There are many catalogues and search engines that you can use to find and locate materials for your assignments, presentation or research. Before your course begins it is worth spending some time exploring some of these resources, and what is available to you in Cambridge.
Critically evaluate the resources you explore or use.
Select some of the links on this page, and try out the resources. As you do, think critically about them. If something does not seem to be relevant to you, ask yourself why; if it is relevant, ask yourself how relevant it is, and for what reasons.
Consider the scope of a resource - the types of publications it includes, how comprehensive it is, the quality of the material there. Assess how easy it is to use and how effective the search facilities are.
This kind of critical approach should be present through all of your study and research, and should help you to become more familiar with any resource you use.
You will become familiar with the University of Cambridge's main catalogue, iDiscover, which allows you to search across all the printed and electronic resources in the university - including books, journals, databases, Apollo (the University's repository) and other online content.
There's plenty of information on using iDiscover available here but you'll probably find that, if you've used a library catalogue before, it'll probably seem fairly straightforward to you.
iDiscover's pretty simple!
- MPhil Japanese Studies student, 2017-18 (2018)
Depending on the kind of information you're looking for and its format, you might also find it useful to start your searches elsewhere. For example:
As a graduate student, you will identify your own collection of resources, catalogues and search engines that you routinely use. Those listed above may well be part of it, but here are some other general resources which will be helpful regardless of your subject, and which may take you beyond the vast range of resources held by the University of Cambridge.
Resources that are particularly helpful for your subject, or your research interest, will probably be the next and main section of your collection of the things you use. It might be that you're already well aware of the best databases in your subject, but there may still be more to discover.
Here you might find, curated by librarians with expertise in your subject, a list of recommended resources, both from within and beyond Cambridge.
Find, locate and evaluate some online resources relevant to your research area.
You can do this using your subject library's website or recommended resources, the Databases A-Z, or even just trying out some speculative googling of key terms related to your research interest. Think particularly about access - whether Cambridge subscribes to databases or resources you've used before.
Remember to do this critically, to think about what you're including and excluding, and what the implications of this might be.
Unless otherwise stated, this work is licenced under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC 4.0 licence by Cambridge University Libraries.