Information like facts, statistics, standards, and government reports are not scholarly sources, but they still may be credible and useful for your research.
You won't always look for these in the same way you'd look for a scholarly article or a textbook. See below for tips on searching for non-scholarly sources.
You should evaluate all of your sources for credibility, but it is particularly important for sources like this, which have not already been scrutinised by the research community. The Information Essentials modules will help you assess the credibility of your sources.
Technical standards lay out the specifications of best practice, as decided by professional bodies of experts, to ensure a certain level of quality, safety, and consistency. Read more from Standards Australia (Australia's peak non-government standards organisation).
Most of you will need to be familiar with technical standards as part of your work. Standards are also useful for research in part because they allow you to compare actual practice and products against what professional groups believe should be done.
Find standards in standards databases, academic databases, and the websites of professional associations. Some databases are below.
Patents are a way of formalising intellectual property rights so that only the owner has the legal right to make or sell the creation. According to IP Australia, the Australian Government agency responsible for administering patents, trade marks and designs, "A patent is a right granted for a device, substance, method, or process that you have invented that is new, inventive, and useful when compared with what is already known."
If you're developing a new idea, check that it has not already been patented by searching on one of the sites below.
Most patent websites do not require an ECU login.
The person who registered the patent might not use the same words you would use to describe the invention. Think of synonyms you might use for each term, including technical terms. Try to be specific and accurate to limit the number of results: is there a material or a step in a process that you can use in your search?
Are you looking for Australian patents only, or patents from other countries as well? Some of the links below have international content.
Make sure the site you choose covers the time period you would expect this invention to have been created.
Resources to help you in your search:
Statistics can be difficult to locate, and you will not find rigorously collected data for every question you might have.
To locate good statistics, usually you will need to know which agencies (including government, educational, non-profit, and for-profit institutions) might be doing research in the area in question.
Identify where to search
Start by identifying organisations that might be collecting the types of data you are looking for.
Note of caution:
International statistics are dependent on the collection of data by national governments and other agencies, so the types, depth and dates of data are not always consistent between countries.
Collection of data within individual countries
Some places to look:
Edith Cowan University acknowledges and respects the Noongar people, who are
the traditional custodians of the land upon which its campuses stand and its programs
In particular ECU pays its respects to the Elders, past and present, of the Noongar people, and embrace their culture, wisdom and knowledge.