Find your way to research information sources

You will search for information sources in your own field under our guidance in the Thesis courses of your degree programme. The most important information sources are scientific and trade publications as well as information produced by the public administration (e.g. laws and statutes, standards, statistics, administrative reports, industry reports). You can request for some extra guidance in the Thesis Sauna.

More information on this video: Library services for Master's student.

Sources and references are to be recorded in your thesis according to JAMK’s project reporting instructions. You can find all of JAMK’s instructions related to thesis writing in JAMK’s Thesis Guide website.


Information seeking is a process

Systematic information seeking is a process where you search and evaluate research-based information or evidence-based information on your topic. 

Decorative illustration: information seeking


The progress of information seeking

Information seeking is often cyclical. You can simultaneously be in multiple stages of the information seeking process, or the order of the stages can vary. Your emotions and feelings can fluctuate from positive to negative and back again during the process. You will systematically and extensively familiarize yourself with what has previously been written and researched regarding your topic.

Stages (Kuhlthau)

  • Initiation: The need to obtain information arises. You start to ponder what it is that you want to know. At JAMK University of Applied Sciences  information is usually searched and applied in order to develop occupational practices.
  • Selecting the topic: You will decide on a topic by discussing it with the people around you, and by drawing a mind map or coming up with a list of words.
  • Exploring the topic: You will decide on your point of view regarding the topic. You will define the central concepts by getting to know two or three significant sources. You will focus on understanding the topic and are not intensively collecting sources just yet.
  • Formulating the topic (the most important stage): When you know what you are focusing on, you will be able to select information most essential and leave out inessential information.
  • Collecting sources: You will search for sources and take notes. Your understanding on the topic will get clearer (you will learn!).
  • Presenting the results: You will publish your report.
  • Self-evaluation: You will evaluate your actions during the whole process.

There are other information seeking models as well, for example The Big 6 Skills and Carol Kuhlthau's Guided Inquiry Design Process. 


Be critical of information sources

With what criterion do you approve or reject sources?

A source is high quality if its contents are relevant, up-to-date, impartial and extensive enough. Favour original sources and not summaries or other types of works referring to these sources. Evaluate Credibility!

Look at a tutorial to check the five criteria to evaluate web pages (IRIS tutorial)! Other research & IRIS tutorials at Clark libguides.


Cite your sources, do not steal

Do not use research results or other people’s ideas in your papers without citing sources. Summarise texts in your own words in a concise way. Always remember to include in-text citations and report a full list of references. You will find more information in JAMK's Project Reporting Instructions. Also check this site: Citation compass by three Norwegian university libraries and avoid plagiarism!


Use copyright-free photos and music

Image citation rights permit the use of a photo in scientific presentations and art reviews. Always ask the author for permission, however, if you are copying and using a photo, a musical composition or another similar artwork in your thesis or slideshow. You can link freely.

There are photos and music in the internet that you can freely use, presuming that you mention the source. You can, for example, use Flickr, Pixabay,,,, Pics4Learning and NASA's resources