CST3590 Nov 2021
Resources and information skills
In this workshop we will look at...
• Search strategy
• Obtaining information
What is a literature review?
Sets the scene:
• Describe, compare, synthesise
• Strengths and weaknesses
• Consensus and disagreement
Getting started: Search Strategy
• Main concepts
• Alternative words
• Sources and resources
Improving your search:
Streamlining your search
Too many search results
• Add more keywords to narrow down your
• Be more specific
• Search for an "exact phrase"
• Add limits
Not enough results
• Use alternative keywords
• Be less specific
• Split the question into individual concepts
• Use an asterisk to search for variations of the
MyUniHub > MyStudy >MyLibrary
Access library resources and services
Click on ‘Sign-in’,
Signing-in enables you to access
full text material, check your
library record, create lists, save
searches and create alerts and
export references to RefWorks.
Library Search: Finding information
Type your search terms
(keywords) into the
search box e.g. Project
Management and click on
the ‘search icon’.
Library Search automatically searches for ‘All resources’ (print and
electronic) i.e. books, journal titles, journal articles etc. Use the
drop-down menu to focus your search or select ‘Available online’
Library Search: Other features
myUniHub > My Study > My Library > Databases
myUniHub > My Study > My Library > Databases
• ACM Digital Library
• Computer Source
• IEEE Xplore
• Science Direct
• Web of Science
IEEE Xplore: Advanced search
Choose search field e.g.
Abstract, document title,
AND, OR, NOT
Refine by date.
Web of Science - Citation searching
• Which articles have cited an earlier article
• Find articles on similar/related subject
• How many times an article has been cited
• Best journals in your field
MyUniHub > MyStudy > MyLibrary > Databases > W > Web of Science
Web of Science
Check ‘Links’ to
see if full text
article is available
See how many times
article has been
Click on title
of times cited
to see list of
You may be able to
access the full-text here
e.g. this is available on
Create an alert for your search,
so you can keep up-to-date
with new publications.
Link to MDX resources: > Settings > Library Links > Search for MDX and save.
Google Scholar: Useful features
Full text available
Uni and/or other
Click on author’s name (if underlined)
to view profile and check for more
research by the author on the same
Click on ‘Cited by’
to see other articles
that have cited this
‘All versions’: The same article
on other websites – sometimes
useful for getting full text if not
available from MDX.
Create a Harvard
Zetoc (Alert service)
Set-up an alert for
a journal or subject.
Search for journal
Set-up an RSS
feed for a journal.
MyUniHub > MyStudy > MyLibrary > Databases > Z > Zetoc
MyUniHub > MyStudy > MyLibrary > Databases > B
If you require
access to a
It’s not in the Library!
MyUniHub > MyStudy > MyLibrary > Inter Library Loans
Cite Them Right Online
myUniHub > My Study > My Library > Databases > C
Managing references: RefWorks
My Study > MyLibrary > Databases > R > RefWorks
RefWorks Guides https://libguides.mdx.ac.uk/computing/RefWorks
• Intended audience
• When Published
REVIEW your information
More info and help
MyUniHub > MyStudy > MyLibrary > My Subject Library Guides> Computing, Maths and Engineering
Telephone and Chat:
Sat, Sun and Bank hols
Tel. +44 (0)20 8411 6060
Need further help
Your Librarian is:
Your Librarian: https://libguides.mdx.ac.uk/VanessaHill
Introduction to the resources, services and support provided by LSS which you will need during your programme including.
CST3590 is for computer networking and security / digital forensics undergraduate year 3 final thesis. There will be proposal by week 4 and milestone including literature review by week 12. Hence week 6 is for research resources for students to look up relevant solutions.
Developing an effective search strategy by identifying the best keywords and resources to use when searching for information for your literature review.
Use of Boolean Operators and other refining tools to find what you want
Obtaining information using library and other resources including journal databases
How to get hold of the full text of articles which are not available from the library
Evaluating the articles that you find for quality and relevance, so you only use the best sources
The importance of referencing, how you can manage references using RefWorks and how to reference correctly.
In a lecture environment, its not possible to demonstrate the library resources that I will be mentioning, however you will see links to online support throughout the slides.
For your final thesis you will need to complete a literature search by week 12, so I’ll start with an overview of what a literature review is:
A literature review sets the scene: It provides an overview of a particular topic It enables you to survey the current state of knowledge on a topic i.e. what is already known about a topic And is an opportunity for you to describe, compare and synthesise existing research.
It should be critical, not just descriptive - being critical is particularly important for a systematic review. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your topic Note areas of consensus and disagreement Highlight gaps in the existing research i.e. what we know and what we don’t know.
**Our Learning Enhancement Team offer a range of workshops including ‘Writing a literature Review’ which can be booked at the link on the screen.
