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Emergency Medical Services

This guide will identify resources and help you find reliable information on emergency medical and paramedic services.

Steps in Research

  1. Identify and define your topic. Put your research topic into a question such as, "What is the debate surrounding vaccination refusal?" Now you can identify the main concepts and keywords, including alternate terms, for your topic.

  2. Background reading will deepen your understanding and vocabulary around the topic, which will help you identify search terms and develop an effective research question. Subject encyclopedias (in print or in Credo Reference) are excellent resources. 

  3. Use Search It! or the library classic catalog to find books. Use your keywords to perform both keyword and subject searches. 

  4. Use Search It! or individual databases to find journal articles. Be sure to choose appropriate databases for your topic.

  5. Search for reliable and authoritative website resources. Try the librarian recommended websites on this guide.

  6. Always evaluate what you find. Consider timeliness, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose.

  7. Cite your sources. Citing gives proper credit to the authors of materials you use and allows your professors to verify your conclusions. 

Research Process

Develop a research mindset. Understand research as a process of inquiry and strategic exploration.

As you become a practiced researcher, you will discover that the research process is never linear. It can be messy. Expect and welcome twists and turns, keep an open mind, and keep asking questions throughout the process. Use many different kinds of search tools and resources, and conduct many different kinds of searches. Research can be fun, and it is a useful and valuable skill to learn. It is helpful to develop the mindset of an explorer.

research shown as a squiggly path, not a straight line

 

Subject Searching

Library of Congress (LC) subject headings are special, standardized words and phrases which describe the primary subject(s) on which a book focuses.  Searching by subject heading rather than by keyword often allows you to look for books on a particular topic more efficiently. 

Since LC subject headings are included in a book's catalog record, looking at the records you get from a keyword search can help you identify appropriate subject headings. Ask A Librarian for help with LC subject searching.

Below are a few examples of subject headings you will find in the STLCC Catalog:

Search Limits and Advanced Searching

Search Limits

Search Limits allow you to narrow your searches either to availability of articles or article type or date of publication. Search limits can be found beneath the search boxes on both Basic and Advanced Searches, though Advanced Searches may give you more limits to work with.

  • The Full-text limit is very useful, as selecting it ensures that you will only see articles on your result page which have the complete text of the article included. Unless you are required to find everything out there is published on a given subject, this limit should be applied every time you search.
  • Date limits may also be useful if your instructor has asked that articles to be no older than a certain date, though databases generally start with showing the most recent articles and work backwards anyway.
  • The Scholarly Journals or Peer-Reviewed Journals limit may be useful too, if those are the only type of articles you wish to see. Gale databases, though, generally though categorize articles according to type (see the tabs at the top of results pages on Gale Databases).

Advanced Searching

Advanced Searching is an excellent option to switch to before even beginning a search. In an advanced search, generally, the database provides several search boxes already connected with the word "AND" and often presents even more limit options.

Evaluate Information

Evaluating the information you find, whether in print or digital format, is an essential aspect of doing research.

Learn to think critically about the source of information and the information within each source by using the Evaluate Your Sources guide (linked below). Once acquired, the habit of critical analysis will serve you in everything you read. 

St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000