So, hi, my name is Dave Hudson, and I’m a Learning & Curriculum Support Librarian here at Guelph. All titles aside, however, my role is essentially to collaborate with you and support you to help you get your work done and done well. You have this major assignment coming up that’s going to require you to do some library research, and we’re running this pair of sessions as a means of reviewing some approaches to library research that will hopefully make your use of the library calmer and more effective.
So, research – huh? It can be challenging. I know that there’s a good chance that almost everyone in this room has felt like this [CLICK] before – that you can likely identify with some of the emotional states captured here. You have been ask to find a certain number of sources and identify a historical issue related to the document that you’re working with. But having seen 6 semesters of HIST1010 students go through this assignment, I can tell you this: it is rarely as simple as going to the nearest database, typing in the title or author of your document, retrieving your five scholarly sources, and then answering the questions. The research process I’m going to be demonstrating today, and that your seminar leaders are going to be extending in your seminars this week, is intertwined with the process of identifying the historical significance of the document, which is to say that be doing elements of both at the same time – doing a bit of digging, gleaning some preliminary answers, digging a bit more, focusing your ideas further, and generally deciding how to proceed further on the basis of what you know at any given point.So it can be challenging, but, on the whole, it’s less frustrating [CLICK], less tear-jerking, [CLICK] less crying-fit and homicidal rage-inducing [CLICK], if you go about it with a methodical, thoughtful process. [CLICK]
Today’s session is going to focus on offering you a framework onto which hang that research process. Specifically, we’re going to be looking … at getting started by identifying key terms and concepts ... at using background informationtools as STRATEGIC sources to help you develop ideas and start to identify some historical issues connected to your document. This is what I’m going to focus most of my time on today, as it’s often the thing that helps people move through this assignment most efficiency.And this question of strategy here is important because you’ve been asked to think about how and why you’re proceeding in a certain way as a part of your assignment. If time permits, we’ll also be looking at approaches to finding secondary sources – that is book-length studies and academic journal articles.I’ll also provide some information on how to get further help with your library research.However, our time today is relatively limited today, so I don’t expect that I’ll get through everything there is to know. And I want to say two things about that … there are points in the presentation during which I’ll likely skip ahead. I’ll only do this when the slides show you how to get to a specific web location, or some other technical thing that you can learn later by consulting the slides on courselink. What I want to do is dedicate this in-class time to some of the more conceptual stuff. So, long story short, if I skip by something, it’s because you can consult it later by looking at these slides on courselink. In other words, you WILL need to consult these slides again.
As this suggests, I AM going to upload these slides to your courselink site, and I’ve designed them as a “how to” guide, with the intention that they serve as a sort of step-by-step explanation of a research process. I’m also going to upload some other “how to” videos that should help you with the research.I wanna stress a couple of last things: ask questions throughout. Also, note that that my email address is at the bottom of many of the slides, so defs write that down.SOMETHING ABOUT CLICKERS Finally, I’m going to send out an evaluation survey afterwards so that you can let me know what worked and what didn’t work. [CLICK]
So let’s start with the first step, and that’s taking stock of what you already know about your topic … [CLICK]
Okay, so the document I’m gonna be working with as an example throughout this session is this one [HOLD UP doc] – and it appears to be a bit of writing from some dude called Duc de Saint-Simon, and the document is called “Duc de Saint-Simon: The Court of Louis XIV [the 14th]”. So the first step in any research process is to actually to ask yourself what you already know about your topic.Now, like most of you, I might feel that I know nothing about my document. But if I read the document a couple of times, and ask myself what, at a minimum, the document is telling me and what I’m assuming, I’ll find that I do actually know some stuff. So before you bring any other resources into the picture, work with what you have: the primary source document and your critical thinking skills. Examine the document you have, identify key terms and concepts, including PeopleEventsIdeasPlacesSignificant datesPhenomena [CLICK]And even identify the obvious stuff – the fact that it’s an 17th century document, or that you’re working with a picture of a tulip, or that you’re document mentions a king. The obvious stuff is really important too.And you can also add questions you have – maybe you don’t know details about the geographical context of your document, or want more precision around dates – those sorts of questions. And what I’d moving towards here is the creation of an initial list of key search concepts and terms like this one. [CLICK].
So look: I didn’t think I knew stuff about this document, but it turns out I do. So these are all ideas, names, and questions that I picked out from my document. I’ve listed the obvious, including the name of the author of the document, the name of the king involved, Versailles as a geographical location, and an unresolved question. And I’ve separated them into different lines so that I can see them as distinct concepts.
I’d also suggest you add to this list of key concepts and search terms. by trying to think of additional terms and concepts in a few different categories – namely SYNONYMS, alternative SPELLINGS, BROADER concepts, NARROWER concepts, and RELATED concepts. I’ve brainstormed broader concepts like KING, ROYALTY, FRANCE, EUROPE. And you’ll note that the concepts are grouped together thematically line by line – Versaille being a city in France being a country in Europe. Now, it’s worth noting that even if these aren’t terms you would use, or they aren’t quite exactly on your topic, they might be terms that other researchers use in their work on the SAME text or in work that is NOT the same, but is relevant nonetheless.So this list is going to help you get started by identifying the main components of your topic, it’s going to help you map out a whole variety of different searches, and, as such, it’s going to be the central tool in problem-solving when it comes to needing to adjust and redirect searches that don’t work, a situation that you will likely encounter.I might not find anything on analyses of Duc de Saint-Simon and Louis XIV’s court using those specific terms. So I might decide to search, for instance, using broader concepts like ROYALTY and COURT and FRANCE, with the understanding that a history of royal courts in France might be contain information about the specific context I’m researching.So it helps you stay organized and develop and redevelop search strategies. So make a list like this, come back to it, build it, and revise it as you go along. It really works. [CLICK]
The second step in the process is to consult sources that give you general information.
