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O.K. I’m ready to start researching!! Now what?

It’s called the research PROCESS for a reason!  Research takes time and perseverance.  Knowing the right tools and learning the necessary skills will make your research process effective and efficient.

Below you will find information on:

  • Smart Search Skills
  • Electronic resources & Databases
  • Citation resources
Research Classes!  Click the Link below for your Smart Search Padlet:

Database Quick Links

Here are quick links to our school databases.  If you are asked for a password to access it, remember the password trick I showed you! Or email Ms. Walsh, the Media Specialist, or send me a message on Schoology.   Even if you’re not at school – we have you covered!  Check out the video below for a quick intro on how to access and navigate through the Gale databases. 

Gale Databases include: Opposing Viewpoints (NEW!), Academic OneFile (peer-reviewed scholarly articles), General OneFile (news, magazine, journal articles), Gale E-Books/ Reference, Middle School Database)

JSTOR is an in-depth, research database and digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. See Ms. Walsh for the password and log-in instructions.

Username: yellowjackets

Password: researcher

Smart Searching

Search engines such as Google can be a great starting place for research, however they do not always deliver the most reliable results.  YOU, as the researcher, must have the skills to search smart and know when to move on to more reliable, efficient resources.  If you need to get your research done, randomly clicking through thousands of links is not effective.  Learn about about how Google and databases work, and use smart searching techniques in all your research to get the best results!

Boolean Logic & smart search skills

  • Every word matters (searching for “the Who” vs. “a who” vs. “WHO”)
  • Every letter matters (search for Eagles vs. Eagle)
  • Word order matters (blue sky vs. sky blue)
  • Capitalization does NOT matter
  • Choose your keywords effectively!
  • Use Boolean Logic!  A fun video explanation:
  • Evaluate your source: read it, check for bias! Use the 5ws-of-website-evaluation


In a Google search, use the () minus symbol, instead of the word NOT.  Try it, type in a search: jaguar speed. Next limit it by adding : -car.

Want synonyms for a word? Type a tilde ~ before the word.

Search related websites by typing related: in front of website address, for example:

Researching social media using Google:

Use site:  to search a website.  For example, to get all mentions of the paleo diet on twitter, type: site: “light pollution”

Search hashtags by typing # in front of your search term, TRY IT: #jacketsfootball

Search a social media site by using in front of the website, TRY IT: @instagram sahsjackets

credible websites & resources for research

Not all websites are created equally! Part of the research process is knowing how to evaluate any websites or sources you use (this includes photos!) Learn to READ LATERALLY!

Lateral reading is INVESTIGATING & FACT CHECKING: you are basically searching for information about a source while you are reading it.  As you are reading a website or source, you are also using the CRAAP method  (this method evaluates Currency, Relevancy, Accuracy, Authenticity, and Purpose)

Let’s put this CRAAP to the test!

Choose a website from below to evaluate using the CRAAP method:

Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division

The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

All About Explorers

Don’t forget some great fact-checking tools you have access to:



More resources for evaluation:



Credible Websites: a Good Place to Start Your Research

GOOGLE SCHOLAR: Instead of “Google”, Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.  a website run by Britannica (the encyclopedia people!) dedicated to providing non-biased, straightforward information on debatable issues.

Room for Debate: NY Times opinion pieces are a perfect place to start gathering ideas for a research topic. Debatable topics offer a lot of substance!

The Miller Center: is a nonpartisan affiliate of the University of Virginia that specializes in presidential scholarship, public policy, and political history, providing critical insights for the nation’s governance challenges.

News sources:

Make sure to always pull news articles from the research databases also!

AllSides: Presents balanced, straightforward news articles from diverse perspectives and all sides.

The Big Project: Worldwide News in EnglishAn extremely valuable resource that links to newspapers worldwide that publish editions in English. Coverage by region includes the UK, Europe, the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

World News Tonight: Prefer a visual? Watch the nightly news focusing on global issues,


Google Arts & Culture: Explore topics in the arts and curated websites organized into collections such as: artists, mediums, movements, historical events and figures, time, color, themes, museums, and popular topics. View thousands of pieces of artwork from hundreds of museums worldwide. Download the app to have access to virtual reality tours of museums.

Search Primary Resources at the Getty Research Portal and the Getty Research Institute – an online search platform providing global access to digitized art history text in the public domain. A multilingual and multicultural source. It takes time to research through this website. 

Europeana: provides access to over 50 million digitized items (books, music, artwork, and more) from thousands of European archives, libraries, and museums.  This is a great place to begin research and to investigate further into sources. 


 Smithsonian Art resources: a curated collection of resources and websites by the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives.  Check out the research guides and make sure to click on individual museum links to view collection and additional detailed lists of reputable online sources. 

The Art Story: art movements, artists, & ideas.  Check out the timeline feature also!

Art 21: Engaging resources on contemporary art and artists, current events and films. 

Art Citation Guide: a guide compiled by FIU Libraries on how to properly cite art, images, and figures.

Internet Broadway Database:  the official database for Broadway theatre information.  The IBDB provides records of production from the beginnings of New York theatre to present day.


Smithsonian Natural History Resources 

Biome Project Resources LibGuide

NASA Earth Observatory

Electronic Databases

Why use a database? Googling is sooooooooo much easier!

We have several Gale Databases available!  Click on either icon below for excellent sources available to ALL our students.  You may access these databases at school AND at home – 24/7! See Ms. Walsh for the password to access from home! 

The Florida Electronic Library: search through several databases for books, magazines, articles, newspapers, and more. ALL FREE!


  • Try out Topic Finder! This interactive search function presents a visual of keywords, subjects, and related articles to narrow or broaden your search. 
  • Use filters, Boolean logic, and limiters to narrow down your search (by year, by publications, by documents type)
  • Gale Features: Audio (listen to article), Translation, Text size adjuster, Download/Print/Email/Save articles, Highlighter, Citation features. Access images, videos, and infographics.
  • SAVE your articles to OneDrive! It’s easy and useful!
  • Cite your work – totally easy – it’s already done for you in Gale articles. 
  • What is “peer reviewed”?

    Peer-reviewed articles, also known as scholarly or refereed articles, are written by experts in the field, reviewed by the scholar’s peers to determine whether they are high-quality pieces of work, usually include in-text citations and a bibliography of cited sources, and are published by a professional organization or society, university, research center, or scholarly press

We have also purchased a subscription to JSTOR, an in-depth research database.  Please see Ms. Walsh for the username and password – or – remember the trick I showed you!

Username: yellowjackets

Password: researcher

Don’t Plagiarize! Cite your sources:



The OWL Citation guide (the best site for citation references and guides!)


What do you remember?

What do you remember, Part 2!

Search App Smackdown

Like Apple to Apples but with databases! 

  • You will be given a topic to research with your group.
  • You will be timed.
  • Find the best article that fits the topic. 
  • Article must have been published within the past 3 years!
  • Post the title and link to the article to the Padlet below and keep your article up on your computer. Make sure to copy your link into the COMMENT section of your post.
  • Be ready to tell us why you chose this article!
  • Someone will be the judge of who matched the topic the best!

Happy researching!

Please remember, we are always here to help guide and support you in the research process.  Come visit library staff anytime during school hours, or send an email or Schoology message to Ms. Haddix.

Our ultimate goal is for you to be an INDEPENDENT and AMAZING RESEARCHER!