Information Literacy

Research is a key component to good science. If you are to do meaningful work on a problem or question you must first figure out possible answers or things that you could use to create answers for your problem. You will undoubtedly be doing research this year. This is a QUICK tutorial on smart research practices.


Anytime you google a key word or phrase google reaches into the internet to pull anything and everything with your search terms in it.

Pick a research topic "google it":

  • Skeletal system
  • Antibiotic resistant bacteria
  • Ebola
  • Nutritious foods
  • Immigration
  • Genocide

Make note of the number of hits as well as your top 5 results BY TAKING A SCREEN SHOT: Are there any academic and peer reviewed resources - in other words are there legitimate sources of information? If in doubt, click on a resource and scroll to the bottom of the page; usually disclaimers are there.

Google Advanced Searches

Google the same research topic but this time switch to using the google advanced search filters to narrow down your search:


  • What are some good .___ endings for websites/domains that would provide good resources and weed out less reputable ones?
  • Research the system along with another key word of interest. Sometimes it would be good to think about questions for your topic and pull some key words from that.

Make note of the number of hits  as well as your top 5 results BY TAKING A SCREEN SHOT: Are there any academic and/or peer reviewed resources?

Gale Scientific Database

We are going to search once more but this time with the library's scientific journal databases. Go to the library resource page

  1. At the bottom of the page you can click on the link to figure out all passwords to our databases.
  2. If you are using a social studies research topic (genocide or immigration) sign into  and search ABC-Clio
  3. As a student researching Science, the Gale database is impeccable. Click on the databases link and then log into Gale.
  4. Choose "Science in Context" to conduct your research. Science in context is a database housed within Gale that gives great information.

Search your topic once more. Make note of how many hits you have BY TAKING A SCREEN SHOT. How do the resources here compare to those through google?

Comment Stream