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Homepage / Help! I can’t find enough sources for my thesis topic!

Help! I can’t find enough sources for my thesis topic!


So you’ve got your thesis topic approved, but you are struggling to find data or information on your field of study. Most importantly – don’t panic! Here are some hints and tips to get you started…

First, broaden your search. This means ensuring you are searching in a range of places, rather than within a specific publication, and using a variety of keywords. Use Google Scholar or one of our journal databases, and any related business or scientific databases. If you are unsure about your search strategy or how to broaden your terms, come and see us in the Library Service.

Still no data?

If you are fairly sure that the data you need does not exist, then there are a few things to consider.

  1. Depending on the type of thesis you are writing, a lack of existing data could help make the case for your own study/research. You would however still need to situate your research within the field of study, by drawing on what does exist and identifying the gaps in the literature that your study addresses.
  2. If the data you need does exist, but is not part of a service that the University subscribes to, you may be able to access it via an interlibrary loan, or via use of another institution’s library using the SCONUL scheme. Check out our relevant posts to find out more.
  3. Think outside the box. What information do you have on your company or research area, and what can you infer from that? Is there any research with transferable results or that can inform your own study?
  4. Consider revising your scope. If you are dependent on existing research to carry out your study, then perhaps you could shift the focus of your study onto an area that is more established.

As always, come and see your Librarian or email us if you would like tailored support.

Feature image from Pixabay. Available at:

Angela Sparks

Written By: Angela Sparks

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