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LIBRARY GUIDE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Selecting document types

Which type of documents will you need?

In the scientific and technical fields there are many different types of documents which contain distinct kinds of information.
Knowing the main features and usages of these types of documents is useful because you will then be able to select the ones which are most appropriate for your assignments/research.

Types of documents

THEY ARE USED TO...

  • help finding summarized information, key ideas, concepts or important dates.

BECAUSE...

  • they give access to a main baseline as well as to synthesized knowledge on a topic.

DID YOU KNOW:

  • they can be generic or specialized in some fields of knowledge.
  • they are also known as "reference works".

EXAMPLE:

THEY ARE USED TO...

  • find a main baseline or more specialized knowledge on a topic.
  • better understand and advance in a topic research.

BECAUSE...

  • they cover any topic, including specialized information about a scientific ou technical field, either in a theoretical or practical way.
  • they are written by experts for a specialized target audience in that field.
  • they usually include extensive bibliographies.

EXAMPLE:

THEY ARE USED TO...

  • find updated information on RDI (Research, Development and Innovation) and bibliographic references that point towards other relevant research.
  • go deeper into the knowledge and research on a topic.

BECAUSE...

  • they are written by scholars or field experts.
  • the articles contain specialized information which discloses the latest results of scientific research.

DID YOU KNOW:

  • They have an editorial board that assesses the quality of the articles submitted by authors and decides whether they are relevant to be published or not thus guaranteeing the quality of the journal (Peer review process).
  • They are published on a regular basis, more frequently than technical books.

EXAMPLE:

THEY ARE USED TO......

  • help finding detailed and objective information on a specific topic.
  • get specific and updated knowledge about recent discoveries in scientific and technical research fields.

BECAUSE...

  • they provide information that describes new developments or results of scientific and technical research.

DID YOU KNOW:

  • They are not easy to find, because they are usually published outside formal commercial channels (a main feature of the so called "gray literature").

EXAMPLE:

THEY ARE USED TO...

  • find detailed information on an invention.
  • obtain an updated knowledge about the state of art.

BECAUSE...

  • They are often the first source information on new technology.
  • They contain highly specialized information concerning the registration or property title of an invention.

DID YOU KNOW:

  • They are written and reviewed by experts and targeted to a specialized audience in a particular field.

  • They include drawings and detailed descriptions and techniques of the invention.


EXAMPLE:

THEY ARE USED TO...

  • get information on standardized procedures.

  • find reference information for assessing conformity, for certification purposes or lab tests.

BECAUSE...

  • they establish rules, guidelines or features for products and services which are based on scientific, technical or experimental results.

  • they contain information that describes new developments or final results from scientific and technical research.

DID YOU KNOW THAT...

  • they are technical documents that result from a consensus and are approved by a recognized standardization institution.
  • they aim at optimizing benefits for the community.


EXAMPLE:

THEY ARE USED TO...

  • find research reviews that help you to support an argument.
  • get knowledge on the state of the art in a given scientific or technological field.

BECAUSE...

  • they report on research that produces new knowledge.

DID YOU KNOW THAT:

  • they are original pieces of work that are meant to obtain a master (MSc) or PhD degree.

  • the main difference between both is not in the form but in the substance: the meaning, the discovery degree that is shown in the research question to be answered and the nature of the contributions to be made.


EXAMPLE:

THEY ARE USED TO...

  • find any type of information! (don't forget however to assess information from websites before using it! check out step 4 in the cycle of information search and usage).

BECAUSE...

  • in the global digital library which is the Internet it is possibile to access to a wide variety of information sources in many different formats: text, audio, images, multimedia, etc.

DID YOU KNOW THAT:

  • Google Scholar, which is a search engine specialized in academic content, is a better solution to help you find scientific and technical information (try out on the below search box and check out the type of results you will get)!
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Where should I look it for?

Have you ever wondered...

Fonte: Clipart

... that nowadays there is so much information available that is really not easy to decide which are the most appropriate sources for your assignments.

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