Language search strategy

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Search strategy for ELL students

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  • Introduction I saw you earlier in the week for the sport and ethics sessions and today is more of an overview of the full search process and a chance to show you a further range of databases. I’ll also be explaining the interlibrary loans system if you need to get hold of books or journal articles which the library doesn’t have. This presentation and accompanying notes are accessible from the Sport subject guide on the webpages under the link Guides to finding information. There are also several on-line guides to help with searching which are mentioned at the end of the handout. I’ll show you some of those now.
  • MLA – main database for languages, linguistics and literature. Mainly indexing and few abstracts. PsycINFO – Psycholinguistics topics. Surprisingly large amount of language and linguistics related material including language development, language disorders (eg: autism), children and language Academic OneFile- full text electronic journals package covering full range of subject areas. American package so be aware of this perspective. Infotrac Custom newspapers – this provides full text access to British daily newspapers – mainly the quality papers, but also access to the Daily Mail. Can be useful for students doing topics on the textual analysis of newspapers. British education index and ERIC. – Useful for students doing educational related topics such as Children and language development etc. OED – Not for finding journal articles obviously but does have advanced search features regarding word derivations etc.
  • Language search strategy

    1. 1. Library and Information Services Planning a search strategy Searching techniques
    2. 2. Search strategy- summary <ul><li>Step one - Spend some time thinking about your topic </li></ul><ul><li>Step two – Considering your search terms </li></ul><ul><li>Step three - Linking your search terms together </li></ul><ul><li>Step four - Choosing your databases </li></ul><ul><li>Step five - Searching and modifying your search online </li></ul><ul><li>Step six - Relevant results retrieved! Next steps </li></ul>
    3. 3. Search strategy- step one <ul><li>Spend some time clarifying and defining your topic </li></ul><ul><li>Break down search topic into sections </li></ul><ul><li>Think of Keywords to describe the topic </li></ul>
    4. 4. Step two <ul><li>Think about the search words </li></ul><ul><li>Generic words can be omitted eg: discuss, assess, importance </li></ul><ul><li>Consider alternative terms eg: gender or human sex differences </li></ul><ul><li>Word endings, plurals: truncate using asterisks eg: dyslexi* for dyslexia or dyslexic or dyslexics </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative spellings: use asterisks in middle of word eg: behavio*r </li></ul>
    5. 5. Step three <ul><li>Linking search words together </li></ul><ul><li>AND search – combining two different subjects together eg: autism and communication </li></ul><ul><li>OR search – alternative or similar words eg: speech or spoken or oral </li></ul><ul><li>Words as a phrase eg: “discourse analysis” </li></ul>
    6. 6. Step four <ul><li>Choosing your databases </li></ul><ul><li>Consider subject area </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MLA (Modern Languages Association) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PsycINFO / PsycARTICLES </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic OneFile –electronic journals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Infotrac Custom Newspapers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>British education index </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ERIC (education-related database) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oxford English dictionary online </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Step five <ul><li>Searching and modifying online </li></ul><ul><li>Different databases will use different search terms to describe same subject </li></ul><ul><li>Experiment with different search words </li></ul><ul><li>Limit to searching within different indexes eg: subject, title, author </li></ul><ul><li>Limit to years of publication </li></ul><ul><li>Limit to type of document eg: books, book chapters, journal articles, conference papers, reports. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Step six <ul><li>Relevant results retrieved! </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of the type of document you have retrieved! Journal article, book chapter etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Is the item full text? – go direct to article, perhaps linking via e-journal finder </li></ul><ul><li>Is it held in the Library? </li></ul><ul><li>If not, articles and books can be requested on Interlibrary-loan. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Useful links <ul><li>ELL subject page </li></ul><ul><li>Language related journals </li></ul><ul><li>Tutorial about searching MLA </li></ul><ul><li>Searching tips </li></ul><ul><li>How to plan a search strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Interlibrary loans </li></ul>

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