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How to get Information for Your Geology Assignments


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Lecture for 1st Year Geologists on data resources at Leicester for them. A bit basic to be honest...

Lecture for 1st Year Geologists on data resources at Leicester for them. A bit basic to be honest...

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    • 1. How to get Information for Your Geology Assignments Gareth Johnson [email_address]
    • 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. 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. Literature Searches – why do them?
      • “ A few months in the laboratory can save a few hours in the library.” - Westheimer's Law
      • You need to know what research has already been done so you can build on that research
    • 5. Finding Books – A Quick Recap
      • Library catalogue: http://
      • Brumbaugh, D. S. 1999. Earthquakes: science and society. Prentice Hall.
        • Use the ______________________ search
      • Books by Philip Kearey
        • Use the ______________________ search
      • Books on volcanoes
      • - Use the ___________________ search
      Author/Title Author Word or Phrase
    • 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. 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. 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
      • An ____________ & a _____________
      • A ______________ & an ___________
      Article Title Journal Title Volume Number Issue Number
    • 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. Key Bibliographic Databases
      • GeoRefs
        • Geology and Earth-Sciences coverage
        • Includes journals most other resources don’t
        • http:// /
      • Scopus
        • General Science coverage
      • Web of Knowledge
        • Multidisciplinary coverage
        • http://
    • 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. 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. 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. Keyword Searching (3): Truncation
      • Saves typing!
      • Picks up multiple terms from foreshortened word-stem
    • 15. Keyword Searching (4): Boolean Logic
      • AND
        • This is used to combine search terms to narrow your search
    • 16. Keyword Searching (4): Boolean Logic
      • OR
        • This is used where various terms might describe the same object
    • 17. Keyword Searching (4): Boolean Logic
      • NOT
        • This is used when you wish to exclude a word from your search
    • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 Open DOAR
        • http://
    • 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. Questions?
    • 26. Useful Links
      • Geology Subject Room:
      • Referencing:
      • Geology Information Retrieval Skills Tutorial:
      • Web of Science tutorial:
      • Library catalogue tutorial: