Brunel Language Centre: Electronic resources

Introduction to electronic resources

This guide will help you become familiar with how to use the Library's electronic resources, and includes some information on:
  • What journals are and why to use them
  • How to find an article from a reference
  • How to search by keyword and plan your search
  • Searching using the Library Search
  • Searching using databases for your subject

Search planning and keywords

Before you start to search for journal articles or other information resources, think about the best way to search:

  • What are the key concepts of your assignment question or research area?
  • What key words or keywords best represent these concepts or ideas?
  • Can you think of other words or synonyms which represent the same concept or idea?
  • Where might be the best place or places to search for this information?

Even if you find something useful on your first search attempt, it is usually worth trying different combinations of keywords and possibly different databases or search tools too.

For more advice on finding resources, consult our Finding Resources web pages or contact your Subject Liaison Librarian.

Exercise: planning your search

Using the document provided, plan which keywords you might use to search for information to answer the example question "How realistic is it for the UK government to think nuclear power has a role to play in plugging the energy gap?"

Library search glossary

Abstract: a summary of an article.

Article: a piece of published work on a particluar subject. Several articles will be included in each issue of a journal.

Database: a collection of journals, statistics, reports or other information sources. Can be subject-focused or general.

E-Journals A-Z: for checking if Brunel Library has the journal you require in electronic format. Search by journal title.

Full text: the full article, in either HTML or PDF.

Intranet: web pages only accessible to staff and students at Brunel.

Journal: a collection of articles, normally on a particular subject, published on a regular basis. Journals are available in either print or electronic format and are divided into two types:

  • Scholarly: academic research aimed at the academic community.
  • Trade: written by and/or for people working within a particular industry.

Library Search: a search tool for identifying and accessing Library resources, including online and print books and journals. It can be a good starting point.

Log in/on: the process used to gain access to the Library’s electronic resources.

Peer-reviewed: articles that have been approved by academics working within the same subject area as the author.

Periodical: same as "journal".

Shelfmark: the reference used to help you locate a printed book/journal. This can be found in the item record on the catalogue and also on the spine of the book/journal.