Basic Search Skills


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This 90 minutes workshop is designed to enhance the knowledge of front-line staff working at the reference desk in library as well as to address some of the issues that may arise at the desk.

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Basic Search Skills

  1. 1. Basic Search Training <ul><ul><li>Staff Training Session </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Michelle Alexander, Matt Baricevic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sally Seim, Candy Yip </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Slides prepared by C. Yip </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. Overview I. Locating Resources By Matt II. Searching for Known Items By Sally III. Searching for Unknown items By Michelle IV. Finding information on a topic in Journal indexes/ databases By Candy
  3. 3. I. Locating Resources Where and how to find what? <ul><li>Full-text journal articles </li></ul><ul><li>Peer-reviewed articles (also called refereed journal articles) </li></ul>
  4. 4. How to Find the Full Text of an Article Online? <ul><li>Start by checking to see if you are searching a full text database. </li></ul><ul><li>If you have searched a full text database, use the Get It! Button to find full text sources. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for the “Full Text” or PDF buttons in your search results. </li></ul><ul><li>Look up the journal in the library catalogue. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Does my Database have Full Text? <ul><li>You can find out if a database provides full-text articles before you choose it by clicking on “Read More” after the database name, or by consulting the database “help”. </li></ul><ul><li>The next image shows you the Scholars Portal link with the “Read More” link highlighted. Click on the Image to see the “Read More” page for Scholars Portal. </li></ul>
  6. 9. If you have searched a full text database, use the to find full text sources. <ul><li>“Get it U of T Libraries” is a library service which links database citations to full-text articles when available. </li></ul><ul><li>This menu of options will provide links to the full-text of the article if the library has a subscription. </li></ul><ul><li>It will provide a link to search the library catalogue to see if the library has the journal or book. </li></ul>
  7. 10. Searching Databases and Indexes for Full Text Articles <ul><li>When searching any database, your search results will lead you to a list of articles on your topic or subject. </li></ul>
  8. 11. <ul><li>In the example below, the citation from the Scholars Portal database informs you that the “Full-Text PDF” file of the article is available. If there is no Full-Text link in your search results look for the Get-It! button. You may still be able to find the full text of the article. </li></ul>
  9. 12. What If the Full Text is Still Not Available? <ul><li>If you have a journal citation, and need a quick way to see if the journal is owned by the University of Toronto Libraries, click on the article finder link located at the bottom of the Library catalogue homepage. </li></ul>
  10. 13. How Do I Know If My Article Is Peer-Reviewed? <ul><li>Go to the library catalogue </li></ul><ul><li>Go to E-Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Click Article Databases & Indexes </li></ul><ul><li>Type in “Ulrich’s Periodical Directory”. </li></ul>
  11. 16. What is a Peer-Reviewed Article? <ul><li>The main purpose of a scholarly journal is to report on original research or experimentation in order to make such information available to the rest of the scholarly world. </li></ul><ul><li>Articles are documented using foot notes and/or a bibliography or a works cited list of sources used. </li></ul><ul><li>Articles are written by a scholar in the field or by someone who has done research in the field. The affiliations of the authors are listed, usually at the bottom of the first page or at the end of the article--universities, research institutions, think tanks, and the like. </li></ul>
  12. 17. Exercise Time Hahaha!!! Are you ready?
  13. 18. A student came in and asked the following: “Computer in Industry” “ISSN 0166-3615”
  14. 23. II. Searching Library Catalogue for known items <ul><ul><li>What is a citation? </li></ul></ul>
  15. 24. What is a citation? <ul><li>Definition: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information which fully identifies a publication. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A complete citation usually includes author, title, name of journal (if the citation is to an article) or publisher (if to a book), and date. Often pages, volumes and other information will be included in a citation. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 25. Book citation vs. Journal citation Examples – Printed bibliography/works cited list:
  17. 26. Different types of citations <ul><li>A book: </li></ul><ul><li>Damasio, A. R. (1994). Descartes’ error . New York: Grosste/Putnam. </li></ul><ul><li>A chapter/an article in a book: </li></ul><ul><li>Bless, H. (2000). The interplay of affect and cognition: The mediating role of general knowledge structures. In J. P. Forgas (Ed.), Feeling and thinking: The role of affect in social cognition (pp. 201-222). New York: Cambridge University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Journal: </li></ul><ul><li>Argyle, M. (1985). Social skills training. Bulletin of the British Psychological Society, 38 , 340-341. </li></ul>
  18. 27. Reading Journal citations (a) From an online index:
  19. 28. Online Journal citation TI: How self-reliant imagination affects memory for behaviour AU: Thomas, Ayana K; Hannula, Deborah E; Loftus, Elizabeth SO: Applied Cognitive Psychology . Vol 21 ( 1 ), Jan 2007 , pp. 69-86 * The title of the journal is ( Applied Cognitive Psychology ), volume ( 21 ), issue ( 1 ), pages ( 69-86 ), and the date of publication ( January 2007 ).
