Students, faculty, staff and community members alike, can access UBC Library’s electronic resources, including more than 2.4 million e-books and 370,000 journals, through the Innovation Library downtown Kelowna. Research support from a UBC Okanagan Librarian is available at the Innovation Library in person, by phone, and by email.
Community Research Guide
Ask a question
Start by writing down what you are interested in researching, and then try to phrase it as a question. This question will guide your research.
Brainstorm Search Terms
Write down keywords related to your question. Some people choose to categorize them into sections of broad search terms (e.g. solar power) and relatively narrow search terms (e.g. photovoltaic cells). Consult a thesaurus or online tool to identify related terms.
Run a basic search for UBC resources by typing a few of your search terms into the “general” search tab. You can also search on the internet or in the public library’s collection. Try different combinations of search terms and see how this impacts your search results.
If you are just looking up something out of interest, you don’t necessarily have to keep track of your research process. However, if you are aiming for an exhaustive and comprehensive search, then it is a good idea to write down where you search, what terms you used, and what results were most helpful, and use those to identify more keywords and expand your search terms. TIP: The works cited in an article or book that you find useful may lead you to other resources of interest.
Evaluate Your Resources
It is often helpful to consult popular as well as scholarly resources. However, be sure to critically evaluate your resources, because not everything that you read on the internet (or in a book, for that matter) is true!
Maybe your research has answered your question or satiated your curiosity, and you will end here. If you are using the research to write something original of your own, make sure that you cite your sources properly and avoid plagiarism. Use one of our Citation Style Guides for help.