Navigating the Research Databases


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Based on fourth library session for Honors 110: Research Methods

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  • Pros & Cons:More specialized searchingNot every database has the same search optionsBetter for current topics (vs. books)Same database may change its look (ex: JSTOR)More recent information (shorter publishing time)Refining your search can be complicatedInterdisciplinary & subject databasesNot always intuitive Many articles are full-textNot every article is full-textFree access as Mason students
  • Search Academic Search Complete OR ProQuest Research Library You can try using the earlier search example of Hurricane Katrina AND rebuilding Or feel free to use your own search example Highlight the basics: refining searches, trying different search terms, getting the article, etc. Show search page of subject-specific database if time allows in order to show pros & cons
  • Repeats directions from Word doc posted on wiki
  • You can use either options for your section. If students don’t have topics yet, there is an example topic they can use to complete the library assignment. Posted on wiki: “If you do not have a research topic that you are considering, use the following research question: What is the connection between smoking and depression among teenagers? “
  • Navigating the Research Databases

    1. 1. Navigating the research Databases<br />Honors 110/ Fall 2010<br />
    2. 2. What are the 4 steps in the Research Process?<br />1. Pick a topic<br />2.<br />3.<br />4.<br />5.<br />6. Write the paper<br />
    3. 3. What are the 4 steps in the Research Process?<br />Pick a topic<br />Where to search (databases)<br />How to search (keywords)<br />How to get it (find the article)<br />Is what I’ve got any good<br />Write the paper<br />
    4. 4. Pros & Cons of Research Databases<br />
    5. 5. Where to Start Searching<br /><ul><li>Academic Search CompleteMulti-subject database that covers a both scholarly and popular journals
    6. 6. ProQuest Research LibraryMulti-subject database that covers a both scholarly and popular journals</li></li></ul><li>Subject Databases<br />Search topic more in-depth<br />Specialized journals not in general databases<br />Not as many “off-topic” results<br />Unique search options<br />Not sure where to start?<br />Research Databases by Subject<br />InfoGuides—Find Articles/Core Databases<br />
    7. 7. Getting the Article…<br />Step 1:Is the article available full-text in the database? No. Then follow these steps.<br />Step 2: Mason Link <br />Step 3: Go to the E-Journal Finder if no Mason Link<br />Step 4: Mason Library Catalog<br />Step 5:WRLC Consortium Loan Service<br />Step 6:Interlibrary Loan (ILL)<br />
    8. 8. HKANDR<br />R<br />HK<br />Basic Search Concepts: Connecting Your Search Terms<br />Hurricane Katrina AND rebuilding<br />*Do Not Use:an, for, in, of, the, with<br />*Other search options<br />
    9. 9. Let’s try searching…<br />Start at library homepage<br />Click on Research Databases<br />Choose the category Basic Topics<br />Choose Academic Search Complete from list<br />Follow along with the librarian’s search example<br />
    10. 10. In-Class Activity<br />Instructions:<br />Every pair will have 2 activity sheets to complete. <br />Spend 5-10 minutes brainstorming keywords based on your assigned topic.<br />Search the Library’s research databases to find articles related to your topic.<br />Please select:<br />1 person to type in the information in the computer & 1 person to record your observations. One person can do more than one job, but everyone should participate.<br /> Step 1: <br />Go to the University Libraries Catalog<br />Under Research Tools, click on Research Databases<br />Step 2:<br />Based on your assigned research question, brainstorm keywords to use when searching. <br />Step 3:<br />Using the keywords from Step 2, search one of the interdisciplinary research databases: Academic Search Complete OR ProQuest Research Library. You can also try searching a subject-specific database (Use the suggestions from the Infoguides or Databases by Topic). Find 3 articles that would be helpful in writing a scholarly, academic research paper. Think about why these articles would be helpful. <br />Note: You can search multiple databases to complete this assignment. <br />
    11. 11. Library Assignment<br />Searching the Library’s research database<br />Focus on your proposed topics for research paper<br />If you don’t have a definite topic, think about possible topics. <br />Available on Blackboard<br />
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