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Engineering

Introduction

Developing your information skills is an important part of learning and studying and will help you succeed at university and beyond.

The sections below will help you develop your information skills to make sure you use your time in the best way.  Find out how to:

  • Decide if a source is suitable for your assignment, essay or dissertation that you’re writing 
  • Identify simple search techniques and use some tips and tricks to get the most out of your searches
  • Use the search generator tool to generate a search string that you can paste into the library catalogue, databases and search engines

You can jump to the resources you need right now using the menu boxes on the left.  Have a look at the Library Catalogue to find books and more, or try the Articles and eResources tab to find articles from journals, newspapers, magazines plus a range of other subject relevant materials.

Understanding Quality and Evaluating Sources

Once you’ve found a piece of information, you will be expected to judge its reliability and suitability to be used in an academic assignment.  This page outlines the key things to think about when evaluating information.

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Currency

  • Is the source up to date?  Does it need to be for your needs?
  • When was it published - can you easily find this information?

Reliability

  • Has your source been officially published? 
  • Has it been reviewed (by a publisher or peer-reviewed for articles)?
  • Is the content backed up with references to other sources that support it?

Authority

  • Who wrote it?  What is their background and qualifications? 
  • Do you trust that they are qualified to write about the topic?

Purpose

  • Why was this source written? 
  • Do you trust the purpose behind it? 
  • Does the author want to share research or contribute to the understanding of a topic, for example? 
  • Is it trying to sell you a point of view or product (and if so, you will need to be aware of this if you do use it in your research)?

Simple Search Techniques

Find out how to get started with simple searching techniques for finding the information you need

 

Search Statement Generator

Information Skills: test your knowledge?

Guided Learning Activity