Research Workshop

Sociology 4B: Intro. to Social Theory

Some common research problems
+ how you can solve them

10.23.2019 | Sarah Elichko

Social Sciences & Data Librarian

Some common research problems:

Paywalls

Info Overload

Broken Links

Confirmation Bias

Paywalls

Paywalls Library Subscriptions

You can get articles from thousands of newspapers, magazines, and journals through Swarthmore's Libraries.

Find a specific article:

Explore what's available:

Paywalls

Info Overload

Broken Links

Confirmation Bias

Info Overload Focused Searches

Where you search (which website(s))

How you search (keywords and filters)

Get a manageable number
of better results:

Choose Academic Research Tools:
These websites mostly limit your results to academic research.

      e.g. Search JSTOR, Tripod, or Google Scholar instead of Google.

Research by Subject
Find the right kind of research by searching a subject-specific database.

      e.g. Sociology: Sociolgical Abstracts

Info Overload Focused Searches

Where you search (which website)

How you search (keywords and filters)

Choose your keywords carefully
Test, observe, adjust

Combine your
keywords

Use filters to focus
your search results

Web Archives
 

If you come across a broken link, copy the URL + search for it using Wayback Machine.

 

(for example)

Paywalls

Info Overload

Broken Links

Confirmation Bias

Paywalls

Info Overload

Broken Links

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation Bias?

"...in a database containing millions of sentences, full-text search can turn up twenty examples of anything."

Underwood, Ted. “Theorizing Research Practices We Forgot to Theorize Twenty Years Ago.” Representations 127, no. 1 (August 2014): 64–72. https://doi.org/10.1525/rep.2014.127.1.64.

Confirmation Bias --> Research Skills

To build your research skills, get help from Swarthmore's librarians and RIAs.

RIAs are students who can help you find sources, clarify questions, and learn about relevant resources.

Drop-in hours, chat, appointments:
swarthmore.edu/libraries/get-help

Librarians also have expertise in particular subjects.

SOCI 4B

By Swarthmore Reference

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