COSC 111 Searching Spring 2011

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  • Applications of information technology within a specific field – this can still be a huge topic that can benefit from some whittling down. Otherwise you can have too many sources to wade through, and too much trouble focusing your final product.Some ways to think about it:What are some examples of kinds of technologies you might want to pursue? (mobile communications, social media, software, robotics, etc.).Technologies are tools. They ideally should be used to achieve specific goals. For instance, certain technologies might encourage certain kinds of learning by college students. So one way to approach this would be to think of the goals that are important and then find out which technologies are being used to achieve them.Or, in some (many!) cases, technologies applied in certain ways might cause problems; then other technologies might be used to solve those problems. Computer hacking vs. computer security is one obvious example, but there are others!!Since your professor’s expertise is in INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, you might want to focus on this kind of tech. “as defined by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), is ‘the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware.’” – Wikipedia
  • Example: Someone studying technology and educationWhat population? (k12, college)Specific tasks/venues: Classroom or assignment use?What subject matter? (ex: biology or history?)What specific technology? (Blackboard, wiki, web site, videoconferencing, IM, online databases, what?)Who is using/”making” that technology? (Student or teacher?)What country? (one or comparing countries)What time period? ( and change over time)
  • We can’t search the innards of a book when we use the Towson Catalog to find books. Think of a book that is likely to talk about your subject.Examples: maybe you won’t find a book on the subject of motion detectors in the home. But you might find one on security systems for the home.Maybe you won’t find a book on Blackboard per se. But there might be a book that discusses online education that has a chapter on different systems like Blackboard or even Blackboard specifically.When we search for articles using databases, you can search for much more specific topics. Articles because of their length are more specific & also we can search the entire text of articles most of the time to find that needle in the haystack.
  • First go over Cook Library Website Help locations: Need Help, Ask a Librarian Quick Tools: Off campus login, Journal List, Help GuidesCatalogs – Towson, USMAI, Worldcat TU Search Foursquare -> Social Media Advanced SearchLook at entry Find it or Availability Subject headings Cite feature
  • Databases are more efficient!Search Academic Search Premier - facebook AND privacy Note difference between magazine and peer reviewed


  • 1. Laksamee Putnam
    Research and Instruction Librarian
    COSC 111: Finding Information Using Cook Library
  • 2. Take Away…
    Search strategies and Search tips
    Finding books: Cook Library Catalog
    Finding articles: Databases
    Website evaluate
  • 3. Information Technology
    “the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware.” – Information Technology Association of America
    Image retrieved from Twitter
    Image retrieved from MailOnline
  • 4. Technology Brainstorming
    What kinds of (information) technologies?
    Technologies used to achieve specific goals
    Encourage communication or learning, etc.
    Targeted towards certain populations
    Business or college students, etc.
  • 5. Preparing to Search
    Articulate your topic
    Choose important ideas
    More specific terms
    Broader concepts
    Strategize where to search
    What sources of information will you need?
    Background information
  • 6. Search Terms & Keyword Reminders
    Keywords come from the search question
    Use broader terms/concepts when looking for BOOKS.
    Use narrower terms when looking for ARTICLES.
  • 7. Search Tips
    Understand and use Boolean “search connectors”
    spam AND internet security
    Combining >1 topic
    OLED OR organic light emitting diodes
    Combining synonymous terms
  • 8. What AND does…
    spam AND internet security
  • 9. What OR does…
    organic light emitting diodes
    OLED OR organic light emitting diodes
  • 10. Don’t forget: Truncation helps
    technolog* finds…
  • 11. Similar ideas … different words
    Law enforcement
    Criminal justice
    and other issues such as spelling…
  • 12. Similar ideas….different words
    Cell phone
    Cellular telephone
    Wireless phone
  • 13. I’m interested in how information technology can affect how well college students are able to learn a foreign language…..
    information technology and foreign language and learn*
  • 14. Finding Books
    Towson Catalog
    Advanced Search
    USMAI Combined Catalog
    TU WorldCat
    Interlibrary Loan (Illiad)
  • 15. Searching the Catalog
    Cook Library
    Library Catalogs
    Advanced Search Options
    Call number
    Library Map
    Other locations
    Interlibrary loan (Illiad)
  • 16. Searching Databases
    Cook Library
    Subject Gateways
    Computer Science
    Scholarly Journals
    Magazines (inc. Trade Publications)
    Peer-reviewed articles in multiple journals
    Towson: 64 journals with the words “Computer Science” in the title
    Computer Science Index: 500 journals on a variety of topics
    Research vs Review
  • 17. Evaluate
    Authority/Authorship – Determine who is responsible for the information. What are his/her credentials?
    Currency – Is the information current and up-to-date? Is there a publication date?
    Objectivity – Is there any bias? What is the purpose of the web page (to inform or to persuade)?
    Scope – Are sources cited? Is the subject covered in depth?
    Usability – Is the site easy to navigate? Are spelling and grammar correct?
    Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus
    RYT Hospital
  • 18. Questions?
    Feel free to contact me:
    Laksamee Putnam
    Twitter: @LibrarianLaks
    Or any reference librarian:
    Visit Cook Library Reference Desk
    IM – tucookchat