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How to search for sources and find library materials: What information do you need?

Introduction to the library´s resources

Information sources: main catagories

Books such as textbooks, are good for providing an overview of a topic. They undergo an editorial process and are usually written by experts in the subject or professional authors. They contain reference lists or bibliographies so that you can broaden your research by following up leads to related publications.

Many books at the library are available as e-books.

Journals can provide you with up to date discussion of research topics as they are published more quickly and regularly than books e.g. weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually, depending on the publication.

Journal articles are written by researchers and experts in their field. Scholarly or academic journals go through a "peer review" process, where a panel of experts assesses the article before it is approved for publication, giving you reassurance that the information is reliable. Like books, scholarly articles contain reference lists or bibliographies so that you can broaden your research by following up leads to related publications.

The majority of journals available via the library are e-journals. This means they are available any time, any place and most of the time ensures access to the latest issues as soon as they are published. This applies to journals accessible in publisher databases such as ScienceDirect (Elsevier), SpringerLink (Springer Nature), Wiley etc. When it comes to aggregator databases such as ProQuest there may be an embargo on certain titles, according to agreements with publishers.

Websites. Search engines such as Google have made it very easy to search and find information via the internet and most students use the web to find information for their research. However, the sheer volume of material available means that sometimes it can be difficult to find the information you want. If you want to find academic materials, we recommend using Google Scholar.

When using material from the internet, you need to exercise caution as anyone can publish information on the web so the quality and reliability of the information is highly variable. Always evaluate the sources to ensure the material is trustworthy, accurate and authoritative.

Where to look for sources

Once you have decided what sort of research materials you want to work with, you can choose the best research tool to help you find that material.

There are four Library Research tools that will help you find print and electronic materials:

Search aids can be found in databases, here a few examples