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Library Hub Guide

A guide to help you navigate the Library Hub.

Getting started on your Assignments

Planning your search  

There are better ways of doing research for your assignment than copying and pasting your assignment question into Google.   

The Library Hub is your one-stop-shop for research! By using the Library, you have access to high-quality, scholarly books, journal articles and other resources that you can use in your next assignment.   

Before you start searching for information, here are a few tips:

  • Learn to manage your time effectively - this will help you to get organised and achieve your goals.
  • It is important to make sure you understand your assignment question as this will help you develop a search strategy to help you to find relevant results.   
  • Remember to sleep! 

 

Using Keywords  

Once you have understood the topic, it is time to identify the keywords and phrases that are most important. Keywords are simple words and phrases that describe information. Your keywords should capture the main concepts of the topic. It will be these keywords that you will using in your search.  

When compiling your list of keywords, also consider the following variations:    

Acronyms / Abbreviations e.g. ADHD, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder  

Alternative Spellings e.g. colour, color  

Alternative Terms e.g. Bible, Scripture, Gospels  

Plurals / Alternative Endings e.g. environment, environmental  

Visit the Library Hub Searching page for search techniques. 

Finding Quality Resources   

When it comes to finding resources for university assignments, it is important to consider how authoritative the source is as they can vary widely in their currency, relevance, authority, accuracy and bias. When searching via the Library Hub, you can narrow down your searches by using the limiting filters on the left-hand side. E.g., you can select the content type and publication year to narrow your search.   

 

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Remember:  

  • Currency: Is the resource up-to-date? If you need information on a current topic, does it consider the latest research in your field?   

  • Relevance: Is this source relevant for your topic? Does it have the information you need? Consider the intended audience. e.g. a resource written for young children may not be relevant for your assignment.  

  • Authority: Is the author notable or qualified to be writing on this topic? Who they are affiliated with? Is the writing facts or opinion? If it is a journal article, is it from a reputable, peer-reviewed journal?  

  • Accuracy: Is the resource accurate and precise? Is the information properly referenced?  

  • Bias: Think about why the resource was created. Is the author trying to convince you of their opinion, or trying to sell you something? Did they receive funding from a corporation to conduct the research.  

What does "Peer Review" mean?

Your lecturers will often require you to use information from academic journal articles that are peer reviewed (also known as refereed or scholarly journals). Peer reviewed articles are credible sources of information. The articles have been written and reviewed by trusted experts in the field, and represent the best scholarship and research currently available. 

A peer reviewed article is an article: 
  • Written by an expert (scholar, researcher, or professor) from the relative field. 

  • Reviewed by an editor who is considered a "peer" to the author (also a scholar, researcher, or professor) 

  • The process is impartial 

  • The reviewers are charged with evaluating the quality and validity of the research/methodology of the article. 

  • Published in a scholarly journal with established high editorial and research standards. 

How to identify a "peer-reviewed" article: 
  • Some journals simply say they are peer reviewed. If the journal does not say it, a list of editors (usually located around the masthead of the journal) is also a good indicator 

  • Go to the official journal website. If you find the journal website, look for the link that says information for authors, instructions for authors, submitting an article or something similar. 

  • Via our databases; clicking the title of the journal you wish to view, the record will say "yes" or "no" next to peer reviewed under the publication details.