Now, I know that you are required to find at least 5 secondary sources, so once you’ve done this list, you might be tempted to dive right into looking for the minimum number of sources that you need to complete the assignment. I would, however, suggest that that could very well lead to frustration – and here’s why:Keep in mind that book-length academic studies tend to be detailed treatments of particular topics. There might not be a whole book on the topic you’re working with or on a concept you want to follow up on. Or it might be a difficult, overwhelming task to isolate general information from an entire book if you’re relatively new to a subject. So imagine trying to get the basics on life in the court of Louis the XIV from this 400+ page scholarly book. Journal articles, conversely, tend to focus on narrow topics – like, in this case, “Comic Discontinuity in the ‘Memoires” of Saint-Simon”– and it’s a lot easier to recognize the relevance of that article if you understand the basics of the topic. So, it’s important to understand not only whattypes of resources exist, but also when to use them to best effect. [CLICK]
I would suggest you start with background information tools.And by background information tools, I mean sources like encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, introductory guides, and generally anything that’s gonna give you the basics of a topic. These are also sometimes called “reference tools” – and sometimes they are in print and sometimes they’re electronic. Now, while you’re probably all familiar with general encyclopedias, it should be stressed that we also carry very specialized ones too, like the Encyclopedia of Historical Treatises & Alliances, which is a whole 2 volumes dedicated solely to concepts related to that specific topic and historical context. Returning to class readings and other textbooks on the topic can sometimes also serve as good places to start, especially their indexes, bibliographies, and any “further reading” list that they might have. So if I were in your shoes, I would start with those and use them as strategic starting points.
So why bother with using these sources, if your assignment explicitly says that you can’t include them in your bibliography? Background sources indeed typically don’t provide particularly deep or critical information on a given subject. But that’s precisely why they’re really good for helping you to get started when you don’t know much about the topic.So what are they good for?They’re good for quickly expanding understanding of basic facets and details of a topic, and for confirming assumptions that you have going into the research. They’re also good for expanding knowledge of how scholars talk about the topic you’re focusing on, which can help with the effectiveness of your searching.They’re really good as quick ways of helping you focus your ideas. They can help you identify, for example, the context for the historical document that you’re looking at – or to put it another way that’s more specific to your assignment, they are a really smart, efficient way of starting to answer the question of why a given primary source – i.e. your document – is historically significant, what particular trend or other historical phenomenon it is associated with or speaks to. Let me say that again.They can lead you to more detail sources, serving as a sort of springboard into the literature, by which I mean that they often mention significant writers on the subject and sometimes have their own bibliographies that can direct you to more detailed, critical books and articles.[CLICK]
Now, of course, the elephant in the room is this … Wikipedia, which is probably one of the most widely used reference tools out there. And it definitely has its advantages and disadvantages. [ASK CLASS] Okay, how many of you have used Wikipedia before [put up hand]? Thinking only about the advantages, why do you use it? What are some of its advantages? Speed and availability – it’s online and easy to use and massive. And when I’ve used it before, that’s why I’ve used it. And those are pretty good reasons for using a source. [CLICK]
And so you might scope out the Wikipedia entry for Louis XIV. And even though I’m not an expert on Louis XIV, it looks pretty good and gives me the information I want – the big picture kinda stuff, the background information. And it gives it to me fast and immediately. [ASK CLASS] However, what are some of the disadvantages of using this source? Dependability. Anyone can go in and change things, however they want. So the information you get depends on when you look at it. So ... [CLICK]
... if you would have looked at the Wikipedia entry for “Louis XIV” on September 12, 2008 at around 5:05pm, you would have seen this. Now, not knowing anything really about Louis XIV, I can’t actually verify one way or the other whether he indeed did like to dance to the polka when he was 10 years of age; whether he indeed did dance the polka with everyone in the city; and whether indeed did take out a knife and stab his dad and become ruler of the city. This may or may not be true. I don’t know. But I know it’s not the information I’m looking for. More to the point, it provides perhaps an extreme example of something that Wikipedia themselves admit – which is that you can’t at any given time know quickly and with certainty that the information you read is accurate. And for this reason, it’s generally not considered to be a reputable source of scholarly information. Well, now all of this is debateable to a degree, but the central point I’d leading us to is that the reference tools you have available to you as a Guelph student – especially the electronic ones – are themselves relatively quick and easy to use, are quite extensive, and are accessible online. But they also have the added benefit of being recognized and respected as reliable sources of academic information. [CLICK]
Now the background information tool I’m going to use to demo this idea of using general information sources STRATEGICALLY is Oxford Reference. It’s really useful, and it’s like 100 specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries and other background information sources all searchable at once. And I’ll note that my search strategy is very basic. I’m not thinking about the assignment as a whole. I just want to find general information in a few areas – on Duc de Saint Simon, whoever he is; on Louis XIV; and on what life at the court in France was like at that time.[CLICK]
So I’m going to show you how to access and search background information tools, but I’m gonna get there by going through what are called “course guides”. And we’re going to proceed from the library home page, which is www.lib.uoguelph.ca. [CLICK] Now before I move on, I should stress that if you are accessing our website from off-campus, it is important to use our off-campus sign-on feature so that you’re recognized as a Guelph user. We’re not going to look at how to do that today, but I will send your instructor a “how to” video tutorial that she can embed into your D2L site, so if you do have any trouble, then check that out. [CLICK] At this point, we’re going to proceed to the course guides section of the site by clicking on the “Subject and Course Guides” link from the home page … [CLICK]
