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Using Library Resources for your Dissertation

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Talk given to education distance learning postgraduate students studying at Leicester. Covers data resources available to them, along with basic Boolean searching practice.

Talk given to education distance learning postgraduate students studying at Leicester. Covers data resources available to them, along with basic Boolean searching practice.

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  • Foundation Degree in Managing Voluntary and Community Organisations by Distance Learning
  • Transcript

    • 1. Using Library Resources for your Dissertation Gareth Johnson [email_address] Tue 8 th PM Apr 2008
    • 2. Session Outline
      • Part I - Overview of services, help, resources and accessing information
        • Reminder of available Library services
        • Overview of key subject information resources available
        • Explain access to physical and electronic information
      • Part II – Creating effective searching strategies, worked examples and explore for yourself!
        • Introduce successful approaches to searching
        • Explore Boolean logic and truncation
        • Examine refining and limiting search results
        • Review searching the Web and evaluating sites
      • Hands-on time for yourself
      • Time for questions at end of each section
    • 3. Services: Your Key Contacts
      • Hywel Williams (Education Librarian)
        • ( [email_address] )
        • Tel: (+44) 0116 252 5048
      • Distance Learners Enquiry service
        • [email_address]
        • (+44) 0116 252 5051
      • http://www.le.ac.uk/li/distance/
    • 4. Services: Library Website
      • Provides a lot of online information
        • Contact information
        • What support and help is available
        • Information resources & catalogue
        • Leicester e-Link for journals
        • Passwords for off-campus access to resources
      • Distance learning support
        • Dedicated section
        • Details of all services open to you
    • 5. Resources: Library Catalogue
      • Accessible globally without a password
        • Offers simple and more advanced searches
        • Links to other library services
        • Access your library record on-line
      • Tips
        • Use author/title search when you know an item
          • E.g. drennan risk management
        • Use subject search to find books on specific topics
      • Advanced searching options
        • Boolean logic & Truncation $
          • e.g. educat$ for education , educated etc
    • 6. Resources: Bibliographic Dbs
      • To find specific articles in journals
        • Need to search bibliographic databases
      • Each one indexes lists of bibliographic information for publications
        • Such as journal articles, reports, theses and some books
        • Some overlap in coverage
      • Bibliographic information normally comprises:
        • Author, title, source (journal title), year, volume, page numbers & abstract summary
        • Not full text of articles
    • 7. Resources: Bibliographic Dbs
      • Key Education bibliographic databases
        • British Education Index (BEI), ERIC, Australian Educational Index (AEI)
        • Each one specifically covers literature in the field of education and training
      • Web of Knowledge
        • Covers all subjects
        • Best when researching cross-disciplinary areas
      • PsycINFO
        • For educational psychology articles
      • Subject Rooms
        • Lists other useful databases
        • Portal to trusted educational resources on the web
        • Includes guidance, tutorials and contacts
    • 8. Resources: Open Access
      • A move from academics annoyed over journal prices
        • No passwords, subscriptions or access restrictions
        • Full text (not just abstracts) in most cases
      • Researchers make articles available for free
        • Outside of journals and held in online repositories
        • 100,000s of articles
        • Still include peer-reviewed materials
        • Very useful when journal not available
      • Can be searched easily
        • OpenDOAR Search or BASE
      • Demo!
    • 9. Accessing: Information Resources
      • Off Campus
        • www.le.ac.uk/library/digital/authentication.html
      • Start at
        • Library Home Page
          • Digital Library
      • Demo!
        • Education Indexes
        • Web of Knowledge
    • 10. Accessing: Journal Articles
      • Use Leicester e-Link to check if journal is available
        • Links on Library Web page, Catalogue and from databases
      • If articles are not available via Leicester e-Link
        • Try finding an Open Access version
        • Check the library catalogue to see if available in print
        • Request a photocopy through document supply
      • Limits
        • 20 requests a year paid for by Library
        • Additional ones may be purchased
        • No more than one article from a single journal
    • 11. Accessing: Books (Worldwide)
      • Search Library Catalogue to see if we have the text
      • Postal Loan Service
        • Up to 4 books by post on loan for 6 weeks
        • You are responsible for costs incurred when returning
        • Short Loan and Reference items cannot be borrowed by post
        • Alternatively individual chapters (or 5%) of texts can be photocopied for you
    • 12. Accessing: Other Libraries
      • Take advantage of access schemes
        • SCONUL Access scheme
        • Application form on Web site
      • Tips
        • Check opening hours before you go
        • Search online catalogues beforehand
        • Have your Leicester ID or library card with you
        • If unsure contact Leicester Enquiry service
        • Take money (for photocopying)
