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Engineering Guide: Search Tools and Strategy
This Guide has been created to help Engineering students find useful Library resources
You can break your search strategy into smaller steps:
Analyse your task, every assignment, research or thesis paper has a purpose, before you start searching make sure you are clear on what you have to do to complete the task. You can do this by;
Thinking about the main themes presented in the task
Reviewing material inside Learnline that is relevant to the task.
Asking for clarification from the lecturer or tutor if you are unsure of what you need to do.
Identifying Keywords, pick out the main words that describe the information you are trying to find, identify words that have the same meaning as alternative keywords.
Choose a search tool, pick a tool that will help you find the information you need, you may start with a broad search tool like Library Search or Google Scholar then move on to more advanced specific databases that are relevant to your area of research.
Choosing a Tool
When you start to search, pick a search tool that will help you complete your research task. Even when scholarly (high quality academic) material is needed you may like to start with a simple search using a web search engine like Google. This will help you get an overview of the topic and learn how that topic is discussed and what language is used. This can also help you pick out keywords. The next step is to build on your initial search to find information that is suited to an academic research topic. Here are some examples of common search tools and their uses:
Web Search Engines, like Google or DuckDuckGo to find government and industry resources, remember to ensure they are credible sources.
Google Scholar, this tool picks up additional information including scholarly literature, some can be found with links to the library collection, some are freely available. This tool will not search across the book and eBook collections at the library and may not give you full-text access to every journal article. A good tool to start with and build-up to other academic tools.
Library Search, this tool searches across the library collection, there are resources here that you can only access with your student login details and are only available through a subscription which you get access through to with the library. This search tool will search across the library's hard copy books, eBooks and journal collection.
A-Z Databases, this is a list of databases that allows you to target searchers through specific databases available through the library.
Subject LibGuides, the guides provide links to databases that are relevant to your field of study and present other relevant tools and resources.