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cm121 Basic Library Info Part 1


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This is part 1 of 2 parts about the basics of library research at the Globe Education Nework Library:

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cm121 Basic Library Info Part 1

  1. 1. Introduction to Library Research Part 1: The research process and searching strategies Welcome! Contact me if you have questions. Elaine Settergren: [email_address] Jan 2009 – Elaine Settergren
  2. 2. Today’s Library Lessons <ul><li>The Research Process </li></ul><ul><li>Three Types of Searching </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subject Searching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Citation Chasing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keyword Searching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Boolean operators! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Narrow and Broaden your searches </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. What is research anyway? <ul><li>Research is a PROCESS </li></ul><ul><li>Step 1: Choose a topic </li></ul><ul><li>Step 2: Exploratory research </li></ul><ul><li>Step 3: Working bibliography </li></ul><ul><li>Step 4: Research question / tentative thesis </li></ul><ul><li>Step 5: Focused research </li></ul><ul><li>Step 6: Final thesis </li></ul>
  4. 4. Choose a topic <ul><li>Understand the assignment </li></ul><ul><li>Pick a topic that interests you </li></ul><ul><li>Start general </li></ul><ul><li>Explore possible avenues to your topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about related issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm : What causes road rage? Why are people angry while driving? Has road rage increased recently? </li></ul><ul><li>Topic: road rage </li></ul>
  5. 5. Exploratory research <ul><li>Read some basic works on your topic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference materials, textbooks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use your topic term(s) in your search </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A basic search on “road rage” to shows us a selection of what’s been written on the topic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Get ideas for future searches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anger? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychology? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aggressive driving? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Exploratory research <ul><li>Why not skip this step? You need it to: </li></ul><ul><li>Get a basic understanding = intelligently refine your research question </li></ul><ul><li>Start gauging the scope of your topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Is it feasible? </li></ul><ul><li>* There may be so much written on your topic you </li></ul><ul><li> will never fit it all in one class paper </li></ul><ul><li>* OR it may be really hard to find information on your topic. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not cheating to adjust your topic to make it feasible. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Get ideas for keywords, topics, sources </li></ul>
  7. 7. Use your sources efficiently <ul><li>Articles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on: Abstract, introduction, conclusions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>E-books </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search the book for relevant material </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You don’t have to read the whole thing! </li></ul><ul><li>But DO read enough to UNDERSTAND the CONTEXT </li></ul>
  8. 8. Working Bibliography Start a bibliography and get in the practice of making proper citations for everything right away. <ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Need citations later anyway </li></ul><ul><li>Harder to lose your work </li></ul><ul><li>Easier to go back (to check info, for “chaining”) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Sample Working Bibliography <ul><li>Brewer, A. (2000, January). Road rage: what, who, when, where and how?. Transport Reviews , 20 (1), 49-64. Retrieved July 18, 2007, from EBSCO MegaFILE database. </li></ul><ul><li>Mann, R., Zhao, J., Stoduto, G., Adlaf, E., Smart, R., & Donovan, J. (2007, July). Road Rage and Collision Involvement. American Journal of Health Behavior , 31 (4), 384-391. Retrieved July 18, 2007, from EBSCO MegaFILE database. </li></ul><ul><li>Lawton, R. and Nutter, A. (2002). A comparison of reported levels and expression of anger in everyday and driving situations. British Journal of Psychology,3   93 , 407-423. Retrieved July 18, 2007, from ProQuest Psychology Journals database. </li></ul><ul><li>Joint, M. (1995, March). Road rage. The Automobile Association Group Public Policy Road Safety Unit. AAA. Retrieved July 18, 2007, from </li></ul>
  10. 10. Research Question and Tentative Thesis <ul><li>Research Question </li></ul><ul><li>Based on Exploratory research </li></ul><ul><li>Usually more specific than your brainstorming question </li></ul><ul><li>Open ended </li></ul><ul><li>Tentative Thesis </li></ul><ul><li>Best guess to the answer of your research question </li></ul><ul><li>You’ll try to support this with your research </li></ul>
  11. 11. Research Question and Tentative Thesis <ul><li>Compare: </li></ul><ul><li>Research question: </li></ul><ul><li>What causes road rage? </li></ul><ul><li>Tentative Thesis: </li></ul><ul><li>The relatively recent phenomenon of road rage is caused by the latest influx of traffic and stress. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Does that sound like a lot of work? <ul><li>Well don’t be depressed – in reality, you could easily go through steps 1-4 in an afternoon. </li></ul><ul><li>The heavy-duty work comes next! </li></ul>
  13. 13. Focused Research <ul><li>Answer your research question </li></ul><ul><li>Refine your tentative thesis with specific information </li></ul><ul><li>With the road rage example, we might look for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Case studies of road rage victims </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research papers on aggression or anger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scholarly psychological analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facts, figures, statements from authorities </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Final Thesis <ul><li>Use your research and the arguments you’re going to use in your paper to revise your thesis. </li></ul><ul><li>At this time, you can take your tentative thesis </li></ul><ul><li>revise it to better reflect your findings, and </li></ul><ul><li>settle on your final thesis statement. </li></ul>The final thesis often doesn’t finalize until you are working on your rough draft. There’s also a lot of wiggle-room here. You can go back for more research and more thesis refining, as many times as you need to.
