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SSI2-141: Architectures of Power (Prof. Carroll): Practice: Comparing & Evaluating Search Tools

Comparing and Evaluating Search Tools

For this activity, you will work in "expert" groups to conduct a preliminary investigation into a broad topic related to architectures of power, surveillance, methods of social control, or any themes related to the course, using one of the search tools below. Your goal is to learn how this tool functions (in other words, how to search it) and what it contains so you can teach this tool to your peers (after all, you're the expert!). 

Answer the questions about the tool your group used in this Google Doc: Architectures of Power Database Searching

  • Search terms used:
  • Are there any "advanced search" options?
  • What types of sources show up in your results? (e.g., popular/scholarly, primary/secondary, 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?
  • When would you use this tool to locate sources for your research? When would you not use it?
  • Anything else interesting (or frustrating?) about the database?‚Äč


Discovery Tools for Expert Groups: Search these key databases to find scholarly articles. Different discovery tools have different interfaces, but they all have advanced search features, and filters to limit your results. We will come back together for discussion and each group will share with the class their answers to the questions above.