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Research: Searching

A centralised repository of information to help those undertaking research especially at Postgraduate level


This tab will examine how to search for authoritative information by checking the task requirements, selecting search terms and evaluating the information that is found.   

True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information.

Winston Churchill

Check Task Requirements

When undertaking research as part of your qualification:

Check the marking schedule to see what your tutor will be looking for when they mark your work and how the marks will be assigned. This will help you know what to focus on.

Analyse your own question. What does it mean? Make sure you know what the scope of your project is – what it covers, and what it does not. Keep to the topic you have chosen. Look for restricting/limiting words in your research question. These limit the topic and make it more specific.

Record your search material

  • Use various combinations of your keywords in different search tools.
  • Be organized - keep a note of what keywords you use, in which search tool and which keywords were successful.
  • Most databases will allow you to record what searches you have done and what your favorite searches are if you set up a free account with them. See the tab Databases - How to search them for more information

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Refining search terms

Asking and Answering the Research Question 

Crafting A Savvy Search Strategy

Search versus research

CRAAP test - evaluating academic credibility

Evaluating Information

What is a Scholarly Journal Article?