  15. 15. Final Thesis Oh NO! My research findings are the opposite of my thesis statement! Don’t trash it! Not every research paper has to prove that something is – lots of research proves that something is not the answer.
  16. 16. Example Final Thesis Example: Research question : Is hypnosis a good weight loss strategy? Tentative thesis : Hypnosis helps you lose weight. Research shows : Hypnosis has never been proven to aid weight loss. Final thesis : Hypnosis has potentials to be a good weight loss strategy, but several medical studies show hypnosis to have no effect on weight loss or dieting.
  17. 17. In sum… <ul><li>Start with a question or general idea </li></ul><ul><li>Research to find information, facts </li></ul><ul><li>Build thesis statement that is based on reality (the information that you found) </li></ul>
  18. 18. THIS IS BACKWARDS <ul><li>Brainstorm a specific thesis right away </li></ul><ul><li>Decide your arguments for the paper </li></ul><ul><li>Start writing your paper </li></ul><ul><li>Now start your research! </li></ul><ul><li>5. Despair and sorrow </li></ul>
  19. 19. Tragedy of Backwards Research <ul><li>You might find: </li></ul><ul><li>No facts to support your arguments </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of data that disproves your thesis </li></ul><ul><li>Research may partially support your thesis, but not with the arguments you had planned (and started writing out) </li></ul><ul><li>You = Rewriting your paper = </li></ul>
  20. 20. OK! Let’s research! When you jump right in to research you may find that you are…
  21. 21. “ Begin the endnotes on a new page after the last page of the paper and preceding the bibliography.” James Knox Polk was born in Mechlenburg County, NC on Nov. 2, 1795. Matsushita is the largest manufacturer of electrical consumer goods in the world… Certosina: a style originally associated with Carthusian monasteries, made with pieces of wood, bone and mother-of-pearl arranged in geometrical patterns Alveolitis: inflammation of the alveoli … by emphasizing different components of the syllogism covered in section A. Vibrissae: stiff hairs within the nostrils at the anterior nares Epoetin Alpha: Trade and other names: Epogen, epoetin alfa. Drug class: hormone. 156846843516553131354321 6541321651 651681606546465404 65354 3541651035466 4384 654 6 364 3541 654065460454 540543 6361 4 FEELING OVERWHELMED BY INFORMATION?
  22. 22. No need to panic!
  23. 23. <ul><li>Make sense of the information </li></ul><ul><li>overload! </li></ul><ul><li>Plan your search </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use the Research Project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Calculator tool: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set aside the time! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trial and Error : Discover synonyms and related terms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep track of what & where you search and what you find to stay organized </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Choose the right research tool </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Match the sources to the topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Look for recent news on the web or newspapers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Look for scholarly info in a database </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. 3 Ways to Search <ul><li>Subject Searching </li></ul><ul><li>Citation Chasing </li></ul><ul><li>Keyword Searching </li></ul>
  25. 25. Types of searching <ul><li>Subject Searching </li></ul><ul><li>“ What’s the secret word?” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Databases and catalogs have indexes of words that their search already “knows” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using the Subject Index will help you: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find the most efficient search terms for that resource </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Get ideas for new search terms to try </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Subject Searching <ul><li>These are all ways to search by subject: </li></ul><ul><li>Search the subject index </li></ul><ul><li>Some databases offer subject suggestions . Click on these to access the subjects. </li></ul><ul><li>Or click on subject headings in your search results or in the article record. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Types of searching <ul><li>Citation chasing </li></ul><ul><li>“ Please sir, can I have some more?” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One great resource = many great resources!!! </li></ul></ul>Use the Bibliography! <ul><li>Pros of citation chasing: </li></ul><ul><li>Authors usually cite sources that discuss similar topics </li></ul><ul><li>You’ll have all the information for easily searching the databases </li></ul><ul><li>Con of citation chasing: </li></ul><ul><li>No guarantees that the cited sources will also be in available online in the Globe Education Network library </li></ul>
  28. 28. Types of searching <ul><li>Keyword </li></ul><ul><li>“ Okay does ANYTHING mention left-handed Indonesian stunt kites?” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Always remember: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keyword searching = “everywhere” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>including author names, summaries and sometimes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>even full text of article (book, website, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keyword searching by default is kind of “stupid” (unless we help it out) </li></ul></ul>Here’s an example…
  29. 29. Potential problems of keyword searching <ul><li>Topic = cats , as in : </li></ul><ul><li>A basic keyword search will give you results about </li></ul><ul><li>But also author’s last name of “ Cats ”, </li></ul><ul><li>even articles he wrote, even though </li></ul><ul><li>they may be about new </li></ul><ul><li>socket gears </li></ul><ul><li>or something unrelated to: </li></ul>CATS
  30. 30. Potential problems of keyword searching <ul><li>And what about: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reviews of “ Cats: the musical ”? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Excerpts from the book “ Cat’s Cradle ?” </li></ul><ul><li>Or writers using the word just once in an article, like in a saying or cliché: “ The cat’s out of the bag: Apple introduced its new iPhone today at …” </li></ul>All of this could come up when just keyword searching on “cats”
  31. 31. The Good News about Keyword <ul><li>Keyword is very useful when you: </li></ul><ul><li>Are using specific terminology </li></ul><ul><li>Building specific search strings </li></ul><ul><li>Need to search full-text </li></ul><ul><li>Need to do any sort of broad search </li></ul>Okay - does ANYTHING mention left-handed Indonesian stunt kites?”
