PAF 9390: Higher Education Administration - Prof. Coughlan

Converting Topics into Search Terms

  • synonyms and related terms
  • alternate spellings of terms
  • subject headings in database records
  • making note of new-to-you terms found in sources you’ve already got

You'll pick these up as you

  • search a little
  • read a little
  • search some more
  • read a little more
  • etc.

Understanding Sources

Ways to Use Sources

  • Background
  • Evidence
  • Argument
  • Method

Scholarly vs. Popular Sources

Location of different kinds of sources on continuum

Expertise and authority of an author

  • What do we know about the author?
  • Have they written or spoken about this topic before?
  • Do they teach at college or university on this topic?
  • Are they affiliated with a research institution or agency or think tank?
  • What do other authors think of this one?

How to Search

Sample search in Education Source database

Click the image above to run this search in your browser


  • Use quotation marks around a phrase such as "academic integrity"
  • Group similar words/concepts like college or university in their own box and put OR in between them
  • Put dissimilar words or concepts in separate boxes

Databases to Search In

Evaluating Sources

Discussion: what are some ways we can evaluate the authority of a source?


Saving and Citing Sources

User Experience Librarian

Profile Photo
Stephen Francoeur
he / him / his
Newman Library
Room 421
Baruch College
151 E. 25th Street
New York, NY 10010

(646) 312-1620