Save time by testing a couple topic ideas. If there isn't much research on your first choice, try a different topic.
To test your topic ideas, use the OneSearch box on the Library Home Page. For example, a search for health care AND consumer behavior would yield more than 500,000 results, while a search for homelessness AND consumer behavior yields a little more than 15,000. That still sounds like a lot, until you start to refine your search. How many of those sources are actually ABOUT homelessness (or health care) AND consumer behavior, as opposed to sources that just mention the keywords.
To find out: Use the filters on the left side of the results.
For example: Using the SUBJECT and PUBLICATION DATE filters...
And that's before filtering by Resource Type.
After you get a sense of the quantity of sources on your topic, it’s time to look at the Type of Resources to make sure you find quality academic sources. There are a couple ways to filter the results to assure that:
One excellent reference book:
Once you have a feel for the research landscape, it's time to dig a little deeper. For this, I suggest using databases (instead of just OneSearch). The reason is that they have more sophisticated filters and you can go into more depth in a discipline. Here are the databases you might find most useful:
Other databases you might find useful
For some topics, you may want to search in a specific discipline database. For example, for hospital public relations you might want a health-care database. You can search our complete list by subject. Or, here are some disciplinary databases used by many Public Relations students:
Ethics & Diverse Perspectives
The IPoll database searches questions from thousands of reputable polls.