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Getting Started in Research for a Thesis: Introduction

This guide will help law PhD and MPhil students to begin their legal research using the University Library's resources

General Information

Below is a diagram describing the five steps of research cycle to demonstrate the process you are going to embark.

Summary of Five Steps

  1. Planning: Understand the research questions. identify key legal concepts. Think about scope, coverage and currency. Read also our guide on Selecting and Developing a Legal Research Topic.
  2. Identify: identify the most relevant resource types: primary and secondary resources, eg. make sure that the primary materials still good law.
  3. Locate: Locate the information, hardcopy books and online resources. Refine your results when using online databases.
  4. Evaluate: Check information for authority, reliability, relevance, currency, objectivity, audience, impact and accuracy.
  5. Document: Keep a record of search terms and strategies, databases used and number of results. 

This guide also touches on your digital imprint as a researcher. It is a good idea to start creating your Researcher Profile, unless you have already done so. 

Law Library Basics

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