Information and research skills for Undergraduates


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  • Google uses a page ranking system to throw to the top of your hit list those web sites that match your query and have the most web links to them. For further information on this consult What Google can’t find:The deep web – searching inside many library databasesOnly 18% of the information
  • Information and research skills for Undergraduates

    1. 1. Academic Skills: Information & Research Skills for Undergraduates November 2013 Russell Burke Library Services
    2. 2. Aims of the session Library Services • Overview of Library Services available to support your essay research • Step 1 - Plan and prepare a literature search • Step 2 - Use LibrarySearch and subject specific resources to find information • Step 3 – Adapt & refine your searches • Step 4 - Manage your references (& generate bibliographies using RefWorks) • Access eresources off-campus • Using other libraries 2
    3. 3. Library Services My essay question / research topic: What do I want to find out? (Describe the next slide: what do you see? What words would you search for to find information on what is depicted?)
    4. 4. Library Services 4
    5. 5. Developing your search strategy “In the avant-garde films of the 1920s, everything we see, including the human being, is subservient to rhythm & movement.” Main concepts 1. avant-garde films 2. 1920s 3. What we see on film 4. Rhythm & movement 5 Alternative terms Experimental, art, modernist / cinema, filmmaking … Early 20th Century, pre-war, silent era … Mise-en-scène, frame(d), screen, shot, represented … Pace, flow, repetition, alternation, patterns, editing … Library Services
    6. 6. Step One: Think about your own research topic & related concepts and write down the keywords that you need to search for
    7. 7. Library Services Now that I know what I want to find out: What resources would I use? See part 1 of the following prezi for an overview of the types of material available via the Library:
    8. 8. Selecting information sources Library Services Library Subject Guides: Online databases (eresources): LibrarySearch: Senate House Library catalogue (& eresources): Other internet resources… These can also be found on the main Library webpage
    9. 9. Library Services Why can’t I just use Google? Evaluating information sources: 9
    10. 10. Step 2: Use your Library Subject Guide and select the resources or types of resources you think you would need to use to carry out your research
    11. 11. Library Services Now that I know what I want to find out & where to find the resources: How do I carry out searches to find information on my topic? (By combining your search terms in meaningful way!) See your Library Subject Guide > Training > Searching for videos & more help
    12. 12. Combining keywords - AND Library Services Narrow your search using AND (useful if you have too many results) e.g. avant-garde AND film Results Results containing containing BOTH AVANT-GARDE TERMS 12 Results containing FILM ie. only brings back results where all the words searched for are included somewhere in the title, summary and/or full-text
    13. 13. Combining keywords - too few results? Library Services Broaden your search using OR (useful if you have too few results) e.g. role OR function 13 ie. brings back results where any the words searched for are included somewhere in the title, summary and/or full-text
    14. 14. Making the most of synonyms Library Services As well as searching for alternative terms, you can use wildcard characters ($ ? * -) to replace letters in search terms or to truncate a term: Examples theat* - finds theatre, theater, theatrical, etc. wom*n - finds women, woman. NB: Help pages in the online resources will explain which character is used as the wildcard 14
    15. 15. Combining keywords – phrase searching Library Services Use quotation (speech) marks to search for phrases where word need to appear next to each other (e.g. specific terminology, title of books / films, names & places). “À la recherche du temps perdu” “French New Wave” 15
    16. 16. Step three: think about how you will combing keywords and enter your search queries in your selected eresources (adjusting terms as you need to)
    17. 17. Library Services Now that I have found information on my topic: How do I know that it is what I want and good quality material? (see the ‘Evaluating information sources’ link mentioned above)
    18. 18. Reviewing & evaluating your research Library Services Do you have enough / too much information? Do you need to review your underlying research question? Is the information current / within the date you require Is it relevant to your research? Does it answer the whole question?
    19. 19. Library Services Now that I have the information (books, chapters, journal articles, webpages etc) that I need: How do I manage & reference them? (You may have a lot of references and research material to keep track of!)
    20. 20. Keeping track of useful items Library Services • Emailing links to yourself • Using the e-shelf in LibrarySearch • Log in to LibrarySearch • Click on the star icon beside useful results • Go to ‘e-shelf’ • Create baskets, email, export results • NB - most other eresources provide these functions (you can do the same in JSTOR / ProjectMuse / MLA Bibliography • OR you can keep all of your references in ONE PLACE and organised them by topic, essay title or course etc. by exporting references to RefWorks – this is really easy to do! 20
    21. 21. RefWorks Library Services Bibliographic reference management software Capture, save and organise references Create a bibliography for your essay from containing 1 to 1000 items in your Departments Referencing Style in seconds! Access it via the Library Subject Guides (Citation & Referencing) Contains online self-help tutorials Sign up to a free Library RefWorks training session: Check the Library Information Skills Training Session on the Subject guide:
    22. 22. Step four: save the results that you need (references, abstracts, URL links, full text) and organise these so that you can find them when you need them & reference them in your assignments
    23. 23. Access online resources off-campus Library Services Royal Holloway ‘Campus Anywhere’ (VPN) The only way to access all of our electronic resources off campus is to install the Virtual Private Network (VPN) service, known as 'CampusAnywhere'. This is quick and easy to set up and works on PCs, laptops & Macs Go to the IT Services website to find out more:
    24. 24. Using other libraries Library Services Royal Holloway students all get free access to Senate House Library (SHL): take along your RHUL Id card if you want to borrow books or use the study space there. Online registration for SHL’s eresources: see the ‘Beyond RHUL’ section on the Library Subject Guides for more information Access to other Libraries using SCONUL Access: see the ‘Beyond RHUL’ section on the Library Subject Guides for more information
    25. 25. Questions? Library Services Russell Burke Information Consultant 2-07 Bedford Library Royal Holloway University of London 01784 414065 Please remember to always check: • LIBRARY SUBJECT GUIDES • @RHUL_Library on TWITTER • the Library’s FACEBOOK PAGE for the latest information and updates! 25 Leo Reynolds. Flickr. CC-BY-NA