**They also have a range of online resources which can help you with lots of academic skills including academic writing – link on the screen.
But before you carry out a literature review you need to find information by carrying out a literature search.
A literature search is an important component of the literature review and is a systematic and comprehensive search for information.
By carrying out a literature search you can find out what has already been written about a subject area, enabling you to identify the main themes or trends.
This information will inform, underpin and /or shape your research.
The information may be found in books, journal articles, reports, case studies, policy documents, conference proceedings etc.
You will need to ensure that the information is appropriate i.e. it is suitable for your need i.e. right level, current if important, sufficient breadth or detail, so you will need to make judgements about the information found.
Before you start your literature search, it is a good idea to develop your search strategy. Think about the following:
What is your topic/question i.e. what do you need to find out about/research?
What are the main concepts? Try and summarise your topic in 4 or less words. This will allow you to identify appropriate keywords which you can use to search with.
Think about alternative keywords that can be used to describe the topic:
Synonyms i.e. different words that mean the same or almost the same e.g. Computer crime/Cyber crime, football/soccer, drugs in sport/doping or elderly, OAP, Old aged pensioned, senior citizen, aged, old etc.
Different spellings: some words can be spelt in several different ways such as the word jewellery or fairy, also Americanisms….organisation (UK) and organization (US).
Common/ Scientific/Professional terminology/International variations e.g. heart attack or myocardial infarction.
Acronyms/abbreviations/Initialisms: Acronym: an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word e.g. MODA – Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture Abbreviation: a shortened form of a word or phrase e.g. Tribeca (Triangle below Canal Street) Initialism: NHS – National Health Service
Think about the best sources to use and how you can access them – we’ll cover this later
Refine your search (inclusion/exclusion criteria): Use search tips e.g. truncation e.g. obes* will search for obese and obesity of quotation marks for phrases Limit your search by things such as publication date, age group, gender, language etc.
A guide to help you improve your search by thinking about keywords is available at the link on the screen.
There are a couple of really useful things that you can use to improve your search when using library resources to find information. These will also work well on the Internet.
You can broaden your search using an asterisk* after the trunk of a word. The example shown below will find compute, computer, computers, computerisation, computing etc.
The asterisk can also be added in front of a word so in the example this would find optic, fiber-optic, acoustooptic etc.
Use “quotation marks” if two or more words together in a phrase have a specific meaning e.g. physical education. This works really well especially when the words you are searching for are quite common, in this case the words ‘physical’ and ‘education’ on their own as opposed to searching for the two words together and in that order.
There are lots of other search tips that you can use to enhance your search when using the Internet.
Once you have started your search, if you find that you have too many search results:
Add more keywords to narrow down your search results e.g. 'Design history, 20th century, textiles' rather than just 'design history' Be more specific e.g. 'Sprinting' rather than 'running' Search for an "exact phrase" e.g. "Number theory" Add limits e.g. Date, country, gender etc.
Not enough results: Use alternative keywords e.g. Old person - also use: aged, elderly, OAP, old age pensioner, senior citizen etc Be less specific e.g. Use 'package holidays' rather than 'coach package holidays' Split the question into individual concepts - searching for all concepts together might make your search too complicated Use an asterisk to search for variations of the same word e.g. Swim* (swim, swimmers, swimming)
Library resources and services can be accessed from myUniHub
It is important to use a wide range of quality resources in your academic work as these will provide you not only with the information that you require, but also give your work balance and diversity.
Many students rely too heavily on the Internet as their main source of information, but for university assignments you will need to be confident that the information that you are using is accurate and reliable.
This is where the library can help you as we provide access to a huge range of resources – books, journals, magazines, conference papers and specialist databases, many of which are available online.
I’ll be referring to some of these resources and services during the session which can all be accessed from MyLibrary.
Library Search: This is the main way for you to search for information for your academic work. More about this later.
Databases: Access to Subject specific collections of journals etc, specialist collections of information, individual resources and training/skills resources
MySubject Library Guides: Use these to find what resources and support are available for your subject area
Inter Library Loans: Not a resource, but a way of getting hold of material that the library doesn’t hold or provide access to electronically.
Lets start with Library Search.
Library Search is our resource discovery tool which allows you to search all of the resources physically in the library, but also all of our electronic books and the electronic journals that we subscribe to.
Its very easy to use, but remember to sign in first as this allows you to do lots of things including accessing the full text of our e-resources.
When you need to find information type your search terms (keywords) into the search box e.g. Project Management and click on the ‘search icon’.
Library Search automatically searches for ‘All resources’ i.e. books, journal titles, journal articles etc. Use the drop-down menu to focus your search or select ‘Available online’ only.
