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MHS Library | Extended Research Project Year 10

Research Process

  1. Plan how you will tackle the research.
  2. Identify possible resources to use such as: journal articles, books, newspaper articles, or websites.
  3. Locate resources in the library and online.
  4. Evaluate the resources you have found critically.
  5. Document the details of the resources you use.

SLV - ERGO

Ergo

Learn how to improve your research skills to get the best information and results. The State Library of Victoria takes you through the steps.

Can l use Wikipedia?

You need to think about how to use Wikipedia. It's okay to use it as a starting point to get your bearings, browse different sections to get an overview of the general content, then look at the sources used. 

See the guide for using Wikipedia in your research.

Is Wikipedia a credible source?

Searching EBSCO database

Using a database ensures the information has been reviewed (PEER REVIEWED) for authority and accuracy.

Search databases, articles, newspapers, journals, magazines online MHS have subscribed to.

  • Select EBSCOhost research database to search all of the EBSCO content.
  •  or Select Science Reference Centre
  • Select Advanced Search
  • Refine your search using some of the following options: date of publication, publication type, document type and lexile reading level 
  • Enter keyword/s eg plant growth 
  • Search

Evaluating sources

Google

Image result for Google

Google can be very helpful but it is much more useful if you know how to use it effectively.

Some basic search tips:

  • Use quotation marks when searching for a phrase e.g. "climate change"
  • Use the I'm feeling lucky button to find the most popular website on a topic

Search website titles:

  • e.g. allintitle:climate change

Search specific sites or domains:

  •  eg: site:edu            (searchs .edu sites only)
  • eg: site:.gov         (searches only government sites)

Search for specific document types:

  • eg: filetype:pdf          filetype:ppt               filetype:xls

Find a definition:

  • eg: define: nanotechnology

Advanced search option:

  • You can combine many of the above commands and add date restrictions, if you start your search in the Advanced Search screen

Google Scholar

TIP: You can use filetype:pdf in your search e.g genetics filetype:pdf to find PDF versions of articles. If you find an article in Google Scholar that you can't access, try searching for it in our library databases.

Google Scholar Search Tips

Alternative Search Engines

Carrot2 is a visual search engine. After you enter your keywords for your search choose to display as "treemap" or "pie-chart", this will categorise and visual the results. The search results are similar to Google, in a categorised form.

DuckDuckGo is a search engine without trackers. Although it appears childish, again it's search results are similar to Google. It is a powerful search engine for "primary" sources of information, simply add the word "primary" after your keywords when searching.

Evaluate your web search results

If you search via search engines, the results you find have not been reviewed by an authority for accuracy  (as opposed to databases which have been reviewed). Therefore you must evaluate the information before using.

Evaluating resources:

A number of factors must be considered when analysing the resources that you have used, such as:

  • The scientific content - is it accurate or not?
  • The detail provided - is the information discussed in depth or only superficially?
  • The accessibility of the language - is it easy to read and understand?
  • The credibility of the source - can you trust the information given by the source?
  • The bias or impartiality of the source - are both sides of the argument covered equally?