Chem 2500 Spr13- Nagel


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  • The library has identified 6 learning outcomes related to Information Literacy, or the ability to find, evaluate and use information. This presentation addresses the 3 of these here. Specifically, how to Develop a search strategy, Evaluate information resources, and Implement and refine search strategies.
  • For most of your academic research, you’re going to find information in books, articles, or online resources. Each of these provides different kinds of information and is found in different places.
  • It is very important that you have a well-thought out, yet flexible, search strategy in place before you begin your research. There is no one right search strategy for every topic and by remaining flexible we can maximize our chances of success. The first step is to identify your main concepts and come up with as many synonyms and related terms for them as you can. These will become your search terms.If any of your search terms make up a phrase, use quotation marks or parentheses to keep those terms together. Boolean operators are special terms that tell the computer how to search for your terms. When you use AND in between 2 terms, the computer looks for records that include both of those terms. This narrows your search and results in FEWER results. Using OR tells the computer to return results with either of those terms. This expands your search and returns MORE results. NOT tells the computer to exclude results that include that term.
  • Using the Developing a Search Strategy worksheet, the first step is to decide on a topic to research. A research topic is rarely about ONE thing. So think of 2 or 3 main concepts that you’ll be investigating. Then come up with as many synonyms and related terms as you can. In the table, write your main concepts in the top row and the synonyms below each term. These become your search terms that you will combine with Boolean operators to search any database or search engine. When one combination of terms and operators doesn’t work, simply try another. As you search, keep an eye out for new terms and synonyms that you can add to your chart.
  • Now that you have your “words” to search with, you have to know where to put them. There are different search methods depending on which part of an items record you want to search. An item record or bibliographic record contains all of the important identifying information about a piece of information. Kind of like your driver’s license. A keyword search searches for your term or terms in every field of the record. Any other type of search searches only in the specified field. For example, imagine all of your driver’s license information was in a database to which I had access. If I did a keyword search for “green”, I would get results for people with green eyes, people who have the last name Green, and people who live on Green St. But, if I did an eye color search for green, I would only retrieve results for people with green eyes because the computer would only look in the eye color field. Keyword searches return more results but they may be less accurate. If I was only interested in green eyed people and did a keyword search, I’d have to wade through all of the Greens living on Green St to get to the records I wanted. One type of specific search is Subject searching. Subject searching uses specific language and returns precise results. If you don’t know the correct terminology, however, subject searching won’t be as effective. You should start with keyword searching and use your results to figure out what subject terms to use. Different databases offer different options for search fields. Most will offer title and author, but some subject specific databases will have additional fields relevant to that discipline.
  • Here are some examples of search boxes. Look at how they differ with regard to the use of Boolean operators and different fields. The last example is from Google scholar. It’s using Boolean searching without the operators. Can you tell which descriptions replace which search methods?
  • For most of your academic research, you’re going to find information in books, articles, or online resources. Each of these provides different kinds of information and is found in different places.
  • Information found in books is different from that found in articles. Books offer a more comprehensive treatment of a subject while an article will have a more in-depth yet more narrowly focused perspective on that subject. Books may provide analyses from multiple experts’ perspectives while an article will typically reports on specific research done by an individual or small group. This is why books are hundreds of pages long while articles may only be a few pages. Books offer an historical perspective partly because they take so long to create and publish. Articles appear in journals which are published multiple times a year, therefore the information is newer or contemporary to the time period. Articles may be popular and published in a magazine like Scientific American or they may be scholarly and published in a journal like the Journal of Chemical Education. In contrast to these, online resources are as up to date as possible. It only takes a few seconds to publish something to the Web. Because anyone can publish anything, this means you can find an infinite variety of perspectives on a broad range of subjects. It also means that you can’t be sure of the reliability of the information. It’s important to always use reliable sources when using the internet for research. When you’re looking for books, you want to look in a catalog. To find articles, you’ll look in a database. Today we’re going to look at some databases you might use when doing research for chemistry assignments.
