Hi. I'm Kate, your embedded librarian, and I've created this guide to help you with your research for INF404.
Each section introduces the steps you should take when researching for an assessment. You'll find links to videos and resources that will give you the tools to find great information. Use the activities on the test your knowledge tab to see what you need to revise.
If you would like an introduction to our Library website and services, check out:
Getting started with your assessment
The first thing is to make sure you clearly understand the task and what topic you are seeking information for, this is called topic analysis. Check your assessment task details in your Subject Outline.
With an understanding of your task you then need to plan how you will search for information. This starts with identifying and brainstorming keywords.
The example below is based on assessment 2:
|Keywords||Synonyms or related terms|
|Information organisation sector||
state library, academic libraries, public library, archives
state government library, state library service, [names of specific libraries e.g. State Library of NSW]
|History of the sector||History, origin, founding, foundation, development, change, cultural change, landmarks, milestones|
|Current state of the sector||
recent OR current
trend*, development*, technology, politics, change
collections, research, projects
Does your task place any limits? These might be "in the last X years" or Australian content.
For guidance in topic analysis check out:
Choose the right place to search
Before you start searching, think about what types of information you need and where you can search to find those types of resources.
Primo Search is a good place to start as it allows you to use one search box to bring back results from most of our Library collection including books, eBooks, journal articles, newspaper articles and more. You may get a large number of results and some of these will be from outside your subject/discipline area. Check the content is relevant to your assessment task before you use it.
Databases will help you find academic resources and are often subject specific. You will get fewer results than Primo, but they will be more relevant to your subject/discipline.
I recommend trying the following database:
The Information & Library Studies list has more databases you can search.
Learn how to search efficiently in Primo and Library databases:
Create a search strategy
When you search using Primo Search or a library database use the keywords and limits you identified above to create your search. Combine the keywords with "search operators", rather than searching with a whole sentence or question. Search operators tell Primo or the database how to search with your keywords.
For your assessment topic potential search strings could include:
- archives AND Australia
- (knowledge management OR information management) AND public librar*
- academic library leadership
Remember: you will need to try a range of searches. Don't stop after just one.
To understand how search operators work check out:
Using credible information will improve the quality of your assessment and may result in better marks, but how can you tell whether the resources you've found are credible and suitable for your assessment? Have you been asked to use peer reviewed, academic or refereed articles? Are you using authoritative websites?
The information below will help you evaluate the information you find, in books, journal articles, or online to make sure it’s reliable.
Reading, writing and referencing
The Academic Skills team help you build your writing, referencing and reading skills to be successful at Uni.
Check out their support and resources under Learning Skills in the Student Portal.
Here are some pages to get you started:
We'd love your feedback!
Complete a short survey to let us know what you think of this guide. The survey contains questions about your experience using this 1-page guide and the other multi-page guide. Please just fill it out once. The survey link on the multi-page guide is the same. We really appreciate you contributing your feedback to our review of this service!
Keen for more?
If you're interested in finding out more, check out the following: