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Research Techniques for Undergraduate Research

This guide includes content from the library workshops "Advanced Research Techniques Honors & Emerging Scholars" and additional support content.

Google Advanced Search

Try the advanced search in Google (click “Settings” in the lower right corner) or other search engines to narrow your focus to more relevant sources. Search on a specific domain, for example, .gov for government websites or .edu for education websites.

Not sure whether you’ve found a credible, reliable source? Use the library’s RECAP guide to evaluate it for RELEVANCE, EXPERTISE, CURRENCY,ACCURACY, AND PURPOSE.

Using Google Scholar

What's great about Google Scholar

  • Easy to use
  • Can be linked to City Tech library and other libraries 
  • You can use the "cited by" feature to find more relevant material
  • Like library databases, one can link to a reference manager and/or generate a citation

What isn't great about Google Scholar

  • lacks subject and disciplinary focus (library databases are often specialized)
  • hard if not impossible to limit or filter your search
  • requires customization to work with library resources

Citation trails in Google Scholar

Citation trails are a way to use an influential article to find more current articles on the same topic. Although you can examine the citations in an article or book to look backwards for citations, the best way to use these for research is to do a forward-looking citation trail in Google Scholar.

Looking forward
When you search in Google Scholar, you can see who subsequently cited a specific article. This is a great way to find more relevant articles. Just look for the cited by link below the article.Typically, this links gives you the count of how many sources cited the article, e.g. Cited by 59