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This guide is for students of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and the Department of Computing and Communication Technologies and it brings together advice on literature searching from a variety of Oxford Brookes University Library websites. For more information follow the links in the document or contact your academic liaison librarians Lindsay Robinson or Penny Robertson
The impact of computers and the internet on learning in higher educationThis can be broken down into the following
the following list of
can be identified:
Defining your topic - keywords)
You can search any database [including the library catalogue] using one keyword, a phrase or a combination of keywords.
In order to get more relevant references for your search you may want to link your keywords together. Databases use connectors to do this. There are three main connectors:
most databases will use the connectors
but some may use symbols instead. Check the database online help guide.
Databases provide information from a number of years and will allow you to limit your search to a particular year or a year range. Check the online help if the date option is not obvious.
Truncation is a useful way of ensuring that you get as many relevant records as possible:
Finding books and journals and using databases: using databases)
Ask yourself what, who, where, why, and when:
(Source: summarised from our
evaluating web sources
Citing your sources (also called referencing) is an essential part of your academic work for several reasons:
Citing references in your work and plagiarism)
There are many different referencing styles but the most common referencing style used at Oxford Brookes University is called
Harvard. There is a guide on how to follow this referencing style at
You have the option to use the program EndNote to collect, store and manage your references. There is a desktop version (called EndNote) that you can use on any Oxford Brookes computer, and a cloud version (called EndNote Web) that you can access
from any computer with internet access. Please see our
pages for more information.
There is a PDF version of this guide that you can download or print from https://radar.brookes.ac.uk/radar/items/3b362444-0884-4081-855b-3ecba695230e/1/