Social Policy

SOCPY301-21A Health, Wellbeing and Policy

Today's Tutorial

Why:  Helping you to find the right information for your essay and presentation

We will cover

  • Quality Information - why use our databases?
  • Useful search tips
  • Library Search
  • Finding journal articles using databases
  • Finding government documents

You can come back to this page or ask for individual help after this session: Get Help.

Information quality

We spend lots of money on database subscriptions - why?

To get full text access to high quality, verified, academic sources - mostly journal articles and books.

Searching the internet using Google or another internet browser is great for some purposes, like government websites, but anyone can create a website so be careful.

To assist you assessing sources, you can use the Rauru Whakarare Evaluation Framework.

Useful Search tips

  • Before you start searching, you need to understand what you are looking for.
  • Make sure you understand the topic and all terms used in your research question.
  • Brainstorm possible search terms and synonyms, continue to add to this as you carry out your search.
  • Consider using a broader or narrower term, for example: Bullying Social Media, you might find relevant results searching for a specific example of social media: bullying Facebook. Or you might find relevant results expanding your search to cyberbullying.
  • Phrase searching is useful when you know an exact title or phrase and you only want the words to appear in that exact order, e.g. "Substance abuse". Be careful with spelling mistakes as you can easily exclude relevant results.
  • See more: Guide: Search Strategies.

Finding Books

Use Library Search to find print and online books

DEMONSTRATION: look for a book by its title: Maori health by Peter Caccioppoli et al.

Finding Journal articles using Library Search

Use Library Search to find articles on a topic using keywords

DEMONSTRATION: substance abuse

Is this the best search term? Look at the results, can you think of a better search term?

DEMONSTRATION: Look at the filters: limit to or exclude a subject. Limit by date range.

Library Search searches across all of our print and ebooks, and many of our journal databases, but it is very broad so you can get overwhelmed by results from other disciplines or contexts.

Finding journal articles using subject-specific databases 

Why do we want you to use our databases?

  • The best information is not free! Search through the library to avoid hitting paywalls asking for money to access resources, or locking you out altogether.
  • Subject-specific databases allow more focused searches than Library Search does, so you spend less time sifting through irrelevant sources.

Sociological Abstracts

The thesaurus can help you find good search terms:  click Advanced Search -> Thesaurus

DEMONSTRATION:  search Substance Abuse. Click on the term to see Broader terms, Narrower terms, related terms.  You can select to add these to your search (or just use them as ideas in the basic search).

Some articles are there in full text, some aren't. See Find a copy.

If Find a Copy fails your next steps: Go back to Library Search -> EJournals -> Search Journal title e.g. International Journal of Social Welfare -> Online access or View Journal Contents? -> Wiley or Ebsco? ->the year (2013) -> If Wiley, click on title

DEMONSTRATION: homeless Look at the subject headings assigned to the first item

Index  New Zealand

Why? Searching New Zealand specific databases can save you a lot of time trying to find local resources. DEMONSTRATION:  Search for homelessness  Refine results by Research Articles. Look at the first item. It's Online Acccess.

Look at the second item.  Now what?

NOTE: This is an INDEX, not a full-text database. Copy the title of the article you want to see, in this caseGo to Library Search and paste it into the search box. Can you see it?

Remember that LibrarySearch isn't good at New Zealand material. If you don't find the article immediately, we may have a subscription to the journal the article is in, and it may be online.

Try searching by the title of the journal, in this case Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. Then click on the link to the journal and find the right volume, issue and pages for the article.

Google Scholar

If you are off-campus use Google Scholar from the Library Databases page so that Find@WaikatoLibrary will work for you.

Looking for a known article on Google Scholar (or the databases) gives you extra information.


Policies and programmes to end homelessness in Australia: Learning from international practice

Cited by – Why is this important?

Did you see Cited by in any of the other databases? If yes, use it!

Government Publications

One way to get the best out of government publications -  go to Government A-Z

Find the Government Department you think will help. Click on the link, and at the next page, choose website from the list under Contact. Then you can use the search box to search for your topic.

DEMONSTRATION: health -> Ministry of Health ->website link -> searchbox ->left hand navigation bar->strategies and plans

Use Google to search within a website or domain:

You can search within a specific website or the domain (ending) of a website address.

DEMONSTRATION:  homelessness policy

The will find results from any New Zealand government website with the terms homelessness and policy.

DEMONSTRATION: "substance abuse"

This will find results from the Ministry of Health website with exact phrase "substance abuse".

Try the search within the search box on the Ministry of Health website and note the difference in results.

Different topics will require you to search in different places

  • Health policy in indigenous contexts: A Tikanga Māori approach
  • Where could you look to find extra information?

  1. INNZ - health policy Maori
  2. Library Search
  3. Ministry of Health website 
  4. Newztext Plus
  • Looking at the role an international organisation plays in healthcare policy and provision globally (e.g.: United Nations, World Health Organisation).

    Where could you look to find extra information?

  1. Find the  website of the organisation (Google) -> Search box?
  2. Library Search
  3. Sociological Abstracts
  • Describing the role of evaluation in the policy process.

    Where could you look to find extra information?

  1. Sociological Abstracts
  2. Library Search
  3. Government documents

APA referencing guides and support

Both your presentation and essay require all sources to be referenced using APA referencing.

We have a lot of useful APA support available on our website:

If you are struggling ask for help or use the instant messaging Chat with Librarian.

EndNote Referencing Software

Software that helps you manage your references.

If you are considering going on to postgraduate study you will find this useful:

Book a tutorial