EngWri 300 (Gary)

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Getting started on research--topics, keywords, LOIS and ProQuest Research Library

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EngWri 300 (Gary)

  1. 1. Finding research materials in LOIS and library databases ENGWR 300 (Gary), Spring 2008 Jeff Karlsen, LRC Librarian [email_address]
  2. 2. Doing research in LOIS and library databases: Getting started <ul><li>What is your topic ? You should be able to summarize it in a single phrase </li></ul><ul><li>The effect of cell phones on leisure </li></ul><ul><li>24-hour cable news and the decline of newspapers </li></ul><ul><li>The stock market crash of 1987 and “grunge” music </li></ul><ul><li>*** </li></ul><ul><li>What are keywords ? </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas, phrases, topics </li></ul><ul><li>When you search for information, you can combine them </li></ul>
  3. 3. Topic  Keywords <ul><li>Topic : social effects of cell phones </li></ul><ul><li>Keywords : </li></ul><ul><li>cell phones, cellular phones, mobile phones </li></ul><ul><li>privacy </li></ul><ul><li>work, leisure </li></ul><ul><li>communication, community </li></ul><ul><li>individuality, isolation </li></ul><ul><li>consumption, conspicuous consumption </li></ul>
  4. 4. Research Materials <ul><li>What kind of information are you trying to find? </li></ul><ul><li>Background information </li></ul><ul><li>Statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence of how people reacted to an event </li></ul><ul><li>Scholarly studies of a particular phenomenon </li></ul><ul><li>Images associated with a person </li></ul><ul><li>Artistic representations of an event or phenomenon </li></ul>
  5. 5. Research Materials <ul><li>3 basic types: </li></ul><ul><li>Reference </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary Sources </li></ul><ul><li>Primary Sources </li></ul>
  6. 6. Reference Materials early in the process; whenever you need to know more about the “big picture” When to consult discover context; get ideas; learn “common wisdom”; check facts; collect references for further reading Purpose LOIS; browse 2 nd floor; databases (e.g. Oxford Reference Online); web directories How to find encyclopedias (including subject-specific); dictionaries; atlases; books of statistics (e.g. Statistical Abstract of the United States) Examples
  7. 7. Scholarly Secondary Sources when you have a topic but are still working on the argument When to consult tie disparate ideas together; model analysis; give you something to set your argument against Purpose Databases (esp. Research Library); LOIS How to find article from academic journal; book (often on university press) Examples
  8. 8. Primary Sources when you already have an argument that you are hoping to “flesh out”; when you want to find very specific information about a particular event; when you need to complicate arguments from secondary sources When to consult shows you how an event or phenomenon was viewed at the time; allows you to speculate from “raw material”; provide you with individual perspectives Purpose library databases; LOIS; web directories How to find newspaper or magazine articles; letters; speeches; memoirs; images Examples
  9. 9. Library Website <ul><li>Link on the SCC website </li></ul><ul><li>http://scc.losrios.edu </li></ul><ul><li>Library home page </li></ul><ul><li>http://scc.losrios.edu/~library </li></ul>
  10. 10. LOIS : Books, audio/visual media, reserve materials, e-books
  11. 11. DATABASES – articles, image collections, reference works, e-books
  12. 12. Using LOIS <ul><li>When searching for books on a particular topic, you have a choice of searching by keyword or by subject </li></ul><ul><li>Keyword searching </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas, words, phrases—can be in title, subject, author, chapter titles </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of results </li></ul><ul><li>Not very precise </li></ul><ul><li>Subject searching </li></ul><ul><li>Subject terms are in a particular form—not intuitive </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer results—you might miss some relevant books </li></ul><ul><li>More precise </li></ul>
  13. 13. LOIS Keywords  Subject <ul><li>Enter keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Skim results for promising books </li></ul><ul><li>Click on the title to see the full record </li></ul><ul><li>Look at subject </li></ul>Good subject headings; click on one to see more books on the same topic
  14. 14. Important search tips: Boolean logic AND finds only those materials that contain BOTH terms OR finds materials that use EITHER term (more results) NOT (sometimes AND NOT ) finds articles that contain one term, but not the other. white supremacists AND aryan white supremacists OR militia groups white supremacists NOT photography
  15. 15. Important search tips <ul><li>Enclose phrases in quotation marks (“body piercing”, “american idol”); not always necessary, but never hurts </li></ul><ul><li>Ending a word with an asterisk (*) searches different endings (blog* searches blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Keyword often searches only the citation (title, author, abstract, subjects), not full-text of article. You can often force the search engine to search full-text in a dropdown screen. </li></ul>
  16. 16. ProQuest Research Library scholarly journals, general interest magazines, a few newspapers select “document text” for more results keywords here important! OR, AND NOT, other options also available
  17. 17. Important search tips <ul><li>Enclose phrases in quotation marks (“body piercing”, “american idol”); not always necessary, but never hurts </li></ul><ul><li>Ending a word with an asterisk (*) searches different endings (blog* searches blog, blogs, blogging, blogosphere etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Keyword often searches only the citation (title, author, abstract, subjects), not full-text of article. You can often force the search engine to search full-text in a dropdown screen. </li></ul>
  18. 18. ProQuest Research Library: Refine search
  19. 19. ProQuest Research Library: Collecting materials <ul><li>“ Mark” documents to review later </li></ul><ul><li>Use “My Research” tab to view marked documents </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail, print, or save full text </li></ul><ul><li>PDF generally better for preserving images—they don’t always display correctly in “Text+Graphics” </li></ul><ul><li>Choose citation format—beware, sometimes format is not done correctly </li></ul>
  20. 20. CQ Researcher: In-depth reports reasonably current information Start with simple keyword search
  21. 21. JSTOR : Advanced Search Screen JSTOR contains lots of book reviews; exclude unless you want them Journals go back to the late 1800s! Limit your search to specific disciplines (useful if your keywords have several possible meanings) No subject searching; “near” connectors can help
  22. 22. World Wide Web <ul><li>Who creates the content on the Web? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the advantages? Disadvantages? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you find more reliable information on the Web? </li></ul><ul><li>Is Wikipedia a good resource? </li></ul>
  23. 23. Analyzing URLS <ul><li>http:// scc . losrios . edu </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www . google . com </li></ul><ul><li>http:// mail . google . com </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www . google . com/ reader </li></ul>subdomain 2 nd -level domain top-level domain directory (folder) “domain name”
  24. 24. Top-level Domains .com, .org, .net, .info, .us, .biz, .tv, etc etc etc etc .gov, .edu, .mil Unregulated (may or may not be reliable) Regulated (often reliable)
  25. 25. Evaluating Websites <ul><li>Who is responsible for it? </li></ul><ul><li>When was it last updated? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it contain a lot of ads? </li></ul><ul><li>What sorts of other sites does it link to? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it show obvious bias? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it cite references for the information it contains? </li></ul>
  26. 26. Subject Directories <ul><li>Limited number of websites, selected by librarians as useful for research; search the directory with your keywords and explore the sites listed in the results </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians’ Internet Index </li></ul><ul><li>http://lii.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>Infomine </li></ul><ul><li>http://infomine.ucr.edu/ </li></ul>
  27. 27. Questions? Need more help? <ul><li>Reference Desk, 2 nd floor of Learning Resource Center </li></ul><ul><li>Phone: 558-2461 </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail me: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Find the page for this course at: </li></ul><ul><li>http://scc.losrios.edu/~karlsej/instruction </li></ul>

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