Monday, October 19, 2009

Chaining: A research technique

When you're searching in a Library database, whether it's JSTOR, Academic Search Complete, or Science Direct, sometimes you'll find only one or two articles that are exactly what you're looking for. But you need more than that. Chaining is a technique that helps you find "more of the same."

Chaining means you go into the footnotes and bibliography of the article that's right on topic, and note down what sources the author cited. The idea is that the author is only going to cite sources that provided information relevant to their article topic, so those sources are probably relevant to your topic too.

Then go back to the database and search for those articles. Remember to search for the article title (not the journal title) and to enclose the whole title in quotation marks.
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