Visit the #SmartResearcher library calendar for more information on our workshops: copyright issues in theses and dissertation writing, how to conduct a literature review, Mendeley for reference management and more!
Databases contains articles with information that will guide you to the answers you seek. Instead of searching with questions on databases, you have to search for information using KEYWORDS.
When extracting KEYWORDS from your assignment or essay, you need to look at the key concepts that encapsulate your assignment.
Is it true that economic growth makes the rich richer and the poor poorer?
Note: The concepts that you are looking for are not always expressed in the
language of the assignment or question, but often through other related terms.
See the Guide for step-by-step instructions.
AND – returns results with both keywords. AND usually limits the search results
OR – returns results with one or the other keyword.It broadens your results by connecting two or more synonyms.
NOT – returns results excluding specific keywords
Use the Boolean Machine for visualizing the effects of Boolean operators .
Quotation Marks “ ” – keep keywords together, for exact phrase searching
Brackets ( ) – keep concepts together, used for synonyms
("green energy" OR "sustainable energy" OR "renewable energy") AND (logistics OR "supply chain")
Building blocks Search strategy
Identify keywords, write next to each other
Think of synonyms or alternatives for these words
Write these words under the corresponding keywords in blocks
Find articles about the tax treatment and regulations of cryptocurrencies
Tax cryptocurrency Regulation
levy virtual currency rules
tariff bitcoin policy
fee digital currency act
Combine rows with AND and columns with OR operators.
Search string: (tax OR levy OR tariff OR fee OR rate) AND (cryptocurrency OR "virtual currency" OR bitcoin OR "digital currency" OR peercoin) AND (regulation OR rules OR policy OR act)
Quick-and-easy” search method
1. What would be the title of your search?
2. Identify the main keywords
3. Which keyword is most vital (and which next)?
4. think about some proper search terms (other than those words jotted down already, synonyms, related terms, scientific names etc.)
5. Compose a simple query using a few important terms linked by ‘AND’ or ‘OR’ operators
Use quotation marks “…” for adjacent words or two or more words that make up a single concept (e.g. “attention deficit disorder”). Group synonyms and related terms together in brackets
5. The search engine or database will give lists of records. Reduce the number of records displayed and increase relevancy by restricting them according to publication date, etc.
The impact of genetically modified foods on our lives
Search terms: genetically modified food, GM food, transgenic food, food safety, food risks, allergic reactions, health
Search string: (“genetically modified food” OR “GM food” OR “transgenic food") AND ("food safety"OR "food risks" OR "allergic reactions"OR health)
Bruner, G.C. 2019. Marketing scales handbook : multi-item measures for consumer insight research. Volume 10. Fort Worth, Texas: GCBII Productions, LLC.
Ramsøy, T.Z. & Skov, M. 2014. Brand preference affects the threshold for perceptual awareness: Brand preference affects consciousness. Journal of consumer behaviour. 13(1):1–8. DOI: 10.1002/cb.1451
What is a Library Links preference on Google Scholar and how can I do it from home?
A Library Links preference allows you set your preferred Library Choice in Google Scholar. It will then automatically detect when an article is freely available via any of the electronic platforms that Stellenbosch University Library subscribes to. Use the guide below to change your Google Scholar settings on your own computer.
*Google puts an AND between spaces
*Case does not matter - except for operators (AND/OR/NOT)▪Can use + (AND) or - (NOT)
*Word order matters, Google ranks results according to the order you search in
*Google ignores punctuation
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a web address for a page or document on the World Wide Web. We can make some educated guesses about the reliability of a web site if we know a little about URLs.
Each URL (for example http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/internships), consists of an access protocol (http), a domain name (www.whitehouse.gov), and an optional path to a file or resource residing on that server (about/internships).
The domain name indicates the organization responsible for the site (www.whitehouse.gov in the example above). The top-level domain indicates the type of site (gov in the example above).
The most common top-level domains and the type of site they indicate are:
In general, .gov and .edu web sites are more reliable than .com web sites.
"Plagiarism is the theft and use of the ideas, material and other intellectual property of others that are passed off as one’s own." SU Senate. 1 Dec 2016. Stellenbosch University policy on academic integrity: the prevention and handling of plagiarism [Internet]. Stellenbosch University. Available: Policy document. [2017, 1 February].
Turnitin is a tool to check the originality of your written work and it will provide guidelines where necessary to you regarding where and how you can improve it. Consult the Turnitin Libray Guide for more detail.
TURNITIN is available via http://learn.sun.ac.za; be sure to use Mozilla Firefox.
TURNITIN login problems & Help:
How does TURNITIN work:
See video on how Turnitin works and an explanation for the colour-coding in the feedback report.
A how-to manual for the reference management tool, Mendeley
Mendeley for reference management webinars 2023
Tue, 28 February (11:00-13:00)
Thu, 23 March (14:00-16:00)
Tue, 18 April (11:00-13:00)
Thu, 11 May (14:00-16:00)
Wed, 26 July (11:00-13:00)
Thu, 10 August (14:00-16:00)
Wed, 20 September (11:00-13:00)
Thu, 5 October (14:00-16:00)
Mendeley Mondays (Online) - Mendeley Mondays are aimed at users who are both new and experienced to Mendeley, but who struggle with specific issues. Register on the Library training calendar.