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Search and Find - Information Searcher's Journey


You are making information searches daily — you search a recipe for cooking, check the TV listing of the day from the TV guide etc. In higher education studies, it is essential to be able to show the knowledge you have got from the studies. It is also important to be able to combine the information you have found from different sources to your school works, reports, and thesis. Being able to do so, you need both professional and scientific information.

There is not only one way to do information searching. The figure of information search process is shown below, but your own information search process may vary from it. You may have to return to some phases, do some phases more than once etc. We encourage you to continue with your search process, if one way is not leading to good or proper results. You can find another aspect to your issue or you can ask help (for example from your thesis instructor or the library) so you can move on with your searching.

Phases of the information search process:

There are many factors impacting how successful your information searching is, as well as how you can make a high-quality report, essay or thesis. For example: How well do you know your topic? Which keywords are you using in the searches? Where do you search the information? Are you using good and reliable Internet sites and services? In this guide, we are giving instructions, tips and tools for your information searching.

In following sections, we will tell you: 

Familiarize: What it means to familiarize yourself with the topic.

Plan: What kind of different phases there are in information search planning.

Search: How you make good (high-quality) searches from different information sources.

Evaluate: What things you should consider when you evaluate your search results, to match them to your information needs.

Use: What things you should consider when using the sources you have found and selected.