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How To Do Research

Searching Outside of the Library

There are some types of information that you will want or even need to look outside of the library for. These might include:

  • Current news
  • Information on specific organizations
  • Government policies
  • Popular sources

Keep in mind that search algorithms are biased. The top results from popular search engines like Google are determined by your search history and results most people visit. That means that the top results aren't necessarily the best quality or most relevant to your topic. Always approach resources with a critical mindset. See the Evaluating Sources (link) section of this guide for strategies to help you assess new resources.

try this iconRESEARCH TIP!

The library can help you access open web sources, too. 

Internet Search Techniques

  • site:XYZ limits your results to a site or domain.
    • will only give results from the VSC's website.
    • site:gov will only retrieve results from sites ending in .gov.
  • filetype:XYZ finds specific file extensions.
    • filetype:pdf will retrieve .pdf files.
  • OR (in capitals) allows you to search for one or more of the terms you include.
  • -XYZ or -site:XYZ (no space after the dash) excludes a word or domain from your search.
    • nursing -breastfeeding helps you focus on results about the field of nursing rather than nursing as a synonym for breastfeeding.
    • how to knit will bring back tutorials from anywhere but wikiHow.
  • Quotation marks around a word or phrase will give you an exact match.
    • "market report" looks for the whole phrase, not the two words individually.

Use the hamburger menu at the top left of the screen to edit settings in Google Scholar.

Google Scholar menu with box around Settings

Under Library Links, search for "Vermont State Colleges" and check off all the relevant boxes.

Screenshot of a Google Scholar library links search for "Vermont State Colleges"

Now your search results will link you to our copies of full text articles!

Screenshot of Google Scholar result showing "Access via VSCS Libraries" link

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