Finding information – Learning outcomes

You know what information you need to find, and now you have to find it. We expect you will head to the internet first? You must have heard contradictory messages about using the internet for research, but we won’t tell you not to use it. There is so much good, valuable, high quality information online that you should learn how to use the internet effectively to support your academic work.

What we will do is provide expert advice to improve your search skills, and help you develop the analytical and evaluative thinking that your lecturers (and future employers) expect from you when using information.

By the end of this module you should:

  1. be able to identify at least 2 academic search tools to find information
  2. be able to explain the difference between information found using a library catalogue, a database and a search engine
  3. be able to identify when to use a library catalogue, a database and a search engine
  4. be able to discuss the significance of evaluating the information you find in the context of your academic work, and your future employment
  5. be able to evaluate information you find using criteria including relevancy, reliability, authority, timeliness, accuracy, and point of view or bias
  6. be able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using search engines to find information
  7. know how to construct a search to find information using a library catalogue, a database and a search engine
  8. be able to explain when you would use basic (simple) and advanced search options
  9. be able to explain what Boolean search logic is and how it is applied in search tools
  10. know how to access information resources on and off campus, such as the Web of Knowledge, ScienceDirect or Medline.
  11. be able to identify which search tool is most relevant for finding a textbook, a journal article, and a research report
  12. be able to explain and justify to your lecturers why you selected information used in your academic work, using evaluative criteria
  13. be able to explain how you used the information you selected to reach the conclusion, opinion or point of view presented in your work

There are three elements to a successful search for information: planning, preparing and doing . . .


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