Research andInformation Skills Searching electronic journals
IntroductionAcademic journal articles typically contain scholarly writing, relating a particular academic discipline. They canserve as an introduction for new research findings, or may provide a critique (or new interpretations) of existingtheories or research findings. Articles will typically undergo a “peer-review” process (whereby the article isreviewed by a number of outside experts) prior to publication – This process ensures that published articles canbe safely considered as part of a reliable body of research and knowledge within that field.The Internet has revolutionized both the production of, and access to journal articles. In the majority of cases,individual articles are now made available in electronic format upon publication. These electronic copies arethen added to subject specific, bibliographic databases, which can be accessed over the internet.The John Rylands University Library (JRUL) subscribes to a wide variety of these subject specialist bibliographicdatabases. From these subscriptions we currently provide access to articles from over 40,000 individual journals(many of which are peer review publications). In the face of such an enormous volume of information sources,locating the journal articles you need, can initially be a confusing process. Use this guide to help you through theinitial stages of the searching process. Using electronic journals Electronic journals can be found by going to the Search Resources section of the Library website: http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/ There are two main types of article search you can undertake using the library web-pages: Search for a specific journal article (or articles from a specific publication) If you are searching for a specific article (or for articles published within a particular journal), you can easily link to the full-text by using the A-Z listing. OR Search for a range of articles on a topic/subject You can use the e-journal databases you to search across multiple journal titles for articles. This is the best way if you are researching a specific topic for an essay, dissertation or project. Each database has similar search functions but varies in the content of journals included. Some have specialisms, or particular types, or quantity of journals. DON’T FORGET: You can access electronic journals from anywhere, not just on campus. To access anywhere other than the University you will need your University (Central) Username and Password.
Finding articles by journal / article titleUsing the A-Z Listing of Electronic Journal TitlesThe A-Z of Electronic Journal Titles details all the full text electronic journals held by the JRUL in alphabetical order. Access the Electronic Journals A-Z listing via the JRUL Website homepage: http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/ Select Electronic Journals A-Z The easiest way to locate the journal title is to use the search engine - Enter your journal title into the search box (located at the top of the screen) eg: “International Journal of Aerospace Engineering” Matching references will be displayed whereby the journal title contains the words entered into the search box – scroll down the list until you locate the journal you are searching for. Links to bibliographic databases (e.g. EBSCO Open Access Journals & Hindawi Open Access Journals), appear underneath the journal title. These links indicate that the database contains articles from this particular journal. You now need to check the dates covered by each database, and make the appropriate selection to match your reference (e.g. For 2008 articles from the International Journal of Aerospace Engineering you can select either database) - You will be prompted for your username and password if you are off-campus) Once you have followed the database link, details of the journal and its holdings will be displayed. It is possible to look for available articles either by date, or by volume number and issue. Using Library Search Using the Library Catalogue You can also use the Library Search facility to Access the Library Catalogue and click on More locate a specific article / issue search options Type the journal title into the Library Search Enter the Journal Title eg: “Journal of box (available via the JRUL homepage) Aerospace Engineering” into the Title field If the journal is available electronically, then Change the “Collection” box to “Journals” - a link “Electronic Resource” will appear click “Search” underneath the individual entry The catalogue lists details of both hard copy Click on this link – You can now enter journal holdings held in the library and individual details of the issue / article you electronic versions. Look for the reference require (You will need the full reference – stating “Electronic Resource” and click on the including page numbers – to access and title individual article) Select the “Full Text from the JRUL Find It Click on Go – You will now be taken to the Service” link which appears under the Web relevant holdings. link heading You will now be directed to the Find IT service Select “Go” to link to the full text journal. Can’t find it? Check the library catalogue to see if the library holds the journal in hard copy. The catalogue will state which library holds the journal and available dates. You can order the journal article via the Document Supply Service. Contact your nearest library for further details.
