Using information resources


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This is an introductionto using information resources, including a strategy to help identify key words and then how to use these with the library catalogue and the 'search EBSCO journals' site

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Using information resources

  1. 1. Using Information Resources<br />Image from:<br />
  2. 2. Defining search terms<br />To be able to get the most out of the information resources that are available to you, you need to decide what exactly you’re looking for.<br />Over the next few slides I’ll show you one method of defining which search terms might be most helpful. <br />This is only one method and you may have one that works better for you, but if you’re completely stumped it may be useful as a starting point.<br />
  3. 3. Key Words<br />The easiest way to decide what information you’re looking for is to identify the key words in the question. These are likely to relate to the key topics that a particular module aims to investigate. Look at the example question below, and think about which words you would pick out as the key words.<br />Discuss the impact of children’s anti-social behaviour on communities in the UK.<br />
  4. 4. Key Words<br />I have chosen the coloured words as the main focus of the essay. When searching for information, these are the terms that I would use:<br />Discuss the impact of children’santi-social behaviour on communities in the UK.<br />The next step is to analyse these words to produce a list of related terms and important researchers that can be used in the literature review.<br />
  5. 5. Example using the first term- children.You could use a thesaurus, or an online site such as to find and note the most commonly used synonyms, as shown below.Using these words as search terms will increase the number of articles and books that you can find that may be relevant to your essay, and may mean that you can find resources that you would not have found by just using the term ‘children’.<br />Teenagers<br />Young People<br />Juveniles<br />Children<br />Adolescents<br />Minors<br />Youths<br />
  6. 6. Using the key words in the library catalogue.<br />There are 3 ways to access the library catalogue <br />(also known as OPAC)<br />In College:<br />-On one of 3 catalogue-only computers in the Library <br />-On a normal computer by clicking on the icon on the desktop<br />From home:<br />By clicking on the Catalogue link <br />on the Intranet<br />
  7. 7. Top Tips For Successful Searching<br />Use the ‘Any words’ and ‘Author’ spaces to search. If you use ‘Title’ it will only give you search results for that exact combination of words. <br />Avoid common words like ‘the’ ‘and’ ‘of’. If you use these, you’ll get any book that has these in the title!<br />Use the Author’s surname. Only use the first name of the author if you don’t know the title of the book that you want, and the author has a common name like Smith<br />
  8. 8. If you just want to search the catalogue, Click on the OPAC tab<br />
  9. 9. Basic Search<br /><ul><li>The first screen that you will see is the basic search screen.
  10. 10. Use this for quick searching, or for general subject searching.</li></li></ul><li>Advanced Search<br />Alternatively, you can do an<br />advanced search by clicking<br />the ‘Advanced’ tab.<br /><ul><li> ‘Any words’ search to find items by subject or keyword, e.g. ‘children’ and ‘racism’.
  11. 11. You can combine key terms such as ‘youth or children or juveniles’ or ‘youth and war’
  12. 12. Search for all books by a </li></ul>particular author by doing an<br />‘Author’ search.<br />
  13. 13. An example of a key word search<br />
  14. 14. Interpreting the search results<br /><ul><li> ‘Copies’ : Tells you how many copies of the book we have.
  15. 15. ‘Status’ : Tells you whether the book is available for you to borrow, or on loan to another user.
  16. 16. ‘Classification’ : Tells you where in the Library the book is located.
  17. 17. ‘Subjects’: Tells you which subjects the books are related to</li></li></ul><li>Classification Explained<br />The classification tells you where in the library a book is located. <br />Each row of shelves has a yellow and green marker that shows which class marks are shelved in each section.<br />The classmark 361CRE shows that the book ‘Sociology for social workers and probation officers’ is shelved in the area that holds 339.5 361.06<br />The CRE is very important. As there are many books shelved in 361, they are shelved first by this number, and then alphabetically within classification numbers. This helps you to differentiate between different books that are about the same subject.<br />For more information see the poster behind the cataloguing computers, or ask us for a guide to the Dewey Decimal System.<br />
  18. 18. Online Journals<br />
  19. 19. Using key terms to‘Search EBSCO Journals’<br />
  20. 20. The best search to use is ‘Title, Abstract and Full Text’. This will search all of the journals that the college subscribes to for your key words. <br />
  21. 21. Combining key words helps to narrow down the number of articles that are found.<br />
  22. 22. Any Questions?<br />Speak to staff at the library desk <br />or email<br />