How to Find Information in Environmental Science
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How to Find Information in Environmental Science

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A brief tutorial on how to find information in environmental science. It will support EPS 202 at NJIT

A brief tutorial on how to find information in environmental science. It will support EPS 202 at NJIT

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  • 1. Finding Information in the Interdisciplinary Field of Environmental Studies Bruce Slutsky Robert Van Houten Library [email_address]
  • 2. Disciplines within Environmental Science
    • Atmospheric Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Climate Change
    • Conservation
    • Ecology
    • Geology
    • Global Warming
    • Hazardous Wastes
    • Oceanography
    • Pollution
    • Population
    • Soil Science
    • Sustainability
  • 3. Retrieving Information
    • We are flooded with scientific, technical and policy information.  Scientists, engineers and students must be able to find information at all levels from a multitude of information resources available to them.
  • 4. AIM of This Tutorial
    • To show how information learned in the Research Roadmaps can be applied to the environmental sciences
    • To progress from a general to a more specific search on a topic
    • To become familiar with some subject specific databases
  • 5. Review of Research Roadmaps (HUM 101)
    • Library Home Page ( http://library.njit.edu )
    • Finding a book from the NJIT Library Catalog
    • Google “Phenomenon”
    • Evaluating the Validity of Web Sites
    • List of Library Databases
  • 6. Topics within Environmental Science
    • There is an infinite number of topics with the general subject of environmental science
    • As an example, we will search for information on climate change.
      • In general
      • Correlation between climate change and air pollution
  • 7. Looking for Books on Climate Change
    • More general information on climate change are found in books
    • Can search on:
      • Climate change as keyword phase
      • Climatic changes as subject phrase
      • Global warming as subject phrase
    • Most books are downstairs in Circ Collection
    • Some electronic books are available
  • 8. Looking for Articles on Climate Change
    • Magazine Articles
    • Journal Articles (Peer Reviewed Literature)
  • 9. Some Magazines with Articles on Climate Change
    • Business Week
    • Chemical Week
    • Economist
    • Planning
    • These magazines will obviously have articles on other topics
  • 10. Some Journals Available at NJIT with Articles on Climate Change
    • Journal of Climate
    • Climatic Change
    • Nature *
    • Science*
    • Global Change Biology
    • * Notice – these journals are very multidisciplinary
  • 11. List of Databases Available at the NJIT library
    • Entire list may be found at http://library.njit.edu/databases/index.php
    • In this tutorial we will examine
      • Academic Search Premier
      • Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe
      • Scopus
    • Each database differs in coverage, search interface and special features
  • 12. Academic Search Premier
    • A large scholarly, multidisciplinary full text database designed specifically for academic institutions. It offers critical information from many sources found in no other database.
    • Contains indexing and abstracts for over 8,450 journals, with full text for more than 4,650 of those titles.
  • 13. Special Features in Academic Search Premier
    • Can Limit to Peer Review Journals
    • Can Limit Search to Full-Text Journals
    • Will suggest terms to narrow search
    • Gives a link to help from the NJIT Library
    • Will automatically generate citations in the format you need (i.e MLA or APA)
    • Can Export to EndNote
    • Can Save in a Folder for Future Reference
  • 14. Scopus
    • Scopus is a large multidisciplinary abstract and citation database. It covers:
    • Over 16,500 titles from more than 4,000 international publishers, including coverage of
      • 15,400 peer-reviewed journals (inc > 1200 Open Access journals)
      • 575 trade publications
      • 315 book series
      • Extensive conference coverage (3,6 million conference papers)
  • 15. Scopus – Special Features
    • Tabular display of results allows you to easily sort results according to date, relevance, authors, source title and number of citations (cited-by’s).
    • Refine Results gives you a quick overview of all of your results according to source title, author name, year, document type and subject area
    • Allows links to the full-text
    • Can output to MLA, APA and other bibliographic formats
    • Can export into EndNote
    • Can Set up alerts via e-mail or RSS feed
  • 16. Lexis-Nexis
    • Full-text of more than 350 newspapers from the U.S. and around the world, many same day of publication, plus the most extensive archives available anywhere of The New York Times (dating back to 1980) and The Washington Post (dating back to 1977)
    • More than 300 magazines and journals and over 600 newsletters, including: American Journalism Review, Business Week, The Economist, Library Journal, New Republic, Newsweek, and Variety
    • Hard-to-find broadcast transcripts from the major television and radio networks, including ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and NPR
  • 17. Sample Search
    • Let’s do a search on any correlation between climate change and air pollution using:
      • Academic Search Premier
      • Scopus
      • Lexis-Nexis
      • Google
  • 18. Devising Optimal Search Strategies
    • Choose the proper database(s)
      • Be aware of the scope and limitations
    • Use all relevant search terms and appropriate Boolean logic
      • Think of concepts not words
    • Devise a search strategy for:
      • Precise search
        • Expand strategy if too few are found
      • Exhaustive search
        • Cut down if too many citations are retrieved
  • 19. Evaluating the Retrieved References
    • Look at the title of the article
    • Read the abstract which is a one paragraph summary of the article to help you decide if it is relevant.
    • Read the entire paper, incorporate the information into your assignment
  • 20. Evaluating Web Sites Authority
    • Who is responsible for the contents of the page?
    • If the site is sponsored by an organization, is this information prominently and clearly displayed?
    • Is there a way of verifying the legitimacy of the page's sponsor? Is there a phone number or postal address to contact for more information? (Simply an email address is not enough.)
    • Is it clear who wrote the material and are the author's qualifications for writing on this topic clearly stated?
  • 21. Evaluating Web Sites Accuracy
    • Are the sources for any factual information clearly listed so they can be verified in another source?
    • If data are included, is the source of the data indicated?
    • Is the information free of grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors? (These kinds of errors not only indicate a lack of quality control, but also can actually produce inaccuracies in information.)
    • Is it clear who has ultimate responsibility for the accuracy of the content of the material?
    • Does the data/information make sense?
  • 22. For Assistance
    • Bruce Slutsky
      • [email_address] or 973-642-4950
    • Chat and e-mail reference service
      • http://library.njit.edu/researchhelpdesk/askus.php
    • Twitter
      • NJITREF
    • Reference Desk
      • Phone at 973-596-3210
      • Come see us in person