How to search the catalogue
Before you can search effectively, you must analyse your topic or information to select some key words or phrases.
Use instruction words such as AND, OR, NOT to define your search terms. e.g. Poetry AND Plato, Jane Austen OR George Eliot. Use truncation to identify all forms of a word. e.g. educat* will search for education, educators, educating.
A question mark (?) can be used to replace a single letter in a word to retrieve spelling variations and singular and plural word forms, for example: organi?ation.
Enter your search terms and instruction words into the search box in the Library’s search engine, Primo Search.
You can expand or refine your search by using the options on the right including by date, author, topic and resource type.
How to evaluate sources
Evaluating your resources is a vital part of producing quality research. Here are some strategies and advice to assist you in this process.
Author – what qualifications, publications and influence does the author have?
Accuracy – how accurate is the information and is it backed up by other sources?
Bias – what is the author’s bias and what perspective are they coming from?
Breadth – does the resource deal with a narrow or broad topic and is it relevant to your research?
Currency – how old is this resource, is it still current?
Credibility -is the author and content reliable and what other sources have been cited?
Articles that are peer-reviewed have gone through a formal review process by editors or specialists prior to their publication. This means these articles are more likely to stand up to the AABBCC test and contribute relevant or original research to a particular field.
The AABBCC test can be applied to websites as well as other information sources. Other factors to consider when evaluating websites include:
Influence: Is the content of the website subject to influence, for example by a corporate or political organisation?
Support: Are there other links and information provided?
Layout: Is the layout professional and easy to navigate?
.gov – government site
.com – commercial site
.org – organisation site
.edu – educational institution
.net – networks, organisations and Internet providers
Check the ‘About Us’ or ‘Home’ page to discern if the website is an official one and discover more about its authority.
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