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Review and refine your search (TLS)


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Review and refine your search (TLS)

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Review and refine your search (TLS)

  1. 1. InformationLiteracy
  2. 2. • When you are new to literature searching it’s easy to generate large numbers of irrelevant search results, or to experience finding any relevant results. • Here’s a few simple techniques to use when searching databases that should help you to focus your searching on the most relevant references you need. InformationLiteracy
  3. 3.  Refine (narrow) your results by:  searching within results  limiting to subject areas  limiting by publication date  limiting by document format  Sort your results by:  relevance  times cited  publication date InformationLiteracy
  4. 4. Use these to reduce scope of search, and therefore number of references, e.g.:  Publication type (e.g. journals)  Publication date (e.g. 2005-)  Language (e.g. English) InformationLiteracy
  5. 5. • In several databases (e.g. Web of Science) search filters and limiters appear as options displayed on the search results screen. • These include the option to narrow your search by document type, date range, subject, author, year of publication and many more. InformationLiteracy Refine Results
  6. 6. • Refine results examples from Web of Science InformationLiteracy Refine Results
  7. 7.  Snowballing - If you find one relevant reference you can use it to help you find others.  Check the references and bibliography at the end of the article for related works.  Many database provide direct links to related articles displayed in these fields. InformationLiteracy What to do if you only get a few results?
  8. 8. • Use more search terms linked with AND between each term e.g. If you need to find references about microbiology especially concerned with tissue samples, type microbiology AND tissue AND samples • Exclude irrelevant subjects by typing NOT before the term you wish to exclude. e.g. If you need to find references about microbiology, but not those about plants, type microbiology NOT plants InformationLiteracy What to do if you get too many results?
  9. 9. • Limit your results by date range. e.g. if you were looking for the very latest research on a particular subject you could type 2012-2013 in the date field of the database search screen. • Limit your search to particular fields e.g. enter your search terms in the title field of the database search screen to increase the relevance of your results. InformationLiteracy What to do if you get too many results?
  10. 10. Using limiters and filters to make your search more specific and focussed is a great method to help you: • Maximise the relevance of your search results • Ensure you are able to easily manage and evaluate the number of hits in your search results InformationLiteracy Conclusion
  11. 11. But: • Think carefully about how you plan to apply search filters and limiters • If you apply too many search filters and limiters you can exclude potentially useful references or retrieve no results at all InformationLiteracy Conclusion