  • A database is a digitized collection of information that can be easily searched and retrieved. Let’s go back to our driver’s licenses. Right now if I wanted to figure out how many of you had green eyes (without outright asking you), I would collect your driver’s licenses, look at each one, separate the green eyes into one pile, and then call out the names of the ones I’d selected. However, if all of the information was entered into a database, I could ask the computer to search for green in the eye color field and it would return a list of your names. Much easier! But, not all databases are created equal and not all of them index the same information. For that reason, we currently have access at CSU to hundreds of databases, and you need to know how to figure out which one is right for you. This may change depending on your research, so it’s important to know how to evaluate databases according to your needs.To evaluate databases we look at the scope, content and special features. The scope is what subjects are included in the database. Databases can be general in scope or subject-specific. Our driver’s license database may include only chemistry students, or it might include students from all departments and majors. The content is what information can be retrieved from the database. Our database can return names, addresses, eye color, height, weight, and even pictures, but it can’t return your driving record. Real databases may include just the bibliographic data or a summary of articles or they may also include the full-text of the articles.
  • These are the databases we’ll be searching today. Some of these are subscription based and are only available to you as a CSU student. You will have to access them on campus or use your SWAN credentials to access them from home. The ones in blue are free online for anyone to use. As we look at each database, use the Database Evaluation worksheet to make note of the scope, content, and special features of each one to aid you in deciding which database or databases to use for your research.
  • To search in a specific database, you’ll start at the library home page, click on Find Articles, and go to our A-Z Resource List to find the database you need.
  • We’ll start with ACS Publications. This is a database the library purchased especially for you guys above and beyond what is included in our Galileo package, so please use it. This is a subject-specific database that offers the full-text of publications of the American Chemical Society. In addition to keyword searching it offers Citation and DOI searching. Can anyone define either of those terms for me?Let’s take a look at ACS.
  • Next up is the Science & Technology Collection which is an EBSCOhost database. This is another subject-specific database that offers some articles in full-text. Where it says indexed, this means that the database only has bibliographic data for these articles, not the full-text. But, you may find the full-text in another database, like ACS. EBSCOhost databases offer a neat Visual Search feature that we’ll take a look at after learning about the next database.
  • General Science Full Text is another subject-specific database from EBSCOhost. The scope is more broad than Science & Technology but it includes fewer journal titles. Some of the titles may overlap between the two databases, but there are some unique ones. Fortunately we can search them both at once. Let’s do that now.
  • JSTOR is a special database because it provides access to the full-text of some really old journal titles, some dating back to the 1600s. I know I said earlier that articles are best when you’re looking for new information, but when you look at historic journal articles, you are researching what was new at that point in time. It can provide you with a different insight into the history of a subject . JSTOR is a multidisciplinary database.
  • The databases we’ve reviewed so far have been subscription based and you must be affiliated with an institution or purchase a subscription in order to access them. The Public Library of Science, on the other hand, is available free online for anyone to access. It’s not technically a database but rather the online home of the PLOS journals. PLOS journals are all peer-reviewed and open-access. Who can define these terms for me?For chemistry research, you’ll probably have the best luck with the journal PLOS ONE, but let’s take a look at the PLOS site now to see the rest.
  • PubMed is another online database, this one published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information which is a part of the National Institutes of Health. PubMed is a subject-specific database for biomedical literature. PubMed only provides citation level information. What does this mean?To access the full-text of articles indexed in PubMed, you’ll have to look in another database, use the external links (if provided), or request the article through interlibrary loan. PubMed can help you with your research by suggesting citations to articles related to your search results. Let’s take a look
  • Discover Galileo is not a database but a tool you can use to search multiple databases at once. Using the Discover tool can result in a large number of results some of which you wouldn’t get by searching your individual databases. However, the number and potential irrelevancy of results can be overwhelming, so you need to be prepared to refine your initial search.
  • If your initial search doesn’t return any results, DON’T GIVE UP! Switch up your keywords and Boolean operators or try a different database. A flexible search is a successful search.
  • If you are getting citation results for your search but no full-text articles, DON’T GIVE UP! Try your search in a different a different database. Use the Journals A-Z list in Galileo and the ACS Publications. If you still can’t access the full-text, check the CSU catalog to see if we subscribe to it in print. Finally, submit an ILL database to have the article sent electronically to your CSU email account.