Now, subject and course guides are pages that we’ve created on the library website that bring together links to and descriptions of resources like reference tools, books, journal databases, and sometimes others that are relevant either to a particular subject – like American history – or in some cases, a particular course. [CLICK]Now, as it happens, there is a course guide for this class, so under “course guides”, you just click on “Expand all” … and I’m going to skip ahead a few slides here – but remember, you can consult these slides on courselink – [SKIP AHEAD TWO SLIDES] [CLICK]
… and you scroll down and find your course … [CLICK]
So, this is what a course guide looks like. It’s not comprehensive, but in it [CLICK] you will find links to the resources that we recommend that you start with – background information tools, journal article search tools, and much more.[CLICK]
So this is the background information section of your course guide. And this is where you’ll find the link to Oxford Reference Online. If we click on the link … [CLICK]
… we end up at the main search screen. Now, there are a number of ways of searching this database, and I would invite you to explore these features on your own time because they can be useful. [CLICK] But for now, we’re just going to search the whole database … [CLICK] and the quotation marks around the search terms allow you to retrieve results that bring up “Duc de Saint-Simon” as a phrase, as a collection of two or more words side by side in the specified order … [ASK CLASS] Now, can anyone see advantages to searching this as a phrase rather than as a collection of random words? It makes your search more precise, by excludes instances these words anywhere in any order – so it would exclude, for example, an article by someone called SIMON [SEEmon] Jones that mentions “Duc de Saint Fargeau” ... so it’s a way of being more specific in your searching. Now not necessarily ALWAYS better to search with quotation marks -- it does depend on what you’re searching for and what you want to find … but it is an option that you have, so keep that in mind. For now, we are just going to search for “Duc de Saint-Simon” as a phrase ... And I’m just going to skip the next slide, but it is important to come back and consult it. … [CLICK]
And I get some results. In fact, I get a lot of results. Now, I’d draw your attention really quickly to the fact that, as is the case with many databases, Oxford Reference has a lot different options at the top and the side of the results lists that allow you to arrange your results, to narrow down what you get further, or even to search within those results.... [CLICK]
These are three results that came up in my search, and none of them seem to be about “Duc de Saint Simon”. They’ve all come up, however, because they mention the phrase we searched. And there’s something particular in this respect that I’d like to point out here: [CLICK] As you can see, below the title for each result, there’s an indication of the specific electronic book that it’s drawn from -- and this is important to note because different sources are going to emphasize different angles of a topic. So an entry called “Louis XIV” from the Encyclopedia of Military History will likely emphasize different kinds of things than an entry called “Louis XIV” from the Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment and different things still from one taken from the “International Encyclopedia of Dance.” And each or all of them might prove helpful in different ways. [CLICK] Now, we’re going to follow up with this entry – it appears to be an article about the aristocracy and it’s from the Encyclopedia of Enlightenment.… [CLICK]
And in working with the general information source, I get a preliminary understanding of a context for Duc de Saint Simon’s life and writing – namely, criticism amongst the aristocracy. So I’m a step further to understanding the significance of the document.[CLICK] And when you use these tools, you’ll find that they have a bunch of great research functions, like links to related topics. In other words, this is saying that if I’m thinking about the aristocratic context for “Duc de Saint-Simon” , I should maybe also be thinking about other entries in this encyclopedia, like the one called “Royal Courts and Dynasties.” In other words, I’m now and relatively quickly starting to get a sense of the big picture ... [CLICK]
Some entries even have a bibliography at the bottom that can lead you to scholarly books and journal articles. So this is what I meant when I said that background sources serve as a springboard into the literature. [CLICK] Do note, however, that you’ll have to copy and paste the titles of the publications into Primo in order to find them, since we’ve noticed that the “Find this resource” function is not working properly right now. [CLICK]
Now, we talked earlier about doing phrase searching, about surrounding our search terms with quotation marks – well, let’s try a search without quotation marks around the name. So this time our search is just going to bring up results that have each of the words at least once individually somewhere in the body of the article.[CLICK]
And I get taken to content that didn’t come up earlier. [ASK CLASS] And can anyone tell me why these weren’t picked up earlier? They don’t contain necessarily “Duc de Saint-Simon” as a phrase. The words in the name are present, but appear in a different order – namely, “Saint-Simon, Louis de Rouvroy, duc de” … So again, the point here is to be aware of the options available to you in searching and use them strategically, recognizing that different strategies achieve different results … [CLICK]
But again, don’t just search the title and the author of your document. Here I’m searching for concepts suggested by the content of my article, and I’ll check out thisnice general overview of Royal Courts and Dynasties, drawn from the Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment – that is, an entry on a general subject drawn from a book that focuses solely on Enlightenment history. [CLICK]
And here’s another entry on France from the Enlightenment-specific encyclopedia, which offers me a look at the geographical and historical context from a slightly different angle. [CLICK]
And now, by working with these background information sources, I’ve already started to get a sense of a historical issue connected to my document and am shifting and sharpening the focus of my research. I’m thinking now that what I ought to be researching is not Duc de Saint Simon or the document itself, but something related to Louis XIV and his approach to power and governance, and how life at the court and the French nobility in the 17th and 18th century fit into it all. So my work with background sources has literally changed how I’m going to proceed.When you think about the amount of time you put into searching and reading, it’s a far more efficient way to work with these general sources to start to answer that questionthat just rushing headlong at the more detailed sources. [CLICK]
And as a result of my new knowledge – that is, my new understanding of a historical issue connected to my document – I’ve added to and enhanced my search terms list, as you can see by the new terms and concepts I’ve added in red. [CLICK]
So let’s pause and take the temperature of the room on this – Which of the following best describes your understanding of the usefulness of consulting background information sources (like Oxford Reference)?
