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The College: Other resources

Effective searching with Google

Google can be a useful tool for finding information online. However, it can be difficult to find the most relevant and reliable sources of information from a list of thousands or millions of results. Don't assume the results at the top are the best ones! The following strategies will help you search Google more effectively.

Search a website or group of websites

Use your keywords and the command site:url to find results from one website or from a group of websites. For instance, a search for foundation phase site:gov.wales will find information about the Foundation Phase from the Welsh Government website. You could use site:ac.uk to search academic websites.

Find a particular type of document

Use the command filetype: to limit your search to a particular type of document. This can be useful if you are looking for a certain type of information. For example, if you government documents are likely to be published in PDF form, so you could use filetype:pdf to limit your results to PDFs and make it easier to find what you need. Numerical data is likely to appear in a spreadsheet, so you could use filetype:xls to look for Excel documents.

Google Scholar searches scholarly literature such as journal articles and abstracts, but you may have difficulty accessing the full-text of the material you find. Linking your Google Scholar account to Swansea University will help with this. Just go to the settings cog from the menu

 

and then go to Library Links to find Swansea University.

 

Why use library databases instead of Google Scholar?

Although Google Scholar can be useful, iFind and subject databases such as Science Direct have certain key advantages:-

  • Identify peer-reviewed articles.
  • Easy access to an abstract (summary of the article).
  • Easy access to the full article, where available, with no extra charges.
  • Citations and reference lists for each article - usefull for widening your reading.
  • Pre-publication research.
  • Be more organised -  options to email, download & integration with bibliography managers (like Endnote).

How to find reference material

For quick access to reliable facts use reference resources such as dictionaries and encyclopaedias.

The library provides access to as wide range of reference materials, both in print and online. You can find them by searching iFind.

Is it OK to use Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is an online encyclopaedia. Anyone can created and edited information on Wikipedia. When you search the internet Wikipedia pages often appear towards the top of the search results. Like any encyclopaedia,  Wikipedia can be useful for getting an initial understanding of a subject, but you should not rely it to get information for your assignments. The person marking your assignment wants to see references to books, journal articles and other subject specific information sources that show that you have read widely and developed a good understanding of the topic.

Box of Broadcasts (BoB)

Newspapers

The following short course will explain how to find newspaper articles.  Click the image below to launch the course.

Alternatively click on the tabs to find the links directly to newspaper resources.

Finding newspaper articles tutorial

NexisUK is a database of international quality newspapers including the Times, Guardian, Independent, Le Monde, Die Zeit, Australasian Business Intelligence, International Herald Tribune, South China Morning Post, Moscow Times. It contains newspapers from the early 1990s to the present.

Why use it?

  • The user can cross-search several newspapers at once.
  • The databases provide full text articles free of change, no need to register.
  • The user can easily limit a search by journalist's name, language, country or a single newspaper title.

The Economist is a weekly magazine covering business, finance, economics, science, technology and the arts. Articles from The Economist can be found in the ProQuest Business Collection.

As well as containing articles from the Economist ProQuest Business Collection provides access to other news items. Search using your keywords then refine by 'Source Type' on the right hand side of the results page.