  32. 32. Keyword Word Choices <ul><li>Word (term) choices are important </li></ul><ul><li>Be selective. Choose descriptive words. </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brainstorm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select from thesis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broader, narrower, and related terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Time , Place , Population , and Viewpoint </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trial and error </li></ul></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Strategies Brainstorming Keywords <ul><li>How many keywords can you think of that are related to the word “pitch”? </li></ul>
  34. 34. Selecting Search Terms <ul><li>It’s good to have options so you can try different terms in different databases </li></ul><ul><li>Say your topic is: The economic impact of the great dust storms of the 1930’s on the farmers of the great plains. </li></ul><ul><li>What are the important terms here? </li></ul>
  35. 35. Selecting Search Terms <ul><li>The economic impact of the great dust storms of the 1930’s on the farmers of the great plains . </li></ul><ul><li>Using the word “ impact ” on its own is useless. It’s not descriptive enough of the topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Using agriculture instead of farmers is a good option. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Selecting Search Terms <ul><li>You can use these strategies to narrow or broaden your search: </li></ul><ul><li>Time , Place , Population , and Viewpoint </li></ul><ul><li>i.e. original topic: dust bowl </li></ul><ul><li>narrowed topic: </li></ul><ul><li>The economic impact of the great dust storms of the 1930’s on the farmers of the great plains . </li></ul>
  37. 37. Strategies Brainstorming Keywords <ul><li>Notice that some are broader or narrower keywords. Others are related . </li></ul>Fruit Agriculture Apples Canning
  38. 38. Keyword Strategies <ul><li>Use quotation marks for phrases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ total quality management” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ right to choose” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ macaroni and cheese” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Truncation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Symbols (* ? !) take place of letters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Politic* = politician, politicians, political, politics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wom?n = woman, women </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Combining with Boolean operators: AND, OR, NOT </li></ul>
  39. 39. Boolean Operators: AND <ul><li>AND makes your search more specific </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The more ANDs you include the more specific/narrow your search becomes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>children AND anxiety  only items with both words </li></ul></ul>Children in Iowa Anxiety in Iowa Anxiety in Children Anxiety is Okay Children in Anxiety Children are Okay
  40. 40. <ul><li>OR broadens the search </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The more ORs you include the more broad your search becomes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>wages OR salaries  items with either term </li></ul></ul>Wages for Mediocre Work Salaries of Good Salesmen Getting Paid to Sleep Dogs Earn Salaries Minimum Wage Raise Your Wages Boolean Operators: OR May or may not be included in the results because it’s singular and you were searching plural
  41. 41. <ul><li>NOT excludes unrelated terms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. jazz NOT Utah  leaves out items about the Utah Jazz basketball team </li></ul></ul>Jazz Through Time 2004 Utah Jazz Lineup Music Is Nice History Of Utah Jazz Music Weekly: Jazz Scene in Utah History of Jazz Music Boolean Operators: NOT
  42. 42. Boolean Operators <ul><li>Combine these as much as you need </li></ul><ul><li>Cats AND declaw* AND humane </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A more specific search </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gender AND (movies OR film) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Combine them! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Get fancy! </li></ul><ul><li>(Gender OR women) AND (movies OR film) NOT “adult film” </li></ul>
  43. 43. Refine – Do it Again ! <ul><li>Too much? – Narrow it! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quotation marks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AND , NOT </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Too little? – Broaden it! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Broader terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Synonyms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OR </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All wrong? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BE CREATIVE – brainstorm more keywords </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try a different database/search tool/source </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask the librarian for help! </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. Stay tuned for Part 2: Using the GEN Online Library and Evaluating Sources Questions? Comments? Contact the Online Librarian : Elaine Settergren [email_address] Read the Library Lowdown Blog!