Science and Medicine in Canada - HIST 335 / CANS 300

Liaison librarian

  • mary.yearl [at] (Email) 514-398-4475 x09847
  • McGill users only
  • Open access resource
  • Free resource
  • In-library-use only
  • Catalogue record

Starting your research

Have a topic that you might be interested in exploring? Need more background information about a particular reading? Here are some useful reference books to help you brainstorm and do preliminary research on potential areas of interest or provide general background information:

Using the library catalogue and databases

Once you've brainstormed a topic and keywords, you can begin your search in the McGill library catalogue and in relevant article databases.

McGill has two library catalogues: Classic Catalogue and WorldCat

Here are some basic search tricks for all catalogues and databases:


Truncation symbol:


e.g. histor? will retrieve catalogue records containing the words history, histories, historical, etc.

Phrase searching:


e.g. "New Brunswick" will retrieve only catalogue records containing the entire phrase New Brunswick

Boolean operators:

(), AND, OR, NOT
default: AND

e.g. history AND (Canada OR "United States") will retrieve catalogue records containing the word history plus either Canada OR the phrase United States. Remember: AND will make your search narrower and OR will make your search wider.


Next, try these article databases and indexes to find journal literature:

Remember different journal databases contain different journals, so you should always check more than one database.

Connecting to databases from home:  Consult Accessing online resources.

Research Toolkit

Here are a couple more practical resources for help with language skills, writing skills, and completing assignments.

For citing sources:

For using reference management software to store and organize your resources:

For help in academic writing:


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