The following issues can trip you up when searching for biographical information in library databases or online.
Different Person, Same Name
- Always check the birth and death dates, middle name, career field, and credentials of the person you are researching. If the person you've found is an artist and has nothing to do with chemistry or science, then you probably have the wrong person.
- Look for Jr., Sr., or III - Sometimes a person's father or son is also well-known. Again, make sure the article is about the exact person you are researching.
Alternate Names and Spelling
- J. J. Thomson is also known as Sir Joseph John Thomson.
- Willard Gibbs is also known as Josiah Willard Gibbs and J. Willard Gibbs (and there is more than one!).
- Women may be listed under their maiden name as well as their married name.
- Try searching for all known forms of a person's name.
- In a search box, leave out things like Mr., Mrs., Miss, Sir, Dr., etc.
- You do not need to include umlauts (ä, ö, ü). Instead of Jöns, type Jons.
- If you are not sure you have the right person, ask your instructor or a librarian BEFORE you continue to work on your project.