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26 September 2014. The Library in your 3 rd /4 th year. James Webley. 26 September 2014. Today’s talk:. Outline the research/literature review process. How the Library’s resources can help you with your research. Outline a few key resources. Further help and advice. 26 September 2014.

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26 September 2014

The Library in your 3rd/4th year

  • James Webley

26 September 2014

Today’s talk:

Outline the research/literature review process.

How the Library’s resources can help you with your research.

Outline a few key resources.

Further help and advice.

26 September 2014

Research Process

Starting out

Devising a search strategy

Locating and accessing material

Reviewing and evaluating your results

Writing up

Keeping up to date


26 September 2014

Starting out

Build up concepts and keywords relevant to your topic. Identify phrases.

Remember variant spellings (e.g. US and English), different meanings, synonyms etc.

Books/ebooks (recommended textbooks), review articles, web searches, Wikipedia, previous projects/dissertations, Subject Librarian.

26 September 2014

Search Strategy

Use your keywords/concepts as search terms.

Select appropriate resources and search a variety of materials – search engines, Library resources, print and online.

Use search tools:


Truncation - * (e.g. dynamic* = dynamics, dynamical, dynamically)

Search within results and citation searches

Refine by year, type of publication, subject etc.

26 September 2014

Locating material

Library Catalogue for books (print and E) and print journals.

Search Engines, Subject Databases, and Ejournals

Follow a ‘research trail’ – bibliographies, references, citations.

Find/access material not held at Bristol - COPAC/ILL /SCONUL

26 September 2014

Reviewing/Evaluating results

Read the abstract – is it relevant? – Coverage

Is it free of errors backed up by reliable sources? - Accuracy

Who wrote it? Expert? Academic? Corporation? - Authority

Bias? Commercial interest? - Objectivity

When was it published? - Currency

26 September 2014

Writing up/Keeping up to date

Store and manage references as you search.

Cite and reference properly – acknowledge your sources.

Avoid plagiarism.

ZETOC, Citation alerts (Subject Databases), Publishers’ Alerts, Google Alerts

26 September 2014

Writing up/Keeping up to dateEndnote Online:

Free service that helps with collecting, storing, and sharing references.

Creates bibliographies and references within coursework.

Use it to search academic databases and catalogues to find resources, and import them into Endnote Online (Web) for later use.

26 September 2014

Literature Review Checklist

Have you shown a clear understanding of the topic?

Have all the key landmark studies been cited and discussed?

Have a variety of sources been used? Journals, books, websites, government reports etc.

Have you stated clear conclusions about previous research?

Don’t leave your work open to questions like:

“What is your evidence here?” “What makes you think so?”

26 September 2014

How can the Library help with my research?

Q. How do I find academic articles on my topic?

A. Compendex, Web of Science, IEEE Xplore, ACM Digital Library, ICE Virtual Library, IMechE, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ASTM Digital Library…

Q. What is the most highly cited journal in my field of research?

A. Journal Citation Reports

26 September 2014

How can the Library help with my research?

Q. How can I get my hands on a book/journal article/report/standard/patent that I can’t access online?

A. Subject Librarian (

Q. How do I find previous projects/dissertations written on my topic?

A. Library Catalogue/Index to Theses/EThOS/ Supervisor

26September 2014

Search Engines only?!

“...a searcher who is unwilling to search multiple databases or to adopt a sophisticated search strategy is likely to achieve better than average recall and precision by simply using Google Scholar.”

“Researchers value the ease and speed of Google Scholar, but may also perceive its quality and precision limitations.”

Use the academic search tools at your disposal

26 September 2014

Good research habits:

An awareness of the search tools available to you.

Google: ‘Library (insert subject here) Bristol’

A knowledge of how to refine/sort/combine your searches.

Critically evaluate the resources you find.

Use appropriate tools to manage your information.

26 September 2014

For help and advice…

Subject Enquiries


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