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Searching library databases - the basics
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Searching library databases - the basics






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    Searching library databases - the basics Searching library databases - the basics Presentation Transcript

    • Database searching skills & strategies • Medicinal plants
    • Outcomes At the end of the workshop, you should be able to: • search more efficiently • get better results • know where to look • be less anxious about your research
    • “Finding information is hard….” •Too much information!! •Too little information ... •Not sure where to even start? •Librarians can help you with both
    • What type of information do I need, & where do I find it? General source • Definition • Basic overview • Statistics etc. Information type • • • • Book Govt. publications Wiki youtube • Google • Library catalogue How to find it
    • When do I need to use a database? General source • Recent information • Research • Scholarly articles Information type • Academic literature • Journal articles • Theses, reports etc Bibliographic database (aka “Literature database”) • Databases • Google Scholar How to find it indexed articles, subject specific e.g.: Pubmed, Ebsco, Proquest
    • •FREE •Most comprehensive in content •Only Open Source full text Pubmed Ebsco Proquest •THINK Education subscription •Paid content = more full text available •Not as broad coverage of journal articles Gale
    • Steps in finding information 1. Define your topic 2. Determine your search strategy 3. Find your citations 4. Get the full text article Yes, but …… how?!
    • Steps in finding full text article Database • Yes - YAY! • No (see below) Full Text? Available at SSNT? Submit article request • Check library catalogue • Ejournal? Print journal? Other database • Check Google Scholar • Make sure you really need it • Usually free, but occasionally not • Can take up to 2 weeks so allow time
    • Search strategy 1. Define the keywords you can use 2. Start broad, progressively narrow down 3. Use search building techniques - synonyms, limiters 4. Note ‘clues’ in your results -jargon, exclusion terms etc. 5. Understand what your results mean 6. Repeat your search – be persistent, think laterally
    • So, in summary: Define keywords Search building Use Limiters • Topic analysis • Keywords • Synonyms, jargon, Latin form • Context • Phrase searching • AND, OR, NOT • Similar and Citing articles • Time frame (recent? historical? trending?) • Type of literature (review article, clinical trials, news?) • Gender , age, population , language  before….  during….  after….
    • Review search results – again! Search is an exercise in persistance! If you don’t feel you’re getting results  Change databases  Change keywords  Change tactics  ASK YOUR LIBRARIAN FOR HELP – we’re experts!
    • Example search strategy Putting the theory to work.
    • “Analyse a case study on the use of black cohosh in menopause treatment” Context Phrases • Globally? • Australia? • Current? Historical? Trends? • “case study” • “black cohosh” • “Cimicifuga racemosa” • ”Medicinal plants” Synonyms • • • • • Cimicifuga racemosa bugwort Phytomedicine medicinal plants menopause
    • Some search techniques Boolean Phrase searching Pathol* Compare this google search: Searches for: • AND • NOT • OR Truncation arm pressure points = 22,600,000 results Using these in your • Pathology search can force • Pathologist exclusions or inclusions • Pathological e.g: tablet NOT computer “arm pressure points” = 15,100 results Simply phrasing your search can focus your results enormously.
    • Use Advanced Search Provides many more fields to help you refine your search Almost all databases and search engines have advanced search options
    • Use limits effectively Use the limits provided, when you can
    • Use limits effectively
    •  Reading your results   1. Suggested subjects 2. Type of document  3. Abstract or Full text  4. Abstract text 5. Refining options 
    • Reading your results Making use of the functions available, helps you keep organised while researching.