GEOL 106

Or Go Directly to the Databases

Is the One Search overwhelming?

Try looking for resources in individual databases. 

  • You can limit to newspapers, magazines, and trade publications (that's news and research briefs for professionals working in a field.
  • Type in your basic keywords. Search for your animals, geologic time periods, fossils, names, etc. 
  • Keep in mind that these are multidisciplinary databases, so the stronger your keywords and use of limiters, the more relevant your results.

Research Tools

Start with Reference for the Facts

IMPORTANT: Be sure to review the search strategies on this page for suggestions on what to type into the database!

A sample broad keyword search in GVRL academic encyclopedia database:

Click on images to enlarge


A sample excerpt from an article on Ankylosaurs from Ancient Creatures in Ebsco Reference Collection: 

sample of article on ankylosaurs from Ebsco Reference collection


One Search

The Holman Library One Search looks for information in ALL of our resources at once. 

If you use the One Search, use filters to limit to specific source types. If you are unclear on what kind of sources to use, look back at the page "Where to Find Reliable Sources."

Keep in mind that individual databases may offer different filters.

Use the search tips on this page for suggestions on how to use keywords effectively in a database.

Sample Search: Cretaceous AND invertebrates

The image below shows a search for the broad keywords: Cretaceous AND invertebrates

NOTE: Using broad search terms can return books and other sources with info on a range of extinct vertebrates and invertebrates, while a search for only my three animals may return very little.

Use filters in One Search to limit by source type, date, subject, and more. I can limit to Reference to get started, books to learn more, and scholarship for a deep dive.

Click on a title to learn more about any source. 

Click on image to enlarge

cretaceous AND invertebrates

Cretaceous AND invertebrates results in One Search

Search Results

My search of the keywords cretaceous AND invertebrates returned over 9000 different sources, including newspaper articles, books, reference entries, and articles.  

  • I can limit by source type to find specific kinds of information. 
  • To find scholarly articles, I would click on Peer-reviewed Journals.
Assess if a Source is Useful

To learn more about a source and/or to find the Subject Terms associated with that work, click on the title of the source. That opens up the record where you can learn lots about a source without having to read it first. That's useful!

You will also find Subject Terms associated with the source. These can be a useful research tool, as a good subject term will connect you to other things that library has on that subject! 

Sample Record

detailed record for a book

Try the sample subject terms below:

Web Sources

Be sure to assess all your sources of information, particularly those you find on the web.

Below is a list of some websites that may be useful for this project.

Strategize your Search for Sources

Strategize your Research

Strategize Source Type!

Use the range of resources included on this page to find information on your animals, eras, and people.

Strategize Search Terms! 

Type in the name of an animal, geological era, or other key idea or name you want to learn about. Search tips:

Keep your search terms simple. Use keywords rather than complex phrases. 

  • Sample Search: Yes: Ankylosaurus
    • and No: ankylosaurs and other vertebrates of the late cretaceous era

Put phrases in quotation marks to search words in a phrase together.

  • Sample: "Late cretaceous"

Use AND to connect and focus key ideas.

  • Sample: ankylosaurs AND fossils

Use OR to expand your search when either will work.

  • Sample: "Late cretaceous" OR maastrichtian 

Use truncation (*) to search for all forms of a root word. 

  • Sample: discover* = discover or discovery

Try broad terms to find sources that contain information on your animal, as well as other animals.

Try narrower terms to find sources on specific topics.