Knowing how to construct an efficient and effective search based on an understanding of how search systems work is becoming increasingly important in a world overwhelmed by access to information. It is important to create a solid functional search; it is equally important to understand the difference between constructing a search and undertaking research, to choose appropriate approaches, to select suitable sources and resources, and to pursue the search / research process ethically.
Every search is different, and every person pursuing a search has his/her own knowledge, needs, time constraints, and expectations. These elements, along with others, will influence how you approach a search.
Sometimes, you have lots of time and you just want to see what's out there. For moments like that, try:
Other times, you may discover that searching for particular types of information is easier if you pursue a particular search strategy based on the type of information you seek or the "container" which holds it. For some suggestions, try:
Research methods vary from discipline to discipline and frequently are driven by the needs of the researcher.
The chosen methodology will, in turn, influence the choice of research resources. For an introductory overview see: Research Basics.
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Created: 1999/10/10 Last updated: 2013/09/02
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