Human Computer Interaction

This guide is meant for self service. If at any time during the research process, should you feel the need for research support, then email us. We will arrange a convenient time to get together on Zoom, and other platforms.

The research process

  1. Get background information from handbooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries
  • examples: 
  1. Once your topic is narrowly defined, select databases to find specific articles that have been published in journals
  • examples: 
  1. Look for films and images as non-literary forms of representation 
  2. Find books on your topic to gain greater depth and understanding
  1. Write down or store all the references you have consulted to include them in the bibliography of your research paper

Search tips

  1. Begin by defining exactly what you are searching for
  • Select the keywords/synonyms/antonyms in your topic
  • Be specific when determining keywords/synonyms/antonyms and terms to search
  1. Use the advanced interface of electronic databases and Internet search engines to help narrow your search
  • Limit results in electronic databases to full-text or peer reviewed journals only
  1. Use Boolean Operators to connect search terms by understanding how search engines operate
  1. Take notes during your research to keep track of where you have been, keywords searched, what worked and what didn't, etc.

Sources​ of information

Publication Cycle: to find primary and secondary sources of information, use tertiary sources of information: dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks. When a researcher publishes material, they follow the cycle clockwise. To find primary and secondary sources, follow the cycle anti clockwise.

Subject headings

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) use controlled vocabulary to access and express the subject content of documents. Human Computer Interaction as a discipline has been divided into the following subjects or research areas. â€‹This is a searchable index. Click on a link below to discover the Library's holdings in this area:

  • Add keywords
  • Use the filters on the left of the resulting screen
  • Typical filters are Available Online and Peer Reviewed Journals
  1. Artificial intelligence
  2. Computer communication networks
  3. Computer graphics
  4. Computer science
  5. Computer science -- Information systems
  6. Computer vision
  7. Computers and education
  8. Computers and society
  9. Data mining
  10. Data mining and knowledge discovery
  11. Database management
  12. Human computer interaction
  13. Image processing and computer vision
  14. Information storage and retrieval
  15. Information systems applications
  16. Management of computing and information systems
  17. Multimedia information systems
  18. Pattern recognition
  19. Software engineering
  20. User interfaces
  21. User interfaces and human computer interaction

Key database

  1. OMNI: the Carleton University Library search portal. Please see Help With Using Omni
  1. SAGE Knowledge Encyclopedias: Carleton subscribes to the 2011 Encyclopedia Collection which provides perpetual access to 27 encyclopedias in the social sciences published between 2005-2011, as well as some other encyclopedias which have been ordered individually. Browse by Content Type: "Encyclopedias" and/or "Handbooks".
  2. SAGE Research Methods: With information on the full range of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods for the social and behavioral sciences, as well as methods commonly used in the hard sciences, the book, reference, and journal content in SAGE Research Methods helps researchers of all levels conduct their research.
  • Cases: Cases are peer-reviewed and come with pedagogical tools including learning objectives and discussions questions
  • Datasets: Datasets is a collection of teaching datasets and instructional guides that give students a chance to learn data analysis by practicing themselves
  • Video: Video contains more than 125 hours of video, including tutorials, case study videos, expert interviews, and more, covering the entire research methods and statistics curriculum
  1. Wiley Online Journals: Multidisciplinary Wiley journals (current issues and backfiles). Wiley journal collections are also available via Scholars Portal Journals.


  1. The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed. [internet]
  2. Usability First: Usability in Website and Software Design [internet]


  1. How to Read a Book, v5.0 School of Information University of Michigan
  2. How to Read for Grad School Miriam E. Sweeney
Content last reviewed: October 31, 2018