More information: Loans Privileges: http://libportal.nus.edu.sg/frontend/web/about-nus-libraries/library-rules/loan-entitlement-of-library-members New materials recommendation: http://libportal.nus.edu.sg/frontend/web/acquisition-in-nus-libraries Document delivery service (DDS): http://libportal.nus.edu.sg/frontend/web/document-delivery-service-dds
Only titles serving the teaching and research needs of the NUS community is acquired. As such, titles like these will not be acquired – unless they are used in the course of study and research.
Please check the Library catalogue before submitting a request for Document Delivery. Generally speaking, if you are looking for a journal article, search for the *journal title* in LINC; if you are looking for a paper in a conference proceeding, search for the *proceedings title* in LINC. You will not be able to find the article using article title because it is not indexed.
We have quite an extensive collection on Economics to support your research needs.
There are three types of databases. Understanding their differences will give you a clear direction of using the different types of databases.
Bibliographic database is a database that contains information of documents. Documents include journal articles, conference proceedings and book chapters. A bibliographic database contains information of documents but not documents per se. You look up information on these documents to determine whether they are relevant to you. You then search for the relevant documents elsewhere – either in LINC or a full-text database. It is a two step process. The reason of using a bibliographic database is that it contains information about every document published in Economics. You are searching a Yellow Page, the whole body of literature. Other types of database offer no such advantage. A good example of bibliographic database in Economics is EconLit, under the OvidSP system.
A full-text database contains full-text articles and information about these articles. A good example is JSTOR. It has a wide range of full-text articles and you can search for these articles from the information provided. (Note however that you are unable to search for articles outside of JSTOR.) Some full-text databases also contain datasets. Usually economics journals supply statistics that can be downloaded and manipulated. OECD iLibrary allows you to download both papers and datasets.
A statistical database is one that contains primarily numerical data. Instead of article information, you can search for names and types of statistics, and look at the definitions, sources and methods through which the data is arrived at. IMF eLibrary and Web CEIC Data Manager are two prominent examples. Recently some of the prominent statistical databases undergo name and interface changes. (For example, IMF eLibrary was previously known as International Financial Statistics.)
Selecting an appropriate database helps you to narrow down your results to relevant ones quickly. (You don’t really want to search for economic topics in a nursing database.) If you are unsure, a good point to start is a multidisciplinary database such as Scopus.
Key concepts are generally easy to recognize. The tricky part is isolating the “pseudo-concepts”. For example, is “effectiveness” a concept? If you include such concepts in your search, either it is not helpful (because when “government stimulus” and “recession” go together, it is invariably always a discussion on stimulus effectiveness) or a lot of irrelevant documents will be retrieved. So it can be tricky. Nevertheless, searching online makes things so much easier because you can always modify your search. When you identify the concepts, try to think ahead. Are there any synonyms or homographs? Homographs are words that have different senses (crane as construction equipment and crane as bird). These will allow you to avoid irrelevant results when you conduct the search.
Some databases (such as Scopus) uses “AND NOT”. This is especially useful to solve the problem of homographs. One day I was searching for operations of Evergreen Line (the shipping company) in Vancouver. Instead of getting ships, I get subway. Turns out that there is a subway line under construction in Vancouver called “Evergreen Line”! So I modified the search to “Evergreen Line AND NOT subway” and voila – the irrelevant results were eliminated.
By defining your searches with parentheses, you get to control the order of operations hence getting the results you exactly want. Different systems have different orders of operations and this makes things difficult if you search without grouping concepts with parentheses.
Use truncation with care! Psych* will retrieve psychology and psychiatry, among others.
It sounds not very helpful, but Help page is a good place to start if you don’t know how to use a database. It contains instructions to get you started, as well as showing you neat tips!
Search is not a one-time process; you have to re-iterate your search a few times to get the results you want.
Scopus is good for general search, but you have to search carefully because it is multidisciplinary. You can easily get irrelevant results if you put in the wrong terms.
Statistics is a tricky area because it is so diverse. There are micro-level data (census microdata) to aggregates (median age of the population). Most recent ones to pre-historic (calory intake of various generations?). Different types of data representing different fields. Different definitions…
Nationally produced statistics is a good place to start looking for most statistics. There is generally one statistical agency that is responsible for the production and dissemination of data in every country. This is a good time to use Google.
If the local data is absent or unreliable, try statistics produced by international agencies.
Many good data is available free of charge! Some industries are compelled to produce reports and submit to regulatory agencies; the agencies are good sources of data.
Let’s say you Googled for a topic and found a relevant journal article. But you are asked to pay $30 to access the article! The normal way is for you to note the journal title, check in LINC, and access the journal through Library Proxy Server. However if you have twenty relevant articles in twenty journals, this is very time-consuming. With proxy bookmarklet, all you have to do is click on the bookmark when you reach the page that asks you to pay. If NUS Libraries subscribes to the journal, you can access the article straightaway. With 11,270 journal titles in the Library, chances are pretty good!
Primary, secondary and tertiary sources Example Primary Secondary and Tertiary NUS Libraries Colonial Office Records Databases Books and journals Open access IPUMS International/USA FFIEC PDD National Academies Press Open Access Journals DIY Fieldwork Data collection
NUS Libraries Proxy Bookmarklet http://libguides.nus.edu.sg/proxy_bookmarklet Found an article online but asked to pay? Good chances that NUS Libraries subscribes to it: Proxy Bookmarklet saves the step of checking in LINC It may not always work – not when we do not subscribe