Library session: health and social care programmes
What is an academic library for?
Most likely, you will come across the library when looking for:
good sources of information and knowledge, e.g. textbooks, statistics, research publications
study space and facilities
help from librarians
You can use two libraries:
Where to start from?
The QAHE library portal page will show you the resources and services available from both London Metropolitan University and QAHE. This page is worth bookmarking.
A subject guide explains the health and social care related electronic resources available to you from London Metropolitan University.
Reading lists will guide you to the textbooks and articles your lecturers suggest you read to succeed. Each module has its own reading list.
Textbooks are written in order to explain broad areas of knowledge, e.g. healthcare or social care. Normally, they discuss the main approaches and theories in a balanced manner. It is helpful to use a good textbook when studying a new subject (module). Read more about textbooks.
Not all books are textbooks. Many books, which are not textbooks, advocate a point of view based on the research done by the author. You do not have to agree with every book you read. As you develop your own knowledge and experience, you will get better at reading critically other people’s views.
Use the library catalogues to find books:
London Metropolitan University (choose the Books and Ebooks tab)
QAHE for printed books at your campus and some ebooks.
You may also find Google Books helpful if you do not know what books cover your topic of interest. It searches inside many printed and electronic books; however, it is usually not allowed to show their full text. Browsing some pages may be enough for your research. It may also give you an idea of what books to search for in the library catalogues.
Normally, a researcher uses experiments, observations, surveys and other established methods to develop solutions, form conclusions, propose new theories etc. Before publication, the results of this research are reviewed by other specialists in the same field of knowledge. This peer-review process adds credibility to the research.
Knowledge is constantly developing, therefore some research conclusions accepted as correct earlier may be regarded wrong at a later date after more rigorous research has been done. Or the society, economy etc. may change and what was true years ago is not correct anymore.
Scholarly (academic) publications
There are many thousands of scholarly journals. Your lecturers may also call them academic journals.
Publishers aggregate these publications into collections, which are normally called databases. You may also come across phrases like "academic databases", "university databases" and similar - these all mean the same thing: collections of research publications and other content relevant to students and researchers.
Google Scholar tips
Google Scholar only searches for scholarly publications (i.e. academic research). It does not include trade (i.e. industry) publications, market research, company information etc.
Search for transformational leadership. How many results did you get?
Now search for this phrase in quotation marks (“transformational leadership”) and search. How many results did you get? Why is there a difference in the number of results?
The phrases that you want the search to retrieve exactly as typed (e.g. “relationship marketing” or “corporate social responsibility”) can be placed in quotation marks to run a phrase search. Google Scholar will not run separate searches for each word; it will search only for the whole phrase inside the quotation marks. Most academic databases understand phrase searching too.
The [PDF] (or similar) link on the right side of the screen indicates that the article can be accessed for free. To access it, click on the link.
The Cited by link will show more recent publications that used the current article as a source and acknowledged it in the reference list. Adding the word "review" to your search may help you find publications providing a broad critical overview of the established research on a particular topic.