How to start the search

Define a problem statement

• What are you looking for? Do you need wide knowledge about a topic, or in-depth knowledge? Do you need a specific answer or a broad result?

• Formulating the problem statement as a question can be preferable.

• The further search process may make it necessary to alter or modify the problem statement.

Set up a search profile

• Use correct search words/terms

• Think synonyms

• Think specific terms, also in other languages

Use background information

• Contact experts such as your lecturer or tutor for help with finding the correct terms.

• Use handbooks, encyclopaedias, dictionaries and course books.

Search databases to find books and journals

• Use search words when searching the library databases, and at this early stage you will be interested in a broad selection of information rather than limiting the information. Hence you should use wide search words.

• When you get relevant results you should use the topic words they are registered with and make a new search. It is a good idea to look out for books that give a full overview of a topic.

• If you find too many or too few sources you need to either limit or extend your search terms.

Search article databases

• You should make it a habit to read journals within your subject field. You will find the latest editions on the journal shelves. These journals provide the most updated information

• The library also provides access to databases of journal articles from Norwegian and foreign journals and e-journals.


Check the bibliographies/reference lists in books and journal articles. These lists may provide you with information on other relevant literature.

Published June 18, 2018 3:45 PM - Last modified June 18, 2018 3:45 PM