When searching for sources, everything depends on choosing the applicable search terms.
It is important to pick out key concepts in project descriptions, and use those as search terms; for example, What is the correlation between anorexia and depression? The key concepts here are correlation, anorexia, and depression.
One must also think outside the box and find synonyms, narrower terms, and/or broader terms, whether it be in English or other languages. Using the example above on the correlation between anorexia and depression then:
The following web sites can be useful in finding synonyms and related terms:
Most often it is not enough to use one single search term; this usually returns limited search results. When using more than one search term, so-called Boolean operators, AND, OR, and NOT, are used and these are always written in capital letters.
Most search engines and databases understand space between words in such a way that both search terms should be searched for (or all the search terms if there are more than two search terms), although this is by no means universal.
In Google and Google Scholar the plus sign (+) is used instead of AND and the minus sign / dash (-) instead of NOT.
In most databases and library systems, the advanced search feature provides users with the option of selecting the Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT in drop-down menus and thus connect search terms.
Place quotation marks “...” around search terms that are to be kept together, for example,
Quotation marks can also be used together with Boolean operators - for example:
Google is by far the most popular search engine today.
When searching with Google, the search engine understands spaces between search terms as a request for web pages containing both search terms (or all of them if more than two search terms are entered) on the same web page.
To ensure that both or all search terms occur on each web page displayed in the search results, a plus sign (+) must be entered in front of all search terms and placed right up against the terms, for example,
If search terms are to be excluded from search results, a minus sign / dash (-) is used and placed right up against the terms, for example,
Always place quotation marks around words that are to be kept together when searching on Google, for example,
When searching for academic sources online, it is highly recommended to use Google Scholar which finds articles in academic journals in addition to other reliable online sources. Google Scholar can be configured in such a way that the search engine provides links to the full text of journal articles within databases that the library has access to. In such cases, Til|Available@RU.is appears on the right side of the screen.
To set Google Scholar so that it accesses sources in the library subscribed databases, see instructions for configuration.
Not all web pages fall under the definition of being reliable sources. Web pages hosted by public institutions should, however, in most instances qualify as reliable sources.
The following criteria are often used to assess the reliability of web pages:
Who is the author of the material? Can the author be contacted—is, for example, the e-mail address of the person available?
Does the author have expert knowledge in this particular field - is the author, for example, a specialist at the institution that hosts the web page?
The library subscribes to numerous databases, in addition to providing access to domestic and foreign databases that are free of charge. An overview of the databases can be found on the database page.
The main databases are the following:
The journal list allows you to access every journal that the library subscribes to. The journals are accessible through our databases, some accessible through more than one database. If you are searching for a specific journal, type the title of that journal in the search window on the journal list. Change the interface to English and check the box "Starts with".
You can also browse through the journal list by typing in a word that you want a journal title to include, i.e. accounting. You can even type in the stem of the word along with a star, i.e. account* and check the box "Contains", which should yield results with every possible ending of that particular word.
The search results should give links to the journal/-s, which could be accessible in one or more databases. You should also see information about the journal account, i.e. how far back the subscription goes, if there is an embargo (the most recent issues are commonly not accessible) and a symbol stating whether the journal is peer-reviewed (a magnifying glass and a paper).
General search techniques for students who need sources for an academic paper:
Identify key terms and phrases related to your topic: Start by brainstorming a list of relevant terms and phrases that you can use to search for sources. This will help you find information that is closely related to your topic.
Use advanced search features: Many search engines have advanced search features that allow you to filter your results based on specific criteria. You can use these features to limit your search to certain types of sources, such as scholarly articles or books, or to a specific date range.
Utilize databases: Reykjavik University has access to online databases containing many scholarly resources. These databases are often organized by subject area and can provide access to academic journals, books, and other sources.
Check citations: Once you have found a relevant source, check its references and citations for additional sources. This is a great way to find more resources that are closely related to your topic.
Use different search engines: Different search engines may yield different results, so try using multiple search engines to find a variety of sources.
Be specific in your searches: The more specific you are in your searches, the more likely you are to find relevant sources. Use specific keywords and phrases, and try to avoid using broad terms that may generate irrelevant results.
Evaluate sources for credibility: Once you have found potential sources, evaluating their credibility is important. Look for sources that have been published by reputable publishers or institutions, and check the author's credentials to ensure they are qualified to write on the topic.
Overall, combining these techniques can help you find high-quality sources for your academic paper. It's important to take the time to search carefully and critically evaluate each source to ensure its relevance and credibility.