  20. 29. Reading Journal citations (b) From a printed bibliography/works cited list: Thomas, Ayanna K; Hannula, Deborah E; Loftus, Elizabeth F. (2007) How Self-Relevant Imagination Affects Memory for Behaviour. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 21(1), 69-86 * Author. (year of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal. Volume, pages.
  21. 30. Exercise Time Hahaha!!! Are you ready?
  22. 31. III. Searching for unknown items in the Library Catalogue <ul><li>Subject search: </li></ul><ul><li>When you know the correct subject heading which is a formal set of vocabulary called “Library of Congress Subject Headings” </li></ul>
  23. 33. Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
  24. 34. <ul><li>Keyword search: </li></ul><ul><li>Use when you are not sure of the correct subject heading </li></ul><ul><li>Results more relevant as you master more advanced techniques such as boolean and truncation </li></ul>
  25. 35. <ul><li>Truncation </li></ul><ul><li>Truncation : $ (U of T library catalogue) </li></ul><ul><li>Used to find variations in spelling and tenses, words with similar roots but different suffixes </li></ul><ul><li>Rules: </li></ul><ul><li>- any number of letters (0-100) in or at the end of word. </li></ul><ul><li>behavio $ r will find “behavior”, “behaviour”; </li></ul><ul><li>- can set an upper limit. </li></ul><ul><li>behav$3 will find “behavioral”, “behavior”, “behaving” </li></ul><ul><li>- must precede by at least three letters. </li></ul><ul><li> employ $ will retrieve “employ”, “employs”, “employee”, </li></ul><ul><li>“ employment”, “employer”, “employed” </li></ul>
  26. 36. Wildcard <ul><li>Wildcard : ? (U of T library catalogue) </li></ul><ul><li>Used when you are unsure of the spelling. </li></ul><ul><li>One letter in or at the end of search word. </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple wildcards can be used to substitute for an equal number of characters. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><li>wom ? n will find “wom a n”, “wom e n” </li></ul><ul><li>economi ?? will find “economi es ”, “economi st ”, economi cs </li></ul><ul><li>(can use truncation to replace wildcard in this case: economi $2 ) </li></ul><ul><li>196 ? Finds all dates in the 1960’s </li></ul>
  27. 37. Truncation vs. Wildcard <ul><li>Tips: </li></ul><ul><li>Different databases use different truncation and wildcard symbols. For example, U of T library catalogue uses “ $ ” for truncation, Proquest database uses “ * ” </li></ul><ul><li>Truncation can replace any number of letters in or at the end of a word, though a limit can be set; wildcard replaces only one letter . </li></ul><ul><li>Note where to put the truncation symbol: too soon in the word, get lots of irrelevant results. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: “eco$” may retrieve “ecology”, “ecologist” etc. instead of “economy”, “economist” etc. </li></ul>
  28. 38. <ul><li>When using truncation or wildcard, you must be aware of what field you are searching in, because the results will vary drastically. </li></ul>
  29. 41. Exercise Time Hahaha!!! Are you ready?
