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MSO4991 June 2020

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MSO4991 June 2020

  1. 1. Resources for research MSO4991 June 2020
  2. 2. In this workshop we will look at... • Resources available • Accessing and obtaining information • Effective searching • Evaluating information • Referencing and managing references
  3. 3. Literature review? Ideas Facts Figures Theories Imagination Inspiration
  4. 4. What is a literature review? Sets the scene • An overview • Surveys the current state of knowledge on a topic • Describe, compare and synthesise the existing research Critical, not just descriptive • Identify strengths and weaknesses • Note areas of consensus and disagreement • Highlight gaps in the existing research • Suggest and justify future research
  5. 5. Accessing library resources MyUniHub > MyStudy > MyLibrary
  6. 6. MyLibrary Library Search Databases MySubject Library Guides Inter Library Loans
  7. 7. Find out more MyUniHub > MyStudy > MyLibrary > MySubject Library Guide > Computing Maths & Engineering
  8. 8. Keywords • Summarise • Concepts • Keywords ‘Improving your search’ worksheet available here.
  9. 9. Can therapy dogs have an impact on the wellbeing of University students? University students Wellbeing Dogs Therapy • Canine/K9 • “Man’s best friend” • “Four legged friend” • Pets/animals • Mental health • Psychological health • Physical health • Emotional state • Happiness • Welfare • Wellness • Higher education/HE • College/Campus • Educational setting • Study/exams • Pupils • Dog breeds • Anxiety • Stress • Depression • Calming • Therapeutic • Treatment • Pet therapy • Animal assisted therapy/AAT • Interaction • Gender • Age group • Commuter/Campus • Status (FT/PT, UG/PG)
  10. 10. Streamlining your search math* “Project management”
  11. 11. Searching for information – Library Search Click on ‘Sign-in’, choose ‘Middlesex University’ and use your university email address. Signing-in enables you to access full text material, check your library record, create lists, save searches and create alerts and export references to RefWorks.
  12. 12. Library Search MyUniHub > MyStudy > MyLibrary > Library Search
  13. 13. Databases for Maths Literature myUniHub > My Study > My Library > Databases • MathSciNet • Science Direct • Web of Science
  14. 14. MathScinet myUniHub > My Study > My Library > Databases
  15. 15. Science Direct myUniHub > My Study > My Library > Databases
  16. 16. Web of Science Citation searching • Which articles have cited an earlier article • Find articles on similar/related subject • How many times an article has been cited • Best journals in your field MyUniHub > MyStudy > MyLibrary > Databases
  17. 17. Web of Science MyUniHub > MyStudy > MyLibrary > Databases > W > Web of Science Check ‘Links’ to see if full text article is available See how many times article has been cited. Click on title for more information Click number of times cited to see list of citing articles
  18. 18. Citation/impact info on Google Scholar: Citation/impact info on Library Search:
  19. 19. Middlesex University Research Repository myUniHub > MyStudy > MyLibrary
  20. 20. Zetoc Alerts myUniHub > My Study > My Library > Databases Set-up an alert for a journal or subject. Search for journal articles.
  21. 21. Business resources For access to and support with financial databases email Sarah Hudson:
  22. 22. Extra resources
  23. 23. Google Scholar You may be able to access the full-text here e.g. this is available on open access. Refine your search results here. Create an alert for your search, so you can keep up-to-date with new publications. Link to MDX resources: > Settings > Library Links > Search for MDX and save.
  24. 24. Google Scholar: Useful features Full text available from Middlesex Uni and/or other sources. Click on author’s name (if underlined) to view profile and check for other research by the author on the same topic. Click on ‘Cited by’ to see other articles that have cited this article. ‘All versions’: The same article on other websites – sometimes useful for getting full text if not available from MDX. Create a Harvard reference.
  25. 25. It’s not in the Library! MyUniHub > MyStudy > MyLibrary > Inter Library Loans
  26. 26. Cite Them Right Online myUniHub > My Study > My Library > Databases > C
  27. 27. Managing references: RefWorks MyUniHub > My Study > MyLibrary > Databases > R > RefWorks (New)
  28. 28. Set up a RefWorks account • myUniHub > My Study > My Library > Databases > R > New RefWorks • Use your ‘’ email and any password ‘RefWorks for Researchers’ guide available at:
  29. 29. Saving your references: RefWorks MyStudy > MyLibrary > Databases > R > RefWorks (New)
  30. 30. • Authority • Relevance • Intent • Objectivity • Currency Evaluating information
  31. 31. myUniHub > MyStudy > MyLibrary > Databases > L LinkedIn Learning (
  32. 32. Vanessa Hill: Librarian for Maths and Stats Need further help Suggest a book:

Editor's Notes

  • Hi my name is Vanessa Hill and I’m the librarian for Maths and Stats programmes at Middlesex University.

