Literature searching and finding information Psychology MA students


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Covers planning your search, useful tips, and takes you through searching PsycInfo, Social Sciences Citation Index, and personalising Google Scholar. Also looks at Zetoc alerts for staying up to date in your research area.

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  • planning your search – keywords and conceptsDifferent kinds of resource - Google Scholar and Zetoc are good general resources that search across ALL subject areas. WOK & Psychinfo are specific to subject areas – social sciences and psycinfo specifically and so you should get better, more relevant results
  • Remind them that Google will always clarify a citation
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  • Will save time – don't need to write an essay, don't need to necessarily write anything down if you don't want but you should always think about these things or you’ll log onto a database and waste time.
  • Breaking down concepts, similar terms, narrower terms. The narrower terms come in useful if you are inundated with results. What are my 3 concepts? Where are the synonyms? Where are narrower terms?
  • Slightly harder – notice some things don't have that many alternatives – if a disorder has one specific name you may not be able to expand it. Different way of displaying – work however suits you. And we have the sheets you can work from – today is all about frameworks. You will have to adapt as all databases slightly different but principles the same.
  • Example - point 2 expanding keyword search – official term postnatal depression – upon searching for the first years discovered many article titles and abstracts instead mentioned ‘maternal depression’ – picking up on this allowed us to expand our search. NOTE you can often build an answer to a very general question like this (pick a few select aspects which cover the scope of the large topic you are addressing and this will make your life easier)For e.g. Effect on child development of postnatal depression - Could look at 1 article from a few key age groups and answer your question that way.
  • These either stop you from missing things out (diff spellings & truncation) or make your results more specific and relevant (speech marks)
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  • databases work in the same way but the interface will be slightly different – how much do you already know about searching? Please don’t hit me if you already know all this! Some don’t
  • Mention again logging intoUniHub
  • Enter each synonym for your first concept (Crime) - You will be asked to select a subject heading – if they are useful select some – but don’t go overboard or get too general as you’ll get too many results (if interested in ‘behavioural therapy’ don’t select just ‘behaviour’ = too broad) If there’s not a suitable heading or you don't like the ones the database suggests you can just free search your keyword as you entered it If I want to focus I could select violent crime or serial crime – but I'll start off general see what we get and then we can narrow down our focus if we want
  • Search one by one on each line:Criminal*Crime (select subject heading ‘crime’) – ASK THEM why would I not truncate crim* but search Crime* and criminal* = this is an example where the shortened version would pick up too many irrelevant resultsOffender* (also select offered subject heading ‘criminals’)Convict*Inmate* (also select offered subject heading ‘prisoners’)
  • Explain you have each term listed separately and you need to select them and combine with ‘OR’ to use the words/synonyms interchangeably Your combined words for your first concept are now listed at number 6 I’ll now do the same for the other two concepts
  • Search:Drug* (select as keyword and also select subject headings ‘drug abuse’ and ‘drug addiction’ “substance abuse” (have already selected drug abuse heading)And combine Then search:Therap* (could select more specific therapy from list if you want – ie ; conginitive behavioural therapy) Program* - will pick up UK/Us spellings Counsel* - will pick up both spellings (also select subject headings ‘counseling’)And combine
  • Show/Mention additional limits like age group in the additional limits section but this may be overwhelming so don't confuse yourself – the most useful option on that big screen is ‘age group’ and ‘methodology’
  • If it helps you can work in pairs. Doesn’t have to be exhaustive just play with grouping your synonyms for each concept and combining them.
  • Ask them to break down the concepts1st two simple (sex offender) (prison) but last one asks us to look at many aspects (treatment)Your spider diagram for this would be a little bigger!
  • Show them the first one and then
  • Only on WOS
  • Google Scholar is a good quick cross search which searches across all subject areas but it does have it’s limitations. search across ALL subject areas. Google Scholar – don’t know what it’s searching.
  • What is available through Middlesex is highlighted on the right Many results are quite old – this may / may not be important depending on your topic Mostly journal articles but you still need to look at the source
  • Copy the citation ‘Columbia University. National Center on Addiction, and Substance Abuse. Behind bars: Substance abuse and America's prison population. National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 1998’ and show them the file and that it has a relevant sections on treatment. But if you were going to use one of these reports which would you use? > latest! 1998 vs. 2010.