        • Remember – their rules bind you not ours!
    • 13. Questions?
    • 14. Searching for Journal Articles Part II
    • 15. Searching: Types of Search
      • Author Search
        • When you are looking for material published by key names in a field
          • Identified in lectures, books, review journal or other articles
        • Question: To 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
      • 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
    • 16. Searching: Planning a Strategy
      • Step by step process
        • Step 1 Consider resources
        • Step 2 Identify keywords
        • Step 3 Build search
        • Step 4 Test search
        • Step 5 Refine results
        • Step 6 Evaluate
        • Step 7 Locate and read!
      Revise search
    • 17. Searching: Concepts
      • Question: Find out about Emergency Planning Management
        • Identify the important concepts and words in the question:
          • managing
          • planning
          • emergency
        • Very simple example!
    • 18. Searching: Keywords & Variants
      • Think about variations of the keywords you’re using…
        • thesaurus.reference.com can be useful
      • Managing
        • supervising, administrating, overseeing, organise, direct, control
      • Planning
        • organisation, strategy, coordination
      • Emergency
        • accident, exigency, danger, disaster, risk
      • Not all of these might be appropriate!
    • 19. Systematic: Truncation
      • Saves typing!
      • Picks up multiple terms from foreshortened word-stem
      Accident Accidents Accidental Accidentally acciden* Some resources use other symbols
    • 20. Systematic: Boolean Logic
      • Allows more sophisticated searching than keywords alone
      • AND
        • emergency and management <- focuses down
      • OR
        • emergency or management <- broadens a search
      • NOT
        • emergency not management <- eliminates terms
        • (handle with care!)
    • 21. Systematic: Boolean Logic
      • AND
        • This is used to combine search terms to narrow your search
      emergency and management emergency management
    • 22. Systematic: Boolean Logic
      • OR
        • This is used where various terms might describe the same object
      emergency management emergency or management
    • 23. Systematic: Boolean Logic
      • NOT
        • This is used when you wish to exclude a word from your search
      emergency management emergency not management Eliminated articles of possible interest
    • 24. Systematic: Parentheses ()
      • disaster and planning or management
        • Is NOT the same as
      • disaster and (planning or management)
      • Order of precedence (mathematical)
        • Generally (first-last) NOT AND OR
        • Search 1 = 16,249 results (broad, inaccurate)
        • Search 2 = 104 results (specific, focussed)
      • Parentheses isolate elements of searches
        • Simple rule of thumb OR linked statements inside brackets
    • 25. Refining: Revising Searches
      • (emergency or disaster) and management
        • Simple, will find a broad range of results
        • Not all will be relevant to the topic
      • (emergenc* or disaster*) and manag*
        • Better, will find more accurate results
        • May need to limit/refine
      • ((emergenc* or disaster* or risk) and (organis* or strateg* or coordinat* or manag*)) not earthquake*
        • Best! But might need tweaking…
    • 26. Refining: Tools & Filters
      • You can also use limits/filters
        • To narrow and focus your search results
          • E.g. by date or publication type
      • Can include before or after a search
        • Depends on the database software
        • Helps avoid potentially overwhelming levels of results
        • Easier to chose the pick of the crop
    • 27. Next Steps: Internet Searching
      • Use more than one search engine
        • They use different searching algorithms
        • Results can be quite different
      • Use the advanced search features (E.g. on Google & Yahoo)
        • Phrase searching – “ Phrase ”
        • 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…etc.
    • 28. Next Steps: Google Scholar
      • “ Searches specifically for scholarly literature ”
        • No definition as to what Google classify as scholarly!
        • There are some odd gaps/omissions
      • http://scholar.google.com
      • Often links to full text
        • Might not link to the version of the full text available to the University
        • On-campus e-link option will show 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!
    • 29. Next Steps: 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?
    • 30. Next Steps: Top Tips
      • Explore resources yourselves
        • Experiment with searches
      • Get in contact with the library for support
        • General assistance (e.g. books, accessing resources and general difficulties)
          • Contact the enquiry service
        • Expert advice and assistance with searching information resources
          • Contact the Education Librarian
      • If in doubt – ask!
    • 31. Next Steps: Top Tips
      • Remember to record
        • The sources you used
        • The keywords and searches you used
        • Full references citations
        • Keep a back up
      • Tools to help
        • Record or import citations using software
        • EndNote or RefWorks are used on campus
        • Learn your departmental style
        • See Library pages for more help
    • 32. In Conclusion
      • Library provides access to physical and electronic resources
      • The library catalogue contains books on broad topics of interest
      • Use bibliographic databases and other resources when looking for specific subject information
      • Time invested searching increases the quality of results
    • 33. Questions?