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PRST 3995: Interdisciplinary Research and Project Solving: 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. See minute 35:27 of this video for a demonstration of this technique.

Discipline-Specific Journals

Explore topics by browsing peer reviewed journals in a particular 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. See minute 37:39 of this video for a demonstration of this technique.

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 Business History retrieves the results shown below. 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 a recent article from this journal is Taylor & Francis Social Science and Humanities database, which includes issues of this journal from 1997 to present. 

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. Not all open-access journals (no charge for a subscription) appear in Journals A-Z, even though you can read their contents for free on the internet.