There’s more to finding information than a quick Google

I quite often get students telling me that they've been unable to find any information on their chosen topic. Usually that's because they're not looking in the right places, or in the right ways. Sarah K commented the other day with regard to her garden path sentences idea: "I've had a look on the internet to see if there's any studies/ methodologies which perhaps I could replicate but I can't find any."

I reproduce most of the text of my comment in reply to Sarah below, as I think it might be useful for many of you:

There seems to be quite a lot of academic work that has been done in this area. The Wikipedia entry cites the following for example:

http://www.psychology.uiowa.edu/faculty/hollingworth/documents/Ferreira_etal_…

and a Google Scholar search throws up dozens of articles, a few of which are freely available:

http://lcnl.ucsd.edu/LCNL_main_page/Publications_PDF/1994_Osterhout_Holcomb_S…

Google Scholar searches academic journals, and is similar to Google Books, which searches the text of complete books: both are available from the drop down menu that appears when you click 'more' on the Google search page:

However, often with online academic journals you can only read the abstract, and perhaps an extract, otherwise you have to either be a member of a subscribing institution, or pay for access to individual articles. If there is something in particular that you would like to access to, it might be worth seeing if it is available in a local academic library or public library. Under the South Yorkshire Access to Learning agreement, you can use the facilities of any participating library for reference. See here for details:

http://extra.shu.ac.uk/syall/Learners'%20Guide%20to%20Libraries%202009-2010.pdf

You can often access library catalogues online so that you can check if they have what you're after. For example here's the Doncaster College one:

http://webcat.don.ac.uk/uhtbin/cgisirsi.exe/Xz2IXR7qEy/THE_HUB/254810014/38/1…

and some information about using journals:

http://www.don.ac.uk/mini_sites/learning_resource_centre/finding_journals.aspx

Obviously, many academic articles will be at a very advanced level, perhaps expecting a degree of knowledge and understanding that you can't be expected to have. However, given that in a few months you will be in higher education, and will be expected to use academic material, now would be an excellent time to begin getting used to it.

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