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•Reference sources: overview of topic eg. encyclopedias, in print or electronic.
•Books:analysis of topic, in depth background information.
•Journal articles:focus on specific subject.
•Grey literature: governments, organizations, think tanks – not publishers.
•Web pages: eg. government webpages such as gov.za.
What will I be searching?
1. Analyze your research question in order to identify concepts:
nouns and verbs;
who – what – where - when – why.
Analyze yourtopic to identify concepts:
nouns and verbs;
reformulate your topic;
who - what - where - when - why
2. Collect background information: handbook; reference books, eg. encyclopedia, subject dictionary, what you learned up to now in your course.
3. Define keywords:
terms which describe what you are searching for;
remember to include synonyms, use a reference book (dictionary and thesaurus) to find synonyms. Thesaurus.com
British vs American English;
Subject Headings for books in the library system and thesauri of the databases [controlled vocabulary];
Hierachies - broader and narrower terms.
4. Search Strategy design
xx or yy or zz
aa or bb or cc
gg or hh or jj
mm or nn or qq
5. Search systematically.
Write down, keep track of what and how you are searching. This is just an example.
Eg. (XXXXX or YYYYY)and (AAAAA or BBBBBB)
XXXXX and AAAAA
XXXXX and BBBBB
Apply the search hints.
Search in all the fields - Title, abstract, subjects/keywords, fulltext, as applicable.
Some databases keep track of your search strategy.
Search Strategy Builder
Search Strategy Builder
The Search Strategy Builder is a tool designed to teach you how to create a search string using Boolean logic. While it is not a database and is not designed to input a search, you should be able to cut and paste the results into most databases' search boxes.
This is the Advanced Search Page. Format the page:
At the bottom, Choose University of Pretoria.
Enter the dates.
Format: Choose Books.
In the search boxes drop down menus, choose the fields of the records to search.
Enter your search terms.
Filter on the left side of the screen.
Click on the book's title to see the library record of the book.
Click on Description to see the Subject Headings.
Take note of the relevant Subject Headings to add to further searches.
Scroll down to see the library holdings.
Click on View all editions to see the other editions of the book and if they are in our library collection.
Each record has the option to Share, Cite and Save.
Sign In to save lists.
The material you need may not be available in the Merensky library.
Filters: Choose Libraries Worldwide.
Locate the relevant record. [read the screen].
Click on the title of the book / journal / article / chapter to see the complete record.
Click the Interlending Pre-Request button.
Complete the information boxes - difference between the Books Loan, and Chapter / Articles Copies option.
Know your databases
Databases - your Best Friends For 2022!
EBSCOhostThis link opens in a new windowEBSCOhost databases and discovery technologies are the most-used, premium online information resources for tens of thousands of institutions worldwide, representing millions of end-users.
ProQuestThis link opens in a new windowProQuest’s collections span six centuries, all disciplines and the diverse content types needed by researchers, providing the world’s largest collection of dissertations and theses; three centuries of newspapers; more than 450,000 academic ebooks; collections of important scholarly journals and other content researchers need such as data; and unique digital vaults of primary source materials . ProQuest’s renowned abstracting and indexing enables researchers to find sources in their area of study.
A more complete list is included on the Articles / Databases tabof this subject guide.
Sign In / Create Accountsto all the databases you are regularly using. You will have access to more functions, eg. creatingALERTS, to be notified about new articles being published. You can SAVE your searches as well.
You can also create ALERTS in Google Scholar.
All databases have HELP functions.
In order to access UP electronic articles from Google Scholar, you need to adjust your Google Scholar Settings as follow:
Click on the three lines next to the Google Scholar logo.
On the Settings screen, adjust the following settings: