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Basics of Information Retrieval: Sources of information

Information resources and databases

The library acquires high quality books, journals, reference and full text databases etc. for the use of students and staff of Savonia. You could begin your searches via Savonia LibGuides, which include main information sources in different fields.

In Savonia-Finna you will find all electronic resources of our library. All of these are accessible off-campus via LibGuides-links. You can complete your searches using Google, but be especially careful with the reliability and quality of your results.

Why can't I just Google (La Trobe University Library)

Selection of information resources

Which information resource should you use to retrieve the information you need?
Examples of where to look for information are presented below:

  • Books 
  • Journals and articles
  • Dictionaries
  • Reference works
  • Patents
  • Standards
  • Serials
  • Gray literature (reports, working papers etc.)
  • Theses, dissertations
  • Specialists
  • Statistics
  • Law
  • Citation databases
  • Images
  • Radio and TV

Types of knowledge

When searching information consider what do you actually need. Information or knowledge can be divided into various types, e.g.

  1. Scientific knowledge​ (in e.g. an article or a review in academic journal, a book in publication series of university or research institute, dissertation)
  2. Professional knowledge​ (in e.g. an article in professional journal, a book in publication series of UAS, thesis, handbook)
  3. Official knowledge​ (in e.g. laws, statistics, standards, patents, activity reports, reports of authorities)
  4. General knowledge (in e.g. magazine, newspaper, fiction book, TV and radio programmes)

NB: Sometimes the line between scientific and professional journals can be thin - some articles which appear in professional journals may have been peer reviewed similar to those in more academic journals. Because this is not the case in every occasion, be careful and choose only the reliable, valid, and feasible sources.