Finding information for 1st year Geologists


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Slides to go with the lecture and demo of resources suitable for 1st year Geology undergraduates looking for reliable and scholalry information.

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Finding information for 1st year Geologists

  1. 1. Finding Valuable Information for Your Geology Assignments Feb 2009 Gareth J Johnson David Wilson Library
  2. 2. Today’s Session • Aims to: – Introduce you the information searching tools – Introduce useful searching techniques – Suggest alternative resources and approaches – Highlight the importance of critical evaluation – Suggest ways to save you time and effort
  3. 3. Session Outline 1. Why do literature searches? 2. Sources of information 3. Searching for research information 4. Keyword and author searches 5. Refining your results 6. Improving your internet searching 7. Critical evaluation of websites 8. Review and questions
  4. 4. Literature Searches – why? • “A few months in the laboratory can save a few hours in the library.” - Westheimer's Law • To supplement lectures & textbooks – Helps to acquire a broader appreciation and understanding of geology • For projects and field work – Need to know what research has already been done – So you can build on that research
  5. 5. Information Sources • Lecture Notes – Good starting point for assignments • Books – Text books are good sources of background information – Specialist books go into greater depth on particular topics • Journal Articles – Good source of information on latest research – Provide more detailed and up-to-date information than books • Conference Papers – Lectures delivered at professional events – Quick route for research dissemination – Often available in advance of journal articles
  6. 6. Information Sources • Geological Surveys – For geological data on a particular area – Other maps and charts in Geography/Geology dept library • Websites – Can provide useful information – Need to evaluate website before using • Reports/Grey literature – Produced by institutions, societies, government or independent bodies – Not reviewed so Risk of bias so consider when reading – If not on web can be hard to obtain
  7. 7. Accessing Resources • All accessed via Library Webpage – Library Catalogue – Leicester Digital Library – Leicester e-Link • Nearly all available off campus too • Each indexes a different range of material • You will need to be familiar with them all
  8. 8. Leicester E-Link & Digital Library • Leicester E-Link – Searchable list of all e-journals available – Links to subscribed full text journals – Most available on or off campus • CWIS login required from off site • Digital Library – A-Z of all databases and access information – Additional help and support – Access to subject room for Geology
  9. 9. Finding Books – A Recap • Library catalogue: – Should be familiar by now • Brumbaugh, D. S. 1999. Earthquakes: science and society. Prentice Hall. – Use the ______________________ search Author/Title • Books by Philip Kearey – Use the ______________________ search Author • Books on volcanoes • - Use the ___________________ search Word or Phrase – Or subject search
  10. 10. Why Use Journal Articles? • Because they are the most up to date reliable resource – Journals are issued regularly (weekly/monthly etc) – Primary information sources through which research is made known to the geological community • Because they more detailed than books – Articles are more in-depth and single issue focussed • Because they are high quality resources – Most scholarly journal articles are refereed/peer-reviewed – Quality assured by the research community • University buys a lot but not all of them – Majority available online and on/off campus
  11. 11. Science Journal Types – 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
  12. 12. 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 ___________
  13. 13. How do you Find Articles? • Need to search bibliographic databases – Often just called databases – An online way of searching for journal articles • Each indexes bibliographic information for various 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 – Enough to find the items
  14. 14. Key Databases • GeoRefs – Geology and Earth-Sciences coverage – Includes journals most other resources don’t – • Scopus – General Science coverage – • Web of Knowledge – Multidisciplinary coverage –
  15. 15. How Can I Search? • Keyword/subject search – When you are looking for material on a particular subject – Ensures accurate results – May need background research to identify correct terms • Author search – When looking for material published by important geologists – Identified in lectures, books, review journal or other articles • Citation search – When looking for newer articles citing (referencing) key papers – Available on a few databases (Scopus/WoK)
  16. 16. 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
  17. 17. 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…
  18. 18. Keyword Searching (3): Truncation Ore Ores Ore* Orebody •Saves typing! •Picks up multiple terms from foreshortened word-stem
  19. 19. Keyword Searching (4): Boolean ore or deposit broad search, many results ore and deposit focussed search, fewer but more specific results focussed search results ore not deposit omitted useful results?
  20. 20. Many Keyword Searching (5): Broad Search Strategies • ore and deposits – Okay for the catalogue, too basic for databases – Will miss many, many useful articles • (ore* OR mineral*) AND deposit* – Good quick search – Will find more papers ((ore* OR mineral*) AND deposit* AND (uk OR united kingdom)) NOT hematite – Quite a sophisticated search Few – Inclusive and well focussed Focussed
  21. 21. Keyword Searching (6) Truncating & Parenthesis • Truncation/Wildcards – Substitutes for part of a word or letters – Good for finding plurals or alternative spellings • E.g. ore* finds ore / ores / orebody • E.g. minerali?ation finds mineralization and mineralisation • Brackets ( ) – Allow Boolean logic to function correctly – Order of priority NOT > AND > OR ore* OR mineral* AND deposit* AND uk OR united kingdom NOT hematite  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ((ore* OR mineral*) AND deposit* AND (uk OR united kingdom)) NOT hematite 
  22. 22. Author Searching • Use if already aware of key authors – From own knowledge, background reading or tutor recommendations • To find articles by Dr Gawen RT Jenkin – Search on Jenkin G* • Truncate – Author may or may not publish with middle initials – Journals may or may not other initials – Should find even if not primary (first) author
  23. 23. How can I Refine my Results? • Search strategies may need refining – Rarely run perfectly first time • Can also use limits/filters to narrow results – E.g. by date or publication type – Can include before or after a search – Different tools have different options • Helps avoid potentially overwhelming levels of results – Easier to chose the pick of the crop
  24. 24. Open Access to 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 – – Reliable and high quality – Allows access to full text
  25. 25. Improve your Internet Searching • Use the Intute Earth Sciences Portal – Peer-reviewed quality websites only • Use more than one search engine – Use different searching algorithms – Will find different results • 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
  26. 26. 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!
  27. 27. 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?
  28. 28. Session Review • Literature searching is necessary to find quality geology information • Access resources from the Library webpages • Articles in journals are the primary source of quality information • Bibliographic databases are how you identify journal articles of interest • Boolean logic, truncation and brackets are needed for keyword searches • Limit and filter to refine your results • Use open access searches to track down hard to find articles • Evaluate and use free-web sources carefully
  29. 29. Help & Assistance • For searching/database support – Gareth J Johnson (Physical & Biological Sciences) – • For general enquiries (password problems, off site access etc) – – 0116-252-2043 Questions?
  30. 30. Slides Available online at: