Live Library Session - History Instructor Script/NotesDocument Transcript
Live Library Session – December Intro to Databases for Research in History<br />WELCOME SLIDE - Introduction (5 minutes)<br />Welcome to Introduction to Databases for Research in History! I’m Heidi Steiner, the Distance Learning Librarian at the Kreitzberg Library. My primary job responsibility is to support students in the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies. I’m here to help you succeed and I’m really excited that you all signed up to attend this session! <br />SLIDE 2 – WEBEX<br />A few technicalities about WebEx before we get started:<br />
The chat is always visible. Use it to ask questions or communicate with fellow attendees.
If at any time you have a question, please raise your hand so I don’t miss it.
I’ll be sharing my web browser during the Session. This will open outside of the WebEx viewing pane and will appear to take over your screen. Use this toolbar to go back to WebEx if necessary or send a chat message.
Setting up your audio to join the Integrated VOIP should have done the trick, but if you’re having trouble hearing please let me know.
This session should last about an hour. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions throughout.<br />SLIDE 3 - LEARNING OUTCOMES<br />Research in history can be exciting, challenging, and generally requires diverse resources. This session will cover the basics of doing history research and will primarily focus on research in the library's databases. That said, after this Session you will be able to:<br />
develop topic appropriate keywords and effective searches in order to return stronger search results.
demonstrate having a well-formed search strategy in JSTOR and EBSCO databases in order to retrieve targeted results.
use Periodicals A to Z and the library catalog in order to efficiently locate and access specific periodicals, articles, and books while mining bibliographies.
ANY QUESTIONS BEFORE I GET GOING!?<br />DEVELOPING A RESEARCH STRATEGY (5 Minutes)<br />SLIDE 4 – DEVELOPING AND ANALYZING YOUR TOPIC<br />I would like to start by giving you a very brief introduction to developing a research strategy and I’ll talk about some of these things a bit more as we conduct searches in library database. An obvious first step is to develop and analyze your topic. Odds are…you are probably at the point now where you have a rough idea of what you want to write about. Before heading into library resources, take a moment to think about the requirements of your assignment. How much information do you need and what type of resources you are required to use? It’s always easier to find resources when you at least have a rough idea of what you’re looking for.<br />SLIDE 5 – KEYWORDS: THE SECRET OF SUCCESSFUL LIBRARY SEARCHES<br />The most important thing to remember about searching in library databases is that even though they look a lot like search boxes you see on the web, such as Google, library databases don’t work quite the same way. If you type a question or phrase describing a topic into Google, you get some decent results that answer the question or give you more details. If you put your entire question or phrase into a library database, you will likely get very few or no results. Why!? <br />Databases don't understand natural language and will search for documents that contain all of the words you put in. Breaking your topic down into concepts or specific keywords most important to the search will thus warrant much better restuls (and will actually get you better results searching on Google too!). <br />SLIDE 6 – KEYWORD BRAINSTORM<br />Let’s work with an actual topic. Today I’m researching the question: What was the role of aerial attacks in World War II? Before you start searching, I highly encourage pulling out the keywords associated with your research question or topic and brainstorming out additional keywords. This should include synonymous terms, as well as broader, more specific and related terms. All of these will come in handy!<br />SLIDE 6 – CONNECTING KEYWORDS, REFINING AND BROADENING<br />Once you get into a database you’ll have to turn those keywords into a constructed search. The functionality for doing so is typically built into database search interfaces , typically through drop-down menus that default to AND. I’ll cover this a bit more during our first database search.<br />Once you start searching, remember that research is a process. Don’t get frustrated if the first search you try isn’t as fruitful as you’d hoped. You very likely may have to adjust your search based on the kind of results you’re getting. <br />I’m going to start sharing my screen in a moment. My screen will appear outside of this WebEx pane. Remember you can ask a question in chat through the toolbar that will appear in the lower right hand corner. <br />SLIDE 8 – LET’S GET STARTED!<br />I’m going to start sharing my screen in a moment. Elluminate refers to this as application sharing. My screen will appear as a separate window. As I mentioned, feel free to adjust the size of the window to whatever works best for you. If at any time you have a question, raise your hand and ask in chat. I’ll be stopping between sections to check if anyone has questions, as well.<br />I’m going to start sharing my screen in a moment. My screen will appear outside of this WebEx pane. Remember you can ask a question in chat through the toolbar that will appear in the lower right hand corner. <br />QUESTIONS BEFORE I MOVE ON!?<br />*START APPLICATION SHARING YOUR BROWSER WINDOW<br />JSTOR (10 minutes)<br />JSTOR is an imperative database for research in history. Note that there are multiple JSTOR packages and we only subscribe to the ones most useful to the programs here at Norwich. Also, an important fact about JSTOR is that it is a full text archival database going back as far as the 1800s and as recent as four years ago, so you won’t find more recent scholarship here.<br />
We default to the Advanced search because it has way more options
Searches full-text by default…Other options…searching in the item title will give you fewer more focused results, but you may miss some good results where the keyword is not in the title. We’ll talk about when you may want to try this in a bit. Don’t recommend searching in the abstract. Can also search by author.
