MC3 Libraries - Rearch - FullTutorial


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A tutorial on research from the Libraries of Montgomery County Community College. Updated 2-27-12 by librarians Mary Beth Parkinson and Jerry Yarnetsky. Contact us at

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MC3 Libraries - Rearch - FullTutorial

  1. 1. MC3 Libraries Research Learn how to locate sources for your research paper.
  2. 2. MC3 Libraries What is Research?
  3. 3. MC3 Libraries Research is a systematic approach to defining, refining, gathering and evaluating information.With a world of information, we need to be systematic to find anything…
  4. 4. MC3 Libraries Hi. I‟m librarian Mary Beth Parkinson. I‟ll guide you through researching a topic using a range of print and electronic sources. Need Help? Ask Us! Brendlinger Library (215) 641-6594 West Campus Library (610) 718-1864 IM a librarian
  5. 5. MC3 LibrariesChoose a topic Write down a topic you want to learn more about. For example… Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Your topic will gain focus as you do research. Photo by Sgt. Russell Gilchrest
  6. 6. MC3 Libraries Start with the basics! Familiarize yourself with your topic by findingbackground information in a subject encyclopedia.Your textbook is also a good sourcefor background information!
  7. 7. MC3 Libraries Subject encyclopediasYou will find …• An overview of your topic;• Ideas to focus your topic;• Keywords to search for books and articles;• Bibliographies to point out useful books, webpages, and articles.Talk with a librarian to find thebest print or online encyclopedia!
  8. 8. MC3 Libraries Using a subject encyclopediaTo find articles in a printencyclopedia, check theindex located in the lastvolume.Here is an example from theEncyclopedia of Psychology.Arrows point to articles thatmay be of use.The numbers representvolume: page number. Theprimary article is in bold.
  9. 9. MC3 Libraries Also on our website…We have a number ofonline encyclopedias andbriefs on current issues.On our library website, goto Research and choose“Current Issues”Look for…• Credo Reference• CQ Researcher• Opposing Viewpoints
  10. 10. MC3 Libraries As you read your encyclopedia article, highlight keywords.Highlighters: photosteve101/Flikr
  11. 11. MC3 Libraries Keywords are words that define or describe your topicSkeleton Key: Courtney Mault/Flikr
  12. 12. MC3 Libraries Forexample
  13. 13. MC3 Libraries Brainstorm your own keywords. Try synonyms of words you found in your reading. Also consider people, places and terminology related to your topic
  14. 14. MC3 Libraries Focus your topic.After you collect keywords, try focusing your topic by writing your ideas as questions. For example…How has care for veterans suffering from PTSD improved in the past century?
  15. 15. MC3 Libraries Keywords unlock information You will search by keyword to find books & articles tagged with matching keywords.Keyhole photo: Just Chaos/Flikr
  16. 16. MC3 LibrariesLet‟s compare our libraries to Facebook… On Facebook, photos are tagged with names. Search a name and find photos of that person. Jerry Mary Beth Sarah
  17. 17. MC3 LibrariesIn our libraries books & articles are tagged with titles, authors, subjects and descriptions.
  18. 18. MC3 Libraries Now let‟s putyour keywords to work Let‟s find books, articles, websites and more
  19. 19. MC3 Libraries Finding Books & subject encyclopedias
  20. 20. MC3 Libraries In the Quick Search box, click the “Books” tab Here you can do simple title, author or subject searches. Click Advanced Search for more complicated searches.
  21. 21. MC3 Libraries Search ResultsEach entry will havetitle, author and year ofpublication.Also… D AA • Link to the eBook or online video.B • Call number: Write B down this number to find the item on our shelves.C • Library where the item is located. CD • Icons quickly describe the items you’re finding.
  22. 22. MC3 Libraries Item Details C A BClick an item title to see details on that item! A • Click these links to find related items — Item citation too! B • Do you need an item from a different MC3 library? Ask! We can get it for you! C • Click the Detailed Information tab for item summaries, subject tags and more!
  23. 23. MC3 Libraries Detailed InformationThis tab can provide a wealth ofinformation...A • Contents: Many items have A tables of contents and item descriptions.B • Subjects: Use these words or variations to find additional materials. Click the links for similar items.Tip: If a subject link does notresult in additional items, tryjust the first part of the subject B
  24. 24. MC3 Libraries Find a subject encyclopediaFrom library website, click“Advanced Search” underthe Books tab.Select Type “Reference”and search by “subject” or“words or phrase” foryour topic.You can find an onlineencyclopedia by selectingType “eReference”
