Western Libraries

APPLMath 4999z Library Session and Project Support

This course guide contains information about and links to resources relevant to the APPLMath 4999 (B.Sc. Thesis Project) library instruction session.

Developing Search Strategies

  • Select keywords from your research topic
  • Find synonyms or related terms for each of the keywords you identified above
  • Use Boolean operators (AND, OR) to connect your keywords; Combine concepts using AND, and combine alternate terms within a concept using OR
  • Select search tools (library catalogue, databases, etc.)
  • Conduct your search
  • Review your search results and revise your search if necessary

Use the Search Strategy Worksheet in the Library Handout to help you develop your search strategies.

Finding information on your topic

If you are new to your topic or would like to start by reading some more general background information, here are some good places to start:

Note: Review articles, an important source of background information, can be really helpful in getting started: They synthesize key research on your topic, and normally are written by experts in your fields. Review articles can be found in databases.

You can find primary information sources, such as articles and conference papers, in the following databases:

Check Finding Dissertations guides for theses and dissertations.

What if the library doesn't have an article or book you want? Use the Interlibrary Loans system to request it from another library (generally free of charge for Western users).

Research Process Toolkit

The tutorial toolkit is a collection of Western Libraries tutorials specific to the research process.  Organized as a step by step series from the beginning to the end of the research process, this toolkit helps equip undergraduate students with essential research skills along with the knowledge of various ways the Library can help.