To start, doing search in the full-text. This is an example of turning your keywords into a constructed search:
“aerial bombing” OR “strategic bombing” OR “air power” AND “world war II” OR “second world war”
Explain AND and OR and quotation marks. AND returns results containing both terms. OR returns results featuring either keyword or both. quotation marks searches for phrases (especially useful when searching in full text) RUN SEARCH
Looking over these results, there are some that definitely look on target, but it’s an overwhelming number of results (over 1000). Now is a time to remember research is a process and doctor my search a little bit.
In this case, I need to refine my search and make the scope a bit narrower. The results were really on base with our topic and I don’t think they need to be focused more towards either side, so I think I need to think back on my brainstorming. I think I’d like to focus results mentioning the Allies or Allied Forces, because I know it was a huge part of their strategy.
Click Modify Search to return to Advanced Search screen. Click Add a Field.
Some other options for parring down your search are built into JSTOR’s search functionality. You can…Limit by Type (and I’m actually going to limit this search to just Articles, I’m not interested in uncovering book reviews right now). Publication dates. Limit by Journals in specific subject areas.
Looking at these results a bit more closely…keep in mind the results are ranked by relevance, but some of these do look oddly off base. Explain icons. Article preview from results list.
Use #8 (The Strategic Bombing of Germany…) Looking at an article and using the viewer. Various features. Utilize the References link, if available. Also Cited by. As well as Author
Need to access PDF to save, print, or e-mail an article.
Can e-mail citations, including multiple without a My JSTOR account. if you want to Save Searches or Citations, you do need to create a My JSTOR account, which is permanent and can be used if you ever continue on at a different institution. This is completely separate from your Angel login and is like creating an account on any website. You will not be able to access the full-text of articles once you’re no longer affiliated with NU, but that’s a ways away still!
There are still a ton of results here..and I now that I’ve explored a bit (I took a number of different approaches prepping for this), I’d like to focus on the bombing aspect. A great way to do this is to think about where you’re searching. If you're getting way too many results with a keyword search (like I am here), try searching for the most important element of your topic in the title to get more focused results. So I’m going to search string in the title. MODIFY SEARCH AND RUN. Talk about slimmed down…and most of these look highly relevant.
In these JSTOR searches, I had the problem of too many results…that is a search that was too broad. There will be occasions where you run into the opposite: a search that’s too specific and returns too few or no results. In this case, you will want to broaden your search. One method is link together synonymous terms with OR, so you cover more bases in your search. I already did that with my initial search here. It can also be beneficial to think more broadly about your topic. Our original topic here was already pretty broad, but an example of broadening it would be looking at the impact of aerial and strategic bombing on war strategy in general.
EBSCO Trio (10 minutes)<br />AH&L Full Text<br />Quick EBSCO schpeel. What’s in AH&LFT<br />
Let’s try our search in here and see how it goes – “aerial bombing” OR “strategic bombing” OR “air power” AND “world war II” OR “second world war”
More manageable number than in JSTOR, but still a bit large…so…
If you’re ever restricted to only using scholarly sources…it’s very easy to limit to Peer Reviewed. DO
If it’s applicable you can also limit by date of publication. Can also go into Show More and limit the Document Type…I only want Articles.
Subjects – these are the Subjects assigned by indexers to describe articles. I like to compare it to tagging…the articles are tagged using a designated set of terms so that everyone uses the same ones. So by clicking on any of these, you’ll only be retrieving articles tagged with that particular Subject. This is great way to refine a search and subjects can also help with thinking up additional keywords if you’ve started searching and get stuck.
I really want to be sure these results are focused on the correct war, so I’m going to apply the World War, 1939-1945 subject. There is some repetition from JSTOR.
Use #7 Looking at an article. Preview. PDF can save, print, e-mail.
If there’s no full-text link, click 360 Check for Full Text. Use #5. If we have it in another database 360 will find it and take you there, if we don’t it’ll take you to a page where you can elect to request the article through ILL if you’d like. (Example is: Norwich University Print Holdings…)
Now, if we can try plenty of other things with this search. Could unapply this subject and apply different ones. Add on some different keywords. Add more synonymous terms to branch out even more and hopefully discover new things. Remember…research is a process!
Notice with all the adjustments I’ve been making, the limiters stuck .