So on to step three: we’ve grounded ourselves in the basics of our topic, gotten focused, and gotten organized, and now we can go about the task of searching for critical sources, for more detailed secondary sources, with more agility and in a more methodical fashion.
There are a lot of tricks to searching for secondary sources and I’m just gonna touch on the basics today, though I do encourage you to explore on your own time and come and see us if you’d like additional assistance. Now, before we move on, I’d like to review something real quick. Information about secondary sources tends to be arranged in databases as records, which have different fields like TitleAuthorSubjectLanguageFormat ... and so on ... Concomitantly, when you’re searching for journal articles and books and the like, you need to think strategically about which fields you’re going be searching in. If you’re looking for a book by Jeremy Black that has “Louis XIV” in the title , you might look for the terms “Jeremy” and “Black” in the “author” field and the term “Louis XIV” in the title field. [CLICK]
Now, that might seem obvious enough, but I did want to highlight something specific about strategies for searching on a particular research topic. So what we’re focusing on today is topic-based research.In a lot of databases, when it comes to looking for materials on a given topic, you’ll be able to either set the search engine to look for your search terms in a specific field like the “subject terms” or to leave it set to search for the terms ANYWHERE in the FULL RECORD. If leave the menu to search “Full Record” – that is, if I forgo the option to search in a specific field -- the database will look for results that mention the search terms anywhere in the record. It’ll search in the title, in any available description of the item provided by the publisher, in the subject headings, in the author field, in the publisher field, and even in the full text of the item, if it’s available.However, many databases use official sets of terms and subject headings to classify and group together items that are about the same type of things. In Primo, for example, there’s a heading called “France – Court and Courtiers – History.” And these sets of headings are decided ahead of time and remain fixed, regardless of the titles of individual items.Now take a look at these two searches and think for a minute about what you’d do and what the effect of either search would be – and there’s no right answer to this. [CLICK]
So here’s our next iclicker question: So what type of search would you tend to start with when searching for material on a given topic?[WAIT FOR ICLICKER PROCESS]So there are a couple of implications for search strategies here, when it comes to being aware of and deciding what fields you’re going to search within:So one lesson here is that doing an “anywhere” (or “full record”) searchis good when you want to broaden your search and will likely produce MORE results, while doing a “subject” search will likely provide more PRECISE results – stuff that’s about your topic. But the other lesson to draw out here is that it’s important to pay attention to subject headings. So when you do come across a relevant article or book in a given database, use the opportunity to write down the subject heading so that you know how to find other materials classified in the same way. [CLICK]
So we’re gonna try to get through as much of the next sections as possible, but you will have to return to these slides, as I’m likely going to have to skip some. The following slides will show you how to search for books efficiently, recommending the use of Primo’s “Books+” search … and after that, you’ll see some slides demonstrating how to search for journal articles, recommending that the most effective approach is to use the databases that are listed in your HIST1010 course guide. [CLICK]
So let’s start by going over how to search for books at the University of Guelph Library – and we’re going to use Primo for this. Primo is the main tool available to search which books and other items are available to you as a University of Guelph student. This and the next two slides show you how to access Primo through the website, what each of the search tabs within the database do, and how to access the “advanced search” option. I’m going to skip them, but the key thing to remember is to use the “Books+” search tab. [SKIP AHEAD THREE SLIDES] [CLICK] …
You’ll then be taken to the Primo homepage. Now, along the top of the search box, you’ll see three tabs – and it’s pretty important that you click the right one, as it’ll really affect what you end up searching. [CLICK]If you leave it set to the tab that says “Search”, which is the default, you’ll search all our collections at once – all of our books, all of our journal articles, all of our newspapers, random digital artifacts from the 1680s, weird government documents, and stuff that even I can’t identify. It might sound convenient, but it can be super overwhelming and really messy .. So I suggest you avoid it. [CLICK] The second tab, “BOOKS PLUS”, is the best option for precise book searching. It’ll allow you to check to see which books you have access to, which journals and magazines we subscribe to, which videos we have, and more. But it doesn’t allow you to search for specific articles, however. [CLICK]Finally, the “ARTICLES PLUS” tab allows you to search a whole bunch of different journal databases at once. Again, this sounds like a good idea at first, but keep in mind that it’s not just searching history databases. We have scores and scores of databases at Guelph, across all disciplines and it’s searching all of them at once, including medical science, music, international news, literature, psychology, and much more. So it gets really messy, and I suggest that folks avoid it, unless they know the exact title of the article that they want. [CLICK] …
So I’ve set the database to BOOKS PLUS … and I’m going to click on through the “advanced search” option ... [CLICK] …