  30. 42. IV. Searching Journal Indexes/Databases
  31. 43. What is an index or a database? <ul><li>What is an index? </li></ul><ul><li>any organized collection of information. </li></ul><ul><li>store information about people, books, products, or anything else. </li></ul><ul><li>Most, but not all, databases are computerized. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><li>Telephone directory </li></ul><ul><li>Yahoo subject directory </li></ul><ul><li>Library catalogue </li></ul>
  32. 44. Telephone Directory <ul><li>- Organized collection of information about people </li></ul>
  33. 45. Yahoo Subject Directory - A subject directory contains an overview of subjects, subdivided into often quite broad categories such as art, recreation, science.
  34. 46. Library Catalogue - an organized database of books and other collections in the library
  35. 47. Types of databases <ul><li>Main types of databases: </li></ul><ul><li>Bibliographic: library catalogues, article indexes </li></ul><ul><li>Full-text: Jstor, Project Muse </li></ul><ul><li>Numeric databases: CANSIM (Canadian Socio-economic Information Management System) </li></ul><ul><li>Journal database/index is a searchable database of citations to articles published in a field. </li></ul>
  36. 48. Database consists of…… <ul><li>Records </li></ul><ul><li>Each record represents one item in the database. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Library catalogue </li></ul>This is a record . This is a record . These are records too ! These are records too ! These are records too !
  37. 49. Each record consists of…… <ul><li>Fields </li></ul><ul><li>Each field provides a particular piece of information about </li></ul><ul><li>the item, e.g., author, title, publication year etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Library catalogue </li></ul>Title Publication information Subject Author ISBN
  38. 50. Searching Journal Indexes/Databases <ul><li>Analyze the topic </li></ul><ul><li>Research = Analysis + Synthesis </li></ul><ul><li>Concept map </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Concept maps are diagrams that can be used to organize ideas relating to a particular topic. </li></ul></ul>
  39. 51. Concept Map Topic/Main Idea Related Issue Related Issue Related Issue Related Issue Example Example Example Example Example Example Example Example Example
  40. 52. Concept Map Discuss the benefits of exercise to reduce stress. Exercises can reduce stress Exercises Advantages Of exercises Outcomes of exercises Results of stress Gym Running Swimming Anytime, anywhere Relaxed Sense of well-being Feeling sick Sleepless -ness Good for health Tennis Nervous Sleep well
  41. 53. How to find journal articles on a topic? <ul><li>Step 1: Summarize your topic </li></ul><ul><li>State your topic in one or two sentences. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>I want to find information on how television affects children’s aggressive behaviour. </li></ul>
  42. 54. <ul><li>Step 2: Identify Concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Underline or circle the main concepts/ideas represented in your topic statement. </li></ul><ul><li>Most topics can be broken down into 2 or 3 main concepts. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>I want to find how television affects children’s aggressive behaviour . </li></ul>
  43. 55. <ul><li>It will look like this: </li></ul>aggressive behaviour children television Concept 3 Concept 2 Concept 1
  44. 56. <ul><li>Step 3: Select concept words/phrases </li></ul><ul><li>Create a list of words/phrases which describes each of your underlined/circled concepts identified in step 2. </li></ul><ul><li>Think of synonyms, various forms of spelling, and/or related words </li></ul>aggression aggressive behaviour violence violent children child teens youth adolescence adolescent television tv media Keywords 3 Keywords 2 Keywords 1
  45. 57. <ul><li>Step 4: Connect words and concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Use boolean operators – OR, AND, NOT </li></ul><ul><li>Boolean logic takes its name </li></ul><ul><li>from British mathematician </li></ul><ul><li>George Boole (1815-1864) </li></ul><ul><li>A system of logic designed to </li></ul><ul><li>produce better search results </li></ul><ul><li>by formulating precise queries. </li></ul>
  46. 58. Step A: Connect words/phrases with the OR operator within EACH concept OR broadens a search. Any of the listed words can appear in the same concept or article. <ul><li>Broadens the search for alternate terms, synonyms, and related concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Get more results </li></ul>OR operator Aged Seniors Records here contain keyword “aged” or “seniors” or both as shown by the area shaded in green
