Part 2 Searching databases for journal articles on your essay topics
Selecting databases yourself…
From the top right box on the library home page,
You can select from direct links to major databases such as EBSCOhost, Gale, Informit
Click on ‘Browse all databases’ to select from the alphabetical list
Guides to many databases are available in PDF format in the individual database pages
Searching EBSCOhost databases…
You can search a number of individual EBSCOhost databases covering a wide range of subjects simultaneously
Many journal articles are available as full text in either PDF or HTML format
Advanced search allows you to search for terms in different fields including author, journal title, subject etc.
From the library Home page select EBSCOhost
Then select Go to EBSCOhost Research Databases
Now scroll down to select from 29 individual databases covering various subjects and then click ‘Continue’
Now for a sample search using five of the databases
Academic Search Complete
Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre
Business Source Complete
Communication and Mass Media Complete
SocINDEX with Full Text
Tick the box next to each of these databases and click continue’ to access the search page
Select the databases mentioned previously and then hit ‘Continue’
The default search option, ‘basic search’ appears
Searches keywords in all fields
Often useful for broad searching
Choose options like ‘searching as a phrase’, or find all my terms
Now for some sample searches…
What role do mobile phones play in society?
Discuss the influence of technology on everyday life:
education, relationships and social movements
Let’s start with a fairly broad search using the following key words- mobile phones and society and impact
Key in your search terms in the box and select ‘Find all my search terms’ Your search results will contain all of these words in some part of the record.
The Results list (42) provides brief records of journal articles- these have been sorted by relevance from the default date order Click on the link for the full text when available (HTML or PDF) Click on the article title for full record. You can also hold mouse over magnifying glass symbol for a quick look at the abstract or summary of article content.
The first article in our results list is from the journal ‘New Media and Society’ and is a book review. It may be useful to read the full text to see if following up on the books is worthwhile. And yes, we do have the books listed in our catalogue.
Synonyms- think about other terms that may be used, e.g. cell phones or hand phones
Other terms to search, e.g. technology, education, relationships etc.
Use the ‘Limit your results’ option on the right of the screen to choose full text only, peer reviewed, date
Click ‘ Search Options ’ for further choices
Using Boolean operators…
Connecting words to show the relationship between keywords and to make your search more relevant.
AND narrows a search,
eg anorexia and boys will only retrieve journal articles about boys and anorexia
OR broadens a search,
eg anorexia or bulimia will retrieve journal articles about both eating disorders or either eating disorder.
Boolean operators cont’d…
NOT can be used to exclude certain terms from your results
eg eating disorders not bulimia will retrieve journal articles dealing with all eating disorders except bulimia
The Boolean operator and is used to connect all search terms
Note how you can select different fields to search
in this example we have entered sport and Australia and national identity in the abstract field
Advanced search allows you to select specific fields to search which can increase the relevance of your results.
Searching the AB abstract field- all terms must be in the abstract or summary of the journal article Boolean operator ‘and’
The results screen shows the first 10 brief records of journal articles on our topic
Each record provides author, title of article and the name of the journal, publication date, volume, issue and page numbers
Some will have direct links to the full-text of the journal article within the database we’re searching
Others will have an SFX link symbol to other online resources
Search results cont’d…
Click on the article title link to obtain the full record for each, including the abstract (or summary) of the journal article
You can generally decide whether the journal article is relevant by reading the abstract
Then you can follow the links to the full-text
Other approaches to try: sport- sociological aspects as a subject term and Australia in advanced search
Search tips for the other essay topics …
Essay 1: Add GreenFILE to your databases, then try ‘Advanced search’ using
consumer behaviour as a subject term
consumption and production in the Abstract field.
We added an extra row to search for society as well
Other key words to try: consumers, consumerism, consumption (economics), shopping, economy, globalization, culture
Other essay topics cont’d…
Begin by adding GreenFILE to the databases searched
Try Advanced Search using
climatic change as a subject term
social in all fields
capitalis* in all fields using the asterisk truncation symbol to bring up capitalist and capitalism
Other keywords/phrases: green business, western nations, global warming, corporate global responsibility
To sum up databases…
Academic journals provide the main form of primary source material. Lecturers expect you to use them!
Electronic databases allow you to search through hundreds of journal titles and issues simultaneously
Databases are usually discipline based, e.g. business, psychology, law, education etc. and are updated regularly
Subject starter guides provide links to relevant databases and other online resources for your subject
But what about Google?
If you only use the internet to find information for your assignments, you are likely to be disadvantaged in terms of the usefulness and quality of the information retrieved.
However there are some worthwhile resources available on the WWW, such as Google Scholar , and some tips from the Library Home Page about evaluating what you find.
Direct link to Google scholar for academic literature
Try advanced search
For help using and evaluating internet resources, click Search the internet
Scroll down and select any of these links to access helpful sites on using and evaluating information on the web
Plagiarism is cheating - using the work of others without acknowledgement
Keep records of all information sources used, i.e. full citations, so that you can acknowledge the work of authors you quote or paraphrase
See ‘ Site index and search ’ on the lower left of the Library Home Page and select Guides under ‘G’ for:
Swinburne’s guide to avoiding plagiarism and the Harvard System of referencing
Live links to the Harvard system and Swinburne’s guide to avoiding plagiarism
And finally… we’re open all hours
You can access Swinburne library via our website 24 hours, 7 days a week on our website
When logging in off-campus, you will be prompted for your student ID number and SIMS password (instructions appear when connecting to databases)
Services for OUA students can be found under ‘ Services for you ’ on the left side of the Library Home Page.
You can contact the library by phone, email, SMS or webform-
see ‘ Contact ’ on the top right of the Library Home Page