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Search worksheet 1
Search worksheet 1
Search worksheet 1
Search worksheet 1
Search worksheet 1
Search worksheet 1
Search worksheet 1
Search worksheet 1
Search worksheet 1
Search worksheet 1
Search worksheet 1
Search worksheet 1
Search worksheet 1
Search worksheet 1
Search worksheet 1
Search worksheet 1
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Search worksheet 1

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  • 1. Search Process Assignment Part 1: Planning and documentation 1. The question 2. Facets of the question 3. Building a search grid 4. Brainstorming for synonyms for your facets 5. Finding terms in the ERIC Ebscohost Thesaurus 6. Rephrase the original question as a Boolean statement 7. Double-check: does the search statement match the needs expressed by the original question?
  • 2. 1. The question Can you help me find some information about distance education? Sure! Can you tell me a little more about what you’re hoping to find? I’m taking an online course for the first time and I’d like to learn more about the differences between regular face-to-face classes and online learning, so I can be better prepared. I’m especially concerned about the amount of time I need to invest, since I’m already working full time. Do you think there’s any helpful information out there? !
  • 3. 1. Facets of the question Facets are the main parts of a question. To find them, first take out all but the most important nouns: I’m taking an online course for the first time and I’d like to learn more about the differences between regular face-to-face classes and online learning, so I can be better prepared. I’m especially concerned about the amount of time I need to invest, since I’m already working full time. Do you think there’s any helpful information out there? The other parts of the question are also important – they will help you to determine if what you find in your search is pertinent to the initial question. But for searching purposes, you’ll want to determine key terms: face-to-face classes online learning time
  • 4. 3. Building a search grid Initial terms Face-to- face classes Online learning Time Synonyms Thesaurus terms Using my initial terms, I’ll start to build a search grid. This is important because it helps keep the search process organized. Each facet term has its own column. The rows are for your initial terms, synonyms, and thesaurus terms. facet 1 facet 2 facet 3 !
  • 5. 4. Brainstorming for synonyms for your facets Initial terms Face-to-face classes Online learning Time Synonyms In-person classes Conventional classes Distance education Online education Time investment Time requirements Thesaurus terms Think about other words and phrases that mean the same thing as your initial terms. The next step involves using the ERIC thesaurus, but it’s great to use a regular thesaurus (paper or online) to find other terms for this phase. This step is important because it helps you to start thinking about some of the different ways your facets can be expressed.
  • 6. 5. Finding terms in the ERIC/EbscoHost Thesaurus Initial terms Face-to-face classes Online learning Time Synonyms In-person classes Conventional classes Distance education Online education Time investment Time requirements Thesaurus terms Next it’s time to look at how the database thesaurus defines your facet terms. This is important because the ERIC / EbscoHost bibliographic database indexes its records using subject headings. The thesaurus explains how the subject headings are used. For example, while the word education may seem to be a good word to describe teaching, the ERIC thesaurus subject heading notes may suggest that you find a narrower term.
  • 7. 5. Finding terms in the ERIC Thesaurus Here’s where you’ll find the thesaurus: Type in your first synonym. Don’t forget your initial term! Click on the link, and then scroll down the lists of terms. Use the ‘expand’ feature to verify whether the word or term means the same thing you think it means.
  • 8. 5. Finding terms in the ERIC Thesaurus This part (and other parts, too) takes patience and creativity. Often, you’ll get this message: When this happens, don’t give up! Persistence pays off. Sometimes there’s only one subject heading that fits your concept, but not always. Try broadening your concept: education instead of online education. A favorite ‘quick and dirty’ tactic of mine is to search for a term anyway – as a natural language term, as a title or keyword phrase: I’ll look at the subject headings of the items that are retrieved to see what might work for my search.
  • 9. 5. Finding terms in the ERIC Thesaurus Initial terms Face-to-face classes Online learning Time Synonyms In-person classes Conventional classes Distance education Online education Time investment Time requirements Thesaurus terms Conventional instruction Traditional schools Distance education Extension education Online courses Electronic learning Student responsibility Time factors (learning) Time management (I decided that ‘student responsibility’ didn’t really capture the same idea – although I knew that what I wanted was about the student’s responsibility for time management) As you find good terms, and verify them, enter them on your search grid in the appropriate facet place. Do this for every synonym, checking out how the terms are defined by the thesaurus. Use your grid to add notes to yourself! Finally, double-check your facets: do all the terms and phrases in each facet mean the same thing? Although it takes a while to do this, you’ll be rewarded when you conduct your search. !
