Understand what your assignment topic requires before you start to research it. What are the main or important aspects of your topic? It is often helpful to write out your topic in a few sentences and then identify the important words or terms.
In the following example the important words (or main aspects) of the topic have been highlighted.
This question is asking you to think of strategies that a nurse may use to help teen parents amd their families. The main aspects of this topic are:
Next, make a list of alternative terms for each aspect of your topic because writers of articles will use different words to the search terms you use, and this may help you retrieve these articles. Use a thesaurus to find alternative words. Think of word variations, for example, acronyms, abbreviations, alternative spelling and plural or alternative endings to words. For example:
When searching in databases, there are a number of different techniques to retrieve information for your assignment. Searching databases is different to using Google, so here are some search tips.
Use double quotation marks for phrases. This will retrieve a reduced and more relevant number of search results. For example, “adolescent mothers”
Databases will use the Boolean operators of AND, OR and NOT to define the relationship between your search terms (keywords).
AND » finds records that contain BOTH terms. This narrows your search. For example: "nursing role" AND families
OR » finds records that contain ANY of the terms. This broadens your search. For example: teen parents OR adolescent mothers
NOT » use it to exclude a term. This finds records with the first word but not the second. Use it with care as relevant articles can be excluded if they briefly mention the second term. For example: influenza NOT colds
("teen parents" OR "adolescent mothers") AND "nursing role" AND families
Use parenthesis to group words you are searching for. Enter this query into your database search box. However a quicker way is to use an advanced search option.
Advanced search lets you combine search terms with the Boolean operators. It also gives you a choice in which part (All Fields is the default) of the publication record to look for them.
We will be using an advanced search option in the CINAHL database.
Enter the first term (teen parents) then select the appropriate operator (OR) from the pull-down list. Then enter the second term and so on. Once you finish and hit search, the database will look for articles that include all your terms in all fields.
CINAHL database uses predictive typing, so it will offer suggestions for search terms. For example, when starting to type teenager, CINAHL's predictive typing offered this term plus the synonym adolescents.
There are scholarly and non-scholarly information sources, and primary, secondary and tertiary sources of information. What are they? Learn what scholarly sources of information are and why we use them, and also non-scholarly information sources.
There are a number of resource options available when searching for information for your assignments.
LibrarySearch is one search tool that you can use to locate journal articles on a topic. LibrarySearch lists library holdings from different sources; such as: books, journal articles, newspapers, streaming videos and so forth. To better understand LibrarySearch, look at the search options explained as well as some search tips.
Google Scholar searches a range of scholarly items, including journal articles, conference papers, theses, books, pre-prints, abstracts and technical reports. To make the most of Google Scholar login via the Library homepage. By logging in, you will have access to full text documents from the Library's subscribed journals, as well as other content.
Databases will provide you with subject focused journal articles, as well as other sources of information.
Once you start finding results, record the details of sources used to avoid unnecessary backtracking.
Not all information that is published is credible and reliable, and this particularly applies to information from the Web. Books and journal articles often go through a 'review process.' There is no such process for web information, which means that you must decide what is worth selecting for your assignments.
There is one skill that has become vital in just about any modern workplace: the ability to manage and interpret information, quickly and confidently. Highly valued by employers, information literacy is critical if you want to rise through the ranks – no matter what field you’re in.
By undertaking the Information Literacy credential, you’ll learn how to
Assessment and activities include: