Staying informed

Follow your topic

Follow your topic

When setting up an Alert for a topic or subject area select a big database so the chances of picking up relevant references are increased. For example, Te Waharoa (the Library’s discovery system), Google Scholar or Dimensions. This will also mean you need to carefully construct the search(s) to avoid irrelevant hits.

Consider setting up more than one search. For example, one that is very exact, one that is slightly broader and one that uses alternative terms. Some databases may have pre-established subject areas that can help limit the results. 

Search example - Unparliamentary language

This area of research (unparliamentary language) is quite narrow so you could set up an alert just using the term "unparliamentary" or the phrase “unparliamentary language”. This search will look for any occurrence of that term or phrase in the record or full text depending on how the search has been set up.

Narrow search: “unparliamentary language”

This area of research sits within a wider area of linguistics called discourse or to be more specific “parliamentary discourse” 

Expanded search: “parliamentary discourse”

This search will yield more results some may be relevant and some not. But for general awareness of the topic it will be useful. 

Some alternative keywords to include in a search could be parliament* language speech impoliteness

Alternative search(s): parliament* AND (language OR speech OR impoliteness)

This search uses the keyword parliament or parliamentary associated with terms that researchers might use in their work. The results may be outside your  research interest but it is dragnet approach to ensure no ‘gems’ are missed. 

Contact your Subject Librarian if you need help with constructing a search using Boolean phrasing.