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Google Scholar: An Essential Research Tool: Tightening Your Focus

Tightening Your Focus

Your group assignment contains several subtopics. One was to describe any long-lasting effects of the anthrax experiments on Gruinard Island. You can focus more tightly on those effects by modifying your search strategy, making it more specific.   In this case, try the following –


gruinard  (anthrax OR anthracis)  (ecology OR ecological OR environment)



Some of the 500+ results indicate that trying to repair the environmental effects of the original experiments caused further environmental problems.



The results could be focused even more tightly by adding the idea of decontamination . That would reduce retrieval to nearly 300 references.


gruinard    (anthrax OR anthracis)  (ecology OR ecological OR environment)

                            (decontaminate OR decontamination)



The following search would focus on whether Germany or Japan actually used anthrax as a biological warfare agent in World War 1 or 2.


anthrax (japan OR german) "world war" "biological warfare"  (prosecute OR

                    prosecution OR  "war crime")



This search produces over 700 results such as the following. Some results indicate that there were political and military decisions resulting from the testing of anthrax on Gruinard Island.  Others may contain information on why the British felt it necessary to perform anthrax experiments on Gruinard Island. That might be useful information to include in your report.



Some references retrieved by a Scholar search will not be linked to an electronic copy of the text. This is true of books, some journal articles, and certain other publications. In the case of books, check first for the title in our Library catalogue – we may have it in either electronic or paper form. If we do not have the book/journal/document available, ask for assistance at the Library’s Main Floor Help Desk.  The experienced staff there will show you how to request a free copy through our Interlibrary Loan department.



Finally, why use Google Scholar after graduation? 






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Robert Thomas
LY611, Dr. John Archer Library,
University of Regina.
3737 Wascana Parkway
Regina, SK S4S 0A2