The research process
Step 1: Define the topic.
- What do you want to know?
- Try to identify precisely what you are looking for.
Step 2: Create your search terms.
- What will be the keywords to look for?
Start with broad terms, work towards narrower terms;
- Use subject headings and indexes;
- Use a thesaurus for alternative words;
- Use wildcard characters (eg *).
Step 3: Use Boolean operators.
- Use AND and OR to combine words and phrases.
Step 4: Use limiting parameters.
- How can you limit your search?
- By date?
- By geographic location?
- By type of person?
Where to find what?
Step 5: Use a variety of information sources.
What information sources are most appropriate for your search?
- Books in our Library – use the online catalogue ESTER;
- e-Books – use the e-Books Databases;
- Journals – check the A-Z in Search Portal PRIMO;
- Articles from Journals – use the online Databases or Search Portal Primo;
- Conference proceedings – use the Databases ACM Digital Library, IEEE Xplore; Web of Science; Scopus
- Internet – use the Google Scholar.
If you are off-campus, use the VPN service https://toru.ttu.ee to access our licensed resources. Google Scholar does not index all of our licensed e-journals, so try A-Z in Search Portal PRIMO if you don’t find it in Google Scholar.
Step 6: Evaluate the sources.
Are the sources that you have found suitable?
- Quantity – how extensive is the source?
- Relevance – Is the resource relevant to your topic?
- Authority – how qualified is the author?
- Quality – is the source reputable?
- Currency - is the resource up-to-date?
Step 7: Use your information appropriately.
- Learn how to cite references properly (see your tutor).
Refine and repeat until you have the information that you need.
- Citation Styles and Examples