Click on the link above then search for readings by typing in the subject code or subject name. Your readings may also be linked in your LearnJCU subject site.
If you are having trouble accessing readings remember there is more than one pathway available to you.
Click on the link above then search for past exams by subject code.
Past exams are not available for all subjects.
The first thing to consider when searching is what you need to find. To do this, you should define your topic.
|Synonym/Related term||anatomy & physiology||canine|
See more about identifying keywords and synonyms.
Need help with defining a term or topic? Credo includes a range of health and medicine related dictionaries, encyclopaedias, handbooks and more related to biomedical sciences, including Black's Medical Dictionary.
Use a search strategy to find information more effectively and efficiently by:
AND, OR and NOT are known as Boolean operators.
- AND (find all these words) - E.G. anatomy AND skeleton
- OR (find any of these words) - E.G. horse OR equine
- NOT (do not include results with this word) - E.G. Streptococcal infection NOT human
Knowing when and how to use Boolean operators effectively can greatly improve search results.
See more about using Boolean operators.
When modifying keywords, consider using:
Phrase searching involves placing double quotation marks ("__") around two or more words to create a search term.
This technique narrows the search to retrieve only those results in which the exact phrase appears.
Truncation is a searching technique used in databases in which a word ending is replaced by a symbol.
The most commonly used truncation symbol is the asterisk (*). Check the database help page if you have problems.
Example: the truncated word, behav*, will search for results containing behave, behavior, behaviour, behavioural's etc.
Wildcards are symbols used in database searches to represent a letter or letters within a word to be able to search different forms or spelling simultaneously. The types of wildcards can differ from database to database. Check the database help page for more details.
Example:Behavio?r will find behaviour (English spelling) or behavior (US spelling)
See more about developing your search strategy
When evaluating your results, you should consider the following questions.
What is the intended audience?
Questions to ask to determine this include:
- Is it written for researchers or a general audience?
- Is the language technical or filled with jargon or can anyone understand it?
- Does it have informative tables and figures or lots of glossy pictures?
- Does it have a formal layout - such as Introduction, Methodology, Results, Conclusion or is it just a whole article?
- Does it include references or not?
If the answer to each question is the first option, it is more likely to be a scholarly publication suitable for use by university students. Go to our Evaluating Sources guide to find more about scholarly and popular publications.
Is the content biased?
It is impossible to be totally value-neutral (unbiased). As such the best that can be hoped for is that perspectives/bias be recognised.
Even significantly biased data may still be useful as long as you recognise the bias. You may need to look for resources with differing bias to get a balanced picture.
To determine bias, ask:
- Is it clear whether the content comes an advertiser or from a non-commercial source?
- What is the purpose of the resource? is it trying to inform you or sell you something?
- Does it make reasonable statements? Or dramatic claims?
- Do you know what bias the author or publisher has ? Do a search on the author/publisher to see what other resources they are associated with.
- Does the source provide a balanced viewpoint, or just one side of an argument?
To determine authority for published information, ask:
- Who is the author or creator of the information?
- What are his or her credentials or qualifications for writing on this subject?
- Is there any indication of the author's education, other publications, professional affiliations or experience? Does it provide details of where they work?
- Is contact information provided such as an e-mail address, postal address or phone number?
- Have they written other material in this field of research? Try doing a search to find other published materials by the author.
- Has the author been cited in other bibliographies? Do a citation search to find where they have been cited by other authors.
- Which organisation has published the information?
- Is the publisher reputable and scholarly? As you become more familiar with your subject area you will become more aware of which publishers have more authority.
For Online resources i.e. websites/web pages etc you should also consider:
- Is the web page provided by an individual, a business, a government department or an educational institution?
- Is there an "about us" page which tells you who runs the site and what its purpose is?
Peer-review (also known as refereeing) is the process journal editors use to ensure the articles they publish meet the standards of good scholarship. Academic papers (journal articles, research papers etc) are examined by a panel of other scholars in the field (the author's peers). The panel may decide to accept the paper, recommend revision or reject it completely.
Look at our Evaluating Sources guide to find out more about peer review and how to identify peer reviewed articles.
How accurate is it?
- Do the facts fit with what you already know? Why / why not?
- Are there cited (and verifiable) references for its information – this is just as necessary for online resources such as websites etc.
- Does the information agree with that given by at least 2 other credible resources?
- Does the information contradict itself?
- Is the information complete or are there obvious gaps?
- Do the facts provided seem too good to be true?
How current is the information?
- Is the information current and up-to-date? Does it need to be?
- Is it clearly stated when the information was written and/or updated?
- Is the information on the page obviously outdated?
- Are there a lot of broken links?
- Does the bibliography end some years ago?
Check with your lecturer how recent you assignment resources need to be. Many databases let you specify a date range when searching.
You can also use the Cornell Method Template to critically read and analyse the information contained in the articles you find in your results.
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