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RECL 2P07 Successful Searching Jan 2014
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RECL 2P07 Successful Searching Jan 2014



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  • To start, pull 1-2 keywords out of your topic and use them for your search*Synonyms are especially important for recreation and leisure – both words can be used interchangably so you may have to search each separately
  • Most search engines and databases automatically search with AND when you add multiple keywords to a search boxSearch engines such as Google and SuperSearch work by matching the words you enter in the search box to the words in the documents it searches. So for Google, that’s billions of web pages; for Supersearch it’s records for almost everything the library has – books, articles, movies, music, etc.Generally, search engines work by trying to match all the words you put in the search box – so the more words you type, the fewer results you will get; the fewer words you type, the more results you will get because it’s easier for the search engine to match fewer words
  • Background info – handbooks, manuals and encyclopedias are books that provide broad overviews and explanations of topicsSuperSearch> library’s Google-style search engine-searches library’s collection of books, films, music and goes into journal databases to retrieve articles as well
  • Quotes are particularly helpful if you’re the words in your phrase are common and might generate a ton of results otherwise e.g. “long-term care”
  • How it works: Google Scholar indexes webpages and pulls citation information from journal articles, conference proceedings, working papers, reports and other documents – but we have no idea where exactly it is searching; no assurance material has been peer-reviewed; we also have to trust its weighting system will actually turn up the most relevant results for your search
  • Use the advanced search function to focus your searche.g. exact phrase, data range, specific author
  • So you’ve found good citations: how do you get the articles?Sometimes, the PDF article is embedded right in the results listSometimes, you have to do a bit more clicking > the GetIt! Button links the electronic citations you’ve found in your searching with the actual articles residing on journal websites
  • Getting the article:either PDF & or HTML version may be embedded in search resultsUse the GetIt! link
  • Writing and citing resources:-guides to APA style – OWL at Purdue, Dalhousie University handout
  • We know that you’re working from all over the place – home, residence, etc – so most of our services are available online
  • Need help - we’ve got it > lots of how-to videos, etc. on our Help page
  • So we’ve learned:-moving from background research to foreground research-using keywords & synonyms-Finding books for background info --strategies for finding relevant journal articles in SuperSearch-where to get help with APA style-managing citations with RefWorks-that the library is here to help


  • 1. Successful Searching Elizabeth Yates Recreation and Leisure Librarian eyates@brocku.ca
  • 2. Getting the good stuff What works for you?
  • 3. Today’s outcomes You will recall: • Strategies for building a successful search strategy • How to find books and articles in SuperSearch • Characteristics of Google Scholar • Where to get help with writing & citing
  • 4. The Research Path BACKGROUND INFO: -overview -key concepts & vocabulary BOOKS Work from background to foreground FOREGROUND: -very specific, timely aspects of topic JOURNAL ARTICLES
  • 5. Think like a search engine
  • 6. Sample topic & keywords How does body image affect participation in recreation? Keyword Synonyms/related words Body image Self esteem; appearance; body dysmorphia Recreation Leisure; sport; play; physical activity Pro Tip: keywords are usually the main nouns in your research question – leave descriptors such as “participation”, “benefit”, “affect” out of your search at first
  • 7. Think like a search engine, PT 2 More search words = fewer results Fewer search words = more results
  • 8. Thinking Tool time! • 3 minutes to brainstorm keywords, synonyms & search terms on your topic
  • 9. Finding background info researchguides.library.brocku.ca/RECL 1. Background info tab -print & e-resources 2. Find books tab -SuperSearch TIP: Start broad -- add more words as needed Image: 'untitled' http://www.flickr.com/photos/ 11797720@N00/8559607109 Found on flickrcc.net
  • 10. Succeed with SuperSearch: books 1. Refine your results: select “books & media @ Brock” to get background info 2. Slide the Publication Date to adjust time period 3. Select “Subject” to find results focused on a specific aspect of your topic 4. Add another keyword to find results focused on a specific aspect of your topic 5. To get a book: note location in library (print books) OR click “read this online” (e-books)
  • 11. Tips & tricks 1. Use “quotes” to search for an exact phrase 2. Use * to search for variations of a word ending e.g. child*(child, children, childish)
  • 12. Now, we’re ready for foreground info
  • 13. Finding articles on your topic Search engines Databases e.g. Google, Google Scholar: -broad scope -don’t know where you are searching e.g. SuperSearch, Leisure and Tourism -subject-specific scope -you can discover what journals are being searched -few options for focused searching -many options for focused searching e.g. by subject, age group, article type Pro Tip: Both tools are great – choose the one that’s best for your search
  • 14. Google Scholar Antiques, by bibliojojo: flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/68509201@N08/7360308172
  • 15. Succeed with Google Scholar Research Guide for Recreation & Leisure – Library website > left nav menu “Research Guides by Program” • researchguides.library.brocku.ca/RECL • Find Articles tab • Google Scholar • Advanced search (pull down tab) TIP: Click “More” for copy & paste citation
  • 16. Succeed with SuperSearch: articles 1. Refine your results: select “Scholarly (Peer Reviewed Journals” 2. Slide the Publication Date to adjust time period 3. Select “Subject” to find results focused on a specific aspect of your topic 4. Add another keyword to find results focused on a specific aspect of your topic
  • 17. Pro Tips: save time >Find a good article? -Check the subject/keywords, references and “cited by” for clues to other good articles: save time! >Scroll down: first result may not be the best
  • 18. Your turn: quiz • Sakai course site > use IE or Firefox • Tests & quizzes • Begin assessment: – Use keywords/synonyms from Thinking Tool to find info in SuperSearch – 1. List your topic – 2. Cite one book related to your topic in APA style – 3. Cite one journal article related to your topic in APA style; include the article abstract
  • 19. Now what? >use the GetIt! button to retrieve articles
  • 20. Help with APA style Research Guide for Recreation & Leisure – Library website > left nav menu “Research Guides by Program” • researchguides.library.brocku.ca/RECL • Writing and Citing tab
  • 21. Putting it all together Get tips on how to write an annotated bibliography
  • 22. Getting Help Chat with us from this widget @ brocku.ca/library Text us @ 289.271.8777 Search our Question & Answer Bank
  • 23. brocku.ca/library Click on the Help Tab to search topics by Category Contact me: eyates@brocku.ca Or chat via Recreation & Leisure Research Guide
  • 24. Summing up