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Project literature search

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  • 1. John Rylands University LibraryPlanning Your Project Research 1
  • 2. ContentsIntroduction 3Step 1 – Topic Description 5Step 2 – Identifying your keywords 5Step 3 – Identifying your sources 6Step 4 – Additional sources 7Step 5 – Search the Databases 76. Useful hints 87. Project Methodology checklist 9 2
  • 3. Introduction: Aim, Objectives and Learning OutcomesIntroduction• The primary purpose of this handout is to provide guidance on how to plan your project research. On this first page the aim, objectives and learning outcomes in respect of this handbook are set out.Aim• Understand the different resources and search tools available from the Library to gather evidence for your project.Objectives How to build your search. How to find and identify relevant library databases from the JRUL Library Website How to access and search selected library databasesLearning Outcomes Understand how to plan a search strategy to identify the relevant material for your project Understand the range of data available from the library databasesNoteThe library databases are accessible throughout your degree programme and yourunderstanding of what is available could prove valuable for other modules, projects/assignmentsand/or for your career/professional development.Make the most of the databases now whilst you can and remember there is a dedicated librarysupport service (in person/online) to help assist you in finding, accessing or searching data.Good luck with your research now and in the future!Dave HirstFaculty Team Librarian for EEE & MACEJoule LibraryTel: 0161 306 4932Email: david.hirst@manchester.ac.ukBlog: http://jrulenginfo.wordpress.com/ 3
  • 4. Finding and Accessing DatabasesFinding the Databases http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/ Select “Search Resources” Select “Databases A to Z”Accessing the Databases University Username and Password (Institutional Access) Most databases will require you to enter your University Username and Password to access off-campus. This is a unique ID confirming you are a registered student at the University of Manchester. When required you will be asked to enter your Central Username and password via the University’s Central Authentication Service. https://login.manchester.ac.uk Individual “Special” database usernames and passwords A small number of databases require an individual username and password. Whenever you see a link “special username and password” you need to select this and log in (using your University username and password) to the Library’s protected password page first to find the username and password required to log into the database.  Select the “special username and password” link from the individual database information page  The Library’s password information page will be displayed  Select “databases” from under the special username and password section  Enter your university username and password to access the database password page  Scroll down the list to find the relevant database username and password  Go back to the database information page and select the database link  Enter the username and password you obtained from the password page 4
  • 5. Step 1: Topic DescriptionIn this box you will see set out an example of a project topic description. In the following sections thesteps that you need to take to access the appropriate and relevant databases and research resources. The impact of wind turbines on microwave communications“Due to the size of modern wind turbines and their location on the landscape, they have the potentialto obstruct radio paths and also act as reflectors of radio energy. The effect has been described asbeing similar to a dance hall mirror ball, although the number of reflecting surfaces on a wind turbineis smaller. As a result of their large moving surfaces the interference effect is difficult to predict andconstantly changing. Although wind turbines have a detrimental effect on all radio communications,their effect on mobile systems, such as cell phones, will not be as great as on fixed systems. Mobilesystems are designed to operate in a rapidly changing radio propagation environment but radiocommunication systems designed to interact with mainly fixed infrastructure are vulnerable to thedetrimental effects of wind turbines. The systems most affected are those which rely on a stablepropagation environment such as aircraft radars, television and fixed data systems.” Step 2: Identifying your Keywords Using a keyword or key phrase will enable you to focus your search for relevant information. You should note that the process of identifying keywords should be repeated more than once to build on the information initially found. Think about…..  Wide range of terms  Related areas  Effective use of thesauri/controlled vocabulary if available  Effective use of keyword index if available 5
  • 6. Key Search Terms  Wind turbine(s)  Wind farm(s)  Wind turbine clutter  Wind power  Microwave  Microwave communications Wider Range of Terms  Scattering  Electromagnetic RF waves  Radio communications  Telecommunications  Electromagnetic Interference Assessment (EIA)  Radar clutter  Doppler clutter Step 3 – Identify your sourcesQuestion: What is the value of searching across the library’s journaldatabases for articles?Answer: You can search multiple journals, professional magazines andtrade journals at one time for: • Up to date research within leading publications not always published within textbooks • Latest peer reviewed academic research in specialised engineering fields • Critiques of existing research/literature • Access to primary resource material • Case examples of specific research techniques in practice 6
