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How to Research

Getting Started

Taking time to prepare for your information search at the beginning of your project can seem like a luxury you can't afford. However, you should be concerned with being as efficient as possible in terms of your information search. Taking the time to analyse your topic and prepare to search can save you from getting distracted along your information seeking journey.

For more information see Analysing your topic and Preparing to search

The Literature Review

An important part of your research will be to provide a summary of relevant literature to support your arguments. Finding appropriate literature can be a challenge, but the skills learned during the process will be useful throughout your lifetime. The library offers training in these skills. If you would like some help, please come and ask us.

For more information see Guide to doing a Literature Review

Searching for Information

There are three major sources of information in the library that require searching.

Locating & Evaluating

Once you have some references from your searches you will need to locate the actual information source, whether it be a book, journal article, or web resource. You will also need to evaluate the information to ensure it will meet your need.

For more information see Locating Information and Evaluating Information


You will be expected to present your research in a format appropriate to your subject area. The library holds a substantial collection of books to help you present your research appropriately. Most of these books will be found at the call number 808.06 but there are some elsewhere in the collection. Try searching our Library Catalogue or asking at the Information Desk.

Most subject areas will require you to provide a bibliography or reference list. Compiling this can be a source of frustration but it can be made easier with the use of the bibliographic management software EndNote. EndNote is available on all Unitec computers. The library can lend you this software to install on your home computer, and we run training courses on how to use it.

In addition, we have some webpages with advice on how to construct your references.

For more information see Citing & Referencing and EndNote Guides.

Advanced Research

Our Advanced Research page contains information for senior research students and staff. It has sections on scholarly communication, obtaining grants, finding theses and citation tracking.