|Academic vs Professional Information
|DEVELOPING YOUR SEARCH TECHNIQUES
|Building an effective search
|Identifying key words and smart searching
KEY WORDS AND SMART SEARCH TECHNIQUES
What are the key words that describe your subject?
If you search a database using "energy conservation" then it will retrieve results that only include that exact phrase - it could occur in the title or, if you are using a full-text database, the phrase could occur somewhere in the main body of the text.
Establishing the key words that will enable you to identify texts and articles that are of most relevance to your research is crucial. Have you:
Key words really are the key!
Applying controlled vocabulary to a subject provides a consistent method of finding information, and allows you to broaden or narrow your focus
There are two main kinds of controlled vocabulary used in databases - subject headings and thesaurus terms
What are subject headings?
Subject headings describe the main focus of the content of a publication,
and provide terms which bring together different ways of defining a subject.
How can a Thesaurus help?
Thesauri list words grouped together according to similarity of meaning.
Thesauri also list equivalent terms and narrower, broader and related terms.
Compiling a list of relevant key words is a crucial step; but there are ways to use those terms when searching a database to ensure that you get the best possible results.
One of the most powerful techniques when searching a database is Truncation. It works like this: simply add an asterisk (*) to the root of a word
When searching databases remember the small but important differences between British English and American English - you don't want to miss things if contributors to your subject are based across the Atlantic or there are high-profile specialist journals published in America. Using Wildcards gets over this problem.
Phrase searching can be used with almost all databases and library catalogues.
Phrase searching works by using "quotation marks"
Use Boolean Operators to combine your search terms
In order to avoid missing important references when searching databases use the techniques we've outlined here - either singly or in combination
|Structuring your searches and recording the results
This Prezi gives guidance on structuring your searches to get the most out of the databases you are using.
|PLANNING AND CARRYING OUT A LITERATURE REVIEW
|Planning and carrying out a literature review
|Keeping up to date with the latest research
|Tools and information sharing
|Mental Health and Wellbeing
QMUL's Researcher Development Team offer the following four workshops as part of the Survive and Thrive programme:
Boosting Willpower and Resilience
Busting Self-Criticism and Self-Sabotage
Making Stress Your Friend
Mindfulness for Academic Success
Information on how to book a place is available at: https://academicdevelopment.qmul.ac.uk/researcher-development/courses/. Click on the 'All Researchers' tab at the top of the course list.