Here's a quick checklist on what you need to think about in your search to find resources for your assignment.
Before you start, you should consider three key questions:
There are three broad categories of sources:
Primary sources are original materials on which other research is based. They are firsthand documents that provide direct evidence on your topic. Examples: diaries, speeches, correspondence, interviews, manuscripts, Government Documents, News film footage.
Secondary sources are the interpretation, commentary or analysis of other sources. They are accounts written after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. Secondary sources are not evidence, but rather commentary on and discussion of evidence. Examples: bibliographies, commentaries, criticisms, essays or reviews.
Tertiary sources are organisation, categorisation, index or collection of sources. A tertiary source presents summaries or condensed versions of materials, usually with references back to the primary and/or secondary sources. Examples: dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, almanacs, abstracts.
Grey literature is material that is not formally published in the usual established formats. In addition to identifying published resources you will need a strategy for finding grey literature. Examples: conference papers/conference proceedings, dissertations / theses, working papers, clinical trials and research group reports.
For effective online searching you need to invest time up front to develop a search strategy using a range of search techniques. If you fail to think about your search strategy you may find you are overwhelmed with far too many irrelevant results.
It is useful to think of this as a three step process:
1. Identify your search terms
2. Combine your Search terms
3. Use search techniques to enhance your search
in the main you will use Primo, the Library catalogue to find books, journals and articles and also the wide variety of online information resources which AU students and staff have access to via an AU Library subscription
databases allow you to search through millions of journal articles, book chapters and book reviews, reports and proceedings, theses, etc., at one time.
The Academic Engagement Librarians have developed a number of online guides known as LibGuides for your subject, giving you easy access to the key resources you'll need. They will also direct you to the best databases, journals, books and e-books in your subject area.
Subject Librarians can help you make the most of the resources and point you in the direction of useful tools and relevant web sites. Subject Librarians provide information skills training and in-depth subject support for students.
You will find more information on the different aspects above within this LibGuide.
Search over 119 UK and Irish academic, national & specialist library catalogues: https://discover.libraryhub.jisc.ac.uk/
Jisc Library Hub Discover exposes rare and unique research material by bringing together the catalogues of major UK and Irish libraries. In a single search you can discover the holdings of the UK’s National Libraries (including the British Library), many university libraries, and specialist research libraries.
Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar can be a good place to start your search but it does not allow for the advanced or complex searching you can do in the Library's research databases.
Access e-resources using Google Scholar
Google Scholar may not provide access to full-text, however, by linking to the Library you can access full-text where there is a University subscription.
You will now see FindIt@Aber links next to items in your Google Scholar results that you can use to access the full-text.
In an information-rich society, it's vital to remember that not all information resources are equal!
When you are looking for information, you are a researcher. As a researcher, you must evaluate the information you find and decide whether the content is:
Along with accessing, searching, and finding information, evaluating information is vital. It is important to evaluate carefully the sources you choose. Consider what you are looking for and why. When you have more credible sources, the more credible your argument.
When you are finding resources for your assignment, you want to find the best information to support your ideas, discussions and arguments. This requires careful evaluation of the information you find.
It is important to evaluate information. This will ensure you:
Evaluating information will allow you to recognise and dismiss information that is:
CRAAP is an acronym for each step of the process of evaluating a source.
Currency relates to the timeliness of the resources or refers to how recent the information is.
Relevance relates to the importance of the information to you and your information needs
Authority simply refers to the author(s) - who wrote the piece. It is important to know whose work you are consulting.
Accuracy relates to the reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the resource.
Purpose relates to the reason the information was created.
The CRAAP Test was developed by the Meriam Library at California State University, Chico.
For any material you consult it is a good idea to record what you find, and where and when you found it. This will make it easier to acknowledge your sources correctly and retrace your steps if you need to.
You will need to manage the resources you find. Many online information sources contain features to help you store your search results for later use. In Primo, for example, you can store your search results in your Favourites. Try to get into the habit of storing the records for the information sources you find so you don't have to spend valuable time searching for them again when you are creating your reference list.