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PRST 3995:Interdisciplinary Research and Project Planning: Topic Exploration

Brainstorming Potential Research Questions

Specialized databases and websites explain issues within broader contexts and from differing viewpoints. This helps with understanding the "big picture" and can often help with forming ideas for narrowing topics.

Additional Suggestions

Professional Organizations

Search the Internet for relevant professional organizations. Read through areas of their websites related to policy, news, publications or journals to gather ideas.

Discipline-Specific Journals

Some MTSU Library research guides list specific journals for a discipline. Or, you can search a topic in JEWL Search and limit results to Scholarly/Peer Reviewed/Academic. Then, use the limiter for "Publication" to view articles from specific journal titles.

Using Journals A-Z

To find a journal at Walker Library, click on "Journals A-Z" on the library's home page and type the title of the journal in the search box. A search for "American Journal of Sociology" retrieved these results. The results indicate which databases have the full text of the journal and the years of coverage.

From these results, you can see that the best place to find an article in this journal would be the database, "University of Chicago Press Journals," which has all the issues of this journal from 1895 to the present. If you want to use the journal in print or on microfilm, click the last result (Walker Library Building) to see what issues of the journal are available in the library.

If you enter the journal title correctly and receive no results, MTSU does not subscribe to the journal. However, be sure to conduct a Google search in this case. Open-access journals that do not charge for a subscription do not appear in Journals A-Z, even though you can read their contents for free on the internet.