A briefing session in which we will explore some of the premium databases that we suggest you use for your CVP research, as well as an opportunity to flag up some key research tips and techniques.
What is research to you? This is how Google fills in the blanks.
So... why do you need good information? In essence, in order to make good decisions and also to reassure and impress your project client.
We suggest you approach all information and data you find cautiously. Question veracity and quality. Approach with a face like this.
Think about who wrote or compiled the data/report you have found. Why did they produce it? Were they motivated by something other than academic rigour?
We strongly advise you to triangulate your data, that is, corroborate it by seeking to source the same data in different places (databases), preferably three. Also explore how the database calculated that data. Are the steps to the figures presented the same?
Staggering we know, but today every 48 hours we human beings produce 5 exabytes of data every 48 hours – the same amount of data from ‘the dawn of ma’n to 2003. Admittedly a lot of these 5 exabytes are made up of selfies and LOL Facebook comments, but it does lead us as librarians to smile wryly, or groan, when someone tells us that they have searched all of the Internet (or more likely all of Google) and have found nothing.
Thinking that searching Google is all you need to do for your research is akin to only asking people with ginger hair what they think. Google only indexes 4% of the web, the same percentage of the world’s population with ginger hair. What of the invisible web which makes up the remaining 96% of which are premium databases are a key part?
Another observation – you won’t be able to approach your project as a smash and grab raid. You won’t be able to source all the information you need in one quick ‘hit’. You will need to gather from lots of different sources, gradually, and investigate areas, ideas and sources that might not have been obvious at first.
You won’t be able to source all your data from one report or one database, just as you aren’t able to source all of your groceries from one aisle at the supermarket.
Help is there to help you. Check it out to ensure you are searching the databases you use in the most effective way.
As we showed you in the session, the fact that the database yields zero results for your search is not always an indicator that the database is no good. Look closer to home – to your search skills.
It’s hugely valuable to consider what synonyms there are for your project topic and use these when searching in order to ensure you find more results. Don’t stick with the keywords that first come to mind. Mix up your searches.
Mindmeister is a great mindmapping tool which we highly recommend as a means of brainstorming your topic and thinking about the relationships between concepts and ideas.
Don’t forget to use our book collection, and the wider book collection of the University. Search on your topic on LibrarySearch (the Library Catalogue).
We need to be upfront about the fact that we do not have spare budget to purchase individual market research reports for your projects. We have committed our funds to providing access to a wide array of aggregated market research providers (Euromonitor, MarketLine, IBISWorld, Key Note).
It is important that you remember to reference your sources in your final presentation and report. We will be giving you a plagiarism lecture on 25th October to go through the rules at the University of Cambridge and to give you best practice advice.
Remember you are effectively in ‘first class’ here in information terms, so you should go beyond Google to the rich databases we offer.
Here is our A-Z list of databases on our website. We gave you a handout in the session listing 7 databases of the 50 here that we advise you start with (which we also demonstrated): Business Source Complete, Factiva, Fame, Passport, IBISWorld, Key Note, MarketLine. We also advised you to use the ‘eresources@Cambridge’ link on this list to access databases in other disciplines if needed. Go to: www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/infolib to access our databases.
We has Question Finger ask if there if was any questions in the session? If you still have questions, doubts or fears about your project research then contact us for support by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), in person, or instant chat on our website.
We are here to help you so don’t be a stranger, come and ask us for help. We can book you in for a group or 1-2-1 consultation.
Research tips and techniques for your Cambridge Venture Projects