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.


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.


Get ahead with Earlybird workshops

New to study? We’ve got just the thing for you – some Earlybird workshops on PebblePad, writing university assignments, research and referencing as well as Library orientation tours.

On 26 October 2017, you have a chance to join the workshops on Nathan and Gold Coast campuses. Starting at 8:45am, the three workshops are spread over the day and you can arrange for a Library tour at the front desk of any Library.  In fact, anytime during orientation week, you can ask at your Library’s front desk of a tour!  No need to book the workshops or the tour.

Getting started on an ePortfolio on PebblePad (1hr)

Learn about Griffith’s personal learning environment – PebblePad.  Bring along a device and your login details.

Thursday 26 October 2017
Thursday 26 October 2017
Gold Coast
Nathan
8:45am
8:45am
Lecture Theatre 3 (G17_LT3)
Macrossan (N16_0.06)

Writing university assignments (2hrs)

Covers the basics of getting started on structuring and writing assignments.

Thursday 26 October 2017
Thursday 26 October 2017
Gold Coast
Nathan
1:00pm
10:00am
Lecture Theatre 3 (G17_LT3)
Macrossan (N16_0.06)

Researching and referencing for your assignment (2hrs)

Gain awareness of the wide range of information resources available at Griffith and learn to identify the principles of referencing and the process of applying them within academic work.

Thursday 26 October 2017
Thursday 26 October 2017
Gold Coast
Nathan
10:00am
1:00pm
Lecture Theatre 3 (G17_LT3)
Macrossan (N16_0.06)

Library orientation

The library is so much more than books on the shelves.

You can take a 15 minute tour of your library during orientation week.  Getting to know your library will make studying at university so much easier.

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.


Lightning Talks is Real Speak

For those of you who weren’t among the sixty plus audience members at last week’s Lightning Talks in the Nathan Campus library – have no fear, we’ve got you covered!

So what are Lightning Talks?
Lightning Talks are similar to soapbox events or Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, London, where speakers give voice to a variety of topical issues and invite discussion on current affairs.

Our academics and professional experts are invited to talk for 10 minutes to talk about their work in relation to a theme, and then the audience is invited to ask questions.

Why do we hold these talks?

We are hoping to make research and ideas more accessible, removing the stigma of ‘ivory towers’, breaking down hierarchical divisions. Lightning Talks are an extension of Griffith University’s commitment to inclusivity, and bringing disciplines together.

Our speakers for #LightningTalks3 were:

Associate Professor Georgina Murray who kicked off the talks with her discussion centring on socio-political changes occurring in the world, and the effects of neoliberal political ideology, particularly around employment. She highlighted some shocking statistics about the casualisation of the Australian labour force with some of the societal ramifications being drug addiction, financial insecurity around obtaining home loans, and a lack of sick leave. So do companies like Uber break up monopolies of power or do they further contribute to marginalisation and disenfranchisement in our turbulent times?

Dr Duncan McDonnell discussed the rise of right-wing populism internationally and compared Australia’s One Nation with the more successful right-wing populists in Western Europe. He highlighted that right-wing populism is not historically new; we just rename it to go with the current time period. And whilst Donald Trump does not conform to the populist leader ideal; it must be acknowledged how his controversial nature got him elected once, and he can be again! Across the Atlantic, populist parties in Europe do well because unlike their mainstream counterparts, they focus on grassroots community engagement.

Dr Susanna Chamberlain started with asking the question, ‘What the heck is populism?’ and then led us on a journey that linked anthropology and history to binaries around populism. Populism, it appears, is about the leader’s’ ability to identify as the ‘common person’ aka ‘we are just like you’ ideal; however, that idea is often a misnomer as one might suspect with Donald Trump’s empire building — funded by a ‘small’ loan of a million dollars from his father– that hardly mirrors the average ‘common person’s’ start in life.

Mr John Tague, Griffith Review Managing Editor, brought his experience and knowledge as an international journalist to discuss changes in journalistic reporting and political writing. Griffith Review, a compilation of long form essays, engages its audience and reinvigorates the idea that not everything can – or should – be conveyed in 140 character Tweets. Brexit, Trump and right-wing European leaders regularly take to the mediasphere, often invoking moral panic by circulating narratives about alleged racial tensions, scientific knowledges, and rise of ‘fake news’ in the post- truth politics era.

For the full story, listen here.

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Research online with eBooks

It’s that time of trimester. We’re sure you’re all buckling down, and working hard on all your upcoming assignments (not procrastinating and watching Netflix, right?).

You’re probably doing quite a bit of research, and while our libraries are wonderful places, we get that sometimes you’d rather be at home.

This is where our eResources come in handy! We have an array of journal articles and eBooks that you can access from home to help you with your research.

You can search for journal articles, databases, eBooks, and more by clicking inside the library catalogue and filtering the search parameters.

While we have eResources for all disciplines, we have recently enabled access to over 8 900 new titles published from 2015 to 2017 in the following Springer Collections:

  • Biomedical and Life Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Medicine

To access these specific eBooks, simply:

  • Jump onto the library website
  • Click inside the library catalogue, to filter the search to books on the left hand side, and then electronic only from the drop down menu
  • Type in your search terms in the main text field. Use the keywords “springer”, and one of the collection names names listed above, for example “engineering” and start browsing.

Happy researching!