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Finding and Using Information: Finding and Using Information

Beginning your assignment

Building Your Search Strategy

Sample topic

What are the benefits of sports participation for teenagers?

Identifying key terms -the key terms for your search will be teenagers and sports

Choosing your search terms - examine all synonyms and related terms

teenagers, teen, teens, youth, young adult, adolescent, juvenile,

Sports, athletics, physical activity, physical activity

Combining search terms using boolean operators AND, OR, NOT

teenagers AND sports, will find all of your search terms and will also refine or focus your search

teenagers OR teens OR young adults, will include the alternate keywords and expand your search

teenagers NOT children, should exclude children and will narrow your search





Identifying Sources for Your Assignment

Take away tips for researching

  • Read the abstract
  • Build your keywords
  • Search by title and abstract
  • Use subject headings
  • Combine subject headings and free text keywords

Too many results...

  • Select some relevant, build your keywords and search again
  • Refine by year, study or review type

Too few results...

  • Select some relevant, build your keywords and search again
  • Use OR between words to expand your search


Finding and Using Information in a Digital World

We are all living, learning and working in a digital world and increasingly we need to know how to:

"use digital tools to find good quality information, be critically aware of the strengths and shortcomings of such information, be able to make sense, interpret and apply that information for our needs, then communicate our findings, and, potentially, also develop both confidence and creativity in using and engaging with tools and resources"


All Aboard! (2015) Towards A National Digital Skills Framework For Irish Higher Education, p 3.