Searching skills


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Searching skills

  1. 1. Research How to find the best information to match your needs!
  2. 2. Search Tools – which is best? • ERIC - • Awesome Library • Dogpile - • SearchEdu - • Clusty - • Google Scholar • HotBot - • Ixquick - • Librarians' Index to the Internet • Teoma - • Sweet Search • KartOO - • Infomine - • OJOSE - • Yahoo - - • WiseNut - • Oaister • Surfwax - • Google Books
  3. 3. Remember: Anyone can publish anything on the Web! It is your job, as a researcher, to look for quality! Image from Flickr- Dana Longley photostream
  4. 4. Some Problems with „Google‟ Searches Google’s “strategies” are not universal There are good Google searches and bad Google searches Searching rules are not really rules The rules are really for databases and advanced search screens Most folks don’t find the advanced screens or the databases
  5. 5. Searching Most search engines and databases search "words anywhere" or "keywords" automatically unless you select another type of search. Keyword searching finds matches for your terms in any field of a record or any part of a Web page, so you will typically retrieve more information with less precision. This is sometimes called "recall" searching because it focuses on recalling as much information as possible.
  6. 6. Precision Searching Databases and search engines: some allow searching in fields such as author, title, or subject. Many call this "advanced," or "expert" searching. These searches retrieve less information with more precision. This is called "precision" searching because it focuses on finding only precisely what you need.
  7. 7. Keyword Searching You are a detective and the only clues you have for a missing persons case are the words "red," "blue," and "green," these people could be a match. This is keyword searching. RED + BLUE + GREEN
  8. 8. Field Searching If instead you knew your person had a red tie, blue shirt, and a green beret, you have a better chance of finding the right person. This is field searching. Tie:RED and Shirt:BLUE and Beret:GREEN
  9. 9. “Phrase searching” One of your best searching tools! Use only for legitimate phrases, names, titles • • • • Best example -- “vitamin A” “John Quincy Adams” Titles “An Officer and a Gentleman” “to be or not to be” Phrase searching is sometimes overused: not every group of words is a phrase Sometimes “ANDing” is a better strategy
  10. 10. The Boolean Machine by Rockwell Schrock AND OR NOT Try This Yourself
  11. 11. Here‟s how it works AND OR NOT When using AND, you only receive pages including both of your search terms, though not necessarily next to one another. When using OR, you receive pages containing either one or both of your search terms. The NOT operator is used to find pages including only the first term and excluding the second term. • Boolean Machine courtesy of Rockwell Schrock
  12. 12. Recognize the importance of brainstorming and strategy Research Question: How effective are drug abuse prevention programs for young people? Connect with “ANDs” Concept 1 Concept 2 Concept 3 Concept 4 or teen* “drug abuse” prevent* effectiv* or adolesc* marijuana program* success or child* alcohol treat*
  13. 13. Search Query Exercise Click here to try the exercise From the UW Will program
  14. 14. What is a Primary Source? Primary sources are original, uninterpreted information. Unedited, firsthand access to words, images, or objects created by persons directly involved in an activity or event or speaking directly for a group. This is information before it has been analyzed, interpreted, commented upon, spun, or repackaged. Depending upon the context, these may include: paintings, interviews, works of fiction, research reports, sales receipts, speeches, treaties, legislation, letters, emails, and others.
  15. 15. Secondary Sources Secondary sources interpret, analyze or summarize. Commentary upon, or analysis of, events, ideas, or primary sources. Because they are often written significantly after events by parties not directly involved but who have special expertise, they may provide historical context or critical perspectives.
  16. 16. What Do We Have?
  17. 17. ProQuest
  18. 18. So, how should I approach research as an information literate student? The BIG 6 1. Defining your problem and asking the good questions What is my thesis or problem? • • • • What information do I need? What do I already know? What more do I need to find out? Remember: Try to make the most out of any research problem. The better your question, the more you will learn. 2. Information seeking strategies? Where can I find the information I need? Which are the best possible sources? Which databases are the best choices? • Which types of sources will best help me solve my information problem? Which sources do I already have? • Do I need help to find the resources or to make sure I haven't overlooked any critical sources?
  19. 19. So, how should I approach research as an information literate student? • • • • • • • • 3. Selecting and evaluating your resources How can I search these sources effectively? After reading, can I identify better keywords or subject headings to refine my electronic search? Do the resources I found really answer my questions or offer evidence to support my thesis? Have I carefully examined my selected sources for significant details and concepts? Have I examined my sources for currency, relevance, accuracy, credibility, appropriateness and bias? Can I defend all of the resources I am considering for inclusion in my works consulted page? Does the scope, depth and quality of my research meet my teacher's and my own expectations? How will I credit my sources?
  20. 20. So, how should I approach research as an information literate student? • • • • • • • • • • Organizing and restructuring information How much of the information I collected is truly relevant? Do I see any patterns emerging in the information I collected? How can I organize this information so that it makes sense to myself and others? Do I have a strategy for notetaking? Can I construct a visual tool or written outline to help me structure my work? Have I solved my information problem and answered the related questions? Do I have enough information? Communicating the results of your research Who is my audience? How can I most effectively share this information with this audience? Which would be the best format for communicating the results of my information? PowerPoint? video? essay? debate? speech? traditional paper? What do I need to do this presentation? Equipment? Software? Have I included everything I want to share? Have I proofread, edited and truly finished my project?
  21. 21. Evaluating your work • • • • The product: Am I proud of the product? Was it effective? Did I meet the guidelines or follow the rubric for the project? Am I sure I cited all sources and did not plagiarize? Is the best work I could have done? The process: • Did I explore the full scope of available resources and select the best? • Did I approach the research process energetically? • Did I search electronic resources (the Web and licensed databases) using effective, efficient, strategic search strategies?