Step 1 – Identifying key terms
Topic: Impact of standing desks
Research Question: Do standing desks reduce the occurrence of high blood pressure in adults?
|Concept 1 (Population)||Concept 2 (Intervention/Theory)||Concept 3 (Comparison)||Concept 4 (Outcomes/Effect/Phenomena)|
|Middle-aged adults who work at a desk||Standing desk||Sitting; stability ball; treadmill desk||high blood pressure|
Sit; Sitting; Seated
stability ball; Bosu Ball
Low blood pressure
Blood pressure regulation
diastolic blood pressure
mean arterial pressure
Step 2 – Identifying what information is needed and where it is located
Step 3 – Creating and refining your search
Below you will find a collection of the core ways to access information sources.
The library catalogue is where you should look to find books. Books continue to be an integral part of communication within the humanities and social sciences.
The library catalogue allows you to search:
The Library’s Find a Book page will help you learn to navigate the catalogue from identifying a relevant book to physically locating it in the book stacks.
You can also use the catalogue to search for Articles. However, the catalogue search does not include all library databases and does not cover all subject areas equally. For a comprehensive search, visit the Research & journal databases page.
Databases are organized and searchable collections of information such as articles, newspapers, reviews, and datasets. Databases can be subject specific or multidisciplinary.
To identify the top databases recommended for your discipline by Waterloo librarians, consult Research guides by subject.
The Library’s Find an article page will help you learn to search for articles including accessing a database and downloading a full-text .pdf.
Note that some databases are indexes. Indexes are a special type of database that contain only data about the article, not the article itself. You will usually be able to find the full-text version in another database.
Journals and articles can vary in quality, in the next section we will discuss how to judge the quality of a source.
You can find a number of sources through the use of Google and Google Scholar search engines.
While the search interface is natural and familiar to most users, the quality of results can be very poor. Use this type of searching during your preliminary research. Make note of key terms and authors that you can use to improve your searches in more subject-specific databases.
If using Google or Google Scholar be sure to connect your account to the University of Waterloo's resources, so that you can quickly identify sources that are in our collection.
The unified search is located on the library's homepage. A search in this will find books, databases, articles, library web pages and more. It is a good place to start your research, especially if you are not sure where the information you’re looking for would be found. Once you determine this, you should move to a more specific search in the Library catalogue or in a database.
Your instructor uses course reserves to provide you with access to selected readings from print and electronic resources such as books, lecture notes, e-books, e-journal articles, and scanned excerpts. Your instructor may require you to incorporate course readings into your research.