It is possible to refine your search by using some of the options on the left hand side of the screen. For example you can refine your search by type of resource, so if you just want journal articles, select ‘articles’ under ‘resource type’. You can also limit by publication date which is useful if you want up-to-date information, and by ‘Full text only’. However it is possible for us to obtain electronic copies of journal articles from the British Library, so finding references to print journals is not necessarily a waste of time. More later. If a book is only available in print format, then we can post a copy to you. More later.
As you search, you can also save items to your ‘Favourites folder’ which is located at the top right of the screen. You can only do this if you have signed in.
The other really useful feature is the ability to create a reference using a variety of referencing styles including IEEE and Harvard.
You can access guides to using Library search’ at the link on the screen. These guides can talk you through the process of using library search to find information for your assignments, as well as searching specifically for books and journal articles, and creating references.
The library subscribes to a range of databases which can be accessed from MyLibrary. Once you are in the list of databases use the drop-down menu to see subject focused lists of resources, or click on the 'alphabet' if you know the name of the resource you require:
These databases allow access to a varied range of information including:
Subject specific journal databases i.e. collections of journals, but often including other types of information such as book chapters, conference papers and research papers in a particular subject area e.g. 'Science Direct' (science subjects) or 'IEEE Xplore' (computing and engineering)
Specialist/Themed information e.g. 'WGSN Lifestyle and Interiors' (Trends, forecasting, news, inspiration)
Specific information types such as 'British Standards Online' (Standards), 'Global Newsstream' (newspapers) and 'Box of Broadcasts' (TV and radio programmes)
Individual resources such as 'Britannica Online' (Encyclopedia)
Training/skills/alert services databases such as 'LinkedIn Learning', 'Cite Them Right Online' and 'Zetoc Alert'.
The library provides access to a huge range of journal databases which are mostly subject specific collections of online academic journals that you can search for information. Many of the journal databases also include other types of information such as conference papers, reports, book chapters, standards etc.
Unlike most subject areas, there is no one specialist journal database that covers your subject area as it transcends many different subject areas. This is why Library Search is your main tool for finding information as it searches across all of these resources.
However there are a number of useful journal databases that you can use to search for information: These include: Science Direct (Sciences) IEEE Xplore (Engineering and computing) ACM Digital Library (Computing) Web of Science (Sciences) Computer Source (Computing)
You can access these journal databases by logging on to MyUniHub > MyStudy > MyLibrary > Databases.
Although 'Library Search' searches most of our journal databases including 'Science Direct' and 'IEEE Xplore', searching these resources directly means that your search results will be more focused as you are searching the literature within specific subject areas i.e. science, business and engineering/computing.
References to robotics can be found in some other journal databases that we have such as Design and Applied Arts Index and Art Full Text, but not in any great numbers, so using Library search is a more efficient way of accessing these.
The majority of the information that you find will be full text, but if not, then copies of journal articles can be requested using our Inter Library Loan Service.
Most journal databases have an advanced search option. This allows you to manage your search more effectively using Boolean operators to narrow or broaden your search.
Plus you can usually select the fields that you want to search such as abstract, authors name, article title, publication title etc.
Here is an example of IEEE Xplore, which is one of your key journal databases.
Web of Science is another journal database, but more commonly known as a citation database as not only can you use it to find relevant literature, you can also ascertain how influential that information has been:
Discover which articles have cited an earlier article i.e. It is a way of looking forward in the literature - if you have found an excellent article, you can use 'Web of Science' to see which articles have subsequently cited it
Find articles on similar/related subjects - if an article cites an earlier article then this implies a subject relationship, so you can find papers on a similar topic without using any keywords or subject terms
Find out how many times a paper has been cited i.e. gauge the usefulness/quality/influence of a paper
Determine which are the best journals in your field - citation data is used to rank journals within particular subject areas and this is a useful way of seeing how journals perform in relation to others in the same subject area.
You can access it by logging on to MyUniHub > MyStudy > MyLibrary > Databases
'Web of Science' is not a full text database, so in order to see if we have access to an article from another resource that we subscribe to, click on ‘Links’ as indicated in the image below. If an article is not available full text, then you will be prompted to request a copy of the article using our Inter Library Loan
Another feature of 'Web of Science' is that you can create Journal Citation Reports which enable you to discover which are the most influential journals in a particular field i.e. the journals that contain the articles that get cited most by subsequent journal articles. Looking to the future, this is useful to discover which are the most influential journals to publish in.
You can find detailed guides showing you how to use all aspects of Web of Science at the link on the screen.
'Google Scholar' is another resource that you can use to find information. It is open access, so available to everyone, not just Middlesex University students. It enables you to find journal articles, theses, books, and more, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites across all disciplines.
