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Poli127 guide (2020)

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Slides for UC San Diego POLI 127 Library Instruction & Libguide

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Poli127 guide (2020)

  1. 1. Library Research Step by Step For Political Science 127
  2. 2. The Research Process in a Nutshell 1. Start with a question or topic. 2. Think about where the answer—or a piece of the puzzle—might have been articulated. 3. Choose tools that will help you find those publications/information sources. 4. Use those tools to find information you can use. 5. Repeat.
  3. 3. 0. Before you get started • The licenses for most of our research tools require that users are on UCSD IP addresses – Are you on the wireless network at UCSD? • Make sure you’re using the UCSD-PROTECTED network. – Are you off-campus? • Make sure you’re using the VPN
  4. 4. 1. Choose your research question, hypothesis, or topic and keywords • Develop your research question, hypothesis, or thesis statement What are some urban agriculture strategies that development organizations or governments can implement to help eliminate hunger in areas of deep poverty such as the Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya?
  5. 5. 1. Choose your research question, hypothesis, or topic and keywords • Break that statement into key concepts: – Urban – Agriculture – Kibera – Nairobi, Kenya
  6. 6. 1. Choose your research question, hypothesis, or topic and keywords • Think of other ways to phrase those concepts. Use synonyms. Consider more specific words (to narrow your focus) or more general terms (to expand your search), e.g. – Who: • development organizations: united nations, UN, UNDP, World Bank, NGOs… • Governments: local, state, provincial, federal… – What: • agriculture: farming, gardens, “container gardening,” “vertical farming”… – When: (current) – Where: • urban: city, metropolitan, slums… • Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya: Africa, developing countries…
  7. 7. 2. Choose tools that might be useful for this project. • You want a variety of – Background sources – Exhibits or Evidence sources – Argument sources – Method or Theory sources • Each tool helps you find a specific, limited kind and amount of information. • Knowing which tools might help you find what you're looking for will save you lots of time.
  8. 8. Books Books typically cover a single topic in depth. • is UC San Diego Library’s online library catalog • Tip: includes books, ebooks, and other materials like government documents. • Tip: Not enough at UC San Diego, or the book you want checked out? – to request from San Diego libraries – to request books from other libraries, University of California + beyond
  9. 9. Scholarly Articles Scholarly articles cover more specific topics than books. Because they are shorter, they are often published a little more quickly, making them somewhat more current. The Library has literally hundreds of databases for finding article citations.
  10. 10. Primary Sources Primary sources are materials that document the event when it happened—or as close to when it happened as possible. Examples include: • News: newspapers, magazines, blogs, social media • Government publications and official documents • First person accounts: diaries, letters, oral histories, blogs, social media…
  11. 11. Statistics & Datasets Generally available in specialized databases or directly from the researchers and organizations who collect them. • Aggregate/statistics (numbers already analyzed) • Microdata (lowest level of collection)
  12. 12. Information Timeline Graphic by adstarkel. Used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
  13. 13. The Librarian’s Favorites • Scholarly articles – Worldwide Political Science Abstracts – all ProQuest databases – all EBSCOhost databases – Melvyl • News – Access World News – Nexis Uni – Factiva • Reports – Google Custom Search engines (for IGOs, NGOs, think tanks, government information from around the world) – CIAO
  14. 14. 3. Choose your search strategies for each research tool. • In most databases, you can combine terms with and (both terms must appear in the hit)and or (one term must appear in the hit—for synonyms or evenly weighted terms) – urban and agriculture; agriculture or farming • In many databases, you can use a symbol such as * or ! to take the place of letters to get hits with multiple endings of a word – farm* • In many databases, you can combine words together into phrases using quotation marks – “urban agriculture” • Example search: (urban or slum) and (agricultur* or farm* or garden*) and (Africa or Kenya or Nairobi or Kibera)
  15. 15. 4. Refine your search with limits. • Most databases have some sort of limits you can apply, for example: – date ranges – publication types (e.g., scholarly articles, dissertations, book chapters, etc.) – languages – peer reviewed articles • When you find good hits, look at the subject headings. These are controlled vocabulary assigned to describe the topic in the database. Also skim the abstracts for additional keywords. Try running new searches using those terms. • Find more citations by looking at the bibliography/cited references of sources you find. Sometimes these citations are included in the database. (Also read the literature review in the article itself.) • Find more citations by looking at sources that cite the sources you find. Look for a times cited link in the database. (If your database doesn’t have this, Google Scholar does.) This is an especially good way to find core articles (and theory!) on your topic.
  16. 16. How to tell if a source is peer reviewed • Use a database and its “peer reviewed” limits/filters • Google the source/publication title and check the description in “journal information” or “about this journal” • Check a directory like Ulrich’s
  17. 17. 5. Get the actual item. • If the full text isn’t available in your search results. Look for the button. • Link to full text if available. • No full text? – Try for the print • No UCSD access at all? – You can usually request the item from another library using the link. – For books, try or
  18. 18. 6. Get the citation information. You need this for your bibliography. You list the works you cite so that readers interested in your research can find and read the resources you used to draw your conclusions. • Email records to yourself as a backup. • Some databases can export the citation in a specific format (e.g. APA, Chicago, MLA) • Use Zotero, EndNote Web, or Mendeley to manage, store, and format your citations
  19. 19. Most plagiarism that happens at UC San Diego is accidental.
  20. 20. 7. Evaluate the items you find. • Does it answer the question? • What are the author’s credentials? – And what sources do they cite? • Is the source current enough for the kind of research you're doing?
  21. 21. 8. Try different tools & repeat until you have enough to write your paper! • Check the help screens or guides to each database for specifics on combining your terms and whether your results are ranked by date or relevance. • When you find good hits, look at the subject headings/descriptors. Try running new searches using those terms.
  22. 22. To Recap 1. Start with a question or topic. 2. Think about where the answer—or a piece of the puzzle—might have been articulated. 3. Choose tools that will help you find those publications/information sources. 4. Use those tools to find information you can use. 5. Repeat.

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