Words to watch: the emergence of new words and what this means for your research

Recently, the Macquarie Dictionary released new words submitted by the wider community, that have become part of the Australian vernacular. What these terms demonstrate, apart from the impact of social media and Netflix (!), is that common keywords change over time. For students and researchers, this means that the search strategies you used, often quite successfully 5 years, 2 years, and in some cases, 6 months ago, have been superseded and may already be obsolete.

Much of the work of academic librarians is in guiding library patrons in locating appropriate library resources. Increasingly, in the digital environment, these services are provided online, remotely and through online databases. For some disciplines, search terms can be specific and important to get right to locate the cutting-edge research in your field.

Check out PubMed, for example, a Medicine and Health database which provides a list of related Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) search terms when conducting a search. These terms can help locate the correct information in your field of research. For example, see the search for ‘Cancer’ returns the related MeSH search heading ‘neoplasms’. Using MESH-based search queries is very important for researchers in the Health Sciences and related disciplines, yet for researchers outside of these disciplines they have probably never heard of MESH as it is not relevant to their search strategy.

The UNE Librarians are here to provide services and support to help navigate through the rapidly changing scholarly information environment.

Check out the Library classes aimed to assist you in locating appropriate resources.

The Library subject guides are also accessible 24/7 and provide a starting point to help power your research.

Alternatively, for one-on-one assistance, use the Book a Librarian function to request an appointment either in person or remotely with a subject librarian who can provide in-depth and personally tailored assistance with your study and research. Get in touch if we can help you navigate the constantly evolving world of words to help maximise your research effectiveness!

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