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Media, Film & Communication: Research skills

Recommend Books!

The Library does its best to keep up-to-date with resources in your research area but there will always be some gaps. If we don't have the books you are after, please recommend them for the Library collection. In the majority of cases the items will be ordered and you'll get first turn on borrowing.

Use this online form to make recommendations.

Research Workshops

The Student Learning Centre offers a variety of workshops to support postgrad students and the Library is offering a series of postgraduate sessions in April, to follow on from the Research Journey workshop.

Browse Research Methods Publications

Keep Up-to-date With Research by Creating Alerts

Many databases allow you to set up alerts (via email of RSS feed). This is a great way of staying up-to-date with new research  in your area.

  • Search alerts provide you with regular updates to research across all the resources in a database
  • Journals alerts or Table of Contents Alerts update you on new issues of selected journals and their table of contents

In most cases you'll need to set up an account in the actual database before you can use their alerts function

Online support:

Here are some video tutorials for setting up journal and search alerts in the Ebsco databases (Academic Search Complete and Communication & Mass Media Complete are part of the Ebsco suite of databases).

Most databases will provide similar help tutorials but if you can't find them, please contact Thelma Fisher, MFCO Librarian

Reference management tools

Bibliographic management software can help you to store, organise, and format references.  It also allows you to easily insert citations into Word documents and bibliographies as you write.

Software varieties are compared in our Managing your References guide, including:

ENDNOTE

  • EndNote is desktop-based and University supported. It is available through IT Services for a one-time fee of $25.  
  • EndNote Web is also available - this may be more suitable if you are frequently working from more than one computer. When you buy EndNote Desktop, you get free access to EndNote Web. 
  • The most recent version of the software is Endnote X7 and workshops, online guides, video clips are available from ITS and EndNote.

FREE REFERENCE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

Otago University's Research Repository & Thesis Information

OUR Archive is the University's Research Repositiory. Once you've completed your thesis this is where you'll need to deposit an electronic copy.

More information about finding formatting and depositing your thesis is available from the Library's Thesis Information Guide

Search Research Repositories for Theses & More..

Find out if others have carried out research in your topic area by searching institutional repository databases. Use them to find reports, theses, articles and sometimes book chapters from NZ, Australia, and around the world.

Conference Papers

Papers presented at conferences are an excellent place to find current research, best practices and new innovations in a research area.  Conference papers are not always formally published, but there are a number of ways you can search for them:

Conference Website - A very good place to start looking for a conference paper is the conference website.  If you can't find a website for the conference, try the organising body's website.

Google Scholar - Try using the "Advanced Search" option to combine your search terms with words like conferenceproceedings, congresses, symposium.

Research Repositories - Researchers will often deposit a copy of their conference paper in their institutional research repository.

Author's Website - Researchers will often post links to conference papers on their own personal website, or on their research institution's website. 

Library Catalogue OR Library Search - Sometimes the best papers are published in a book. To find these in the library catalogue or Library Search, try combining your search terms with words like conference, proceedings, congresses, symposium.

Get It Interloan - If you have a citation for a conference paper, but could not find a copy using any of the methods described above, make a  Get It Interloan Request for it. 

    Critically evaluating information

    In general terms, the critical evaluation of any form of information requires you to identify its strengths and weaknesses, based on an understanding of the text’s purpose, argument, the intended audience and why it is structured the way it is.