Searching for data and scholarly literature

One of the first things an academic researcher does when starting a research, is to create an overview of all relevant scholarly literature published on the chosen topic. The purpose of this is to see what the latest findings are, what theoretical approaches have been followed by other researchers in the field, what sources would be interesting to use, etc. In some disciplines this search for scholarly literature is accompanied by a search for financial or statistical data sets created by institutions or commercial companies, which could be used as a starting point for new research,

Most researchers are already very experienced in finding this kind of information/data. For a scholar just starting his/her PhD, however, it might be a good idea to check if the search skills acquired as an undergraduate are adequate for the new, challenging task.

Also more experienced scholars might benefit from a quick check-up on these skills. As the information landscape is changing rapidly nowadays, what was (self) taught 10 years ago might still be good enough for day-to-day research, but it is very well possible that by now better sources, search engines or search techniques have become available. And those could save a researcher much time, or bring up better literature or data.

The University Library offers a regularly updated e-course for (beginning) scholars with which they can improve their search skills. Searching for information: advanced is available via the Training & Support portal of the University Library.