Searching for Geology Research Literature

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Slides to accompany the lecture (Jan 2009) to 2nd year Geology undergraduate students. A guide to searching and available information resources.

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Searching for Geology Research Literature

  1. 1. Searching for Geology Research Literature Finding quality research information and publications Jan 09 Gareth J Johnson David Wilson Library Slides online at:
  2. 2. Today’s Session Aims to  ◦ Examine ways to save you time and effort ◦ Give an overview of what is research literature ◦ Familiarise you with Leicester’s suite of information resources ◦ Examine database searching techniques ◦ Help you identify keywords and terms ◦ Give you time for questions
  3. 3. Session Outline Research literature 1. Accessing information resources 2. Strategies for effective searching 3. Refining search results 4. Other resources and tools 5.
  4. 4. What is Research Literature? Other materials  ◦ Textbooks ◦ Maps and charts ◦ General website Research literature  ◦ Specialist & professional books ◦ Geological surveys ◦ Peer-reviewed journal articles ◦ Conference papers & reports ◦ Quality web resources
  5. 5. Why do you need it?  To inform your own lab, field and project work  To find detailed and accurate information on a specific subject  To discover professional techniques and insight  To provide information for your studies and project work
  6. 6. Journal Articles Primary sources of research information   Professional communications from geologists and scholars  Peer-reviewed before publication to ensure quality and accuracy  Articles not listed on Library Catalogue or Leicester e-Link
  7. 7. Journal Variations Generalist  ◦ Cover news, opinion, comment and articles for non- specialists ◦ E.g. Geology Today Research  ◦ In depth, peer-reviewed quality research ◦ E.g. Journal of Geology Review  ◦ Overviews of areas within a subject ◦ May be or may not be peer reviewed ◦ Invaluable for identifying key authors and topics ◦ E.g. Trends in Ecology and Evolution
  8. 8. Geological Surveys Surveys on geological aspects of  country/regions  Cover aspects of mineralogy, geochemistry, hydrology and mapping  Produced by governmental bodies responsible for geological work  See the Geology Subject Room for more information  Find surveys in the Library on the catalogue
  9. 9. Conference Proceedings Collections of lectures delivered at  professional conferences and events  Quick dissemination of research  Often available in advance of journal articles  May be peer reviewed but often not  Sometimes published as books or journals
  10. 10. Reports Produced by institutions, societies,  government or independent bodies ◦ Known as grey literature Will not be peer reviewed  ◦ Risk of bias so consider when reading Recent years generally available on the  web ◦ Older editions harder to obtain Questions? 
  11. 11. Resources at Leicester  All accessed via Library Webpage ◦ Library Catalogue ◦ Leicester Digital Library ◦ Leicester e-Link  Nearly all available off campus too  Eachindexes a different range of material  You will need to be familiar with them all
  12. 12. Finding Literature Library Catalogue  ◦ Lists all books, maps and reports held by the Library ◦ But only lists journal titles not the articles within Searching  ◦ Try Subject search E.g. petrology ◦ Use advanced search for more options ◦ Finds books on a subject not just in title ◦ Search for journal titles to see if in stock  E.g. Japanese journal of geology and geography
  13. 13. Bibliographic Databases Often referred to as just databases   Contain descriptive (bibliographic) information for a range of publications ◦ Including books, journal articles, reports etc Provide a reference and abstract  ◦ Enough to track down the article ◦ Must be careful to record all the information ◦ Can email or download references for later use No single database indexes all geology  research literature
  14. 14. Which Databases to Use? Depends on your research area   Some multidisciplinary ones ◦ SCOPUS, Web of Knowledge Some more subject specific  ◦ GeoRefs, Crossfire. Biosis Subject Rooms have some guidance  ◦ See booklet and Digital Library A-Z pages for more information
  15. 15. Key Geology Databases GeoRefs  ◦ Geology and Earth-Sciences coverage ◦ Includes journals most other resources don’t ◦ Covers 1785 on (N/America) & 1933 on (international) ◦ Updated biweekly Scopus  ◦ General Science coverage ◦ 7,000 science journals indexed ◦ Covers 1966 to date ◦ Updated daily Web of Knowledge  ◦ Multidisciplinary coverage ◦ 5,300 major science journals indexed ◦ Covers 1970 to date ◦ Updated weekly
  16. 16. 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
