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Develop your search

Trying different keywords and using synonyms is important when searching. Depending on your topic, useful words to include in searches may be: trends, issues, challenges, effective, success, ...  Every topic can be searched a number of ways:

"cross cultural empathy"
"cross cultural" nonprofit
international culture nonprofit
"cross culture" business success

"social economy"
"social economy" "social innovation"
"social economy" "social innovation" canada

"social finance" OR "social enterprises"
("social finance" OR "social enterprises") canada trends

Below are three different ways to try searches to find academic articles:

I. Search every database at once

Search articles, books, multimedia & more

This is the same search box that is on the Library homepage. Once you've done a search, you can change the type of your results by clicking the filters on the right.

  • Check off Articles under the Resource Type filter to just see both popular and scholarly resources.
  • Check off Peer-Reviewed Journals under the Availability filter to find scholarly articles. Select Available online to retrieve full-text articles. 
  • Limit by publication date by using the Creation Date filter
  • Find related articles by clicking on the red arrows (when available)
  • Use the Advanced Search link to open an advanced search box for more precise searching

II. Google Scholar

The Advanced Search is found by clicking the down arrow in the search box.
If you find one good article make sure to click Cited by and Related articles below its summary.
Does not include magazines or trade publications. 
To set up off-campus follow Settings --> Library Links. 

III. Social innovation-related databases

You can apply limits for Scholarly Articles, Journals and Date
Both of these resources have a feature that allows you to search more content: Choose Databases in Business Source.  

Checklist for scholarly articles

Not every article that you find in an academic journal is scholarly. Sometimes editorials, book reviews, or conference overviews show up in results. To ensure an article is scholarly check:

1. Authors are experts (often PhDs).
2. The language is formal and uses jargon.
3. The article is lengthy. Scholarly articles are generally over 10 pages. 
4. The article contains references. Usually many. 


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Geoff Owens
Phone: 403.440.7737
Office: EL4471S
Profile Photo
Geoff Owens
Phone: 403.440.7737
Office: EL4471S