Research and Citation Management

Research Tips

Bibliography Mining

This means using that source’s bibliography to find more literature on your topic. This technique, also known as pearl growing (think the way grains of sand slowly accumulate into a pearl), means you start with one relevant source and work your way outward from there, finding all the references cited in that one awesome source, leading, in turn, to more sources on your topic.

Searching Databases

  • Use quotation marks to search for specfic wording.
  • Replace the end of a word with an asterisk* to search variations of the word. For example, searching modern* will return results for modern, modernism, modernist, modernity, etc.
  • Boolean searches let you use specfic words to amend your search.
    • Example with AND: books and history = book history, the history of books, the history of Bookman’s Press, anything that has both terms in the article
    • Example with OR: digital or electronic or online = any source with the term digital, online, or electronic – using “or” casts a much wider net than “and”
  • Google Scholar ( → unlike Google, the Scholar version searches in publishers’ indexes and some library databases, as well as Google Books and other sources. Use the advanced search to narrow your results by year and where your search terms appear in the page. Also good for cited reference searches; once you find the source that gets cited a lot, click the “Cited by” link beneath it.
  • Go to and click on the drop-down menu “Databases by Subject” to search databases that UD has instiutional access to.

Research Alerts

TOC alerts – most e-journals will have a feature allowing you to receive a Table of Content (TOC) alerts via email whenever a new journal in your subject area is published. I *highly* recommend this practice, since it allows you to quickly browse the TOC of a journal to see if there’s anything that might be relevant for your research.

Automated pre-set database searches – many databases will allow you to save your search terms and receive email alerts about new sources that fall within the parameters of your search terms. Once you execute a search in a database, look for the word “alert,” to save your search term and specify how often you want to receive sources that fall under that search term.

Getting the Full Text

If you find a book or article that you want to read, there are three things you can do:

  • click on “Get It!” and look for the green check mark
  • search DELCAT, the online catalog at UD Library, to see if we have the journal in print
  • put in an Interlibrary Loan Request at

Citation Management Tutorials: