Tips for searching for information


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  • Library Catalogue

    Do Keyword search
    Show Phrase limiting or truncation
    Show advanced search – file type
    Show Journal Title Search

    Mention eBooks
  • Recapping: you now have a variety of tools / strategies you can use in your searching

    What if your search isn’t working? Too likely scenarios you are getting too much information without enough focus (your search is too broad) or you don’t get enough or even any results. If there are no results I am suspicious and suspect that my spelling may be incorrect or that ther is an issue with the platform
  • Tips for searching for information

    1. 1. Information Retrieval Skills The information that you need Library Catalogues Google Databases
    2. 2. Information retrieval for research • It is important that you develop effective information retrieval skills so that you can: – Get perspective on a topic – Identify information and ideas relevant to your work – Avoid reinventing the wheel – Increase your knowledge of a subject area – Provide intellectual content for your own work – Complete a successful search for a literature review
    3. 3. Planning for your search 1. Reflect on your information needs before you start 2. Identify key concepts from your assignment requirements  Background reading & viewing, brainstorm with peers, concept map 3. Identify synonyms, related terms, alternative spelling and abbreviations 4. Determine search limits such as date, geography 5. Determine appropriate types of sources of information you need (journal articles, books, reports, statistics, conference proceedings) 6. Determine best search tools (Database(s), Library Catalogue, Google)
    4. 4. Search Strategies and Tips • Using ‘AND’ narrows a search: results must include both terms, e.g:  Inflation AND “developing countries” • Using ‘OR’ broadens a search: results can include either term, e.g:  planning OR management  benefits OR strengths OR advantages  GFC OR “global financial crisis” • Using ‘NOT’ specifies a term must not appear in the results, e.g:  accounting NOT forensic • When searching for phrases, enclose using: “ ….. ” , e.g:  “forensic accounting”  “behavioural economics”
    5. 5. Where do you start looking? Databases Library Catalogue Google
    6. 6. Search Tools – the contents Catalogue  Books, eBooks, chapters  Journals and conferences  Standards (International)  DVDs, CDs  Selected websites  Selected reports Databases  Journal articles  Conference papers  Newspaper and trade magazines  Professional membership resources  Online reference and statistics  Company reports Google  Professional association resources  Government sites and reports  Company information
    7. 7. Google- Tips • Use advanced search – Limit to file types and domains – Use phrase searching • Use Google Scholar – Set up access full-text at QUT • Consider other search engines
    8. 8. Library Catalogue Tips • Start with keyword searching • Use items records to identify subject headings – Use Subject Headings to focus your search • Use Advanced Search – Limit item types • Use Journal Title search to locate full text
    9. 9. Databases to consider • Use the Library Database guides to help you • EIU Country Data • Informit • Proquest • EbscoHOST • Informaworld • Emerald • Tip: If you know a key journal in your field identify which database it is in and search that database – often you will find similar journals in the same database
    10. 10. Databases • Use the database guide • Research is interdisciplinary – think outside of the box • Do not limit yourself to full text only • Use limiters and controlled vocabulary to focus your search
    11. 11. Too much or too little? • Too Much Information – Is your topic too broad? – Narrow your topic using more specific terms – Use AND – Use date limiters / search limiters • Not enough information – Is your search too specific? – Check your spelling! – Use TRUNCATION and OR operators – Are you looking in the right place – Maybe there isn’t much on the topic
    12. 12. Some final notes • Think before you start – concept map / brain storm • Start with the catalogue – database – internet (or at least use all of the tools) • Develop a search strategy and be prepared to change it! • Record all the details of all your references as you go – You will need this information for your in text citations and reference lists • Remember one useful book / article leads to others – References (back in time) – Cited By (forward in time)