  17. 17. Search Methods Preparation of a search strategy is the key   Searches can be built up ◦ Single search element at a time ◦ Portions of larger search statement Need to be familiar with Boolean Logic  ◦ AND – makes search more specific ◦ OR – includes synonymous terms ◦ NOT – eliminates irrelevant results
  18. 18. Boolean Logic 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?
  19. 19. Basic Searches Find articles on earthquake detection  sensors ◦ earthquake and detection and sensors This will work  ◦ But it is NOT comprehensive Many articles will be missed  ◦ Results will be too broad Good for finding random papers of possible  interest  Need to consider alternative terms too
  20. 20. Keywords & Variations Identify key concepts and words  ◦ Earthquake/Detection/Sensors Think about keyword  ◦ Earthquake earthquake, earthquakes, tremors, seismic etc.  ◦ Detection detection, detectors, identification, monitoring etc.  ◦ Sensors sensors, sensor, seismograph, seismographs etc.  Questions? 
  21. 21. Your Turn  Find out about ore deposits in the UK  What are the: ◦ Main concepts? ◦ Keywords and alternative terms?
  22. 22. Your Keywords Important concepts  ◦> Keywords  ◦>
  23. 23. How does that match up…? Ore  ◦ Lode, ore, ores, orebody, mineral, minerals, aggregate  Maybe specific ore types too (e.g. magnetite hematite, haematite, goethite, limonite, siderite. Etc) Deposits  ◦ Deposits, deposition, sedimentation, accretion, accumulation UK  ◦ United Kingdom, Britain, England, Wales, Scotland, British isles, northern Ireland etc.
  24. 24. Truncation & 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  ◦ fish or sausages and chips ◦ (fish or sausages) and chips 
  25. 25. A Better Search Articles on earthquake detection sensors  1. earthquake or seismic 2. detection or identification 3. sensors or monitors Run each search independently  ◦ Then combine to make final search (earthquake* or seismic) and (detect* or identif*) and (sensor* or monitor*) ◦ Good for finding papers specifically concerned with our interests
  26. 26. The Best Search (?) Articles on earthquake detection sensors  1. earthquakes or seismic or tremors 2. detection or identification or monitoring 3. sensors or seismograph 4. Not nuclear Revised in the light of test search   Run each search independently ◦ Then combine to make final search ((earthquake* or seismic or tremor*) and (detect* or identif* or monitor*) and (sensors or seismograph )) not nuclear
  27. 27. Refining Your Search Expect to revise your initial search  ◦ Rarely work exactly right first time May need to expand  ◦ Include more synonymous terms or truncation May to need to focus  ◦ Use more specific terms or use limits/filters May need to rethink approach  ◦ Try different resources ◦ Reconsider search terminology or logic
  28. 28. Citation Searching Search for (more recent) articles that  refer to a classic (older but significant) paper ◦ Brings thread of research up-to-date ◦ Can broaden your results into otherwise hidden areas Only available on WoK, Scopus & Google  Scholar
  29. 29. Identifying Relevant Articles How recent is it?  ◦ Is there a more recent version available? Is an abstract available?  ◦ Does it mention your mine/ore suite? ◦ Does it talk about your class of ore deposit? ◦ Does it contain information about regional geology? Where are the author(s) based?   Where does the article appear?
  30. 30. Other Tools Saved searches  ◦ Can be used for search alerts on some resources Subject index searching  ◦ Using controlled terms rather than keywords Open Access  ◦ Freely available quality research ◦ Online search engines available  OpenDOAR Search, BASE Academic Search ◦ No need to worry about if the University subscribes to the journals ◦ Reliable quality alternative
  31. 31. Other Tools Intute Earth Sciences Portal  ◦ http://www.intute/sciences/earthsciences/ Geology Subject Room  ◦ Link from Library Webpages ◦ http://rooms1.library.le.ac.uk/rooms/portal/ Wikipedia  ◦ Okay for general information ◦ But not good for research literature
  32. 32. Bibliographic Software There to aid you in managing your search  results ◦ Build a personal bibliography ◦ Eliminate duplicate results from multiple databases ◦ Citation insertion into Word documents ◦ Inserts custom bibliography formatted to house or particular journal styles On campus support for RefWorks and  Endnote ◦ Further training and help online
  33. 33. Help & Assistance For searching/database support  ◦ Gareth J Johnson (Physical & Biological Sciences) ◦ gareth.johnson@le.ac.uk For general enquiries (password  problems, off site access etc) ◦ libdesk@le.ac.uk ◦ 0116-252-2043
  34. 34. Slides Available online at:

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