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Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows - Library Workshop

Summer 2021 workshop for rising juniors

About this Guide

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows
Research Guide





What's in this Guide

Here you will find resources to help you with your research. Use the side navigation to find:

  • Resources for background information on your topic
  • Places to find articles & books
  • Resources for citing sources
  • Remote library services 

Book an appointment

You can book an appointment with the next available librarian here:

Research guides

Research Guides at Barnard and Columbia

Keyword brainstorming

Developing Keywords

Why use keywords?

Keywords are terms that describe the topic you are researching. Keywords can be a people, places, things, ideas, or concepts. We need keywords to effectively search in library academic databases (like CLIO or Jstor). Unlike internet browsers, which have developed to understand full questions written in natural language, academic databases use keywords to locate resources. 

There are no perfect searches when using keywords, which is why it's useful to brainstorm lots of related terms and/or synonyms to locate what you are looking for. For example, we might use the word "teenager" to describe a particular population, but the term "youth" might be used in a database instead.  You can also find new keywords once you begin searching in the content section and subject sections of a catalog entry.

Screenshot of a catalog record showing subject and content sections

Using boolean operators and boolean modifiers

Annotated Bibliographies & Annual Reviews

Annotated Bibliographies

Annual Reviews