Save time researching using our subject guides

Don’t pull your hair out like Kurt!

Do you ever feel overwhelmed when starting to research for a topic? Kinda like you’re getting more results than annoying notifications from that group chat you’re totally over.

I mean, you search for Nirvana in terms of their influence on the early ‘90s grunge scene, but instead you get heaps of useless results on liberation from rebirth?? [insert confused emoji here]

Wouldn’t it be super convenient if you could just go to one webpage that listed all the databases and resources you needed for your study area. So you’re not searching for music history and getting Buddhist philosophy?

Well, you totally can!

Our discipline librarians have worked hard to compile all the databases and key information resources you’ll need for your subject area into one centralised area. Just go to the Borrowing and Resources library page, and select your subject area under Library guides.

You can select a broad area, such as Health, to see all relevant databases. Or you can further narrow your selection to a specific discipline area, such as Nursing and Midwifery for more detailed information.

Using the resources in these subject guides can help ensure you’re finding information relevant to your specific subject area.

For further help with researching, check out our Study Smart tutorial.


Science research student? Check out these Open Access journals

Have you heard of Open Access? If so, you already know what a marvellous initiative it is. And, if you’re one of our super smart research students, than you should definitely consider submitting your research to some Open Access journals. Share the love, share the knowledge and together we can create amazing things!

Quite a few science Open Access journals were pioneers in the domain of Open Access and are worth considering when searching for places to submit your research article. Some to consider are:

PLOS (Public Library of Service)
All PLOS publications are peer-reviewed, you can even check out a full list of titles of that PLOS publishes. These include:

BioMed Central
BioMed Central have an extensive list of quality journals, including:

Dovepress
Dovepress (a New Zealand-based publisher) also publish a range of open access journals in the biomedical and technical fields. They include:

You can check the peer review status of all of these journals on UlrichsWeb. Don’t forget, we’re always here to help. If you need a touch more guidance, or are confused about finding an appropriate journal to publish in, book an appointment with your Discipline Librarian or attend an HDR workshop.


Essay writing made easy!

man on bike

on ‘ya bike – get writing!

Essays. We know, the word ‘essay’ alone can sound daunting, but we promise: they’re easy to master once you get on top of them.

Just like riding a bike, once you practice and learn, you’ll have it down pat for good. And soon, you’ll be riding along with no hands (but a helmet of course, because you’re responsible, right?). Uh, we mean writing, not riding…

All essays have a set structure, this includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. What should be included in each section is further detailed below.

Introduction
This should be roughly 10 – 15% of the essay length and follow the below structure:

  • Introduce the topic – why is this topic interesting from the perspective of the discipline/field?
  • Indicate the focus or your essay.
  • Signpost the structure of your essay.
  • Indicate your thesis statement (this is your main line of argument, or your position on the topic).

Body
This should be roughly 80% of the essay length, and will include multiple body paragraphs. Each individual body paragraph should be between 100 – 200 words, focus on one main idea, and follow the below structure:

  • Topic sentence to introduce the main idea of the paragraph
  • Supporting sentences, which include evidence, arguments, and examples.
  • Concluding/linking sentence

Conclusion
This should be roughly 5-10% of the essay length and follow the below structure:

  • Draw together your findings/analysis from each section of your argument.
  • State your conclusion based on your research and findings.
  • Consider the implications of your evaluation for the problem in your discipline or field.

For further information, check out the writing your assignment webpage.


Nine tips to help you with researching

Do you want to be able to search efficiently and effectively? Below are nine tips and tricks to help you achieve better search results.

1. Analyse your assignment question
Keywords are key! You’ll need to analyse your assignment question to develop a list of keywords you can use in online search tools.

2. Brainstorm more keywords
Make sure you are using synonyms of your keywords. Consult a thesaurus; there are plenty of free versions online. Your topic is probably discussed by experts using a variety of terms and you’ll want to catch all of this research.

3. Watch out for words with different spelling options
You need to be aware of the words you are using which could have an alternative spelling. Remember, there are differences between British English and American English spelling i.e. colour and color. Some search tools will automatically find both spellings, but some you need to include both versions (see #7 for further tips).

