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Research guide: Toolkit 1

Your guide to the research process and use of digital tools to use and create information effectively and ethically.

Mindmapping resources

Free mind mapping tools

Mashpedia video encyclopedia

Mashpedia is a multimedia encyclopedia featuring text, audio, images, video.


Visuwords is a dictionary/thesaurus language visualisation tool. It can help you explore the vocabulary of a new topic. It can also help you find new vocabulary to revitalise your information search process.

Better searching

Oliver search

Search the AIS library catalogue here.

Get rich search results with Oliver "Search other sources" option.

From the Oliver search screen, select "Search other sources" from the drop-down menu on the right.

Select to include Google books and Google custom search, and enter your search term.



Your search results appear in expandable groups.

6 steps to better searching


Image courtesy Daniel M. Russell. SearchReSearch.

1. Use Google advanced search.

2. Use keywords for searching, not sentences and omit unimportant words.

3. Add more keywords as you develop your search. Build up to 3-6 keywords. Nouns are best. Correct spelling is important.

4. Dig deeper with search operators.

5. Use phrases too when appropriate. 

How to improve your Google search results.