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  • Get them to give you ideas:CurrentAuthoritativeObjective – balanced, unbiased – what’s their intent? EtcRelevant – who is it aimed at? Level, Context e.g. UK/US
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  • Regularly updated – most up to date alerts – journals are indexed here by BL quicker than other databases.
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  • Quick run through on where to find referencing info
  • Tell them to start playing around with resources and get used to using and how they each work – when they have questions or a specific project they need help researching on databases contact me in groups or individuallyMention that they can make appointments through LibGuide
  • Literature searching and finding information Psychology MA students

    1. 1. PSY4018Literature searching /finding journal information
    2. 2. Aims & Outcomes  Planning your searching  Introduction to searching different databases Psycinfo Web of Knowledge Google Scholar  How to set up alerts on your interest/research areas Zetoc  Evaluating what you find  Where to find referencing information2
    3. 3. Housekeeping  How’s it going?  Can you find the books on your reading list?  Can you renew books?  Can you reserve books?  Do you know who to contact for help?  Library Subject Guides?3
    4. 4. Preparation4
    5. 5. Planning your search - keywords Boring but WORTH IT! 1. Pick out your concepts and separate them  drugs, addiction, therapy, offenders, etc 2. Think of other words that are similar to your key words but represent the same concepts  Illegal drugs, Counselling, criminals, programmes (programs) 3. Think of narrower words that fit into your terms to hone your search if you’re getting too much information5
    6. 6. Keywords  Really worth a 5 minute brainstorm before you search - will save you time later - I promise!  Searching one word for your concept will not bring you all the results! And sometimes none! Not everyone uses the same terminology for one idea  Can use the library worksheet if you like (also helps you organise how to combine the terms with ‘AND’ or ‘OR’)6  Examples follow
    7. 7. • Criminal* •“Youth offenders” • Offender* •“Repeat offenders” • Convict* •“First time offenders” crime • “Criminal population” •“Violent offenders” • Inmate* • “Criminal justice system” HMP • Opiates • “PsychotropicWhat research has • “Substance abuse”drugs”been conducted on • “Illicit drugs” •“Prescriptionthe use of therapy Drug drugs” • “Illegal drugs” • Specific drugfor offenders who addiction • “addictive names ... Prozac,take drugs? substances” cannabis, crack cocaine, heroin etc • “Talk therapy” • Treatment* • “Behavioural therapy” OR • Programme* CBT OR “Behavioral therapy OR Program* therapy” • Medicat* • Counsel* • “Family Therapy” • “residential therapy” OR rehab*
    8. 8. Synonyms Offender DSPD Treatment Criminal* “severe personality disorder” Therapy Inmate* “personality disorder” Programme* Convict* Program* “Criminal population” Counselling “Criminal justice system” Education Narrower Terms Offender DSPD Treatment “Youth offenders” Violen* “Talk therapy” OR “group therapy” “Repeat offenders” Sex* “cognitive therapy” OR “behavioural therapy” “First time offenders” Medicat* “Violent offenders” “individual treatment plans” OR customise* HMP “Self management” Chromis Boundary management8 “After care”
    9. 9. Useful clues/things to pick up on  Literature searching is a cycle – you will often need to improve your search / play around with a few different searches  Search strategies  Citation – you follow leads from useful articles, books and reading lists  Expanding your keyword base as you go along – keep an eye out for alternative keywords in your search results – so you can rerun your searches and perhaps find things you missed  Start big – BUT you may have to get smaller and more specific if you don’t want to look through hundreds of results!  Limiting the search strategy – a way to answer a very broad/general question  e.g. randomized trials; publication date; empirical study; English language; type of drug; type of offender (race/age/crime)9
    10. 10. Get better results & find things quicker  Watch out for spellings US/UK = behavior / behaviour Counselor / counselling  Truncate your term* = Offend* = will find offending, offender, offenders Counsel* = will find counselling, counsellor, counsellors  Keep phrases together with speech marks “substance abuse”10
    11. 11. Searching11
    12. 12. General principles of searching Volunteer please!12
    13. 13. PsycInfo  Specific psychology database - subject specific information unlike other databases like Summon (searches all subjects) or Web of Knowledge (search broadly across sciences or social sciences)  Articles are tagged with psychology subject headings when indexed – useful for searching  Not completely full text but can limit results to full text  Run by APA  Worth noting US bias – if being comprehensive in search would have to take this into account and use other resources as well13