Not everything on 'Google Scholar' is full text, but you can link it to our library resources by changing the settings as shown in the image below. You only need to do this once on your own laptop/device, but you will need to be logged on to MyUniHub.
More useful is finding material which is not accessible through Middlesex University Library i.e. articles, books and papers etc which are on open-access on the Internet.
'Google Scholar' is good, but there is limited ability to combine different keywords or to refine your search as you can with 'Library Search'. However it is possible to set up alerts using a Google account to keep up-to-date with recent developments in any area of research, and save material found to a personal library.
Google Scholar is good, but there is limited ability to combine different keywords or to refine your search as you can with Library search and our journal databases.
Also older articles can appear first in results, so use the date limits on the left hand side of the screen.
There are a few useful features on 'Google Scholar' including:
If an author’s name is underlined, you can click on it to discover other things that they have written. These may be useful sources of information for your research
Click on the "speech mark" icon to create a reference in various referencing styles including Harvard
See how many times an article has been cited by other authors by clicking on 'Cited by...'. This gives an indication of how influential the article has been.
'Zetoc' is one of the world’s most comprehensive research databases covering all subject areas. It's search facility gives you access to:
Over 36,000 journals More than 59 million article citations and conference papers Over 875,000 open access article citations and conference papers.
Some material on 'Zetoc' is available full text, but otherwise can be requested using our Inter Library Loan service.
'Zetoc' includes some other useful features: Zetoc Alerts - a current awareness service that sends you email alerts matching your search criteria Zetoc RSS - which enables you to subscribe to feeds for individual journals.
Use 'Zetoc' to keep pace with your peers, stay up to date with new research, and expand your field of knowledge.
'Standards' are important to designers because they are: An agreed level of quality or way of doing something Provide guidance, a framework or an acceptable level They are often legally binding Created by experts Can be international, European, national or applicable to an industry or trade Standards cover all aspects of our lives
Use 'British Standards Online' to search for British Standards plus European and international standards which are adopted in the UK on a particular topic.
Only a limited number are available full text, but any required can be added to our subscription by emailing your librarian: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If a journal article that you require is not available online from the library, then it is usually possible to obtain a copy from the British Library. The British Library will send an electronic copy of the article directly to your student email address.
There is usually a charge of £3 per request, but it is currently free due to the COVID-19 situation
Even though Library Search, many of the journal databases and things like Google Scholar have the functionality to create a reference that you can use in your academic work, they still need to be checked for their accuracy using Cite Them right Online.
Cite Them Right does not create the references for you, but shows you how to create a reference for pretty much any type of information that you might use from a book or academic journal article through to a company report or British Standard.
There is a lot of useful information on Cite Them Right to help you avoid plagiarism, but also there is a referencing and plagiarism library guide – link on the screen.
You may wish to use 'RefWorks' which is Bibliographic Management software. This enables you to:
Collect references Format them in your chosen referencing style i.e. Harvard Manage and organise your references in to folders Store and annotate PDFs of the references Share folders/references with others. You can also add citations to your assignments as you write them using the 'RefWorks Citation Manager' Add-in and then generate a perfectly formatted reference list from the citations you have used.
Access 'RefWorks' from by Logging on to MyUniHub > MyStudy > MyLibrary > Databases >RefWorks (do not select RefWorks Old/Legacy). You will need to set up an account the first time, so use your Middlesex email address.
Detailed guides to using ‘RefWorks’ available from: https://libguides.mdx.ac.uk/BuiltEnvironment/RefWorks
Also see our Referencing and Plagiarism Library Guide which has lots of information about using RefWorks: https://libguides.mdx.ac.uk/plagiarismreferencing/NewRW
•Relevance - Is this what I need? Will it answer my question? Is it at the right level?
•Expertise - Who is the author? What is their knowledge base/qualifications? How have they carried out their research? Where are they working, can they be contacted?
•Viewpoint - Is it a balanced view? Are opposing views represented? Are there links to supporting information?
•Intended audience - What is the purpose of information e.g. financial gain, propaganda, entertainment, academic?
•Evidence - Is it peer reviewed? Are there references which can be checked to support the information or theories discussed?
•When published - How old is this information? Does it need to be up-to-date? When was it last updated and by whom? Do you know what was updated. There is often an explanation of what has been updated in new edition of a book.
Lots of useful online guides eg. How to find books How to find information for your project Accessing journal databases etc
As a student at Middlesex University you have unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning, an on-demand library of high-quality instructional videos covering a vast range of software, business and creative skills. With more than 5,000 courses taught by industry experts—and more added every week—LinkedIn Learning is designed for all levels of learners, and it’s available whenever you’re ready to learn. The LinkedIn Learning app, means that you can also view courses from your mobile device.
You Can also link it to your LinkedIn account and highlight any LinkedIn Learning courses that you have created on your profile.
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