Computers
are stupid
Thinking about
your search
terms
Search terms
When you are searching a database or
website, in most cases your computer
will only search for what you tell ...
Search terms
When you are searching a database or website, in most
cases your computer will only search for what you tell ...
Search terms
When you are searching a database or website, in most
cases your computer will only search for what you tell ...
Search terms
When you are searching a database or website, in most
cases your computer will only search for what you tell ...
Search terms
When you are searching a database or website, in most
cases your computer will only search for what you tell ...
Alternative terms
Does the author call them
“mobile phones” or “cell
phones”?
Alternative terms
Does the author call them
“mobile phones” or “cell
phones”?
If you search for articles
which include the...
Terminology
The language used by different
information sources will vary
considerably.
Terminology
The language used by different
information sources will vary
considerably.
You will need to take this into
acc...
Terminology
Think of the different terms
which may be employed by:
Terminology
Think of the different terms
which may be employed by:
• A broadsheet newspaper
Terminology
Think of the different terms
which may be employed by:
• A broadsheet newspaper
• A tabloid newspaper
Terminology
Think of the different terms
which may be employed by:
• A broadsheet newspaper
• A tabloid newspaper
• An off...
Terminology
Think of the different terms
which may be employed by:
• A broadsheet newspaper
• A tabloid newspaper
• An off...
Terminology
“motor vehicle” rather than ”car”
Terminology
“motor vehicle” rather than ”car”
“intoxicated” rather than “drunk”
Terminology
“motor vehicle” rather than ”car”
“intoxicated” rather than “drunk”
“homicide” rather than “murder”?
Terminology
Think about differences in
terminology between cultures or
how terminology changes over
time.
Terminology
“mental retardation”
Terminology
“mental retardation”
- started to be commonly used in
mid-20th century, replacing earlier
terminology no longe...
Terminology
“mental retardation”
- started to be commonly used in mid-20th century, replacing earlier terminology no longe...
Terminology
“mental retardation”
- started to be commonly used in mid-20th century, replacing earlier terminology no longe...
Terminology
Changes in terminology and
spelling especially important
when searching historic sources
such as newspapers, o...
Terminology
Many publications have their
own terminology and spelling
style guide.
Terminology
Many publications have their
own terminology and spelling
style guide.
Guardian : al-Qaida
Sunday Times : al-Q...
Variant spellings
Spellings vary – for example, think
about Americanised and Francophone
word spellings:
Variant spellings
Spellings vary – for example, think
about Americanised and Francophone
word spellings:
• colour or color
Variant spellings
Spellings vary – for example, think
about Americanised and Francophone
word spellings:
• colour or color...
Variant spellings
Spellings vary – for example, think
about Americanised and Francophone
word spellings:
• colour or color...
Variant spellings
Spellings vary – for example, think
about Americanised and Francophone
word spellings:
• colour or color...
Variant word stems
You also need to put yourself in the head of
the author. Spelling may depend on the
form of word used.
Variant word stems
You also need to put yourself in the head of
the author. Spelling may depend on the
form of word used.
...
Variant word stems
You also need to put yourself in the head of
the author. Spelling may depend on the
form of word used.
...
Variant word stems
You also need to put yourself in the head of
the author. Spelling may depend on the
form of word used.
...
Journal Ranking
Usually, academic
databases will just
search for the terms
you tell them to.
Journal Ranking
Usually, academic databases
will just search for the terms
you tell them to.
They will not think
for thems...
Journal Ranking
Usually, academic databases will just search
for the terms you tell them to.
They will not think for thems...
Image Credits
[Slide 1] Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Justin. Original available at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/1796415...
Image Credits
[Slide 27-31] Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Didi. Original available at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/11356...
Other Credits
This presentation is based upon a learning unit
created by the author (James Bisset) whilst
employed at the ...
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Thinking about your search terms

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  • Homicide is more American usage
  • Citation index not a completely new idea in other contexts, such as the legal field where case citation indexes to track the subsequent treatment of judicial decisions had been in place in the US since 1873, and in the UK from 1947.From this, came his first mention of using this data to measure the “impact factor” – in this initial paper, at an article level, but later at the journal level.
  • Citation index not a completely new idea in other contexts, such as the legal field where case citation indexes to track the subsequent treatment of judicial decisions had been in place in the US since 1873, and in the UK from 1947.From this, came his first mention of using this data to measure the “impact factor” – in this initial paper, at an article level, but later at the journal level.
  • Citation index not a completely new idea in other contexts, such as the legal field where case citation indexes to track the subsequent treatment of judicial decisions had been in place in the US since 1873, and in the UK from 1947.From this, came his first mention of using this data to measure the “impact factor” – in this initial paper, at an article level, but later at the journal level.
  • Thinking about your search terms

