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Sarah Wolfenden @BSSLibrarian Social Sciences Subject Librarian

Really useful tips to make finding information EASIER

#1: Subject guides will keep you afloat.

Go to or follow the link from the library homepage to Subject Guides and choose either Politics or History. Choose the second tab along – Databases.

Clicking the title will take you to the resource.

Read the blurb beneath each one to find out what’s in it and for any more log-in information.

#2. Summon your results

The Library website

“total war” AND historical change

Use the filters on the left hand side to narrow your search. Try limiting your results to journals, newspapers or by publication date. You can also search by Full Text only.

Search tips…     

Identify keywords Think of alternative terms Link words using AND Use OR to include alternative terms Use truncation: histor* will find history, histories, historical etc  Use inverted commas: “inclusive citizenship”

#3. Save your time

Once you have searched for your topic, click the alert/save/share link at the top right hand side of the page. This will ensure you are notified if new articles are published which match your search. Look out for variant spellings on other databases.

Using social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs can help you keep up to date with researchers, practioners and generally what is going on in the field.

To save time, you can set up a social media dashboard to monitor lots of different sites and keep track of areas you are interested in. Go to to get started.

Search for whatever topic you like. Selecting the available sources tab will let you choose which sites to keep.

The URL will change when you make your selections, creating a link to your own personal dashboard.

You can then check this whenever you like.

Like Facebook – but for academics and researchers‌

Google Google

Escape the Google bubble‌. log out before searching

Google Google

Use for filter free academic searching‌

#4. Follow the research trail Follow the research trail

Use Bibliographies to guide you to further sources. If you come across papers at other universities, try locating from Institutional Repositories. For a list of these, see:

Use your SCONUL access to visit other University libraries.

British Library: reference only, need to register:

#5. Start managing your references

Many databases will provide the reference required

Open the reference tab, then select Harvard from the style list.

Manage your references by using the Referencing tool in Word

Where do you find the information you need to reference? What about websites? You may need to search for the information. If you are unable to locate a date or, especially, an author, you should reconsider the Using RefWorks to create and manage your validity of the website as a source.

bibliography may help you keep on top of your information. What types of websites can you usually consider a reliable source? What should you watch out for?

To find Refworks; select the Researchers tab on the Library homepage.

#6.Use the support available

The Pod: drop in sessions from 1pm

Getting help in the Library ‘Got a question?’ Our online question bank: LibChat

9.30am – 4.30pm

Ask at the Help Desk. Email: Brunel University Library

Getting more help… Each School has a dedicated Subject Liaison Librarian.

I’m yours!


We can help you with… 

Searching for information

Enquiries about library services and resources

Keeping up to date

6 key tips to make finding information easier 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Subject guides will keep you afloat. Summon your results Save your time Follow the research trail Start managing your references Use the support available

6 Really useful tips to help make your academic life easier  

Brunel University Library guide