So this is how I’ve plugged these search terms into Primo’s advanced search screen, set to Books+. and there are a few things that I want to point out about the search strategy that I’ve chosen here. [CLICK] In the first row, I’ve set the drop down menu to “in the subject” and I’ve entered “Louis X-I-V” in quotation marks – that is, as a phrase. So I want to search that specific PHRASE in the subject headings specifically. [CLICK] In the next row down, I’ve left the drop down menu set to “any” and entered the word POWER then OR then AUTHORIT* then OR and then ABSOLUT*. So these terms will be searched more widely. [ASK CLASS] However, you can see that there’s some specific formatting that I’ve used here. Can anyone tell me, for instance, what the use of the asterisk does in a search? Why have I used an asterisk after AUTHORIT*?[ANSWER] [CLICK] It’s called “truncation”. The use of the asterisk (*) after a word in PRIMO (and other databases) will search for all words that start with letters that precede the asterisk: authority, authorities, authoritarian, authoritarianism, etc.[ASK CLASS] How about the use of ORs between POWER and AUTHORIT* and ABSOLUT*? What does that achieve in a search?[CLICK] That’s right, the use of OR between words will search for instances of any of these words. Think of it as a way of expanding your options.So let’s step back and look at how I’ve set up my search. I’m saying that I’m coming to Primo to search for specific types of resources – BOOKS – and I want those books to be centrally about “Louis XIV” and I’m throwing in a few other options for terms like power or authority or absolutism, etc. as a means of narrowing my search further.Now, do keep in mind that it might be unsuccessful if we search in subject because the stuff that’s about “Louis XIV” might not be classified using that phrase. So we might have to come back and search using “any” beside “Louis XIV”. Now I’m going to skip ahead a few slides again – so remember to return to these. [SKIP AHEAD THREE SLIDES] [CLICK]
Results list will look something like this – and we’ve gotten 29 results, which isn’t too bad as an initial result set. However, you might also get 78,000 results, depending on your search, so you may need to refine it further. [CLICK] Along the side of the screen here you have means of refining your results set further, including means of filtering by subject, by type of work, by author, and by other means. However, I’m not going to do that as I’ve gotten a fairly tight result set as it is. [CLICKk]
Now, if you see a title that looks relevant, I’d suggest that you hold off on running to the book stacks in the Library because titles can be deceiving sometimes. To find out more details about the item, click on the “details” tab underneath the result listing ... [CLICK]
This is what the record for a book found through Primo looks like – and there are a number of things I want to point out here.For one, we can see that it is available at another campus – name the Wilfrid Laurier campus. For those of you who don’t know, as a University of Guelph student you have access not only to books from the University of Guelph’s main library, but to those from other University of Guelph campuses, as well as Wilfrid Laurier and University of Waterloo campuses. So, if the item isn’t available at Guelph, or it has been checked out, but it’s available at another one of the libraries in our tri-university network, you can request that it be delivered freely to our central library on campus. And it takes 1-3 business days, so plan ahead.All do is click on the button that says “requests” and follow the instructions. Regrettably, we don’t have time to demo that today, but know that I’m going to pass along an instructional video on how to do that. [CLICK] And you can also click on the link that I’ve embedded directly into the slide here. [CLICK]
And we can also turn our attention to the subject headings. If we decide that this is a relevant book, we look at the subject headings as a source of information – namely, as a way of telling us how similar books are going to be classified within Primo. Now, I’ve zoomed in on the subject headings here a bit – and we can see that there is a subject heading related to the author of my document. And if I click on the subject heading, it will take us to a list of results that are classified under the same heading.So that’s a basic overview of how to search for books within Primo.As with any search strategy, my initial attempt may not have worked, so I might have had to try a bunch of different combinations of terms and concepts. If there turned out to be nothing about Louis XIV and power, I may have had to search, for instance, using terms like “Louis XIV” and “nobility” – essentially approaching the topic from different angles. [CLICK]
Now, let’s switch over to the section that looks at how to find journal articles, as there are a few things that I want to highlight here. We’re going to proceed from the HIST1010 course on the Library website, and this slide shows an excerpt from the “journal articles” section of that course guide.So you have a whole whack of relevant databases listed here in your course guide – and this is only a partial screenshot – the list is longer, but I couldn’t fit it onto the screen without making it tiny. So you do have a whole lot of tools and options at your disposal. They all differ, to varying degrees, in terms of the types of material they cover and some of their features, though the same search skills can be used for all of them.As one of the previous guides suggest, you can, technically speaking, look for some journal articles through Primo, but it’s very, very messy, so I would strongly suggest that you go to journal databases and indexes. Now, sometimes journal databases have a link to the full text of the article within them and sometimes they just serve as a tool to identify existence of articles and make you aware of its location. But in all cases, there are the most efficient way of knowing what kinds of scholarly articles are out there on a topic.Now, we’re going to take a look at this one– Historical Abstracts – but if it’s not working for you, try one of the others, okay?[CLICK]
