Skip to Main Content

LIBA 101: Native Eye (Dr. Ben Ferguson)

Background Sources

Our first step is to find out what keywords scholars use to describe your topic. For example, what indigenous groups call "The Three Sisters," agricultural scholars often call "Companion Planting." Use the reference sources below or Google to find short reference articles that talk about your topic. This step is important because we will be looking for scholarly sources, which may not use the indigenous naming traditions.

Keywords for Indigenous Sources

To find articles that talk about indigenous knowledge, try adding some of the keywords to your search:

  • "indigenous knowledge"
  • "traditional knowledge"
  • "indigenous ways of knowing"
  • "indigenous peoples"
  • "Native American" or "American Indian"
  • "First Nations"
  • Names of specific Indigenous groups

Wofford OneSearch

Wofford OneSearch is a single search platform that contains books, ebooks, journal articles, magazines, newspapers, audio, video, and reference materials. It is a great place to explore your topic and find scholarly resources, but it can sometimes be overwhelming due to the amount of information a normal search will pull up. Think of it like shopping on Amazon: you should tell OneSearch exactly what you're looking for using keywords and choosing the right limiters in the left column of your search results.



For example, a search for companion planting retrieves over 500 results. You can narrow your search by adding additional keywords or using the limiters in the left column.

OneSearch search screen with the phrase "companion planting" entered into the first search box.



Choosing only scholarly and peer reviewed articles and limiting our results to articles published in the last 5 years reduces the number of articles to about 150. 

OneSearch search screen with the Start Date field changed to 2018 and the End Date field changed to 2023. In the left column, "Scholarly & Peer-Reviewed Journals" is selected.



Finally, we can add additional keywords to make our search more specific. Adding the keyword "indigenous" to our search brings up scholarly articles published in the last five years about companion planting and indigenous communities. Play around with your keywords and limiters until you find articles or books that will work for your project.

In the OneSearch search box, the first keyword row reads "companion planting" and the second keyword row reads "indigenous"



When you find resources that you'd like to save, click on the pushpin icon next to the item. Log in using your MyWofford credentials to save the items to your OneSearch account.

OneSearch search results. Next to the title of an article there is a pushpin icon on the right side of the screen.