  47. 59. <ul><li>Step B: Connect different concepts with the AND or NOT operator. </li></ul><ul><li>AND operator </li></ul>Records here contain keyword “stress” and “health” as shown by the area shaded in green <ul><li>Narrowing your search to records with keywords you have chosen </li></ul>Stress Results: 255 citations Health Results: 780 citations Stress AND health Results: 72 citations
  48. 60. <ul><li>NOT narrows a search by specifying that a word or concept must not appear in the same article. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: To find articles on the Jurassic era, but exclude anything on the novel, &quot;Jurassic Park.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>jurassic not park </li></ul><ul><li> NOT operator </li></ul>Records of these two areas will be eliminated. Results only include the shaded green area. <ul><li>Narrowing your search by exclusion </li></ul>Park Jurassic
  49. 61. <ul><li>It will look like this: </li></ul>aggression OR aggressive behaviour Concept 3 AND children OR child OR teens media OR television OR tv Concept 2 AND Concept 1
  50. 62. How to find journal articles on a topic? <ul><li>Select appropriate index </li></ul>
  51. 63. How to find journal articles on a topic? <ul><li>Steps: </li></ul><ul><li>Go to the U of T Library home page </li></ul><ul><li>Click on “Let us recommend the best database for your topic” link </li></ul><ul><li>(Alternatively, go through the </li></ul><ul><li>UTM library home page >Students >Article Databases) </li></ul><ul><li>Choose one of the subject areas listed on the page. For example: Social Sciences, then, click on the “Go” button </li></ul><ul><li>Select one of the databases listed on the page under the heading “Best Article Databases”. </li></ul><ul><li>Now, you can start your search using keywords on your topic. </li></ul>
  52. 64. <ul><li>Overview: </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze the topic </li></ul><ul><li>Identify concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Select keywords and appropriate use of search strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Select appropriate search tools </li></ul><ul><li>Search the article </li></ul>
  53. 65. Exercise Time Hahaha!!! Are you ready?
  54. 66. How to find journal articles on a topic? <ul><li>Tips: </li></ul><ul><li>In developing keyword lists, consider possible hierarchical relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>Broader term vs. narrower term: Handicraft vs. miniature craft </li></ul><ul><li>Country vs. particular geographical location: Canada vs. Ontario vs. Toronto </li></ul><ul><li>Use Boolean operators “and” to combine multiple concepts, “or” to combine multiple terms for each concepts and put them in sets of brackets. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>(children or child or kids) and (television or tv or mass media) and (violence or violent) </li></ul>
  55. 67. How to find journal articles on a topic? <ul><li>Use truncation (“$” or “*” etc.) (depends on database) </li></ul><ul><li>to broaden your search and for various spellings </li></ul><ul><li>Example in Proquest: </li></ul><ul><li>(child* or kid*) and (television or tv or mass media) and (violen*) </li></ul><ul><li>Consider using proximity operators, for example, NEAR, to retrieve relevant results </li></ul><ul><li>Limit searches to field, language, year, publication type if necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Critically evaluate the results </li></ul><ul><li>Revise search strategy and repeat the search in the same database or other databases. </li></ul>
  56. 68. Application of search strategies in Library Catalogue <ul><li>Tips: </li></ul><ul><li>Beware of different symbols use : Truncation, wildcard </li></ul>Truncation: * Truncation: $ Scholars Portal, Proquest: U of T library catalogue:
  57. 69. Example Searches – U of T Library Catalogue <ul><li>Find books on the effects of television violence on children </li></ul><ul><li>(tv or television) and violen $ and (child $ or teen $ or youth $ or adolescen $ ) </li></ul>
  58. 70. Example Searches – Scholars Portal <ul><li>Find articles on the effects of television violence on children </li></ul><ul><li>(tv or television) and violen * and (child * or teen * or youth * or adolescen * ) </li></ul>
  59. 71. THANK YOU! <ul><li>Thank you all for your participation in the workshop! </li></ul>
  60. 72. Answers
  61. 73. This is what search strategy will look like in an article database, such as Scholars Portal.
  62. 74. This is how the result list looks like.
  63. 75. Here are the marked records:
  64. 76. You should get a confirmation: You should get a confirmation:
  65. 78. Keyword Searching <ul><li>When would you use keyword searching? </li></ul><ul><li>there is no subject heading for your topic (the topic or concept is very current) </li></ul><ul><li>subject headings are too broad </li></ul><ul><li>want to combine several subjects or concepts </li></ul>