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Gale Virtual Reference Library Practice Search

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During a lesson with juniors in high school, I created this practice search handout to guide my lesson.

During a lesson with juniors in high school, I created this practice search handout to guide my lesson.

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  • 1. GALE VIRTUAL REFERENCE LIBRARY – PRACTICE SEARCH Browsing for a topic—basic search 1. Type “mathematician” 2. Click Search. 3. Click on “Occupation Overview” in the left toolbar.
  • 2. 1. This box will be automatically checked to search within your initial basic keyword search of “mathematician.” Uncheck the box to begin a new search. 2. You can select to narrow your initial search results by either Document Type (currently displayed) or Publication Title, which lists the resources with hits to your search. 3. Click “Biography” for a list of mathematicians to browse, then click on Leonardo Fibonacci.
  • 3. Reading the bibliographic data and using the tools 1. This is the title of the article/encyclopedia entry as it appears in the print version. 2. The source is hyperlinked so that you can browse within the encyclopedia. Clicking on this link will take you to the bibliographic information about the source, which includes title, edition, publication information, number of volumes, pages, eISBN, and more. From here, you can then click on an eTable of Contents, eBook Index, and List of Illustrations. The information following the title of the encyclopedia is not meant to be used as a formatted citation but is instead simply informative. The page numbers refer to the print version. 3. The toolbox will appear on every article entry. You are able to view PDF pages (which are scans of the print version), print the article, e-mail it to yourself, download it, cite it, and even translate it into a number of languages. The Citation Tools allow you to choose between MLA and APA formats, which you can either save or open in a new window to copy and paste. The Translate feature includes a disclaimer that it is a machine translation and not a human translation, which may then contain errors in grammar and even content. 4. The Bookmark feature allows you to save this particular article entry to your browser’s bookmarks, e-mail the URL to yourself, or copy the bookmark URL.
  • 4. Article features 1. The page numbers on the article refer to the print version. 2. Search terms are highlighted in red. This enables you to quickly scan the article to view the frequency of your search words. 1. The Further Reading section of the article provides further resources to consult on the topic. These, however, are not hyperlinked and would require an additional search. An easier way to find more articles about the same topic will be discussed later. 2. The Source Citation appears to be in MLA format. This should be checked against a manual for its accuracy. 3. This part of the citation should not be in all caps.
  • 5. More article features 1. This is a list of index terms associated with Fibonacci, which can be used as key words in later searches. This is especially helpful for students who have trouble formulating key words. 2. All of the index terms displayed here refer to the article we are currently viewing. If there were other articles with these index terms in this particular encyclopedia, their volume and page numbers would be displayed as a hyperlink that would direct you to that document.
  • 6. Narrowing your search within search results 1. Recap: Thus far, we have conducted a Basic Search for the Keyword (KE) “mathematician.” We narrowed our search results to the Document Type (TY) of “Biography.” 2. Once you click on an article, new content appears in the left toolbar. Instead of narrowing your search results by document type or publication title, you are able to view Related Subjects. Because we want to learn more about Fibonacci, click on his name. 1. We have now changed from a Basic to an Advanced Search. This means that instead of searching for the Keyword “mathematician,” we are searching for the Subject “Fibonacci, Leonardo”—this happened when we clicked on the Subject link in the previous screen. 2. This shows that we have three hits to our search.
  • 7. Reading the results screen 1. This allows you to sort your search results by relevance, document title, publication date, and publication title. For large search results, try sorting by publication date for the most recent articles. 2. Every search result is presented in the same format, so that the title of the publication will be in blue and italics directly underneath the linked article title. By simply looking at these three results, we see that Fibonacci turns up in a variety of disciplines—biography, science, and math. 3. These quick links allow you to directly go to the format of your choice, HTML or PDF. They also tell you whether graphics are included and how many PDF pages there are. 4. This display shows the Document Type, whether it has graphics, and the relevance rating to your search words. This is more than likely determined by the amount of times those words appear in the article.
  • 8. Extra features 1. Because I felt I had exhausted this search, I went back to the Basic Search screen and typed in the Keywords “fibonacci sequence.” I am now met with 15 search results. 2. In my previous search, I had Marked the first two articles in the results list to keep for future reference. When I moved to a new search, these articles were saved in my Marked Items folder. This folder will grow as you Mark items, as long as you are continuously logged on. As soon as you log off, they will disappear! When you are finished with your search, check your Marked Items folder to download, print, or e-mail any articles you may need in the future. 3. All searches made while you are logged on are saved in the Previous Searches folder. You can click on this link to see what search words you’ve used in the past or to click on a previous search. This may be helpful if you forget to mark records or a search fails and you’d like to go back to a more successful one. 4. GVRL provides a link to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary for quick reference while students are reading articles and come across unfamiliar words.