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SSI2-141: Architectures of Power (Duthely): Practice: Comparing & Evaluating Search Tools

Comparing and Evaluating Search Tools

In this activity, we will work in groups to explore several of our library's discovery tools and conduct a preliminary investigation into our research topics. 

Answer these questions about the tool(s) your group used.

  • Search terms used.
  • Are there any "advanced search" options?
  • What types of sources are included? Are the sources popular, scholarly or a mix?
  • Scan the first page or two of your results. What aspects of your topic do the sources discuss?
  • How can you get to the full text of articles?
  • How can you save an article for later or send it to yourself?
  • Are there any tools to help you cite articles?
  • Anything else interesting (or frustrating?) about the database?


Different discovery tools have different interfaces, but they all have advanced search features, and filters to limit your results. After 20 minutes, we will come back together for discussion and each group will share with the class their answers to the questions above.