Writing your doctoral thesis represents and important stage in your academic life. It comes with a set of unique challenges that may make the whole process feel daunting. A key aspect is finding the information needed to make a success of your writing. We present some tips to locate databases to use in your writing.
You should start by forming your topic area. It should not be specific but broad. Alternatively is to define key search terms to use. Again these should be broad based. Only start to narrow down your topic area after conducting preliminary searches and getting your first list of databases.
Here your will find links to databases the university recommends and has subscribed to. You may also find instructions on how to go about getting the best resources. The university website might link you to a specific school, faculty and departmental sites where you can get specific resource links. Additionally, they will provide external links to other university databases or national and international resources.
University libraries keep a copy of all doctoral works written by students. You can search the university database for these. A more detailed repository of databases as well as additional resources will be found in most libraries. Use your key terms and research topic to locate information that could be useful to you.
Spread your search to neighbouring university libraries and resource centres. Each will have a setup similar to that of your university. You can gain access to these libraries with your student credentials. There are sites that are dedicated to listing resources from all university libraries. Use these to narrow down to which other libraries you could use.
Most universities have dedicated staff to assist in all issues related to writing a doctoral thesis in addition to the resources availed to students. They will provide contact information including phone numbers and email addresses you can direct your queries to. Reach out to these professionals when you have specific requirements.
You are constantly looking for information during the life of your thesis writing. Along the way, you will encounter numerous resource links. You should continually refine your searches using your topic as a guide for key terms. This will also change along the way to become more specific.
Be agile, resourceful and diligent. What you need is often within your reach if you put in the time and effort to seek it out.