2 Research Design Preparing Research Strategy Identify key concepts / ideas / themesBreakdown each concept into keywords or phrases, synonyms and word variationsIdentify limits – date, language, document typesResearch Plan available from Library’s Information Skills webpage atThink about the different sources you may need to consult: library catalogue and collections, databases, internet, people, organisationsPreparing research strategyWriting down ideasDefining conceptsFinding synonyms, broader terms and related termsAnalysing the questiono Style of assignment - Are you required to write an essay, a policy or lab report, a personal response, a critical review, an analysis of a reading, a media article or script, a book review, based on primary sources?o Length of assignment - This will help you think about how many references you might need to find when researching.o Key concepts - Pick out the key concepts that you need to research and make sure you fully understand what the question is asking. If in doubt, contact your lecturer or tutor.o Currency of material - Do you require only recently published research or do you need to have a comprehensive range of references that include all dates?· Types of References requiredo Do you need books, journal articles, newspaper articles, government reports, diaries, manuscripts, music scores, blogs, glossy magazines?o If scholarly material is required, has it been peer reviewed or refereed?
3 My Research Research Sources Research Sources to consult Databases For: Journal articles, book chapters,reports, conference papers, etcwide range of journals searchedsome full textsophisticated search methodssubject headings & mappingitems may not be held by our libraryLibrary CatalogueFor: books, journals, reference, reports,conference proceedings, AV, reserveitems held at USYDsome full text journal articleslimited to what USYD holdscan access other libraries’ cataloguesInternetFor: material not found throughother sources+ can give links to subject related sites,organisations, etc-need to assess credibility of the siteEjournalsFor: full text journal articles byvolume/issue+ full text articleslimited collection of journaltitles searchedUnderstanding Information ResourcesThink about the different sources you may need to consult: library catalogue and collections, databases, internet, people, organisations.With any material you locate, be it print or electronic, always remember to evaluate it! Be cautious about using resources such as Wikipedia and Google. These popular, non-refereed resources often contain articles of poor scholarship and are not authoritative. Here is a checklist to evaluate a source:
4 Background Information Use Background Information to:Define or clarify terminologyObtain an overview of a theoretical areaLocate key readings on a specific topicFind Background Information bySearching the Library catalogueLook for Dictionaries & EncyclopediaAvailable in hardcopy or eBookInternet Search Engines or Wikis
5 Finding Journal Articles How to find Journal ArticlesYou can find articles in journals by searching our databases and ejournal collections.Databases: provide access to the content of journals within broad or specific subjects areasindex articles, essays, conferences papers, websites, book reviews, reports and occasionally book chapterssometimes provide full-text versions of articlesSummon:a simple and fast search engine that searches multiple collections at the same time,Searches the library catalogue as well as a variety of bibliographic databasesTypes of journalsBefore we start searching for journal articles, it is helpful to know what they are.Journals have a number of different types and names. These include: magazines, serials, periodicals, newspapers, bulletins and proceedings. Basically, they are anything that is published regularly in a series of volumes.An article is one of a number of papers published in an issue of a journal.Articles in journals can range from articles on popular or topical issues through to in-depth scholarly works.It is important to use journal articles because they can contain the most current research and information on your topic. Sometimes this material is not published in books at all! How to find journal articles You can find articles in journals by using databases and ejournal collections.Databases:provide access to the content of journals within broad or specific subjects areasalso index collections of essays, conferences papers, websites, book reviews and research reports and occasionally book chapterssometimes provide full-text versions of articles, andallow researchers to identify and locate key journals in their subject areas.However, not all publications indexed are held in the library. You will need to check the Library’s Catalogue to see if we subscribe to them.
6 Selecting the right Databases The Library has access to over 300 databasesSee listing atUse the Subject listing to find databases specific to a particular topicMany different types of databases including;General (eg. Expanded Academic or Proquest)Subject Specific (eg. Worldwide Political Science Abstracts)Resource Specific (eg. Factiva, or ABS)Other (eg. JSTOR (retrospective) or Web of Science (citation) )Types of DatabasesGeneral DatabasesCover a broad range of Subject areas and index a variety of sources both academic and popular or generalist.Eg. Proquest 5000 ; Expanded Academic ASAP ; Scopus Subject Specific DatabasesCover a specific subject area and index a selected range of journal titles specific to that subject area. Sources can be both scholarly and general.Eg. Worldwide Political Science Abstracts ; Business Source Premier ; Resource SpecificSome databases index a particular type of Resource or use some other criteria for indexing items.Eg. Factiva – indexes Newspapers & Newswires : TVnews - indexes Australian Television Current Affairs : Informit Databases – Indexes Australian Material : Statistical Databases such as ABS or SourceOECD Others:There are database that index material for other specific reasonsWeb of Science – Citation Database that uses article bibliographies to identify who has used what.JSTOR – A retrospective database that indexes resources back to their first issue but does not have current 5 years
7 Common Database Features Using DatabasesMany databases look different, but they all have some common features:Search a range of yearsSearch by subject headings or your own keywordsDownload, print or resultsLimit references retrieved by date, language or document typeSearching a databaseMany databases look different, but there are some common features:Search a range of yearsSearch by subject headings or your own keywordsDownload, print or resultsLimit references retrieved by date, language or document typeBut there are some things to consider when searching a database – consult the Help or Search Tips to get the most out of your searches** Remember to think laterally – if your subject is cross disciplinary then think to use the database subject listings to see what databases might be available in alternative subjects.
8 Common Search Syntax Search Syntax Truncation Wildcards To use truncation, enter the root of a search term and replace the ending with the truncation symbol.Common symbols used are ; * or ? or $ or % or !WildcardsThe wildcard indicates the symbol used is a placeholder for any unknown term(s) and then find the best matches.Common symbols used are * or ? or $ or % or !
9 Common Search Syntax Phrases – Boolean Operators Nested Searches use double quotation marks - “ ”determines a search for the exact words in that exact order without any change.Boolean OperatorsTerm X and Term Y: search results display articles containing both termsTerm X or Term Y: search results display articles containing either termTerm X not Term Y: search results display only articles containing Term X, excluding any articles also containing Term YNested Searches(A or B) and (C or D)
10 Further Help Need further assistance? Contact your Faculty Liaison LibrarianKaren Chilcott Arts Library Services Team | University LibraryThe University of SydneyT: 7289 | F: 6722 | M: EUse “Ask a Librarian” service