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Slides for a presentation on information retrieval and literature research basics for a class of graduate students in the Master's program at the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College.

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  1. 1. + Concepts and Skills for Information Retrieval and Literature Research John Pell Assistant Professor Hunter College Libraries
  2. 2. + To Follow Along: Go to Links and documents are all here.
  3. 3. + Overview The Big Picture Basics of Full-Text Retrieval at Hunter MeSH Terms and the Structure of MEDLINE Boolean Logic
  4. 4. + The Big Picture Why Learn about the information retrieval?
  5. 5. + Information Literacy  A few key information literacy performance indicators related to this workshop:  Investigating the scope, content, and organization of information retrieval systems  Selecting controlled vocabulary specific to the discipline or information retrieval source  Constructing a search strategy using appropriate commands for the information retrieval system selected (e.g., Boolean operators, truncation, and proximity for search engines.) “Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education”(2000)
  6. 6. + Basics of Full-Text Retrieval Getting from a citation to the actual document.
  7. 7. + Setting up Google Scholar to Work with Hunter College Libraries Start with Scholar Preferences
  8. 8. + Setting up Google Scholar to Work with Hunter College Libraries In “Library Links” search for Hunter College Library and select it.
  9. 9. + Retrieving Full Text from Google Scholar Once your Scholar Preferences are configured, full text links at Hunter will display for available articles.
  10. 10. + Verifying the Availability of Journals at Hunter Libraries You can access a search of Hunter’s journal holdings through this link.
  11. 11. + Verifying the Availability of Journals at Hunter Libraries Details about online and print availability and coverage display in the search results. NOTE: This search is will not tolerate errors in spelling or variations in wording.
  12. 12. + MeSH Terms and the Structure of MEDLINE
  13. 13. + Here are four different interfaces that can be used to search the MEDLINE database:
  14. 14. + EBSCO
  15. 15. + OVID
  16. 16. + Web of Knowledge
  17. 17. + Pubmed
  18. 18. + The basic structure of the MEDLINE database behind each of these interfaces is the same.
  19. 19. + Important Things to Understand about MEDLINE and PubMed:  All of the records in MEDLINE are indexed with NLMs controlled vocabulary, the Medical Subject Headings.  PubMed contains in-process citations which provide a record for an article before it is indexed with MeSH and added to MEDLINE or converted to out-of-scope status  Citations that precede the date that a journal was selected for MEDLINE indexing.  CONTENT of PubMed > Content of MEDLINE
  20. 20. + MeSH Terms?  MeSH is the National Library of Medicines controlled vocabulary. It consists of sets of terms in a hierarchical structure that permits searching at various levels of specificity.  Example of the Hierarchical Structure of MeSH:  Movement  Exercise  Swimming  “Entry Terms” help guide queries to MeSH categories  For example, “Vitamin C” is an entry term for “Asorbic Acid”
  21. 21. + Important Information Captured by MeSH Terms  Population Characteristics  Age, Race, Country of Origin  Study Characteristics  Clinical Trial, Literature Review, Meta-Analysis  Important Facets of a Major Topic  Prevention and Control, Etiology, Genetics
  22. 22. + Features of the Ovid Interface The Advanced Search offers you the option of selecting MeSH terms related to your search terms.
  23. 23. + Features of the Ovid Interface When selecting specific subheadings, the number of articles available under that heading is displayed.
  24. 24. + Features of the Ovid Interface Options for analyzing and manipulating your search history are accessible on the same page as your search results.
  25. 25. + Features of the Ovid Interface You can export a formatted bibliography into Word, PDF, or a citation manager.
  26. 26. + Boolean Logic The structure of a MEDLINE query
  27. 27. + Using Boolean Logic to translate a topic into a search query: Statement of Topic or Research Question Keyword 1 Keyword 2 Keyword 3 (A OR B OR C) AND (D OR E OR F) AND (G OR H OR I)* *Where A – I are terms related to the keywords above
  28. 28. + In-Class Exercise
  29. 29. + Before You Go  Download the In-Class Exercise  Complete the Exercise  Email it to  This is important! It counts as your participation and attendance for this session!