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DIS Student Blog


Department of Information Studies


Dissertation Preparation

By Ruth M Russell, on 2 May 2012

Ben Roberts, Wellcome Images

If you are preparing to write a dissertation this summer you may find the following resources useful.

MetaLib & UCL Explore

MetaLib and UCL Explore can be a useful way of gaining an initial overview of a subject and identifying key databases, journals and articles for your literature review. MetaLib allows you to search a set of databases identified for Information Studies and/or create your own sets of database to search. A guide to using MetaLib is available (PDF).

UCL Explore is a new system which allows users to search across several library resources simultaneously, so you can identify books, journals, articles etc. all in one search.

Bibliographic Databases

UCL subscribes to a number of abstracting and indexing databases allowing you to search the contents of a range of journals and identify useful material on specific topics. For a list of databases for Information Studies click here.


The library has a growing collection of electronic books. We are doing our best to get all of these listed on the library catalogue so they appear alongside print books, but the following collections have not yet been fully catalogued:

  • Safari Large collection of electronic books relating to technology, digital media, and business. May be of particular interest to Information Science, and Digital Humanities students.


Several resources are available to guide you through the dissertation process, including the libraries guides to finding material for essays & dissertations and referencing (click here to see full list of guides) and our training in moodle which includes guidance on finding information and referencing. There are also a number of books available in the library to help, e.g.:

  •  How to write dissertations & project reports / Kathleen McMillan and Jonathan Weyers. GEOGRAPHY A 9 MCM
  •  How to write a master’s thesis / Yvonne N. Bui. HIGHER EDUCATION 9 BUI [Main Library]
  •  Internet research skills : how to do your literature search and find research information online / Niall Ó Dochartaigh. COMPUTER SCIENCE H 30 ODO
  • Succeeding with your master’s dissertation : a step-by-step handbook / John Biggam. –  2nd ed. HIGHER EDUCATION 9 BIG [Main Library]
  • They say, I say : the moves that matter in academic writing / Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein. GEOGRAPHY A 9 GRA

If you have any questions on dissertation preparation, referencing etc. please contact me. GOOD LUCK!

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