  • Chem 2500 Spr13- Nagel

    1. 1. LIBRARY INSTRUCTIONCHEM 2500Erin L. NagelSpring 2013
    2. 2. Information Literacy Outcomes Recognize an information need and formulate research questions  Develop a search strategy Identify a variety of types and sources of information  Evaluate information resources Efficiently access information relevant to the identified need  Implement and refine search strategy
    3. 3. Search termsBoolean operatorsSearch methodsDEVELOPING A SEARCH STRATEGY
    4. 4. Search strategy Identify main concepts and related terms Use “ “ or ( ) to keep words together & in order, i.e., “radiation chemistry” or (radiation chemistry) Connect with Boolean operators • AND isAND = narrow automatically used by Google and other search engines to combine terms.OR = expand • Sometimes a program will use a + or – toNOT = exclude substitute for AND or NOT
    5. 5. Search terms Use these anywhere CONCEPT 1 CONCEPT 2 CONCEPT 3 OR OR OR AND AND OR OR OR• (Concept1 OR Synonym1A) AND Concept 2• Concept 1 AND (Concept2 OR Synonym2B) AND Concept3• (Concept1 OR Synonym1A OR Synonym1B) AND Synonym3A
    6. 6. Search methods• Keyword • Everyday language • Searches everywhere in an item’s record • MORE results, but may be LESS accurate• Subject • Formal language • Specific, predetermined terms • FEWER results, but may be MORE accurate• Other fields • Search in specific fields like Title or Author • Options vary by database
    7. 7. Search Methods
    8. 8. BooksArticlesOnline resourcesKNOW WHERE TO LOOK
    9. 9. Types of information Books Articles Online Sources comprehensive  narrowly  today’s information focused information historical perspective  broad, variety perspective  contemporary perspective expert analysis or new  questionable find book titles information reliability and in a catalog  may be stability popular, trade, o  find resources r scholarly from reliable  find articles in a online sources database
    10. 10. Databases An electronic collection of information indexed and made searchable for easy retrieval. May be general in scope, covering a variety of topics, or they may be subject-specific, focusing on a single discipline. May consist of:  bibliographic data (author, title, publication info)  abstracts,  full-text documents,  images,  video or  other digitized information.
    11. 11. Today’s databases ACS Publications Science & Technology Collection General Science Full Text JSTOR Public Library of Science (PLoS) PubMed Discover GALILEO*Subscription basedFree online
    12. 12. Find Databases
    13. 13. ACS Publications American Chemical Society Full-text books, newsletters, and journal articles Range of subjects and disciplines related to chemistry, physics, and biology Citation and DOI finders Create an account to save searches and set up RSS feeds
    14. 14. Science & TechnologyCollection EBSCO Publishing 800+ full-text journals from 1911-present; 1800+ journals indexed from 1900-present Subjects include aeronautics, astrophysics, biology, chemistry, co mputer technology Visual search feature Create account to save searches and create alerts
    15. 15. General Science Full Text EBSCO Publishing ~100 full-text journals from 1996-present; ~300 journals indexed from 1982- present General science topics Visual search feature Create account to save searches and create alerts
    16. 16. JSTOR Journal STORage Over 2,000 full-text titles, some dating back to 17th century Multidisciplinary database. No chemistry specific journals Create account to save searches and set up alerts Citation Finder
    17. 17. PLOS Public Library of Science Seven peer-reviewed, open-access journals, full- text PLOS ONE covers all areas of science and medicine Create account to receive alerts and comment on articles
    18. 18. PubMed National Center for Biotechnology Information Over 22 million citations for biomedical literature Find full-text in other databases or through external links Suggests related citations Create account to save searches and get email alerts
    19. 19. Discover GALILEO Search hundreds of databases at once Over 10,000 full-text journals, books, and multimedia content Create account to save searches and set up alerts Search first, refine later
    20. 20. What to do when things don’t go quite rightTROUBLESHOOTING
    21. 21. What if I don’t get any results?Give upSwitch topicsReplace keywords with synonymsAdd or modify Boolean operatorsLook in a different database
    22. 22. What if it’s not full-text?Give upSwitch topicsLook in a different databaseLook for the title in print in the CSU catalogRequest the title through ILL
    23. 23. Putting it all togetherDevelop a search strategyDecide where to lookBe flexible!Next stepsCritically evaluate information using applicable criteriaAppropriately use information to fulfill the identified needGo to for tips on evaluating and citing sources