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COM 215: Current Conflict Resources - Local

An introduction to library resources for Stephen Fox's Conflict Resolution class.


See search strategies in center column. 


Keywords are the words you type into the search box when using a search tool.  Keywords, therefore, are your search terms, the words the search tool will hunt to find. Having the right keyword can mean the difference between hours of frustrating, unsuccessful research and hours of exhilarating, abundant research. 

Consider the key concepts you identified for your topic.  Start by translating those concepts into keywords you can potentially use when searching different online search tools.  The best way to come up with keywords is to find the synonyms of your key concepts.

For example, Styrofoam is a brand name for a kind of expanded polystyrene. You may need to use polystrene instead of Styrofoam when searching, especially if you are looking for scholarly or academic information. 


When you are working on a local problem that may not have been addressed before and little research is there to back it up, you may need to go out and collect information or data yourself. This is called primary research and examples include surveys, interviews, observations, and ethnographic research. 

Conducting primary research can greatly supplement your research of secondary sources, such as journals, magazines, or books. Primary research is an excellent skill to learn as it can be useful in a variety of settings including academic, business, and personal.

We Live in a Special Place... special research considerations and strategies are required.

Please read the Tips posted in the left column of this page, and if you need additional help, be sure to ask a librarian!


Source: Road to Hana, via Wikimedia Commons


Use this Google search widget to find articles from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Maui News, Maui Now and Lahaina News


Newspapers may be the best (and sometimes only) source for reliable and trustworthy information on local topics. To search the local news articles available online, use the custom search engine in the box above.

  • To search only The Maui News, I recommend using Google's "site or domain" limiter available from Google Advanced Search, or type the following command into the Google search bar and then add your keywords:  
  • If you need a Maui News article that is locked behind a pay wall, talk to your librarian!
  • The library subscribes to EBSCO's Newspaper Source Plus, a collection of national and international news that includes full-text of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser
  • Be sure to read newspaper articles carefully. Oftentimes, the reporter will include people, organizations or companies that are proponents or opponents to a particular issue or debate. These names may be useful in your continued research.


When searching for scholarly literature on a local topic, I recommend using the following, large meta search systems. These systems search all subjects and a variety of sources including journal articles and books. 

  • Primo One Search 
    Search most library databases (including print and electronic book databases). Click "expand search" to open up search to free web and some UH Manoa's collections.
  • Google Scholar
    There are many scholarly journal articles written about Hawaii that are not available in the collection of library databases. Some of these articles are available on the free web, via Google Scholar.

    You can use Google Scholar to find scholarly articles avialble for free through the UHMC Library by creating a link between the Google Scholar and the library. From Google Scholar, go to Settings > Library Links to sync your Google Scholar page to the full text articles available at UHMC Library. Those search results with "get article" are available to you for free through the UHMC Library. 



  • State of Hawaii Data Book 
    "...official summary of statistics on the social, economic, and political organization of our state." 2000-present.
  • Maui County Data Book
    "... a useful and valuable source of economic, demographic and other statistical information about the County of Maui."
  • Hawaii Community Profiles
    Compiled by the Hawai`i Business Research Library (HBRL) from data at the U.S. Census Bureau: 2000 Summary File 1 (Profile of General Demographic Characteristics) and 2000 Summary File 3 (Profiles of Social, Economic, and Housing Characteristics).
  • Native Hawaiian Databook 
    "...official summary of statistics on the social, economic, and political organization of our state...also includes resource lists for education, health, human services, and economic development, and GIS maps to illustrate the demographic distribution of the Native Hawaiian population in the state of Hawai'i."
  • American Factfinder (U.S. Census)
    Includes data sets for decennial census and American Community Surveys.
  • Economic Census
    "The Economic Census profiles American business every 5 years, from the national to the local level."