    Welcome to this presentation on ‘Resources for research’ aimed at helping you find the information that you need for your dissertation.
  • During the presentation we will look at:

    The resources available to help you find information for your dissertation
    How to access and obtain different types of information including books and journal articles.
    How to search effectively using appropriate keywords plus how to refine and focus your search
    Evaluating information for quality
    Referencing and citing using Cite Them Right
    And finally how you can manage your references using RefWorks.
  • In order to stress the importance of carrying out research I’m using this image to make a point.

    Your finished piece of work whatever it is: an essay, a report, a painting, a dissertation is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Below it is should be loads of research i.e. looking at theory and facts, being inspired, getting ideas, stimulating your imagination etc. The more you read, the more information you have, the better informed you will be and your finished work will reflect this.

    A longitudinal study carried out at the Uni of Huddersfield showed a correlation between final grades and library usage in that students who use library resources get better degrees.

  • As part of your dissertation you will need to include a literature review which is exactly what it suggests – a review of the literature on a particular topic.

    The purpose of a literature review is to gain an understanding of the existing research and debates relevant to a particular topic or area of study, and to present that knowledge in the form of a written report. Conducting a literature review helps you build your knowledge in your field.

    A literature review is a comprehensive summary of previous research on a topic. In it you will survey scholarly articles, books, and other sources relevant to a particular area of research and the review should enumerate, describe, summarize, objectively evaluate and clarify this previous research.

    Your literature review will set the scene
    Providing an overview of the topic
    It surveys the current state of knowledge on a topic i.e. what is already known
    Its an opportunity for you to describe, compare and synthesise the existing research

    However your review should be critical, not just descriptive
    Identify strengths and weaknesses
    Note areas of consensus and disagreement
    Highlight gaps in the existing research i.e. what we know and what we don’t know.
    Suggest and justify future research
  • In order to start searching for information that has been written on a topic you need to log in to myUniHub > MyStudy >MyLibrary

    You can find links to library resources and other library services in MyLibrary.

  • These are the most important things in MyLibrary that I will mention:

    Library Search: This is our library resource discovery tool which you can use to search for information (books, journals etc) on your topic.

    Databases: Gives you access to specialist collections of journals and other resources in a particular subject area. You can access most of these through Library Search, but searching a specialist resource might save you time.

    As you might expect, we have been increasing our online resources for students during the current COVID-19 situation, as access to the library is not currently possible and many publishers have made their electronic books, journals and other resources freely available for the duration of the COVID-19 situation.

    MySubject Library Guides: Gives you access to our library subject guides. Use these to find what resources are available including websites on a particular subject.

    Inter Library Loans: Not a resource, but a way of getting hold of material that the library doesn’t hold or provide access to.

  • More information about the range of resources available on the Library Subject Guide plus lots of useful online guides eg. how to search for information for your project.
  • The keywords that you use are important and make all the difference when searching for information. This is what you need to do:

    Briefly summarise your topic (doesn’t have to be detailed)

    Sum up your topic in a small number of concepts.
    Searching only one word for each concept will not necessarily bring you all the results. And sometimes none. Therefore need to think of different ways of describing the topic, alternative spellings, synonyms etc. Remember not everyone uses the same terminology for the same idea.

    A worksheet called ‘Improving your search’ is available at the link on the screen to help you think about the keywords that you will use to search with.

    I’ll now show you an example.

  • Let me show you an example of what I mean – I’m using a non maths example, but the principles are the same whatever your topic.

    My topic ‘Can therapy dogs have an impact on the wellbeing of university students– so what are the main concepts?

    I would say: dogs, therapy, wellbeing and university students.

    We’ve broken the topic down into 4 concepts, but then we need to brainstorm similar and alternative terms as well as broader or narrower terms. Think about other words that can be used to describe those concepts for example: There are lots of words that we can use to describe wellbeing such as mental or psychological health, and alternative words and phrase that we can use such as happiness or wellness. You can see that I’ve done the same with the other concepts.

