The Research Process

Starting at the Start-

When you are first starting out with any kind of research (especially if it is your first time using an academic library) it can be quite overwhelming. But if you divide it up into separate steps it doesn't have to be too scary!

Probably the first thing that your lecturer will give you is a reading list on a particular topic. Then they might give you an assignment based on that reading list/topic. What you want to know is how do you find the books/journals on that reading list. Here's what you need to do:

  • Try Browsing- many students browse the shelves for books when first looking for information on a topic. Textbooks are arranged in order of 'call number' which is found on the spine of the book (e.g. 301- Sociology or 370- Education). These numbers have been allocated according to the subject matter of the book. This means that books on a similar topic will usually be found together on the shelves. But you won't find everything you want this way so...
  • Use the Library Catalogue- all material held in DIT Libraries is on the Catalogue which lists the books (or other material) that the library holds on a particular subject. It will give location details and list how many copies are available. Try a Keyword or Subject Search around your topic and then find the material on the shelves (using the call number). If you need any help using the catalogue or finding a particular book please ask a member of staff. For more information on Keyword searching please see the guides below. 

Keyword Searching on the OPAC- Early Childhood Education    

Keyword Searching on the OPAC- Social Science


Next Expanding your Research

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