Historical Abstracts<br />Historical Abstracts contains historical coverage from all over the world from 1450 to present, with the exception of the U.S. and Canada, which are covered in AH&L. So, obviously the resources we find here will be coming from a different angle. You can clikc directly into it from the library webpage, btu since I’m already in AHL, I want to show a trick.<br />Go to Choose Database and add Historical Abstracts—now you’re searching both.<br />One thing to keep in mind with HA is that there are a lot of foreign language journals in HA, so you’re probably going to want to limit the language to English under the Search Options. With the search run, I still want peer-reviewed. Now that HA is in the search too, should see more stuff from the German angle, if that’s of interest. I’m going to add the German subject. Some repeats coming in, but others I had not come across before. <br />This is a very strong resource if you’re working on international topics.<br />Military and Government Collection<br />Back on the library homepage, I’d like to draw your attention to Mil and Gov Collection. This is an EXCELLENT database…it has Scholarly Journals, Magazines and even some primary source government documents and reports in it.<br />I’m going to go ahead and search this independent of the other two, but you can certainly search them all at once if you’d like -- “aerial bombing” OR “strategic bombing” OR “air power” AND “world war II” OR “second world war” <br />Going to go ahead and limit to peer-reviewed, articles, tagged with the World War II subject. Only 38 restuls and some of these are brand new.<br />Would just like to state…if I were really doing this topic, I would pick one specific angle to focus on. I like this example because it helps me get you all thinking about the different ways you can approach a topic, but I would like focus on say…Allie aerial attacks in the European theater only and the role that played in the war. My research did take us there to an extent, but I could have been ever more vicious with my refinement!<br />ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT USING ANY OF THESE THREE TOOLS??<br />The value of mining bibliographies (10 minutes) <br />
When you’re doing research in history and you find the perfect article or book…look at where THAT author looked by examining the bibliography! This is especially important if you’re having trouble locating sources, but it always a useful research strategy.
Is there an article and you want to see if we have it…here’s the easy way
If you’re looking for a specific article, picking a database you’re familiar with and hoping the article is in there, is a shot in the dark and a waste of your time. Use Periodicals A to Z.
M Horowitz (April 2001). When Does Aerial Bombing Work? Journal of Conflict Resolution, 45, 2 147-173- So…let’s say I’m looking for an article from a 2001 issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution. …. In A to Z search for the name of the periodical, NOT the article. If we have access you’ll see a list of dates with links to databases. The date ranges indicate what we have available electronically in each database.
If the only option is NU Print Holdings or you get a message that says no results were found, you’ll need to request the article through ILL.
Now…considering the article I need is from 1997, I need to pick a database with coverage for that year.. At this point…I can search the journal by title here or browse down by volume and issue. Depending on what database you have to go in to, this may LOOK a little different, but the underlying concept will be the same.
How about a book…in my research I saw reference a book titled
Wings of judgment: American bombing in World War II
Check the library catalog and use Book Request
Also take this opportunity to check out the attached subject headings and look for more stuff!
If we don’t have it check Google Books and Internet Archive…may be available or partially available if out of copyright or the author or publisher has made it available
Check WorldCat to see if libraries near you own the book
Do they cite archival material?
This alerts you to the kind of research you’re getting into. There are a lot of digital collections out there, but far more primary sources are still available only through archives. For more information about finding primary sources, check out THIS research guide and consider attending a Session on Finding Primary Sources or watching the recording in the Archive.
Briefly want to talk about the other databases listed on the MMH Library Homepage…and choosing subject databases even needed<br />ANY QUESTIONS BEFORE I MOVE ON TO THE LAST PIECE OF BUSINESS? <br />Lastly, don’t forget about the valuable services available to you as an online student (5 minutes)<br />
Why the site is laid out this way – wanted to put everything students in each program need to be successful in one place. So in addition to access to the library’s databases you get…
Get Help…Research Guides appropriate for each program of study.
E-mail…seven days a week – firstname.lastname@example.org. This is often the quickest way to get help, especially when we’re not logged in to chat.
Chat. Opportunity for you to talk with us one on one. Give hours. If we’re not online, leave a message with your contact information. On the weekends though, send an e-mail as we’ll get to it way sooner!
We’re also available by phone and you’re welcome to call me directly as well. 802.485.2171
If you’re struggling with a particular research topic and want to make an appointment for one-on-one live help, check out our Virtual Research Consultation service.
Most importantly just know that myself and the other reference librarians are here to help!
Don’t forget about Book Request and Interlibrary Loan for articles
Hopefully now you have a stronger grasp of how to maximize many of the databases most valuable to research in diplomacy. Thank you so much for attending. I hope you found this Session useful. Does anyone have any final questions for me!? <br />Remember that if you’re not signed up yet, Finding Primary Sources is being offered three times over the next few weeks. I’ll be presenting a ton of great information and it’s a natural progression out of this session.<br />FINAL SLIDE - CONCLUSION <br />Thank you again for attending. When I end the session, WebEx will push a survey out to you where you can provide feedback about this Live Library Session. Please take a moment to fill it out. We look forward to your feedback and working with you all in future!<br />