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Data Structures: Find Your Relevant Sources

Step by Step Guide

Finding, Evaluating, and Citing Information Sources

The academic research is a standard feature of every student at LUMS. Therefore for every student, research projects raise important questions, such as: Where do you find relevant information for your research? How do you find, evaluate and manage that information retrieved?

When you engage in academic research, shrewd and knowledgeable about the realities of your research topics. You must:

  • Know where and how to search efficiently to find the best information for your purposes
  • Make good decisions regarding the quality and appropriateness of your information sources, including assessing whether a resource is trustworthy and up-to-date
  • Know who has rights to the work you use
  • Know how to properly give others credit for their ideas
  • Know the extent to which you can ethically remix or synthesize ideas and information in your own work

This is where research skills and knowledge of LUMS academic integrity guidelines are key.

Your approach to information research, like your needs and requirements regarding sources of information, will vary depending on what you research. A quick Google or Wikipedia search may suit your purposes in some scenarios, but, for academic research, that’s just the first step.

When you conduct academic research, you join a community of scholars in a chain of conversation and truth-seeking that has gone on for centuries before you. In the digital age, you have more access to collected information than anyone else has ever had.

Digital literacy is the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet.

Searching Books

  • Books can help you to get a better idea of your topic, as they contain lots of ideas, concepts, as well as keywords and a bibliography. It’s the best way to get your research started.
  • Use library portal to find books.
  • If finding books proves difficult, visit library help desk or send request at for search guidelines.

Library Subject Guides

  • Check the online Library Guides for the most applicable databases.
  • Use the databases listed in the guide to find articles on your topic.
  • If you prefer to see a listing of all of the databases you have access to, as LUMS student/faculty, go to the Databases listing.

Searching Databases

  • Type keyword relating to your topic, see the content list in your search and refine your search.
  • Read the abstract of the article, as it gives details which title doesn't mention very often.
  • when you have found your required articles, check the references. These references will provide you with more papers and books, similar to the article(s) you found.
  • Sometimes you will find articles that are not directly available in our databases. You can still get the article free of charge with the use of Interlibrary Loan.

Off-Campus Access to Databases

Please connect to off-campus access for entire library services through VPN service.

For the Advanced User: Google Scholar

  • Use Google Scholar for searching scholarly articles relevant to your required articles, and US case law.
  • Web Discovery connects you to all LUMS databases, eliminating the need to check each individual database for appropriate materials. Doing so works well when the "obvious" databases are not giving you the materials you need.