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Bethel University Library

Exploring Native American Cultures

Welcome to the library research guide for Exploring Native American Cultures! This guide links you to the research databases that are best to use for your research paper, how to request articles, and how to schedule your appointment with me. I'm here to help you at any point in your research process. Use the box on the left to connect with me.

Finding background information on your tribe

Researching contemporary Native American issues

It can be difficult to find information on Native American issues in mainstream news and academic journals so be prepared to do some digging when using the library's resources. I recommend using the following for your research:

  • CLICsearch, as you may remember, is the library's main search engine and searches everything we have- books, ebooks, journal articles, dvds, etc. to find all your sources online for this research paper anyway!
  • Academic Search Premier is our largest research database and covers many subject areas. There's a mix of popular sources like reputable newspapers and magazines, and scholarly sources like academic journals. 
  • Proquest Global Newsstream is a research database that has national and global news from newspapers, news wires, and news sites from 1980 to present.

When searching in library resources, you can't copy the URL in your browser to get back to an article. You need to copy a stable URL. 

  • Look for permalink in CLICsearch and Academic Search Premier 
  • Proquest Global Newsstream, there's a link when you click on All Options.

Search Strategies

After you've identified the main ideas of your research question, the following strategies will help your searches be more effective.
  • Come up with keywords that describe your research question: What are some words or concepts related to the main ideas of my research topic?

  •  Brainstorm synonyms of your keywords. Think boarder and narrower.

Now use these words to search in CLICsearch and research databases.
  • Combine your keywords with AND (Example: Mohawk AND border)‚Äč

  • Put phrases in quotes to find the exact phrase (Example: “United States” and Mohawk)

  • Keep it simple. Too many words usually means less results.

  • Gather search terms as you find sources. Notice what words authors are using to talk about your topic. Keep track of these words on paper or a Google doc.