4. Know your limits
Most search tools let you limit your results in a range of ways. Use these tools to focus your results to only the content you need.

5. Keep keywords together
Sometimes you really need your keywords to stick together. If the words aren’t in the correct order, then the results aren’t relevant. For example, higher education. Most search tools will find your phrase in the correct order if you enclose the words in quotation marks e.g. “higher education”.

6. Find multiple words in one go
Some search tools will only provide results for the exact keywords you use. For example, if you search for teen, it will only find results that contain teen. That’s fine, if that’s what you wanted. But chances are you would like results for teen, teens, teenager, and teenaged. If you use truncation, you don’t need to type in all of these words. Just use a symbol (usually the asterisk *) to tell the online search tool to find any endings to your keyword. For example, you can search for teen* and find results for all of them in one go.

7. Use wildcards
A wildcard is a symbol you can use in the middle of a word to catch any alternate spelling options for that word. The wildcard symbol varies between search tools, but is frequently a question mark (?) or an asterisk (*). For example, if you are searching for the keyword behaviour and know there is an alternative spelling option, you may search for behavio?r

8. Combine keywords with synonyms
Use Boolean operators to combine keywords and synonyms. Boolean operators are the terms AND, OR and NOT. Check out this YouTube video from Penfield Library to get an idea of how to use Boolean operators in your search.

9. Dig into references
Don’t forget to check the reference lists of the resources you find. They may list other helpful sources of information that you can use.


Say goodbye to your research storage problems!

Are you a research student? If so, we’re sure you know the immense effort, organisation and dedication that goes into your research.

So, what’s at the crux of all your research? Data! Or, an incredibly stressed coffee-fuelled research student. Your call. But we’re gonna go with data.

But – what do you do with all your data? Where are you saving  it? I mean, it is the crux of your research, so we hope you’re storing it somewhere suitable.

Did you know that Griffith University offers various storage services to all researchers and research students affiliated with the university via the Research Storage Service.

These services include Research Space, Research Drive, and Research Vault. There’s even a nifty little questionnaire you can take, which tells you which service is best for you.

We tested it out, and we can tell you with certainty that it takes under one minute, and that our fictitious data is best suited to Research Space.

The service can help you store, share and synchronise the digital data generated during your research project. Your data is stored on Griffith systems, not off-shore.

You get unlimited storage, can access the service anytime and anywhere, and you can share files easily with collaborators at Griffith, in Australia and overseas.

For more information on the various services, check out the FAQs for Research Drive, Research Space and Research Vault.


Improve your research and publishing skills!

Are you a research student?

Yes, while the undergrads are away on trimester vacay, you’re working hard on your research each day.

It’s a hard life. But you’re committed. And future you (who’s widely published and likely adorned with quite a few extra letters at the end of your name) will look back and thank you.

Speaking of being committed, have you taken a look at our Postgrad Research Information Skills Modules?

Designed to help you navigate your way through the research cycle, the modules have been grouped into three sections: Discover, Manage and Publish.

The modules provide you with strategies, resources and interactive learning activities to enable you to successfully complete your project.

Discover how to develop a your research question, find the literature you need, and use the literature.

Manage your organisation or citations and references, ensure you maintain research integrity, manage your research data effectively, and learn about author profiles.

Then – ahhh the culmination of all your hard work – Publish. Learn how to select a journal, submit a manuscript, and navigate the peer review, revising and editing processes. Explore collaboration options and how to use social media to expand your readership and altmetric score. Learn about scholarly impact of your publication. Then – go at it again! Find resources to help with getting funding for future research!


Get some research insight

Are you a budding researcher? Want to know about latest news on innovation, technology, library resources, online tools, social media trends, research and workshops?

Well, then you definitely want to check out our Insight newsletter. It’s a monthly newsletter aimed at our Griffith researchers, full of interesting and enlightening information.

Learn more about our research staff by reading the monthly academic profile. Or stay up to date with the latest research workshops and training.

Maybe you want to further develop your research skills, and would like to check our posts such as What is a good research question and How to measure scholarly impact with a donut, expand your knowledge base and learn Why we can’t trust our brains, or have some fun with 6 of the best photo editing apps for mobile devices.

You can subscribe to the Insight newsletter, as well as view past editions here.