  • 10. 6. Rephrase the original question as a Boolean statement Initial terms Face-to-face classes Online learning Time Synonyms In-person classes Conventional classes Distance education Online education Time investment Time requirements Thesaurus terms Conventional instruction Traditional schools Distance education Extension education Online courses Electronic learning Time factors (learning) Time management If you’ve read a little about Boolean logic, you may have learned that it’s really just a way to express your concepts as a sort of ‘question logic’ – an annotation of how you want these concepts to be related. The basic Boolean operators are and, or, and not. But what does that mean for this search grid I’ve created? Next slide, please.
  • 11. Initial terms Face-to-face classes Online learning Time Synonyms In-person classes Conventional classes Distance education Online education Time investment Time requirements Thesaurus terms Conventional instruction OR Traditional schools Distance education OR Extension education OR Online courses OR Electronic learning Time factors (learning) OR Time management 6. Rephrase the original question as a Boolean statement The OR is here to show that for each facet, you want any of the terms. Again, I’m focusing on Thesaurus terms only (but you could use the same Boolean expression for natural language terms). Expressed as a Boolean statement, the first facet would look like this: (conventional instruction) or (traditional schools). Note: The parentheses are used for subject phrases, not single words. Their use is to ensure that terms stay together as phrases.
  • 12. 6. Rephrase the original question as a Boolean statement Initial terms Face-to-face classes Online learning Time Synonyms In-person classes Conventional classes Distance education Online education Time investment Time requirements Thesaurus terms Conventional instruction Traditional schools Distance education Extension education Online courses Electronic learning Time factors (learning) Time management A N D The AND is used here to show that we are combining facets: all subject terms for facet 1 AND all subject terms for facet 2 AND all subject terms for facet 3. Here’s what this would look like as a Boolean statement: ((conventional instruction) OR (traditional schools)) AND ((distance education) OR (extension education) OR (online courses) OR (electronic learning)) AND ((time factors (learning)) OR (time management)) NOTE: In addition to using parentheses to ‘hold together’ subject phrases, in this Boolean statement, I’m also using them to ‘hold together’ facets. This indicates that I want each facet to be considered as a set. A N D
  • 13. 6. From Boolean statement to search syntax Boolean statement: ((conventional instruction) OR (traditional schools)) AND ((distance education) OR (extension education) OR (online courses) OR (electronic learning)) AND ((time factors (learning)) OR (time management)) ERIC search syntax: includes field indicators (in this case, the subject field): ((su conventional instruction) OR (su traditional schools)) AND ((su distance education) OR (su extension education) OR (su online courses) OR (su electronic learning)) AND ((su time factors (learning)) OR (su time management)) … but what does that look like in an actual search? Q: Why bother to create a search syntax statement? Why not just put terms directly into the search boxes? A: This is how we document the search process. It tells you (and others) exactly what you did. When you document like this, I can re-create your search – and so can you (or your patron).
  • 14. 7. From planning to searching: Single-facet searching 1. Using the ADVANCED ERIC search, put each of your facet 1 subject headings in its own line. Add a line if you need more room. 2. Use the dropdown indicators to tell ERIC how to combine your facet 1 terms. 3. Now, use the dropdown menu on the right to indicate which field you’re searching. 4. Next, click on the button. Look at the records your single-facet search has retrieved. You’ll want to focus on the subject headings of those records, but scan through titles as well, to look for items that seem pertinent to your facet. Do this for EACH facet, making sure to include ALL your subject headings, and clearing the search boxes after each search. Q: Why take all this time to look at the results each facet? Why shouldn’t I just put all my facets into the search? A: By looking at results for each set of (more or less synonymous) subject headings, you’re testing your terms. You’re also seeing if there are other subject headings that can be added to your search.
  • 15. 7. From planning to searching: combining your facets 1. Once you’ve searched each separate facet, adding or changing your subject headings based on what you’ve seen, it’s time to combine them into one search. I’ll use ERIC’s Search History feature to do this: Combine your single-facet searches by clicking on the box in front of each one, and then choosing to search with AND.
  • 16. 7. From planning to searching: review your search results – and revise, if needed. My search retrieved 18 items. Now it’s time to look at results. As I did with each single-facet search, I’ll scan through these items. It’s still not too late to revise my search! I constantly think back to the original question to be absolutely sure I didn’t stray off track – it’s SO easy to do that. Use ‘Add to folder’ to save the best results – but don’t forget to look at the subject headings! Click on the title to see more about each item, too. TIP: It’s a good idea to create an account and save your searches – that way you can return to them.

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