Starting Your Search

Make sure you appreciate the difference between primary Book-iconKeyword Definition original texts, such as a journal article giving an account of research carried out by the authors of the article. Another example would be an autobiography, photograph, film. and secondary Book-iconKeyword Definition opinions or commentary on other people’s work. Authors of books and journal articles often refer to previous related work, these accounts are secondary sources. These can include textbooks, journal articles and biographies. research. Try and consult the primary source where possible.

Thinking About Your Keywords

When you have a topic to research, mind mapping can be a useful tool to generate more keywords or, alternatively, narrow your search criteria. You can mind map either by drawing out a mind map on paper or by using software such as Inspiration, MindView (contact the IT Support Desk for more details on how to access this software) or some of the features in Microsoft Word. For more information about mind mapping see the books by Tony Buzan in the Library.

By Tony Buzan
By Tony Buzan


 This is what a mind map looks like:



Watch the short video below for an example of how to create a mind map using MindView 4 software.


Mind mapping

Transcript of creating a mind map using MindView 4 [DOC]


Owl's Top Hoot

A good idea is to look at the keywords used by the authors in any research you have identified. They may have used keywords which you have not identified.


Documenting Your Search

As you begin to research, it is useful to make a note of which databases you are using and the search terms you have used, so that you have a record or checklist. A table such as below may be useful.  Some databases offer an option where you can create your own account, see the Managing your Research section for further details.


 Date Database  Search terms Limits applied  Amount of results
 19/03/2013 PQ Central   "health visiting" Date 2010-2013 only   761