Welcome to the Statistics and Actuarial post- gradaute 2021 Library Guide. In this guide, we aim to bring together all information related to conducting your research in a single place
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 on modern town planning in the Netherlands
Town planning modern Netherlands
urban planning current Holland
city planning contemporary Amsterdam
urban design twentieth century Dutch
Combine rows with OR and columns with AND operators.
Search string: ("town planning" OR "urban planning" OR "city planning" OR "urban design") AND (modern OR current OR contemporary OR twentieth century) AND (Netherlands OR Holland OR Amsterdam OR Dutch)
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)
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.
IRESS (IRESS provides financial data and company information across various sectors and has valuable historical content. For example:
• Published Financial Statements going back to 1988
• Corporate Actions going back to 2003
• Dividend History going back to 1970
* Annual Reports in PDF going back to 1995
• JSE Equity prices going back to 1990
• SENS News going back to 1996
Expert only has data for local back to 1994 and International back to 2006
Scopus. ( Scopus reference guide )
"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].