Search tips

What is the use of Wikipedia?

For your academic work in general, you cannot use Wikipedia for sourcing and citing, however, it has a good use as an orientation tool. You can therefore use Wikipedia for research, for example often very helpful links can be found at the end of an article, which include official websites or other Internet sources where you might find something quotable. Through the Wikipedia article, you may also potentially find other search terms that you e.g. use to search with a search engine and achieve more goals.

Always keep in mind when using Wikipedia that: The author of a Wikipedia article, or who modified an item does not have to be a professor or an expert of the field and everyone who is registered as a Wikipedia author can further change the texts.

How do I use Wikipedia in the correct way?

If you follow these tips for using Wikipedia then it will stand you in good stead:

  • Use the statistics function to detect whether the article has been changed!
  • Read what and how many times the post was changed on and judge it.
  • Observe whether the article appears to be objective or subjective.
  • What experience does the author have (professional or student)?
  • Are the links at the end of the article serious?
  • Are spelling mistakes or careless mistakes in the article? These diminish the accoubtality.
  • How does it differ to the English version on Wikipedia?

When do I use a database?

The assumption that everything can be found electronically on the network, free and easily, is unfortunately (still) a myth. You can find complete articles via search engines like google, but often they are older release dates or they are not free. So the latest databases come into play when you want to quickly look at the articles or content for free on a topic. It is of course close to even to database vendors that sell their structured content, and want to make money, so typically libraries buy these databases and offer their users it free of charge. You will find the offer from CBS here.

A database has the advantage that, for example, media can be defined to topics that contain things only about economics. The included media can range from entire e-books on individual electronic journal articles to individual reports or statistics or entire magazine content and individual book chapters.
There are also so-called "bibliographic databases", these contain only metadata, such as the book or journal title, author name, and possibly an abstract (summary of the text). In the use of such a database, the next step would be to get the full text (entire article).

Research newcomers always see google as a good place to search rather than any others, which is really only because they know it and have had positive experiences. Actually, it is more effective to directly seek the right databases. The respective help function gives you valuable tips on their use.

Conclusion: While the search engine is a kind of door in a big market with all sorts of products, so the database is a kind of an entrance into a specialized market, offering only specific goods.

How do I select the right database?

To choose the correct database, take a look at the following parameters:

  • Which field of science will be covered?
  • What magazines, books are there exactly? (often there is a list with buttons called "source or Resource" or "Publications and Publication")
  • Is the whole article (full text) or contain only a summary (abstract)?
  • Does it cost anything?
  • Which search functions are available? (see this help page)
  • Which terms can you combine together?

Also when a database is usually a good choice for to start your research is that there is a check on the reputation of these journals or books, which are steadily added as well as the testing and evaluation of the article content, the reputation of the author and the sources is  tested on Articles that were found in a database or on the Internet.

What can be found in books and journal articles?

It is so that the "book" form in tends to have complex theories
and there are more complex definitions, discussions and detailed explanations, analyzes and arguments of theories or hypotheses, which hold a high probability of citability. Journal articles are usually topical contributions from experts who have worked out current issues or ideas in short (up to approx. 20 pages). This can e.g. His research contributions, or contributions from practice. In both cases, the respective author aim is for a professional audience, with more or less "high" jargon used.

If you are searching literature on a subject which you need a quote-capable definition from, you will find this the quickest in books. Therefore library catalogs or databases that contain E-books should be your first address for this (not google (!)). Look instead currently debated issues or plans, then look so after media type "magazine" and these enable you to search in the form of e-journals also in databases that contain this type of media.

If you are searching for topics or works “currently” discussed instead then look for "Magazine" media type, which you will find the fastest in the form of E-journals, also in databases that contain this type of media.

When do I use a search engine?

A search engine will definitely help to offer you information of scientifically oriented institutions (schools, libraries, database providers, Open Access Server, research institutions) to track in order to then begin the actual search. Inasmuch as they can do well to serve as a guide only. Basically, a search engine is there to browse the wide variety of content and websites of the internet for the terms entered. So of pdf documents on video's, pictures and broadcasts, etc. all to media here, can be found. The diversity of the results makes it necessary, however, each page is structured differently, it takes time to find each one and judge it for it’s merits

So it's all a bit like summer sale: one "fishes" in a giant rummage for Great Deals! And sometimes you get lucky and find something. There are, for example, through Google Scholar, useful, free, scientific journal articles. In the case of Google Scholar, though, you will quickly notice that the items are often older. Search engines redirect the user sometimes to current, paid articles from databases, because database providers like to have their place to make advertising to get you to pay for their services. When should you use a search engine, read through also  "What should I know when using a search engine“.

What should I know when using a search engine?

What the search engine results present to you depends on which information of each site has captured in iits conents and assigned a query. It may e.g. depend on the frequency of the search term, by word or intervals searched metatags and various other parameters. Even in what rhythm websites are recognized can vary. If you do a search automatically when typing search terms already suggested, it may be that these proposals are based on analyzes of search queries throughout the web community, but it may also have been their own search behavior captured shaped profile. In both cases, the proposals have not definitive and they are particularly random!

Test (! Advanced) or refer to (in the "Help"), such as single words are linked to a request: Possibly. is a type of search language (Boolean operators) such as Automotive industry needed AND marketing, in other cases, it is automatic. As yet there is no search engine that will answer all questions as: "What does CSR"? Would be e.g., in the case query "definition AND CSR" or just "Definiton CSR". A so-called "Advanced Search" can offer eg to search only the URL, which can save time when you know that you expect the best results on the pages of a research institution or university.

Which Google hits are actually useful?

It is simply the google matches where the criteria for citability and thus where scientific standards of quality are met -  that are in useful for you in the end. The problem with Google is that the search results suggest that we have found the best - it gives the impression they searched "everything" and used the terms offered: But google searches only parts of the Internet and the first results are - in spite of good search algorithms -not necessarily the ones used in scientific texts that you want to find.
Conclusion: Google use is generally best described as a "connection" so as to get to the actual knowledge holders and intermediaries in the network, such as Open Access Server from universities, databases, or portals and virtual libraries.

What is an open access server?

An open access server is a network computer, which stores publications available to anyone. Documents on an open access server can be read free of charge and downloaded and printed.

What is a virtual library?

A virtual library is basically a website that collects and offers as many links as possible and to a certain field, So, for example: The Virtual Library of Economics (Econbiz) -  you will find links to organizations, with links to libraries with the appropriate emphasis of the collection, to links to open access server offerings, events, trade shows, databases, institutions. Everything in in the area of the network was found by the editors of the current page.

Here is an overview of some other virtual libraries.