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Strengthen your research mapping - ask AU Library for assistance

AU Library is ready to assist you with your search techniques when you have to map out a research field. This creates a much more systematic and targeted search process - not least in large projects. Here you might even consider the search process in the project application, says research librarian Gina Bay.

2018.10.29 | Sinne B. Jakobsen

Photo: Colourbox

 

It is not always easy to develop a systematic and rigorous literature review when using search databases to map out a research field. There is a huge range of databases, and they may differ significantly in terms of how to narrow down searches. If you use the wrong keywords or fail to narrow down your search correctly, it may cost time and even result in an inadequate literature review.

AU Library offers to assist researchers with making their research mapping as systematic, targeted and thorough as possible, says research librarian Gina Bay:

“A successful search process is all about knowing the databases, but it’s also very much about using the right keywords. Finding these keywords can be a lengthy process that rely on the researcher’s deep academic knowledge and a knowledge of the structure and functions of the databases. And this is exactly the kind of knowledge we have at the library.”

Consider the search process early on

AU Library offers to help individual researchers or PhD students, but is also interested in larger projects. In these projects, it could be a good idea to consider the search process in the early stages of the project and to allocate funding for the search process in the project application, says Bay.

The very first to do so was TrygFonden's Centre for Child Research at the Department of Economics and Business Economics. In 2017, the centre won a tender issued by the National Agency for Quality and Supervision and had to map out research into the linguistic challenges of children in primary and lower secondary school. The centre invited the research librarians to take part in the tender phase and offer their guidance on search strategy, choice of databases and the execution of pilot searches. In the project application, funding was allocated towards the research librarians who were responsible for carrying out searches that would form the basis of the research mapping.

According to Project Coordinator Sanne Dalgaard, the centre is very likely to include AU Library in future project applications:

“Working with AU Library throughout the entire process was a great experience,” she says. “They gave us excellent advice on the opportunities and limitations related to search techniques across the different databases. And on how to develop and design the actual search strings. Not only did this save us an enormous amount of time, it also ensured a methodical search process. This has contributed to assuring the quality of our research mapping in the specific fields.”

Want to find out more?

If you are interested in collaborating with AU Library in a research project or would like to know more, please contact Gina Bay, research librarian at AU Library, giba@kb.dk.

Three pieces of advice

Three pieces of advice if you are interested collaborating with AU Library:

  • Consider the search process in the early stages of the project and include it in your project application
  • Set time aside for dialogue on how to adjust and develop the search strategies and the actual searches
  • Allocate funding towards the searches in major project applications.
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