    You may need to narrow a topic down further if there is a lot of research in that area, so for example focusing in on stress or anxiety in relation to wellbeing.

  • There are a couple of really using things that you can use to further refine your search when using library resources and the Internet.

    Broaden your search using an asterisk* e.g. given will find math, maths, mathematics, mathematician etc

    You can also make your search more specific by using “quotation marks”.

    You can find loads more ‘search tips’ at the link on the screen.

  • Ok, so lets have a look at some of the resources that are available to you through the library starting with Library Search.

    Library Search is our resource discovery tool which allows you to search all of the resources physically in the library, but also all of our electronic books and the electronic journals that we subscribe to.

    Its very easy to use, but remember to sign in first as this allows you to do lots of things including accessing the full text of our eresources.
  • Simply enter your keywords (search terms) into the search box and click on the search icon.

    It is possible to refine your search by using some of the options on the left hand side of the screen. For example you can refine your search by type of resource, so if you just want journal articles, select ‘articles’ under ‘resource type’. You can also limit by publication date which is useful if you want up-to-date information, and by ‘Full text only’. This is useful at the moment as it is not possible to access the library to retrieve print books and journals, so only searching for online resources i.e. full text will exclude print resources from your search. However it is possible for us to obtain electronic copies of journal articles from the British Library, so finding references to print journals is not a waste of time.

    As you search, you can also save items to your ‘Favourites folder’ which is located at the top right of the screen. You can only do this if you have signed in.

    The other really useful feature is the ability to create a reference using a variety of referencing styles.

    You can access guides to using Library search’ at the link on the screen. These guides can talk you through the process of using library search to find information for your assignments, as well as searching specifically for books and journal articles, and creating references.
  • As already mentioned Library Search searches all of the resources that we have physically in the library and have access to online. This includes the journal databases that we subscribe to which are basically collections of journals covering different subject areas. Quite often these databases also include other types of information such as books, book chapters, reports and so on.

    You might find it useful to search these collections directly, because you will be searching resources that specifically cover your subject area. Like Library search, these can be accessed from MyLibrary as indicated on the screen. Either select your subject area from the drop-down menu for a more focussed list of databases or click on the alphabetical list if you know which journal database you require.

    More information on accessing journal databases can be found at the link on the screen, plus a listing of all the databases that you might find useful.

    The most useful journal databases for maths and stats are MathsSciNet, Science Direct and Web of Science. More about these and other resources that you can use in a minute.
  • MathSciNet® provides access to a searchable database of reviews, abstracts and bibliographic information for much of the mathematical sciences literature. Over 100,000 new items are added each year. 

    This is the main journal database for you, but unfortunately it does not provide access to the full text of the article. However if you click on the link under each item which says ‘Link to full text’ you can check to see if the article is available from any other resource that we have. If we have it, you will be taken to the appropriate resource where you can access the full text. If we don’t have it, then you will be offered the opportunity to make an inter library loan request for it.

  • This is another useful database which gives access to book chapters and journal articles from 11,000 books and 2,500 peer reviewed journals.

    Covers science, technology, medicine and maths.

    Full text.
  • Web of Science is the other journal database that I mentioned and this one is slightly different in that not only can you find journal articles on the subject that you are researching, you can also discover citation information. Let me explain:

    Which articles have cited an earlier article i.e. Way of looking forward in the literature-if have found excellent article, can use a citation index to see which articles have subsequently cited it
    Find articles on similar/related subjects: Citation implies subject relationship, so can find papers on a similar topic without using any keywords or subject terms
    Find out how many times a paper has been cited i.e. gauge the usefulness/quality. esteem of a paper
    Determine which are the best journals in your field: citation data used to rank journals within particular subject areas…..useful way of seeing how journals perform in relation to others in the same subject area

  • Like MathSciNet, Web of Science is not a full text database, so in order to see if we have access to an article from another resource that we subscribe to, click on ‘Links’ as indicated on the screen. Another feature of Web of Science is that it enables you can create Journal Citation reports which essentially allow you to discover which are the most influential journals in a particular field i.e. the journals that contain the articles that get cited most by subsequent journal articles. Looking to the future, this is useful to discover which are the most influential journals to publish in.

    You can find detailed guides showing you how to use all aspects of Web of Science at the link on the screen.
  • Increasingly ‘cited by’ information is available on other resources.