    14. 14. Getting into the databases.... REMEMBER! Always use MyUniHub as a gateway to library resources14
    15. 15. 15
    16. 16. 16
    17. 17. • Select Psycinfo • You can select PsycARTICLES Full Text but you will get far fewer results – to start it’s best to search PsycInfo and then limit within that to full text if you get enough results18
    18. 18. • ALWAYS use Advanced Search – this allows you to combine your different concepts with ‘AND’ or ‘OR’ • And leave ‘Map subject term heading’ ticked – this gives you a useful way of accessing records tagged as being in a subject area and also finding the most common ‘official’ term used for your topic in journal articles19
    19. 19. • Choose any suitable subject headings • Narrow your scope IF it’s useful • Or keep your words as a free keyword search as you entered them20
    20. 20. • Enter all your synonyms for the first concept – ONE BY ONE • If you have them one separate lines you can combine them • And also take out things you think arent working without messing up your search21
    21. 21. • You now need to combine your synonyms with ‘OR’ to get everything under one topic referred to by different names22
    22. 22. First concept Second concept Third concept • Now you have three results on your list which represent each concept with a variety of words 6, 9 and 13 • You need to combine these to find results on your question - what do we23 combine these with?
    23. 23. Results!  You need to have a look and evaluate how relevant the results on the first few pages are  Youre using an academic journal database so you dont need to worry too much about authority but you do need to think about Currency Relevance Objectivity  Now you have results you can limit to full text or limit to a time frame on the left hand side menu24
    24. 24. Exercise 1 – PsycInfo Try and do a similar search to find information on offenders AND DSPD AND treatment  Synonyms and narrower terms on next slide  Use the worksheet if it helps you organise concepts and how to combine with ‘AND’ and ‘OR’  REMEMBER to select any relevant subject headings  REMEMBER alternative UK/US spellings!  Grab me for help!  If you get to grips with that quickly – try combining narrower terms to find information on a specific aspect of the research area25
    25. 25. Synonyms Offender DSPD Treatment Criminal* “severe personality disorder” Therapy Inmate* “personality disorder” Programme* Convict* Program* “Criminal population” Counselling “Criminal justice system” Education Narrower Terms Offender DSPD Treatment “Youth offenders” Violen* “Talk therapy” OR “group therapy” “Repeat offenders” Sex* “cognitive therapy” OR “behavioural therapy” “First time offenders” Medicat* “Violent offenders” “individual treatment plans” OR customise* HMP “Self management” Chromis Boundary management26 “After care”
    26. 26. Social Sciences Citation Index  Social Sciences  Will take you to the Web of Knowledge platform  On here you can also select Sciences Citation Index if you want to search across both27
    27. 27. Social Sciences Citation Index  Slightly different search screen  Example search  Works in a similar way but you should group your concept terms in each box and type ‘OR’ between them (most28 straightforward way)
    28. 28. Exercise 2 - SSCI  Have a go – the principle is the same – it’s just the way you input that looks slightly different  We are going to try and find information to answer an essay question “Examine the balance between rights, duties, responsibilities to the public, the offender and the practitioner themselves in discussion of treatment for incarcerated sex offenders.”  3 concepts = sex offenders AND prison AND treatment29
    29. 29. Exercise 2 - Tips!  Now run a few searches and see if you can find 1 thing for an element of the question (no need to record this)  Use the worksheet if it helps you organise concepts and how to combine with ‘AND’ and ‘OR’  Make sure the drop down boxes on the left say ‘AND’ so the three concepts combine to find things about : sex offenders AND prison AND treatment  REMEMBER alternative UK/US spellings!  Grab me for help!30
    30. 30. Exercise 2 – EXTENSION TASK  In our previous search we were treating each concept equally – however this question asks you to delve deeper into one – which one?  This means you will repeat your search several times changing the third element – to look in turn at treatment, public safety issues, practitioner safety, and offender rights.  This is quicker than combining them all with OR and looking through 60,000 results – doing 4 or 5 quick searches and picking 1 or 2 results from each will help you answer your question quicker.31
    31. 31. The last element is the one we will change for each mini-search to answer the whole question You will need to do a few searches swapping the last element out each time so you cover: treatment (example: treatment OR therapy OR programme* OR program*) public safety issues, practitioner safety,32 and offender rights.
