Welcome to Day 5 of #su5dol. So far, we have explored finding books and journal articles. You probably expected to use this sort of material when you started university. Have you thought about other library resources you might need to use?

The library subscribes to many subject specialist databases. They can help you to find information for your assignments. Many of these databases hold scholarly journal articles. You can use them to look for journal articles on your topic.

To find the best databases for your subject, go to the Library Guides homepage and click on your school or college. Then click on your degree programme. You will find guides, information and links to important resources. There will also be contact details so you can get in touch with your librarians if you have any questions.

The LibGuides logo - a blue cloud with the outline of a laptop icon inside it

On Day 4, we looked at searching for articles on your topic in iFind. You can use the same strategies to look for articles in the specialist databases. To search effectively:

  • Spend time at the start writing down keywords you can use in your search. You will usually get some keywords from your assignment title, but remember to think about synonyms and other relevant words too
  • Use the Limit options on your results page. You can usually limit by
    • publication date – most of the material you reference in your assignments should be from the last 10 years
    • source – peer reviewed articles are the most scholarly; trade journals or professional journals are good for keeping up to date with developments in your area
    • subject – use this to help identify the most relevant article for your needs

Specialist information

You might need to look up some specialist data or information as part of your studies. For instance, School of Management students will need to find financial information, Law students will look at legislation and Engineers may need to consult British Standards. Our databases can help! Our Assignment Survival Kit includes a guide on Specialist types of information. Use it to help you find:

  • Conference proceedings
  • British Standards or other technical specification
  • Patents
  • Statistics
  • Law reports, law journals and legislation (statutes)
  • Business information, including company profiles, company financials and market research
  • Film and music
  • Pictures and images
  • Evidence based material for health and social care professionals

Most importantly, remember to ask for help from your friendly librarians if you can’t find what you need!

A collage of subject librarians' team photos

November 16th, 2018

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