    Google Scholar has a ‘Cited by’ feature. If you don’t know what Google Scholar is then I’ll be covering this later.

    Also in Library Search – the ‘pointing up’ arrows allow you to ‘Find sources citing this’. The ‘Pointing down’ arrows also allow you to ‘Find sources cited in this’.
  • The Middlesex University Research Repository is an online "open access" archive of published research and other scholarly content produced by Middlesex University staff a
    and researchers. Material includes:

    journal articles
    conference papers
    art works and exhibitions
    books and book chapters
    doctoral theses
  • Zeetoc is one of the world’s most comprehensive research databases, giving access to over 30,000 journals and more than 52 million article citations and conference papers through the British Library’s electronic table of contents.

    It enables you to keep pace with your peers, stay up to date with new research, and expand your field of knowledge. You can set-up personalised email Zetoc Alerts or RSS feeds to track the latest articles or journal titles related to your interests. In most cases, you can access abstracts or the full text of articles which you can then request by Inter Library Loan.
  • We have a range of financial databases that some of you might find useful. These provide financial data and also textural information for students studying finance, economics, accounting and financial mathematics.

    Contact our Economics, finance and accounting librarian Sarah for access to and support with financial databases. Contact details on the screen. She is happy to do a online one to one.
  • During the COVID-19 outbreak many publishers are providing free access to their resources as a sign of good will. You can access these eTextbooks and eResources from the Library Guide home page – link on the screen.
  • Google scholar is another resource that you can use to find information. Its open access, so available to everyone, not just Middlesex students. It enables you to find journal articles, theses, books, and more, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites across all disciplines.

    Not everything on Google Scholar is full text, but you can link it to our library resources by changing the settings as shown on the screen. You only need to do this once on your own laptop/device, but you need to be logged on to MyUniHub.

    More useful is finding material which is not accessible through Middlesex University Library i.e. articles, books and papers etc which are on open-access on the Internet.

    Like Library Search and the journal databases, you can refine your search, plus set up alerts using a Google account to keep up with recent developments in any area of research and save material found to a personal library.

    Google Scholar is good, but there is limited ability to combine different keywords or to refine your search as you can with Library search and our journal databases.

    Also older articles can appear first in results, so use the date limits on the left hand side of the screen.

  • If the material you require for your studies or research is not held by the University's campus libraries or electronic resources, the Inter-library loans service is here to help you.

    We liaise with the British Library and other University libraries both in the UK and abroad to obtain the books or articles you require.

    There is usually a charge of £3 per request for this service, but it is free for the duration of the library closure.
  • Although you can create a Harvard references on Library Search, it probably will not be 100% accurate. Therefore you need top use Cite Them Right to check that your reference is correct. Cite Them Right will also help you create references for things such as websites or other information sources that you might find on the Internet such as reports and other documents.
  • Another option to get your references tip top is to use RefWorks which is Bibliographic Management software that allows you to collect, manage and organise your references as well as store and annotate PDFs and share with others.

    You can add citations to your work such as your dissertation as you write it and then generate a perfectly formatted reference list from the citations you have used.

    Access RefWorks from our Databases list in the same way as you access our journal databases.

    We have a library guide dedicated to plagiarism and referencing which has a whole section on RefWorks with videos. Link on the screen.

  • You will need to set up an account the first time, so use your Middlesex email address.

    A detailed guide on how to use RefWorks is available from the link on the screen.
  • If you choose to use RefWorks, you can export individual references directly in to RefWorks from Library Search.

    Or you can export multiple references by saving to your ‘Favourites’ folder and choosing RefWorks from the ‘Push To actions’ option.

  • Authority : Who is the author? What is their knowledge base/qualifications? How have they carried out their research?
    Relevance : Is this what I need? Will it answer my question? Is it at the right level?
    Intent : What is the purpose of information e.g. financial gain, propaganda, academic etc?
    Objectivity : Balanced view? Opposing views represented? Links to supporting information?
    Currency: How old is this information? When was it last updated and by whom?

  • As a student at Middlesex University you have unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning, an on-demand library of high-quality instructional videos covering a vast range of software, business and creative skills. With more than 5,000 courses taught by industry experts—and more added every week—LinkedIn Learning is designed for all levels of learners, and it’s available whenever you’re ready to learn. The LinkedIn Learning app, means that you can also view courses from your mobile device.
  • Contact details and suggest a book. Will try to get ebooks.