Developing a search strategy is an important step in conducting research, whether you are using Library Search, a database, or even Google.
Think about the best keywords or search terms to use before beginning your search. Think about the main ideas, and what the assignment question is asking you to do. A handy tip is to write down ideas for search terms as you go. These may change as you undertake your search.
Here's an example of a search strategy being developed:
Activity: Work through the section of Health Online that deals with search strategies:
The attached presentation (see below) demonstrates how to develop a search strategy using AND and OR, as well as using synonyms and truncation for effective searching.
Library Search is a simple way to search for information resources, including journal articles. But sometimes you will need to use the additional, discipline-specific features provided by specialist databases to find the information that you need for your assignments.
Subject-specific databases are ideal for searching the journal literature because they are tailored to a particular discipline, and therefore provide the ability to narrow your search in ways that wouldn't be possible in a general database or search tool like Library Search. For example, in a medical database you can limit to clinical trials, or to age groups studied, or to evidence-based practice.
Databases vary in content and may include more than just journal articles. For example, systematic reviews, conference proceedings, book chapters, patient information sheets, theses, or drug information may also be covered.
On the first tab (home page) of the Medical Laboratory Science LibGuide, you will find descriptions and links to some of the most popular and relevant databases you are likely to use during your studies. They vary from each other on subject area, coverage, content types, geographical location, etc - so consider which database/s will be most likely to contain the kind of information you're looking for.
Change your settings so that Find it @ CDU links automatically appear within Google Scholar in your search results:
1. Click the three horizontal lines (top left) then go to Settings (the cog at the bottom of the list)
2. Click Library links
3. Type in Charles Darwin University and click the search button
4. Tick Charles Darwin University - Find it @ CDU
If you use EndNote, under Bibliography Manager, select EndNote
To retain these settings, you must turn on cookies in your browser settings
Charles Darwin University Library links automatically appear when you searchon campus.
In the course of your studies, you will sometimes be required by your lecturer to use scholarly, peer-reviewed information resources. This is work that has been written by researchers and academics, and has been through a rigorous selection process prior to publication.
The peer-review process occurs when articles submitted for publication in scholarly journals are reviewed by experts in the same field. The submitted article is assessed for the quality of the research, the relevance and validity of the conclusions drawn, accuracy of statistics or calculations, etc. The author of the article may be asked to make changes to their article and re-submit it for review. Once the panel of experts agree that the article is up to scratch, it will be published and made available to the rest of the scholarly community.
When looking for journal articles for assignments, you can limit your searches to scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles using the refining options available in Library Search (left hand side of the results screen) and library databases (check the advanced search options).
If you already have some articles that you want to check, you can use Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory to find out if a journal is peer reviewed. Just type in the journal title (eg. Medical Journal of Australia) – not the article title – and you will be able to see if the journal is peer-reviewed by the little referee jumper symbol next to the title (peer-reviewed journals are sometimes called refereed journals).
Searching for your keywords in Google will usually come up with lots and lots of results. But are they suitable to use as an information source (and reference) in academic assignments?
Use these evaluation criteria to assess online resources