Research Tips

Research & Academic Writing

Searching for resources

There are two key things to remember when you search for resources for your research project.

1. The search itself:

Consider the keywords which most suit your question. Sometimes the keywords which are most obvious (those found in the question you have asked) aren’t the words employed within the published works. Consider alternative keywords if you find you aren’t having much success.

Consider the databases and platforms which are available to you. Google is a tempting starting point – but are there any other resources which you can access which might be more suitable? A library catalogue? Databases specific to your subject?

2. The results

Just because you found something that seems relevant, it doesn’t mean it’s a good resource for your research project. Ensure you exercise critical thinking skills and consider whether the resource is a worthwhile one. There are many frameworks against which you can evaluate resources. The one I most prefer is the acronym RADAR.

This framework implores you to consider the purpose of the piece, the authority of the person or organisation who compiled it, the purpose of the publication,its relevance to the project, the date on which it was published, and its accuracy.

For more help on evaluating your resources, use the guides below.

Resources to help:

Using the RADAR framework (guide) Coming soon

How to evaluate resources on the internet (video)
This video is a fairly simplistic overview, but offers key insight into how you should evaluate internet resources.

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