So this is the main search screen for Historical Abstracts.Up here [CLICK] is where you enter your search terms.And down here [CLICK] you have all sorts of options for specifying all kinds of limits, like searching for articles only published between 1990 and 2005, or searching for articles from a specific publication.Now, I’m going to zoom in on each section so you can see how I’ve set up my search. [CLICK]
So here, I’ve entered my search terms accordingly. I’ve entered “Louis XIV” as a phrase and set the drop-down menu to search that phrase only in the subject field.And I’ve entered COURT* to be searched anywhere in the record.And I’ve also indicated that the results I want should have either the word POWER OR terms that start with ABSOLUT* So I’m looking for stuff ABOUT Louis XIV that mentions the whole COURT concept as well as some variation of the POWER concept. [CLICK]
Now, at the bottom of the screen, I’m choosing to limit my results in a bunch of ways right off the bat. [CLICK]I’m going to say, first off that I only want to know about articles in academic journals: so in “document type” I’m going to select “article” and in “publication type” I’m going to select “Academic journal” [CLICK]I’m also going to limit my search to articles published in English [CLICK].And finally, I’m going to check off this box that says “peer reviewed”. [ASK CLASS] Now, do people have a sense of what a “peer reviewed” article is? Can anyone offer a explanation?Yeah, so a peer-reviewed article is one that’s been submitted for publication, then sent out with no name attached to reviewers who are experts in the field and who are themselves anonymous to the author.In this way, the scholarly community tries to ensure that the stuff that gets published is actually dependable and relatively solid.Why is this important? Well, it’s important for you specifically to know because, as I understand it, you’ve been asked to find not just any articles, but scholarly articles – so, generally speaking, if a full length article has been peer-reviewed, it’s considered “scholarly” – though it’s always important to talk to clarify this with your instructor. So, to summarize, we’re want to know about peer-reviewed articles whose records have the specified search terms and phrases in them and which are published in Academic Journals in English.So when we’ve selected our search limits, we just click on search [CLICK] …
… This is our results list, and as you can see [CLICK] … we got 17 results. Now this might not seem like a lot of results, and if none are relevant, we’d have to think of expanding our search results somehow. Now we could do this in a number of ways, but it requires stopping and problem solving: How could we expand our search to get more items?Re-run our search with a broader concept like “France” and “Courtiers”Try another angle “Louis XIV” And “military”Take off the COURT concept How could we limit our search to get fewer results?Date published More search terms: France, Aristocracy, other notable figures Now, when you are faced with a results list like this, you once more need to do exploring and evaluating because only you are going to be able to determine whether you think any of these results are relevant. They are relevant to something, but the question is, are they relevant to your thinking about the subject? But the important thing at this point is not to judge an article to be relevant or irrelevant on the basis of its title. [CLICK][GET IT] The other thing I want to point out there is that you’ll sometimes see this little icon called “Get it Guelph” – that’s a way of checking to see if an item that is mentioned in one database but is unavailable in full text immediately is available in another online location in full text. [CLICK] I’m going to post a video about how to use the “Get it! Guelph” function on your courselink site, and I’ve also embedded a link to the video directly in the slide.Now, I’m just going to skip ahead a few slides again [CLICK AHEAD THREE SLIDES].
Now, I want to emphasize something I brought up earlier here: the distinction between the title of the individual article, and the title of the journal as a whole.[ASK CLASS] Can anyone tell me the title of the article in this case? [CLICK]“"OUR SOVEREIGN'S GAZE": KINGS, NOBLES, AND STATE FORMATION IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY FRANCE”How about the title of the journal itself? [CLICK]Historical StudiesSo we’re looking at the article “’OUR SOVEREIGN'S GAZE": KINGS, NOBLES, AND STATE FORMATION IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY FRANCE” written by Jay M. Smith published in Historical Studies.Now it might seem a little obvious and a bit of a waste of time, but learning to distinguish between these bits of information in a record is a good habit to get into because not all journal databases look the same – and they don’t all arrange the information into easy categories.Now, before you decide to keep and read the whole article, it’s best to find out a little bit more – and you can do this by going to the citation, which often has an article summary and subject headings and other useful information. [CLICK]So, if you click on the title of the article, you get taken to the full text of the article … [CLICK]
And you can certainly read it all at this point – but it might be really long. [CLICK] So what I suggest doing is clicking through to the citation because that’s gonna give you a bunch of valuable information … [CLICK]
This is a record for an article in Historical Abstracts. It’s always a good idea to visit the records for articles that look promising, as they provide a number of useful bits of information. [CLICK] Abstract – summary of article that can help you tell pretty much right away if something is relevant or not – because titles can be deceiving. So these are great ways of getting a preliminary sense of whether something is going to be topical or not. CLICK]Subject headings: useful for further research. Can also be clicked through as we did in Primo. Again, always handy to know how the database you’re working with names and classifies the types of materials you’re interested in. [CLICK]Now, if we do decide that we want to read the whole thing at this point, we can just click on one of the two full text options, since this particular article is available in full text within this particular database [CLICK]