    1. 1. Computers are stupid Thinking about your search terms
    2. 2. Search terms When you are searching a database or website, in most cases your computer will only search for what you tell it to search for.
    3. 3. Search terms When you are searching a database or website, in most cases your computer will only search for what you tell it to search for. You need to consider…
    4. 4. Search terms When you are searching a database or website, in most cases your computer will only search for what you tell it to search for. You need to consider… • Alternative terms
    5. 5. Search terms When you are searching a database or website, in most cases your computer will only search for what you tell it to search for. You need to consider… • Alternative terms • Terminology
    6. 6. Search terms When you are searching a database or website, in most cases your computer will only search for what you tell it to search for. You need to consider… • Alternative terms • Terminology • Alternative spellings and word endings
    7. 7. Alternative terms Does the author call them “mobile phones” or “cell phones”?
    8. 8. Alternative terms Does the author call them “mobile phones” or “cell phones”? If you search for articles which include the term “teenager” will you miss the article which only refers to “adolescent”?
    9. 9. Terminology The language used by different information sources will vary considerably.
    10. 10. Terminology The language used by different information sources will vary considerably. You will need to take this into account in your searches.
    11. 11. Terminology Think of the different terms which may be employed by:
    12. 12. Terminology Think of the different terms which may be employed by: • A broadsheet newspaper
    13. 13. Terminology Think of the different terms which may be employed by: • A broadsheet newspaper • A tabloid newspaper
    14. 14. Terminology Think of the different terms which may be employed by: • A broadsheet newspaper • A tabloid newspaper • An official publication
    15. 15. Terminology Think of the different terms which may be employed by: • A broadsheet newspaper • A tabloid newspaper • An official publication • An academic journal article
    16. 16. Terminology “motor vehicle” rather than ”car”
    17. 17. Terminology “motor vehicle” rather than ”car” “intoxicated” rather than “drunk”
    18. 18. Terminology “motor vehicle” rather than ”car” “intoxicated” rather than “drunk” “homicide” rather than “murder”?
    19. 19. Terminology Think about differences in terminology between cultures or how terminology changes over time.
    20. 20. Terminology “mental retardation”
    21. 21. Terminology “mental retardation” - started to be commonly used in mid-20th century, replacing earlier terminology no longer perceived as acceptable.
    22. 22. Terminology “mental retardation” - started to be commonly used in mid-20th century, replacing earlier terminology no longer perceived as acceptable. - Now itself perceived as not politically acceptable and being replaced by terms including “intellectual disability”.
    23. 23. Terminology “mental retardation” - started to be commonly used in mid-20th century, replacing earlier terminology no longer perceived as acceptable. - Now itself perceived as not politically acceptable and being replaced by terms including “intellectual disability”. - Still in use in the United States and by the WHO sometime after the phrase became less commonly used in United Kingdom.
    24. 24. Terminology Changes in terminology and spelling especially important when searching historic sources such as newspapers, official publication and pamphlet collections.
    25. 25. Terminology Many publications have their own terminology and spelling style guide.
    26. 26. Terminology Many publications have their own terminology and spelling style guide. Guardian : al-Qaida Sunday Times : al-Qaeda
    27. 27. Variant spellings Spellings vary – for example, think about Americanised and Francophone word spellings:
    28. 28. Variant spellings Spellings vary – for example, think about Americanised and Francophone word spellings: • colour or color
    29. 29. Variant spellings Spellings vary – for example, think about Americanised and Francophone word spellings: • colour or color • centre or center
    30. 30. Variant spellings Spellings vary – for example, think about Americanised and Francophone word spellings: • colour or color • centre or center • licence or license
    31. 31. Variant spellings Spellings vary – for example, think about Americanised and Francophone word spellings: • colour or color • centre or center • licence or license • organised or organized
    32. 32. Variant word stems You also need to put yourself in the head of the author. Spelling may depend on the form of word used.
    33. 33. Variant word stems You also need to put yourself in the head of the author. Spelling may depend on the form of word used. • The police were accused of negligence
    34. 34. Variant word stems You also need to put yourself in the head of the author. Spelling may depend on the form of word used. • The police were accused of negligence • The police were accused of acting negligently
    35. 35. Variant word stems You also need to put yourself in the head of the author. Spelling may depend on the form of word used. • The police were accused of negligence • The police were accused of acting negligently • The police were accused of being negligent
    36. 36. Journal Ranking Usually, academic databases will just search for the terms you tell them to.
    37. 37. Journal Ranking Usually, academic databases will just search for the terms you tell them to. They will not think for themselves.
    38. 38. Journal Ranking Usually, academic databases will just search for the terms you tell them to. They will not think for themselves. So if your search isn’t finding what you want, think about alternative keywords, terminolog y and variant
    39. 39. Image Credits [Slide 1] Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Justin. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/17964151@N00/1804061993/ [Slide 7] Via Flickr Creative Commons by Don Urban. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/18565975@N07/3257999418/ [Slide 8] Via Flickr Creative Commons by Surian Soosay. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/76284765@N00/6027006776 [Slide 16] Via Flickr Creative Commons by @Doug88888. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/29468339@N02/3107120908 [Slide 18] Via Flickr Creative Commons by bs_gif. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/36996450@N06/4165512530
    40. 40. Image Credits [Slide 27-31] Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Didi. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/11356857@N08/4500234472 [Slide 36-38] Via Flickr Creative Commons by JulyYu. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/53953811@N00/311846814
    41. 41. Other Credits This presentation is based upon a learning unit created by the author (James Bisset) whilst employed at the University of the West of England. The original can be viewed in multiple places, including at http://www.uwe.ac.uk/library/resources/bus/learningunits/ibis/media/Thinking% 20about%20your%20search%20terms/Presentation_Files/index.html

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