Where do I start?

A good plan is the best place to start, it will set you on the right path when it comes to finding the appropriate materials for your research quickly and efficiently. Preparing a plan will take time initially but it will save you time later. Using trial and error techniques, hoping you may be lucky and find something can often be more time consuming.

Below is a check list of what you need to do when planning your ‘research campaign’:

  • Prepare your search
  • consider the type of material you wish to access
  • choose the most appropriate search tool(s)
  • Plan your search strategy
  • identify key terms and authors
  • think of alternatives for your terms
  • use search operators to combine your terms
  • Do(execute) the search
  • review the results in order to improve / refine the search

We’re going to look at search tools first, so that you can decide which one is best depending on the type of information you need. There are three kinds of search tool (or resource) that you should consider using:

  1. Library Search
  2. Online (bibliographic databases)
  3. The internet (as a tool to discover research information as well as as an information source)


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