And here, indeed, is the full text of the article. [CLICK]
Now, I want to emphasize one last thing about searching secondary sources – and it applies to using journal databases like Historical Abstracts and to searching for books using Primo:I really want to stress that you should try different search strategies within a given database. Don’t limit yourself to one approach. In this case, I’m not satisfied with what I’ve found using the initial search terms, so I’m going back and doing a search from a different angle. Note here that I’ve picked up information from the previous search. From looking at the records for some of the results from the previous search, I’ve noted that the phrase “France – History – 17th Century” and the term “nobility” are official subject headings in this particular database. So with that knowledge, I’m searching for articles classified using both of those exact headings.So, as I’ve been stressing throughout, it’s really a matter of thinking critically and making decisions and problem solving throughout the research process. If one approach doesn’t work, go back to the concept list and think of other strategies. But it’s also not just about where to click. Don’t get me wrong -- it is important to understand how to use the tools and to explore them, but the most important thing is adopting a calm, methodical, grounded research process that brings your critical evaluation skills in the game at all points. [CLICK]
Alright, so that’s an overview of some of the basics of the search process. It’s not been a comprehensive session, but I do want to stress that this is, I hope, the beginning of a collaborative relationship where you all can work with us at the library more generally to get your work done and done well. So there are a number of ways in which you can get in touch with us and a number of services we offer ….[CLICK]
HIST 1010Europe and the Early Modern WorldLibrary Research StrategiesDave HudsonLearning & Curriculum Support LibrarianOctober 23rd, 2012Bean
Dave’s email address: email@example.comFirstmove:Readdocument,then take5 minutesto circlekey termsandconceptsPeople, events, ideas, places, timeperiods, dates, phenomena, etc.Document: Duc de Saint-Simon: The Court ofLouis XIVStep 1: Take stock of what you alreadyknowIdentify key concepts & search terms
Step 1: Take stock of what you alreadyknowIdentify key concepts & search termsDocument: Duc de Saint-Simon: The Court ofLouis XIVKey Concepts & Search Terms List Duc de Saint-Simon Louis XIV Court Flattery, vanity Versailles Control of ministers, generals, mistresses andcourtiers, power What time period exactly???Dave’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.orgTheinitialfacetsofyourtopic
Duc de Saint-Simon Louis XIV, king, royalty Court, courtiers Flattery, vanity Versailles, France, French, Europe, European Control of ministers, generals, mistresses andcourtiers, power What time period exactly???Dave’s email address: email@example.comStep 1: Take stock of what you alreadyknowIdentify key concepts & search termsDocument: Duc de Saint-Simon: The Court ofLouis XIVKey Concepts & Search Terms ListAddsynonyms,broader,narrower,and relatedterms
Step 2: Before you look for journalarticles and full-length books ...Dave’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.orgScholarly Journal ArticleScholarly Book400+ pages
Sometimes called“reference sources” Includeencyclopedias,dictionaries,handbooks, maps◦ Specialized andgeneral sources Other good sourcesto start with:textbooks, other classreadings, introductoryguides Dave’s email address: email@example.comBackground Information Tools
Step 2: Background Information Tools What are they good for?◦ Quickly expanding understanding of basicfacets and details of a topic Who was Duc de Saint-Simon? What was LouisXIV’s court like?◦ Confirming assumptions Was Versailles indeed the main court at the time?◦ Identifying new terms to use in searches◦ Helping to focus and refine your ideas What is the context for this document that I’mlooking at? What are the main issues connected tothis topic?◦ Leading you to more detailed sourcesDave’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 2: Background Information ToolsDave’s email address: email@example.comWhy notWikipedia?Advantages?Disadvantages?
Wikipedia entry for “Louis XIV of France” at8:48pm on October 17, 2012
Wikipedia entry for “Louis XIV of France” at5:05pm on September 12, 2008
Step 2: Using Background InformationTools Strategically Oxford Reference: great backgroundinformation tool My strategy: find general information on…◦ Duc de Saint-Simon◦ Louis XIV◦ Life at the court in France at that timeDave’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.orgDocument: Duc de Saint-Simon: The Court ofLouis XIV
Library homepage: www.lib.uoguelph.caIf accessing from off-campus, thenlog in first …To access Oxford Reference and other tools for this class, click here …
There’s a specificHIST1010 course guide onthe Library website: click“Expand All” to access …Accessing Oxford Reference: Subject & Course Guides main page
Click the link to your course…Accessing Oxford Reference: Course Guides List
HIST 1010 course guide on Library websiteCollections ofresearch toolssuggested as startingpoints for this course
“Background Information” section ofHIST 1010 course guideClick on title for accessPrint tool & locationOnline tool
Quotation marks around a set of wordssearches only for those words as a phrase(i.e. side by side in given order)Searching Oxford Reference
Searching Oxford ReferenceDifferent ways of arranging andrefining your search results …
Results from different sources in Oxford Reference
Entry for “Aristocracy” in Encyclopedia of the EnlightenmentNavigation on left includes links to related topics (e.g.entries called “French Revolution” and “Royal Courts andDynasties”)This entry mentions “Duc de Saint-Simon” … and providescontext for his writing about court life!
