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Widening Participation at the University of Manchester Library: Resources

Resources

Welcome to the Widening Particpation resource pages. You will find information on books, databases, journal articles and websites to help you with your studies. 

  • Books: access to searching and finding books and ebooks
  • Databases: for a range of company information reports/stats, market research, business news, international trade and countries/regions information
  • Journal articles: access to the Library’s extensive e-journals collection.

Fact sheets

Below are a number of resource sheets which have been produced by the Information Literacy Group and TeenTech to help support you through your project. You may find it useful to save a copy of these to refer back to. 

Thinking about your topic: the aim

Have an idea which could make life easier, simpler or better. Clearly identify an opportunity or a problem and match it to an Award.

Spend some time thinking!

A really important process that you need to start with is thinking as widely as possible. You and your team members need to generate lots of ideas so that you have a good basis to use to focus in on your final project.

Download a copy of the fact sheet.

Why do I need to collect my own research?

You may feel that doing research is a waste of time and that you are better off just getting started on your design.

But if you simply rush into your project:

  • How will you know what has been developed already?
  • Perhaps someone else has had your idea?
  • Perhaps someone else has already conducted some research into your area of interest?
  • Perhaps there is a new development that would really help you

Download a copy of the fact sheet.

Search strategy

Simply typing in your search term will bring back thousands, sometimes millions, of ‘hits’.
Be smart and reduce this number to get exactly what you want from your search.

Download a copy of the fact sheet.

Evaluating information

Once you have found your information it is important to evaluate them so that you keep the best ones for your project.
One way of doing this is by performing the Currency, Relevancy, Authority, Accuracy and Purpose test on your sources.

Download a copy of the fact sheet.

Link your project to what your customer wants and needs

Having a great new idea or approach to solve a problem is fine, but remember that it has to be fit for purpose.
Think about the intended customer and their needs. If you do not know what they want, you need to do some research to find out.

Download a copy of the fact sheet.

Research is a messy process!

Most of you will be used to completing tasks set by your teacher, who will give you a question to answer, tells you when to do your research and tell you where to look for your answers. You then discuss and write your answer. Job done!

This means deciding what questions you need to have answers for and when and how you will do your research. Reading reports, articles and opinions often provides answers – but often as you learn more about your topic, it leads you to more questions that need to be answered.

Download a copy of the fact sheet.

Referencing your research: creating citations and a bibliography

There are 3 reasons why you need to reference, or show, where you found the information that you have used for your
innovation.

  • To show what you have read and found (or referred to). This allows the judges to see how widely you have researched, the range and type of sources (documents and/or people) that you have used.
  • To show that you are aware of current developments in your field.
  • To show that have acknowledged other people’s work and have avoided plagiarism (or copying) ideas.

Download a copy of the fact sheet.

What search engines are out there?

Most of you will be familiar with Google and will automatically use it every time you need to search, but there are a number of different search engines to choose from that also search the internet. What are the differences between them?


Each engine has their own index, or collection, of sites that they look through. Different engines have different formulas, or ways, of searching through the information.Some engines are specialised, meaning that they only look for certain types of information in specific places on the internet.

Download a copy of the fact sheet.

How to write an effective questionnaire

To get information and opinions that will be useful for your project, you will need to write your questions carefully. You need to be aware that the same question written in different ways might get different answers.


The best questionnaires are easy for the users to understand and also provide the researcher with answers that are easy to analyse. It is important that you consider what information you need to collect right from the start.

Download a copy of the fact sheet.

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