2 Literature Searching

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Library resources and how to get the most out of them

Library resources and how to get the most out of them

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  • 1. Edinburgh University Library M Ed TESOL Literature Searching Denny Colledge Information Skills Librarian (Humanities and Social Science)
  • 2. Session Outline
    • Library Online
    • What will Databases give me?
    • Your Research Strategy
    • Why can’t I just use Google?
  • 3. Library Online Guide for new users http:// www.lib.ed.ac.uk/howto/begin.html How to… http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/howto/ Researching your assignment http:// www.lib.ed.ac.uk/howto/infoskills.shtml Resources by Subject http:// www.lib.ed.ac.uk/resbysub /
  • 4. Want to ask a question? General Help http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/services/requests.shtml Ask a Librarian http:// www.lib.ed.ac.uk/qp /
  • 5. What will a database give me? Citation - i.e. publication details Abstract - i.e. summary of the article Full text Pay-per-view (beware!) Inter-Library Loan Service - http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/services/ill1.shtml Your Library/Find it at Edinburgh Links to Bibliographic Management Software
  • 6. Getting and Managing Records
    • Mark records
    • View records
    • Save records (Folder/Filing Cabinet)
    • Print records
    • E-mail records
    • Bibliographic Management Software
    • Search History
    • Search Alerts
    • Citation Searching
  • 7. Planning Your Research Strategy
    • What is your research question?
    • Define subject keywords
    • Use the thesaurus if there is one
    • Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)
    • Use appropriate truncation
    • Limit your search results
  • 8. Keywords
    • Be clear about the topic.
    • Think of related terms.
    • Variation in word endings.
    • Synonyms, homonyms.
    • Variant terminology and spelling.
  • 9. Thesaurus
    • Thesaurus – a controlled vocabulary of subject keywords.
    • Ensures that all items on a particular topic have standard search terms.
    • Using thesaurus terms can help you to focus your search.
  • 10. Truncation
    • Truncation allows you to look for all forms of word….plurals, variant endings.
    • Type in start of word plus truncation symbol:
    • ($ * ? #)
  • 11. Boolean Searching Record contains both A and B Record contains A but not B Record contains either A or B
  • 12. English Language Proficiency for Academic Purposes - Mind Map EAP English Language United Kingdom Language Proficiency
  • 13. Limiting Your Search Results
    • Too many hits:
    • Add additional keywords with AND
    • Use more specific keywords
    • Use thesaurus terms
    • Limit by particular fields
    • Too few hits:
    • Check your spelling
    • Use truncation
    • Use all possible synonyms for topic
    • Terminology can differ
    • Use alternative spelling
    • Combine keywords using OR
    • Check the thesaurus terms
  • 14. “ Snowballing”
    • Move from the specific to the general - just one useful reference can lead you to more.
    • Note keywords assigned to reference(s) in the database - use these to run a new search.
    • Search for other writings by same author.
    • Follow up on references used by author in bibliography.
  • 15. Help with using databases Help with your search strategy http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/howto/searchstrat.html Database help http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/howto/#db Getting to know a database http:// www.lib.ed.ac.uk/howto/Database.pdf
  • 16.  
  • 17.  
  • 18. New Service
  • 19.  
  • 20. E-Journals
    • Look up journal title in the Catalogue
    • Use the E-journals list
    • http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/resources/collections/serials/ejintro.shtml
  • 21. Scholarly Alerts SARA http:// www.tandf.co.uk/sara / ZETOC http:// etoc.mimas.ac.uk /
  • 22.  
  • 23. Pre-prints Edinburgh Research Archive http:www.lib.ed.ac.uk/news/era.shtml Educati on-line http:// www.leeds.ac.uk/educol /
  • 24. Good Googling! Google Help http:// www.google.com /support Google Guide http://www.googleguide.com/index.html Google Scholar http://scholar.google.com/ Google Print http:// books.google.com /
  • 25. Not just Google….
    • Other search engines
    • http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/resources/netsearch/srchtool2.shtml#engines
  • 26. Webpage Evaluation 1
    • Source:
    • Is the author identifiable?
    • Does the author have good credentials?
    • Is the location appropriate (ac.uk, .edu,
    • gov, gov.uk)
    • Are comments and enquiries invited?
  • 27. Webpage Evaluation 2
    • Content:
    • Accuracy, bias, identifiable sources
    • Comprehensiveness (is this an aspect of a topic, or a complete picture?)
    • Currency (date of last update?)
    • Links (are they relevant? Do they work?)
  • 28. Webpage Evaluation 3
    • Style and functionality:
    • Is the site easy to navigate?
    • Is the site well organised and clear?
    • Is there a search tool, if the site is big?
    • Are there any prerequisites? (e.g. Java, browser version, Flash, plug-ins)
    • Is the style appropriate for an academic context?
  • 29. Internet Help Internet Detective http://www.vts.intute.ac.uk/detective/ Intute Virtual Training Suite http://www.vts.intute.ac.uk/ TONIC http:// www.netskills.ac.uk /
  • 30. [email_address] Thanks – and Good Luck!