What kind of information can be found in which sources As a rule of thumb, you should use sources when writing your paper. You can use several types of sources:
- Definitions can often be found in encyclopedias or textbooks.
- Basic information and in-depth approaches to a narrow topic can usually be found in books (and encyclopedias)
- Research results can be found in scientific articles
- Summaries and results from a project can be found in rapports.
This is a basic explanation, but it should give you a glimpse of where you should start your search. See also “Search and Find”-site for links on how to find sources.
What does it mean to use sources
Using sources can strengthen your writing in many ways. First, you learn something new that can help you gain a new perspective. Second, you show that you base your arguments and decision on the foundation of practice and research. You also give others an intro to the theme, and it can help the readers to find out more on their own. Read more about this on Use and cite sources.
How to search? (Search techniques)
I am writing a thesis on universal design in a public space. The first thing I do is make a list of the elements I need to include:
- Laws on universal design
- What counts as a public space and what types of public spaces I want to write about
- What are the challenges
- Who are the participants when planning and implementing universal design in public spaces
The next thing I must think about is what I must know more about:
- Definition/Description of what public buildings are
- The role of the architects and the municipalities in the process, and how they work together
- How remodeling existing buildings is done and results from previous attempts
- What is stated in public offers
Once this is done, I know what I need. The law can be found on Lovdata.no. The offers are on Doffin. I need research results of remodeling existing buildings and the teamwork between participants. Now I am ready to start my search.
Finn gode ord og begrep
Find good keywords and concepts
Before you start your search:
- Make a list of terms you already know
- Are there other words that can be used in searching, such as synonyms or related concepts?
- Is the word spelled right?
Getting too many results?
- Have you used a word too general?
- Use more specific search words. You will get better results by searching "children and depression" rather than "child psychology".
- Refine the search. Most databases let you refine your search by year, language, type of publication, etc.
- Combine keywords for a more precise search.
- Put compound words in hyphens so that the database will interpret the word as a phrase: e.g., “clinical competence”. That way the database will search from clinical competence as a term instead “clinical” and “competence” as two different things.
I search for universal design and public spaces. The results give me too many articles. What I want is articles on remodeling existing buildings with a focus on universal design. I therefore try:
"universal design" AND (remodeling OR rebuilding OR renovation) AND "public buildings"
This gave me more precise results because universal design was interpreted as a compound word, and I also included remodeling and public buildings. The word remodeling has many synonyms. Therefore, I use three different words but put them all in hyphens, so that “universal design” is connected to either remodeling or rebuilding or renovation.
Fikk du for få treff?
Getting few results?
- Use truncation.
- Try other words or synonyms.
- Make sure your search words are spelled correctly.
In some cases, we do not get enough results from our searches. Sometimes it could be because the subject area is too small or so new that it has little research. In other cases, it could be because we either are doing the wrong searches or using the wrong databases.
I got too few results on my search for universal design. I try to widen my search while still trying to maintain the precision. First, I try using truncation. That means I shorten my search word, but use a special symbol so that the database not only searches for remodeling, but remodel, remodeling, remodelings etc. I also add synonyms for universal design, such as “inclusive design”. I also add a synonym for buildings. My search becomes:
("universal design" OR "inclusive design") AND (remodel* OR rebuild* OR renovat*) AND ("public buildings" OR "public facilities")