  25. 25. MC3 Libraries Finding Articles
  26. 26. MC3 Libraries On the library website, click “Research”
  27. 27. MC3 LibrariesChoose Your Subject From the drop-down menu, choose the subject that best fits your topic. For PTSD, you might try psychology. The list of databases automatically filters to the options best for your subject.
  28. 28. MC3 Libraries Let‟s try the Psychology andBehavioral Sciences Collection
  29. 29. MC3 Libraries Search using your first keyword and click “Full Text”Tip 1: For articles, avoid using acronyms such as PTSD, spell it out for better results!Tip 2: Click the “Full Text” button to insure all entries have articles.Tip 3: Click the “Peer Review” button for research-based academic articles. Spell it out…
  30. 30. MC3 Libraries Let‟s look at the results… (A) Article title. (B) Author and journal information.(circle) Number of pages. (D) Article subjects. (E) Link to the article. A B D E
  31. 31. MC3 LibrariesLook at the article subjectsThis is how the articles are classified.Search with these to get better results!Here we searched for PTSD, but found it was tagged Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
  32. 32. MC3 LibrariesClick the title for the article view (A) Here’s the article. (B) Find similar articles.(C) Email yourself the article. (D) Citations. (E) Link to the article. A C D B E Always email yourself the articles!
  33. 33. MC3 Libraries Focus your results3,486 is too many results. Use options in the left column including date, source type and subject.Click a box or change the year then hit update.
  34. 34. MC3 Libraries This left column can only provide basic focusing. Let‟s try combining keywords for better results using the words…And • Or • Not
  35. 35. MC3 Libraries Post- Start with your Traumatic main topic. Stress Post-Traumatic Disorder Stress Disorder.
  36. 36. MC3 Libraries However, you want to focus yourtopic on veterans suffering PTSD. So add a second keyword… Post- Traumatic Stress Veterans Disorder
  37. 37. MC3 LibrariesSearch “PTSD and Veterans” Post- Traumatic Stress Veterans DisorderGet articles with both terms in common – Veterans who suffer PTSD This would be purple the overlap area.
  38. 38. MC3 LibrariesSearch “PTSD not Veterans” Post- Traumatic Stress Veterans Disorder Now you get PTSD articles not related to veterans. For example, earthquake victim suffering PTSD. These articles are in the blue area.
  39. 39. MC3 LibrariesSearch “PTSD and Veterans and Iraq or Afghanistan” Now we get articles about Iraq or Vietnam Post- War veterans Iraq Traumatic with PTSD. Stress Viet- Veterans nam OR expands Disorder your results. AND narrows your results.
  40. 40. MC3 LibrariesExperiment with keywords Post- Traumatic Stress Iraq War Disorder Aim for a fewer very good articles instead of hundreds of so-so articles. Changing Veterans to Iraq War gave us 38 good articles
  41. 41. MC3 Libraries Finding Websites
  42. 42. MC3 Libraries Better Google results Basic searches are oriented toward consumers.Instead, let’s find sites written by experts in their field. Use “site:” to narrow results just to the area you want to search.
  43. 43. MC3 Libraries For example, search onlygovernmental sites using “” Now we have expert results from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institute for Mental Health.
  44. 44. MC3 Libraries “Site:” can be very specific… We can use “” to searchjust within the National Center for PTSD at the VA.
  45. 45. MC3 Libraries One of yourkeywords may be “trauma.” Here are resultssearching just theNational Center for PTSD…“ trauma”
  46. 46. MC3 LibrariesVariations include…• for university/college based websites• from organizations• search just within United Nations websites
  47. 47. MC3 LibrariesMore Google Tips…• Exact phrase: Search an exact phrase by putting words in quotes. “post traumatic stress disorder”• And: Google assumes the word „and‟ between words• Not: The „not‟ in Google is a minus sign with no space before the word… “-earthquakes”• OR: The word „OR‟ must be all caps.• Synonyms: Put a tilde before the word such as “~stress” The tilde key is at the top left corner of the keyboard.
  48. 48. MC3 LibrariesTry searching these sites…• Internet Public Library only presents sites selected by experts.• New search engine with fewer ads and better results. You can use “site:” here too.• Use this site to find statistics and facts.
  49. 49. MC3 LibrariesNeed photos, audio or video foryour presentation or projectsTry where you can freely usethe materials resulting from your search. Keep an eye onthe license. Many creators want their name listed or maylimit commercial use and that‟s only fair!
  50. 50. MC3 Libraries Need Help? Visit, Call, IM or Email Brendlinger Library (215) 641-6594 West Campus Library (610) 718-1864 IM a librarian