1. Introduction to the aims of the project.

2. Where do you position search within your general research methodology?

  • Awareness of what/when/how you search.
  • How does search link into the conceptualisation of your research?
  • Where did your research methodology develop from? e.g. formal training, experience-based etc.
  • Have your methods changed over time in response to new resources becoming available? e.g. digital repositories.

3. How does your knowledge influence how you go about starting a search? 

  • Working concepts?
  • Periodisation?
  • Input of other scholars?
  • Categorisation?
  • Knowledge of sources in your research area?

4. Could you describe how you develop a search strategy/what path your research process takes?

  • Set general or specific research questions?
  • Broad to narrow search?
  • Mindmap the steps of search and stick to it?
  • Change path of search according to what is found?
  • Phases?

5. How do you make links / cross reference your findings?

  • Do you “complete” a search in one go?
  • More iterative approach?

6. Please describe how you would go about a search (a specific piece of research)

  • Give details or specific examples.
  • Why do you do it like this? 

7. How do you interrogate data sets or archives?

  • Give details or specific examples.
  • Why do you do it like this?

8. What are some of the practicalities of search?

  • What constraints do you feel are placed on you?
  • Traditional sources vs. web sources.
  • What is important in an online resource? Validity etc.
  • Do you navigate to known sites or access new resources through web searches?
  • How do you find out about new resources?

9. Do you have a concept of how web-based search works behind the scenes?

  • Metadata / tagging etc. ?
  • Does your knowledge influence the way you input search terms?

10. What are some of your preferred resources?

  • What makes them useful?
  • What makes you return to them time and again?

11. Have you had issues with any resources?

  • What resources have you rejected and why?
  • Any recurring problems or annoyances? 

12. In an ideal world what would you want search to do? 

  • What could be some steps for achieving this?
  • Do you think your suggestions are implementable?