Developing an Interdisciplinary Search Strategy

Submitted by Duke University Libraries RIS Team on October 23rd, 2019
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Short Description: 

This is an activity that helps students develop an interdisciplinary search strategy in stages. Students define their topic, brainstorm questions related to their topic area, and connect these questions to the disciplines and experts where they might find more research and information. Students learn how to identify search tools & information sources based on their questions using the library’s website.

Directions for InstructorDownloaded 629 times13.8 KB
Blank Template for Use by Students or InstructorDownloaded 630 times324.05 KB
Completed ExampleDownloaded 702 times494.5 KB
Learning Outcomes: 

Breakdown topic by brainstorming relevant ideas and questions

Analyze these ideas to identify subject areas, this will help inform later searches on topic (ie what databases to consult)

Identifies key concepts and terms that describe the information need

Recognizes that knowledge can be organized into disciplines that influence the way information is accessed


Individual or Group:

Potential Pitfalls and Teaching Tips: 

·         Students don’t necessarily know a lot about different academic ‘disciplines’ and may need some help making meaningful connections between their topics and particular disciplines.

·         Students may need help and/or to do some background research to think about interesting questions/issues related to their topics.

Suggested Citation: 
RIS Team, Duke University Libraries. "Developing an Interdisciplinary Search Strategy." CORA (Community of Online Research Assignments), 2019.