  • 7. Key databases  Compendex  Web of Science  Scopus  Emerald  Science Direct  Proquest Step 4: Additional Sources Library Catalogue - books, conference proceedings, reports etc Google Scholar – journal articles, conference proceedings, grey literature Grey literature (Technical reports, Conferences, Theses, Newsletters, Trade/product literature, Standards and specifications, Codes of practice, Pre-prints, Web-objects) Document Supply and Inter Library Loans – if the library does not hold a specific book or journal article then you can order it via the Document Supply service. Knovel - The database provides the full text of over 1,000 reference works in science and technology. Step 5: Search the databases. Access the recommended databases from Step 3. Each database allows the user to build up specific searches quite easily with a number of keywords. Using the tips below you can get the best out of the databases and locate high quality relevant academic articles. Boolean Logic - you can choose to combine search terms using the search boxes and you can search for your keywords in specific fields e.g. within the article title, the abstract, author, publisher etc. Limiters - you can also choose to ‘limit’ the search by including a date range e.g. 1997- 2007, choosing the language you want the article to be in and what type of article you want the search to locate e.g. journal article, conference proceeding, monograph etc. Limiters allow the user to narrow their search and target the relevant articles. 7
  • 8. Truncation - e.g. searching for wind farm* will also retrieve results including wind farms,wind farming etcAlternative spellings e.g. stabili?ation searches for US and UK spellings 6. Useful HintsFocus on Key PublicationsLook at publications that have made a big impact on the field. If a reference has beencited numerous times by other reputable authors, it is fair to assume that it is a keypublication. It is also important to include recent publications to show that you are up todate with ideas and developments in the field.To locate highly cited articles examine your search results on the database and rankthem according to how many times they have been cited. You can do this on themajority of the library databases. Looking at how many times an article has been cited isa useful indicator of the scholarly impact of the article. Look at the journals that thehighly cited articles have been published in and carry out an in-depth search on thosejournals to retrieve other relevant articles.You can search multiple journals on the Databases A-Z listing.You can also search individual journals by accessing the Electronic Journals A-Z.Include a Range of SourcesTo demonstrate you’ve read widely on your project topic you should include a range ofsources. You can include any type of reference in a literature review provided it isrelevant to your topic and of a high quality. Depending on your topic, you may includebooks, journal articles, websites, conference proceedings, government reports, and evenmedia reports.How to find an example of a Literature Review?The best way to find an example of a literature review is to search a database in yoursubject area. Do a keyword search for your subject area and also the word ‘review’ inthe document title e.g. wind turbines AND review or wind farms AND review. 8
  • 9. EndnoteAfter searching the databases you will need to keep a record of your search results. TheUniversity supports Endnote which is a popular bibliographic reference managerpackage, available for both Windows and Mac.Endnote enables you to download references from a wide range of databases, store,organise and retrieve your references, cite them in your dissertations and articles andproduce bibliographies and reading lists in a variety of formats.You can view more information, training, video tutorials and guides on JRUL Endnotewebpage. 7. Project Methodology ChecklistUse this checklist to help guide you with planning and conducting your search strategy.Plan your searches□ Identify your key search terms□ Identify your synonyms□ Identify potential sourcesIdentifying and searching Potential SourcesCheck the following to establish if there is any relevant research via:□ Library catalogue□ Key databases□ Electronic journals A-Z list□ External Sources□ External catalogues/research networks□ Official Statistical Agencies□ Government Bodies□ NGOs□ Trade Associations 9
  • 10. Refining your database searchHas your search retrieved too many articles?You can be more specific: Search for your key phrase in the title of the article e.g. "wind turbines" Combine your keywords for a more specific search e.g. "wind turbines" in the title of the article AND “microwave” Only look at the last 5 or 10 years e.g. 1999-2009Want to locate more relevant articles? Look at the keyword subject terms/descriptors that the database uses to describe the relevant articles youve found. (If you look at the full record of an item, these are normally towards the bottom of the record.) Can you use any of these terms as keywords in your own search? In some databases there will be a link to more references like this (in Web of Knowledge try "find related records")Not getting anything on your subject? Look again at the keywords you are using - are there any alternatives that you can use? Sometimes words are spelt differently or there may be abbreviations that you can use. You may be using a database that does not cover your subject. Go to the library WebPages for your subject at: http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/academicsupport/subjects/ Also search the catalogue for Thesis that cover your subject. Each database is different so check out the help pages to ensure you are using it correctly. If you are not locating the relevant articles then you can contact your Supervisor and your Faculty Team Librarian.EEE Blackboard Information Skills course  All EEE students have access to an Information Skills course on Blackboard which contains detailed step by step instructions on how to carry out a literature search, reference material correctly and critically evaluate information.  You can view the course by logging on to Blackboard 9 and accessing the My Communities section or logging on via My Manchester. The course is called Library and Information Skills. 10
  • 11. Dave Hirst, Faculty Team Library for MACE & EEETel: 0161 3064932Email: david.hirst@manchester.ac.ukEEE subject pages: http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/academicsupport/subjects/eee/MACE & EEE Library Blog: http://jrulenginfo.wordpress.com/ 11

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