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Information Searching Guide: Choosing the information sources

Use this guide to study the principles of scientific information searching: narrowing down a topic, choosing the right search terms and information sources and evaluating the search results. Mastering these valuable skills will prove useful in your studie

Selecting your information sources

Selecting your sources depends on what is your topic and how much information you need. Use more than one information source, one source or database are not enough. Use your own library collections and Andor search service as your starting point.

Also find essential databases in your field. Library has created field-specific guides for you. Select a guide that works for your topic. In the field-specific guides, you will find multidisciplinary and field-specific databases, e-books, reference works and more. Use the tabs in the upper menu.

All e-resources can also be used off-campus. You must log in with your Tuni account or Tays remote access account to access licensed materials. Even in on-campus-use, use databases via library pages, Andor, database list links or links via subject guides.


Tiedonlahteiden valintaan kannattaa käyttää aikaa kuvituskuva


Picture: Jonne Renvall, Tampereen yliopisto

What kind of information you are looking for?

What are you looking for? Where and how to search it?
A specific book

All books and e-books are available via Andor search service. Use the book title and author as your search phrase. When looking for printed books, select printed publications in the search box menu. You may also look for e-books in their native databases. Also see e-book guide where you will find info about e-book services and downloading e-books.

A specific article When looking for a certain e-article use quick search in Andor on the library website or Andor search. Write down the title of the article in quotation marks. If you know the title of the journal where the article is published you may use the journal search in Andor. N.B. Printed articles can be found by searching with the journal title in jounal search.
A specific thesis: Bachelor’s or masters theses, diploma work, licenciate thesis, dissertation. In Andor’s search box select Institutional repositories (Trepo or Theseus), from the drop-down list:  to find recent theses written at Tampere University or TAMK. To find earlier theses select “all” from the drop-down list and after the search, limit to publication type: theses. You may also use theses tab when using individual subject guides. You may also search in Trepo or Theseus or other universities’ repositories.
Patents and standards In subject guides in technical field you will find tabs patents and standards .You fill find patent and standard databases for those fields that use them as important information sources.
Statistics You'll find them on the databases A-Z list or in the subject guides other sources tab.
Juridical information or company information You'll find them in the databases list Law and statutes and  databases that cover business profiles and marketing data.
Reference works and dictionaries You'll find them in the subject guides dictionaries tab.
Quick searching: You urgently need new information about a given topic, but you don't need to map everything that has been published about the topic. Search information in Andor or via e.g. Google Scholar.
Extensive searching: what has been written about the topic? Search for information in scientific databases related to your own field; search for e.g. peer reviewed articles, research reports, academic and scientific monographies and theses. You'll find subject-spefific and multidisciplinary databases in your field in Library subject guides.

Different levels of expertise

Different levels of expertise

What kinds of databases there are?

Collection databases of libraries

Library resources are indexed into the collection databases of each library. References contain author information, publication title, publishing year and publisher and publication type. Additionally, books are described in databases by using subject terms and/or classification systems. Tampere University Library's collections can be found in Andor.

Joint databases by libraries is a search service that collects material from hundreds of Finnish organisations under one roof. Finna contains the national bibliography of Finland and references to the catalogues of university libraries, public libraries, the parliament library, National Repository Library and the statistics library. Some resources are available openly, but some organization-specific resources, library and archive material can be with limited access. Melinda database can be used e.g. to search for dissertations

Full text databases

Full text databases include full text resources, such as e-books and e-journals and e-articles. You fill find all databases purchased at Tampere university via Databases A-Z list.Full text resources can be found via Andor. Nowadays it is common, that databases contain both full text and references with no full text.

Reference databases

In reference databases you will find bibliographic information of a book or article (author, title, publisher, year, etc.) and the abstract, but the full text has to be found in the original document.The reference databased often offer links or availability info of the original documents. Some of the library collection results are only references. Nowadays it is common, that databases contain both full text and references with no full text.

Citation databases

Citation databases have been developed to help evaluate publishing activities and published documents. With the databases you may count the citation numbers and see, what are the most cited articles or journals or look for citations that a certain article or researcher has had.Web of Science and Scopus are citation databases.

Image databases

Image databases are, for example, databases maintained by libraries, archives and museums (LAMs) such as, stock photo agencies and open internet content, e.g. CC-licensed material (Creative Commons). See the Architecture subject guide for more information about image databases. The ImagOA guide by Aalto university contains information on issues such as citing images and using images in your thesis.

Special databases

Special databases are for example juridical databases, statistics dataabases, standards and company information and profiles, such as market reports. When using these, you need to search in a specific way.



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