    32. 32. Follow the trail - citations  In the record look for (right hand side)33
    33. 33. Google Scholar  Important – did you know you can set Google Scholar to flag up everything you have paid access to through the University?  Please follow along and personalise your GS  Google Scholar > settings34
    34. 34. Personalising Google Scholar ... • Click library links on the left hand side • Search ‘Middlesex university’ and select ‘Middlesex University – Full Text @ Middlesex’35
    35. 35. Searching Google Scholar ... • Search ‘crime drug addiction treatment’ • Is there anything you notice about the results?36
    36. 36. Searching Google Scholar ...  One result is a citation – there’s no file but it looks very relevant and I want to know a bit more  Click on ‘Cite’ and copy and paste the full citation into Google  The top three results are from the organisational website .org – should be authoritative  I can download the file, and the follow up report  Several useful sections on treatment37
    37. 37. 38 Evaluating results
    38. 38. Evaluating what you’ve found Key questionsIs it what you need and is it trustworthy? What criteria would you use to assess the relevance and quality of the information?
    39. 39.  Currency How old is this information? When was it last updated? Is this important for the assignment? Authority Who is the author? Site creator, organisation, scholarly / peer reviewed journals etc? Intent What is the purpose of the website / information? e.g. financial gain, academic Relevance Is this what I need? Will it answer my question? Is it at the right level? Objectivity Balanced view? Opposing views represented? References?
    40. 40. Cutting Edge?41
    41. 41. Staying up to date in your area  In the databases we’ve looked at you can set up an account and then set up alerts or RSS feeds for searches you’ve done42
    42. 42. Staying up to date – citation alerts• In Web of Science databases (SSCI and SCI)• For articles particularly significant to your work/dissertationget an alert every time it is cited in new research
    43. 43. Zetoc alerts service – get info as it’s published44 • Access as you would any of the other databases (MyUnihub)
    44. 44. 45 • Create an alert and name it
    45. 45. • Now add searches or journals to the alert46
    46. 46. • You can build a list of searches – by keywords or author • You can also add searches by journals and be emailed every47 time a journal is released
    47. 47. Excercise 3 - Zetoc  Set up some alerts and add searches relevant to your log books for this module  Remember you can add multiple searches for each of the synonyms for your search term to your alert  Grab me if you need a hand or help picking search terms.48
    48. 48. Getting Full text of journal articles  If you’re lucky!  It will be available as a PDF on the database (look for PDF symbol)  If you’re not lucky! REMEMBER – it won’t always be directly available to you – especially at MA level  Double check the library catalogue by copying journal name into the ‘journal search’. If we have it there’ll be a record and a link with the dates we have access to.  Go to Google Scholar and look for PDF signs  Go to Author’s website/institution’s repository, often they have left a pre publisher version  Order a copy via the inter-library loan service (£3.00) (usually you’ll be emailed with a link to a PDF)
    49. 49. Using other libraries  SCONUL – go to UniHelp with your ID and fill out a form to get a SCONUL card  - go to ‘search catalogues’ and search to see if the item is available in another University library (You will always need to double check the relevant University’s own library catalogue to check if they have print copies- the only University where you will be able to use their electronic collections is UL Senate House library)50
    50. 50. Attribution51
    51. 51. Referencing Is very important Acknowledges other people’s work (avoids plagiarism) Shows you’ve read around the subject Supports your discussion and arguments Gets you better marks! Enables others to find your references As MA students it would be useful to use a referencing software like RefWorks or Mendeley
    52. 52. Referencing tools  Refworks is an online site to manage your references subscribed to by the University – you access it like any other database through logging into MyUniHub > My Study > scroll down to ‘My library’ > databases  Mendeley is a free to use Open access website to which you can sign up and store and organise all your53 references
    53. 53. Referencing guide
    54. 54. Library subject guide  This and other powerpoints and helpsheets  My contact details – please make appointments with me!55 Access via MyUniHub > My study > My library > library subject guides
    55. 55. Need help? Librarians in the Specialist Zone (1st floor) 11-3 Monday - Friday Ask a Librarian Psychology Library Subject Guide - Viv’s contact details and power points/helpsheets