Skip to Questions

Baker College
Ask Us

ASK US - We'll answer you within 3 hours M - F 8:00 am - 4:00 pm.

Useful Tip: You can also contact your campus librarians.

If you are searching for a particular topic, and you cannot find any resources on the topic, what might be the problem?

Last Updated: Nov 19, 2015  |  290 Views
Topics: Research

Was this helpful? 1   0


There could be any number of reasons causing your trouble in finding resources on your topic, including:

  • Your search terms might be too specific.  Try taking a step back from the particulars of the topic and thinking about the broader subject.  For example, if you were looking for resources on border collies, try search terms like "dogs" or "pets".  You may not find the perfect article or book, so you may need to extract pieces from many different sources which touch on your topic.
  • Your search terms may not match the terms being used in the literature.  Try using synonyms, as many as you can think of, for different searches, or use subject searching.  Many databases have subject lookup or browse features (it may be called a thesaurus) where you can enter terms and find the accepted term used for that topic.
  • You may be entering too much into the search box.  This includes too many keywords, but also short linking words and prepositions like "is", "for", and "of".  Most search engines get bogged down searching for these terms, and will either return fewer results or many irrelevant results.
  • You may be looking in the wrong place.  Most databases cover a particular subject area, and if your topic falls outside of the area (medical, business, psychology, history, etc.) of the databse you are searching then you will probably not have much success.  If you don't see a broad subject area listed on the Online Resources page that your topic falls into, try databases like Academic OneFile or OmniFile Full text Select listed under General/Interdisciplinary.

I strongly encourage you to contact your campus librarians for assistance with troublesome searches; it is what we are here for, and we are always happy to help!

Answered by Online LibrariansBookmark and Share

Other Answers / Comments (0)

    Text a Librarian

    • a small icon
      Via SMS: TXT your question
      to (810) 771-8959  more info

    Related content from Research Guides

    Browse by Popular Topics

    APA  –  Articles  –  Automotive Technology  –  Baker College FAQ  –  Blackboard  –  Books  –  Business Topics  –  Computer Science  –  Copyright  –  Culinary Arts  –  Databases  –  Definition  –  Dictionaries  –  E-Books  –  Education  –  Faculty services  –  Geography & Culture  –  Graduate Studies  –  Health Sciences  –  History  –  Human Service  –  Industry Reports  –  Interior Design  –  Journals  –  Legal  –  Library FAQ  –  Magazines  –  Math  –  Newspapers  –  Nooks  –  Paralegal  –  Periodicals  –  Popular Topics  –  Printing  –  Psychology  –  Reference  –  Research  –  Safety  –  Scholarly  –  Science  –  Sociology  –  Software  –  Sources  –  Studying  –  Technical Issues  –  Technology & Engineering  –  Tutoring  –  Video  –  Websites  –  Writing  
    View All Topics