Automatic “Find this resource” functionsin Oxford Reference not yet workingproperly with new interface. Copy andpaste titles of resources into Primo tocheck to see if we have them!Longer entries in Oxford Reference sources sometimes includebibliographies that lead to more detail critical sources.Bottom of entry for “Aristocracy” in Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment
Trying a search without quotationmarks around my termsSearching Oxford Reference
Article on duc de Saint-Simon that wasn’t picked up in earlier search“Saint-Simon, Louis de Rouvroy, duc de” entry in The OxfordCompanion to English Literature in Oxford Reference
Avoid simply searching around the author or title ofyour document, but expand searches to includerelated concepts …“Royal Courts and Dynasties” entry in Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment in Oxford Reference
“France” entry in Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment in Oxford Reference
Dave’s email address: email@example.comStep 3: Refocus your search I now have a better sense of the historicalsignificance of my document and canproceed with more focus New strategy: look for scholarly books &journal articles on … Louis XIV and his approach to power &governance Court life French nobility in the 17th & 18th centuriesDocument: Duc de Saint-Simon: The Court ofLouis XIV
Dave’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.orgReorganized and revised searchconcept list reflects refocused search Louis de Rouvroy, Duc de Saint-Simon (1675-1755) Memoires as observations of court life Court culture, etiquette, protocol Louis XIV, king, royalty, royal Court, courtiers, aristocracy, aristocrats, nobility Versailles, France, French, Europe, European Control, power, social and political centralization Military, army, wars 18th century, eighteenth century, 1700s, 17thStep 3: Refocus your search
Dave’s email address: email@example.comWhich of the following bestdescribes yourunderstanding of theusefulness of consultingbackground informationsources (like OxfordReference)?A. I totally get it.B. I still have some questions.C. I’m completely lost.iClicker Question #1:There’sno rightanswerto this.
STEP 3:MOVE ONTO MORE DETAILEDSECONDARYSOURCES(i.e. your five scholarly sources)
• Databases generally organized intorecordsDave’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.orgSecondary sourcesSample record from PrimoInformation in records organized into individually searchable fields
Dave’s email address: email@example.comTopic-Based Search Strategy... searches for any mention of term anywhere in database (in all fields).“Subject” search ...“Full record” search (a.k.a. “anywhere” search) ...... searches for any mention of term only in official language used to classify item.e.g. “France – Court and courtiers -- History”
Dave’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.orgWhat type of search wouldyou tend to start with whensearching for material on agiven topic?A. An “anywhere” searchB. A “subject” search.iClicker Question #2:There’s norightanswer tothis.
Dave’s email address: email@example.com. … books (slides 39-46) Recommendation: Use Primo’s “Books+”search.2. … journal articles (slides 47-57) Recommendation: Start with one of thescholarly databases listed in the “journalarticles” section of your course guide.Next slides: How to find…Reminder:Return totheseslidesthroughCourselink
“Articles+” searchesmany different articledatabases at once. Canalso be messy ...Default tab searchesall collections at once.Can produce messy,overwhelming results...“Books+” is best option forsearching our collections of books,videos, journal titles, and more.
Primo “Basic Search” ScreenI’ve set the database to search “Books+” …… and am clicking through to the“Advanced Search” option.
Use of asterisk (*) after a word in PRIMO(and other databases) will search for allwords that start with letters that precedethe asterisk: authority, authorities,authoritarian, authoritarianism, etc.Use of OR between wordssearches for instances of any ofthese words. Think of it as away of expanding your options.Primo “Advanced Search” Screen, set to “Books+”
Results list in PrimoOptions for refining result setby type of work, publicationyear, author, subject, etc.
To view more full record, click on the “Details” tab …Results list in Primo
Full record for book in PrimoYou also have access to items fromother Guelph campuses, from WilfridLaurier (WLU), or from University ofWaterloo (UW).Use this function to request theseitems. Delivery time is 1-3 businessdays.Click here to linkto instructionson how to makerequeststhrough Primo
Note official subject headings used toclassify relevant material in PrimoClick on a subject heading to be taken to a list of otheritems classified in the same way.
Journal articles section of History 1010 course guide onlibrary websiteClick on title for accessDatabases suggested for looking upjournal articles related to HIST1010
… and search limitsSearch boxes …Search screen in Historical Abstracts
Enter search terms …Top of advanced search screen in Historical Abstracts
Bottom of advanced search screen in Historical AbstractsImpose any search limits …Limiting myself to articles … …published in academic journals.… written in English… peer-reviewed.
Results list in Historical Abstracts searchWe got 17 resultsHow could we limitour search to geteven fewer results?How could weexpand our search toget more results?The Get it! Guelph functionchecks other databases forfull-text of the article.Click here for“How to” videoLink to videoshowing use ofGet it! Guelph
Item from results listTitle of articleTitle of journalClick on article title to view fullrecord details
Click to accessdetailed recordAccessing the article record for quick information …
Look in the recordfor an abstract,which provides aquick summary ofthe article.If the article looksrelevant, make notof the subjectheadings, whichcan lead you tosimilar articles.Record for article in Historical Abstracts
Returning to read full text of article in Historical Abstracts
Historical Abstracts databaseCrucial: Remember to try a variety of different searches from different angles.
Getting More Help (Part A) Ask Us Desk Chat with a librarianonline Learning Commons◦ Learning and writing◦ Academic integrity & plagiarism◦ Various library research skillsworkshops Look for the “First” logoDave’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Getting More Help (Part B)Get in touch!Dave HudsonLearning & CurriculumSupport Librarian,Historydhudson@uoguelph.caExt. 58221I’m ready to help!Dave as younglibrarian“Let’s collaborate!”