Searching for articles by topic/subjectThe JRUL subscribes to over 40,000 electronic journal titles, providing you with a huge volume of information tonavigate. As such, you will need to employ a systematic approach to your subject or literature based searching.You should follow the 4 key stages outlined below, to construct an effective search strategy. This should help you toidentify articles that are relevant to your research (and will ensure that you are able to make the most of the vastresources of information that are available to you as a University of Manchester student). Stage 1: Identify Keywords Stage 2: Identify information sources The first stage of the search requires you to think very You now need to determine WHERE you are going to carefully about WHAT you are actually searching for. search for information - In order to help you select the You need to think very carefully about your research correct database for your topic, the JRUL website topic, and try to identify 2-3 key terms (keywords), that categorises the bibliographic databases by subject area. best describe the subject. E.g. Write down a phrase that summarises your Select the Search Resources link provided at topic eg: “Customer relationship management http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/ in financial services” Click on the Subject Information pages link, Try to think of the key terms and any and click on the subject of your choice e.g. alternative terms eg: Customer Relations, Electrical & Electronic Engineering CRM, financial services, banks, building Now click on the Databases link – You are societies presented with links to various databases Check to see if the database has a subject or within your chosen subject area: Read the thesaurus facility to help identify appropriate individual database descriptions to determine keywords. which contain journal articles Click on an individual database e.g. Compendex Select your chosen database from the suppliers product list (if necessary) Further options for Stage 2 Search on Compendex Indexes and provides abstracts from over 4,500 periodicals, reports, books and conference proceedings in the fields of engineering and technology. It covers the period 1884 to date and is updated quarterly. Although produced in the USA, it also covers the principal European journals. Select the Electronic Resources from the JRUL website http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/ Select Databases Click on the letter C, then select Compendex from the list which appears Use keywords in the search boxes to locate relevant journal articles. Cross Search using “Library Search” Library Search allows you to search for both books and journal articles, as it combines a search of the Library catalogue with a general search of the bibliographic databases Click on the Library Search link available from http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/ N.B. The search engine for Library Search is not as comprehensive as the search engines within the individual databases and results may vary. We do strongly recommend that for a thorough literature search you also explore at least two of the individual subject specialist databases.
Stage 3: Searching the databaseOnce an information source has been selected, you can begin the process of searching for individual articles. Use thesearch interface provided by the database to enter the Search terms (keywords) that you identified in Stage 1. Inaddition to using keywords, you may wish to employ any or all of following searching techniques. Application ofthese techniques will help to improve the quality of the search results received.Using Boolean logic Using limitersAllows you to combine or exclude terms from your Limiters allow you to narrow the focus of your search –search by using the operators AND, OR and NOT. These are normally select these from a drop down menu,Usually you will be able to select one of these options located next to the box where you enter your searchfrom a drop down menu to the left or right of the terms. Common limiters include:search box : Abstract – This greatly reduces the number of AND will link the terms to find only articles results received as the search is only run across that mention both concepts: the abstracts of articles as opposed to the full eg: tobacco AND advertising text OR will broaden the search by looking for Dates – Very useful for eliminating older synonyms, alternative spellings, material, or focusing in on a particular year(s) abbreviations and plurals. Parentheses are of interest often used to ensure that the database treats each discrete concept separately before Publication – Most databases will allow you to looking for the next one: limit the search to articles from a nominated eg: United Nations OR UN publication(s). eg: (public sector OR civil service) AND absenteeism Other limiters will be subject specific to the database –e.g. Most business & management NOT can be used when you need to narrow databases will allow you to limit the search to the search by excluding certain keywords or articles about a nominated company. concepts: eg: industrial action NOT fire serviceUsing truncation and wild cards Most databases allow for truncation and wild cards. Truncation: usually an asterisk (*) although can vary so check the database help screen Wild cards: usually a question mark (?) although can vary so check the database help screen comput* would find computer, computing, computation etc. nationali?ation will find nationalisation or nationalizationToo many results? Not enough results? Add/combine further keywords to the search to Think of other keywords or related terms to add make it more specific. to the search. Use subject terms listed in the index or Use truncation. thesaurus and combine with keywords. Remove any limits that have been set. Search across specific fields eg: searching the title or abstract will help narrow the search. Apply limits to the search eg specify a particular date or type of document. Check the Help screen for other search operators that can be applied.
Stage 4: Downloading articles Once you have located an article (or articles) that match your information needs, downloading is a relatively simple process. Individual download: You will often be offered the option to download in pdf or html format – pdf will provide an exact representation of how the article appears in the print version of the journal (including diagrams, photographs etc), but may take longer to download. There will also be options to print or email a copy of the article to your email account. To download more than one article simultaneously Most databases will allow for some form of bulk download (in many cases up to 100 articles at a time) - Methods for performing bulk downloads vary depending on the database you are using, however, common practice is to mark articles you wish to download by using a check box when browsing the results list. This then often places all the chosen articles in a folder, which can be accessed when you have finished browsing – Within the folder you will find the standard save, print and email options – Many databases will also allow you to export the journal citations to bibliographic management software such as Endnote. N.B. Articles are not always available in full text. You can however, use the purple FindIT@JRUL button to check full text availability on another database. Clicking on the link will take you to the FindIT service, which will provide full text links to the selected article (if it is available on a different database) Further helpIf you have any further questions about the contents of this guide, please feel free to contact :Dave Hirst: Faculty Team Librarian for EEE and MACE.Telephone: 0161 3046 4932Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgThe above work was adapted from a guide by John Hynes, Faculty Team Assistant, Manchester BusinessSchool Library.