Classics Information research skills for projects and dissertations
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  • 1. LibraryServices Academic Skills: Information & Research Skills for Dissertations libguides.rhul.ac.uk/ November 2013 Russell Burke
  • 2. Library Services Aims of the session • Overview of Library Services available to support your essay research • Step 1 - Plan and prepare a literature search • Step 2 - Use LibrarySearch and subject specific resources to find information • Step 3 – Adapt & refine your searches • Step 4 - Manage your references (& generate bibliographies using RefWorks) • Access eresources off-campus • Using other libraries 2
  • 3. Library Services My essay question / research topic: What do I want to find out?
  • 4. Library Services 4
  • 5. Library Services Developing your search strategy 5 “How Athenian democracy worked in the fifth century BCE.” Main concepts Alternative terms 1. Athens Athenian … 2. Democracy Democratic system, Political system, Government 3 fifth century BCE Before Common Era, 5th Century, BC ….
  • 6. Step One:Think about your own research topic & related concepts and write down the keywords that you need to search for
  • 7. Library Services Now that I know what I want to find out: What resources would I use? See part 1 of the following prezi for an overview of the types of material available via the Library: http://prezi.com/24tl5r36eel5/developing-your-search-skills/
  • 8. Library Services Selecting information sources Library Subject Guides: libguides.rhul.ac.uk/ Online databases (eresources): libguides.rhul.ac.uk/Databases LibrarySearch: librarysearch.rhul.ac.uk Senate House Library catalogue (& eresources): ull.ac.uk Other internet resources… These can also be found on the main Library webpage
  • 9. Library Services Why can’t I just use Google? Evaluating information sources: http://prezi.com/q5jglgamre6c/evaluating-information/ 9
  • 10. Step 2: Use your Library Subject Guide and select the resources or types of resources you think you would need to use to carry out your research
  • 11. Library Services Now that I know what I want to find out & where to find the resources: How do I carry out searches to find information on my topic? (By combining your search terms in meaningful way!) See your Library Subject Guide >Training > Searching for videos & more help
  • 12. Library Services Combining keywords - AND Narrow your search using AND (useful if you have too many results) e.g. Virgil AND pathos 12 Results containing VIRGIL Results containing BOTH TERMS Results containing PATHOS ie. only brings back results where all the words searched for are included somewhere in the title, summary and/or full-text
  • 13. Library Services Combining keywords - too few results? Broaden your search using OR (useful if you have too few results) e.g. role OR function 13 ie. brings back results where any the words searched for are included somewhere in the title, summary and/or full-text
  • 14. Library Services Making the most of synonyms As well as searching for alternative terms, you can use wildcard characters ($ ? * -) to replace letters in search terms or to truncate a term: Examples theat* - finds theatre, theater, theatrical, etc. wom*n - finds women, woman. NB: Help pages in the online resources will explain which character is used as the wildcard 14
  • 15. Library Services Combining keywords – phrase searching 15 “Greek tragedy” “Fifth Century BCE” Use quotation (speech) marks to search for phrases where word need to appear next to each other (e.g. specific terminology, title of books / films, names & places).
  • 16. Step three: think about how you will combing keywords and enter your search queries in your selected eresources (adjusting terms as you need to)
  • 17. Library Services Now that I have found information on my topic: How do I know that it is what I want and good quality material? (see the ‘Evaluating information sources’ link mentioned above)
  • 18. Library Services Reviewing & evaluating your research Do you have enough / too much information? Is it relevant to your research? Does it answer the whole question? Is the information current / within the date you require Do you need to review your underlying research question?
  • 19. Library Services Now that I have the information (books, chapters, journal articles, webpages etc) that I need: How do I manage & reference them? (You may have a lot of references and research material to keep track of!)
  • 20. Library Services Keeping track of useful items • Emailing links to yourself • Using the e-shelf in LibrarySearch • Log in to LibrarySearch • Click on the star icon beside useful results • Go to ‘e-shelf’ • Create baskets, email, export results • NB - most other eresources provide these functions (you can do the same in JSTOR / ProjectMuse / MLA Bibliography / L’Annee Philologique ) • OR you can keep all of your references in ONE PLACE and organised them by topic, essay title or course etc. by exporting references to RefWorks – this is really easy to do! 20
  • 21. Library Services RefWorks Bibliographic reference management software Capture, save and organise references Create a bibliography for your essay from containing 1 to 1000 items in your Departments Referencing Style in seconds! Access it via the Library Subject Guides (Citation & Referencing) Contains online self-help tutorials Sign up to a free Library RefWorks training session: Check the Library Information SkillsTraining Session on the Subject guide: http://libguides.rhul.ac.uk/
  • 22. Step four: save the results that you need (references, abstracts, URL links, full text) and organise these so that you can find them when you need them & reference them in your assignments
  • 23. Library Services Access online resources off-campus Royal Holloway ‘Campus Anywhere’ (VPN) The only way to access all of our electronic resources off campus is to install theVirtual Private Network (VPN) service, known as 'CampusAnywhere'. This is quick and easy to set up and works on PCs, laptops & Macs Go to the IT Services website to find out more: http://www.rhul.ac.uk/it/home.aspx
  • 24. Library Services Using other libraries Royal Holloway students all get free access to Senate House Library (SHL): take along your RHUL Id card if you want to borrow books or use the study space there. Online registration for SHL’s eresources: see the ‘Beyond RHUL’ section on the Library Subject Guides for more information Access to other Libraries using SCONUL Access: see the ‘Beyond RHUL’ section on the Library Subject Guides for more information
  • 25. Library Services Questions? Russell Burke Information Consultant 2-07 Bedford Library Royal Holloway University of London Russell.Burke@rhul.ac.uk 01784 414065 Please remember to always check: • LIBRARY SUBJECT GUIDES • @RHUL_Library onTWITTER • the Library’s FACEBOOK PAGE for the latest information and updates! 25 Leo Reynolds. Flickr. CC-BY-NA