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  1. 1. How to get Information forYour Geology Assignments Gareth Johnson
  2. 2. Session Outline• Why do literature searches• Finding books – a quick recap• What are journal articles• Finding journal articles• Improving your internet searching• Information Sources Quiz
  3. 3. Information Sources• Lecture Notes – Good starting point for assignments.• Books – Good sources of background information.• Journal Articles – Good source of information on latest research – Provide more detailed information than books• Geological Surveys – For geological data on a particular area.• Websites – Can provide useful information – Need to evaluate website before using
  4. 4. Literature Searches – why do them?• “A few months in the laboratory can save a few hours in the library.” - Westheimers Law• You need to know what research has already been done so you can build on that research
  5. 5. Finding Books – A Quick Recap• Library catalogue:• Brumbaugh, D. S. 1999. Earthquakes: science and society. Prentice Hall. Author/Title – Use the ______________________ search• Books by Philip Kearey Author – Use the ______________________ search• Books on volcanoes Word or Phrase• - Use the ___________________ search
  6. 6. Why Use Journal Articles?• Journals – Publications that are issued at regular intervals – Also called serials or periodicals – Primary information sources through which research is made known to the geological community• Often the most up to date reliable resource – Quality (scholarly) journals are refereed/peer-reviewed – Articles are reviewed by other authors in the field – Comments, corrections and revisions are made to submitted papers – Final published versions are therefore quality assured by the research community
  7. 7. Three Types of Science Journal– General journals • Devoted to news, opinion, comment and articles for non-experts • e.g. Geology Today– Scholarly journals • Devoted to original research contributions • e.g. Journal of Geology– Review journals • Devoted to original contributions taking an overview of the published literature • e.g. Trends in Ecology and Evolution
  8. 8. Recognising Journal Articles• Bohaty, Steven M., Zachos, James C, 2003. Significant Southern Ocean warming event in the late middle Eocene. Geology, 31(11):1017-1020.• Look for whether it has Article Title Journal Title• An ____________ & a _____________ Volume Number Issue Number• A ______________ & an ___________
  9. 9. What is a Bibliographic Database?• Need to search bibliographic databases – Effectively an online way of searching for journal articles• Each one indexes lists of bibliographic information for publications – Such as books and journal articles – Some overlap in coverage• Bibliographic information normally comprises: – Author, title, source (journal title), year, volume, page numbers & abstract summary
  10. 10. Key Bibliographic Databases• GeoRefs – Geology and Earth-Sciences coverage – Includes journals most other resources don’t –• Scopus – General Science coverage –• Web of Knowledge – Multidisciplinary coverage –
  11. 11. Types of Search• Keyword/Subject Search – When you are looking for material on a particular subject – Need to be systematic in your searches – Ensures accurate results and avoid information- overload• Author Search – When you are looking for material published by key names in a field • Identified in lectures, books, review journal or other articles
  12. 12. Keyword Searching (1): Concepts• Question: Find out about ore deposits in the UK – Identify the important concepts and words in the question: • Ore • Deposits • UK
  13. 13. Keyword Searching (2): Variants• Think about variations of the keywords you’re using:• Ore – Ores, Orebody, Mineral, Minerals…• Deposits – Deposit, Deposition…• UK – United Kingdom, Britain, England, Wales, Scotland, British Isles…
  14. 14. Keyword Searching (3): Truncation Ore Ores Ore* Orebody•Saves typing!•Picks up multiple terms from foreshortenedword-stem
  15. 15. Keyword Searching (4): Boolean Logic• AND – This is used to combine search terms to narrow your search
  16. 16. Keyword Searching (4): Boolean Logic• OR – This is used where various terms might describe the same object
  17. 17. Keyword Searching (4): Boolean Logic• NOT – This is used when you wish to exclude a word from your search
  18. 18. Keyword Searching (5): Search Strategies• Brackets are used as in a mathematical equation, to tell the database how to combine the words (ore* OR mineral*) AND deposit*• A more specific search could be: ((ore* OR mineral*) AND deposit* AND (uk OR united kingdom)) NOT hematite
  19. 19. Author Searching• Question: Find an article by Dr Gawen RT Jenkin• Search on: – Jenkin G* • May or may not publish with middle initials • Journals may or may not other initials
  20. 20. Tools to Refine Results• You can also use limits/filters to narrow your search – E.g. by date or publication type• Can include before or after a search• Helps avoid potentially overwhelming levels of results – Easier to chose the pick of the crop
  21. 21. Improve your Internet Searching• Use more than one search engine as they use different searching algorithms• Use the advanced search features in Google & Yahoo – Phrase searching – Search a specific field e.g. title or URL – Limit by language, file type, domain• Use the options for specific media e.g. images, groups, news
  22. 22. Google Scholar• “Search specifically for scholarly literature” – No definition as to what Google classify as scholarly! – Can be some odd gaps/omissions•• Often links to full text but might not link to the version of the full text available to the University – On-campus it will give you an e-link option to check whether you can access the full text for free• Good first place to see what is available and what keywords to use – But use bibliographic databases in your subject too!
  23. 23. Open Access Research• A move from academics annoyed over journal prices – No passwords, subscriptions or access restrictions• Researchers make articles available for free (outside of journals) – Held in online repositories – Still include peer-review elements• Can easily be searched using OpenDOAR –
  24. 24. Evaluating Websites• Intended Audience – Is the site aimed at researchers or the general public?• Authority and Reputation – Is the resource well known? – Is it an academic site? – Is it factual or opinion based? – Does the information have a basis in research and is a bibliography provided?• Subject Coverage – Is the site an overview or does it cover the subject in-depth?• Currency – – Has the site been recently updated?
  25. 25. Questions?
  26. 26. Useful Links• Geology Subject Room:• Referencing:• s.html• Geology Information Retrieval Skills Tutorial:• Web of Science tutorial:• Library catalogue tutorial: