.

If it is too narrow, you might become frustrated with a lack of resources. Check with your instructor or a librarian, though, because you might just need to be a little more creative to find those resources!

2 - Brainstorm your Keywords

Make note of the first words and phrases that you would use in your search.  (Those are usually the best search words, because they were what came to your mind immediately.  Then, think if there are any similar or related words or phrases that may also be useful.

Example Topic: Can deforestation have an effect on severe flooding?

Keywords: deforestation, flooding

Are there any other words (synonyms) or phrases with the same or similar meaning? Try this (using your own keyword):

Google: deforestation synonym

If you find a good word, add it to your brainstorm list:

Keywords: deforestation, logging, flooding

As you begin searching, you might stumble across additional words to use in your searches. Keep track and repeat your searches!

How would you use these words in a search?

In Google: (deforestation or logging) flooding

In OneSearch (using advanced search):

screenshot of onesearch search for (deforestation or logging) and flooding

Using the word OR means that you are being flexible and will use either of the words. Using the word AND means that the search result must have met the criteria written in each of the boxes.

3 - What kind of information resources are you looking for?

Think about what resources may be the best formats for your topic. These could include:

  • Scholarly articles (Use OneSearch, Library databases, GoogleScholar
  • Books/ebooks (Use OneSearch, Library eBook databases)
  • Videos (Use OneSearch (for DVDs), Kanopy database (streaming video), Google, YouTube, and more)
  • Web Sites (Use Google or your favorite search engine)

See the search boxes below for some tips when searching these tools.

4a - SEARCH - OneSearch

Find OneSearch  at the top of this page or on the main library page.

Tips to remember:

  • Set up an EBSCO account and save your sources to your EBSCO folder.
  • After running a search, use the limiters (not all at once!) on the left to narrow things down, especially:
    • Publication Date
    • Scholarly articles
    • Library catalog only (for print books and DVDs)
    • Type of resource (ex: eBook, magazine article
    • Subject

4b - SEARCH Other Databases

4c - SEARCH Google

Some tips for searching Google:

  • Videos: After performing a search, select videos at the top of the results list. This will find videos in YouTube as  well as any additional sites.
  • Government, educational, and other specific web sites or types of sites.  You can direct Google to only show web sites with certain characteristics in their url (address/link) in your search results. Do this by typing site: and then the string of letters that  you wish to see in the address. For example:
    • - will return only government web site in your results.
    • - will return only educational institutions in your results.
    • - will only search for pages within the FSU web site.

5 - Ask for HELP!

Librarians are here to help you with your research. Reach out to us in any way that you prefer! See the Ask A Librarian link for all of the ways we can work with you!