Introduction to Research Methods

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The difference between a search system and a database; How to formulate
a basic search strategy; truncation; boolean operators; wildcards


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Introduction to Research Methods

  1. 1. Intro to Research Methods Dos and Don’ts
  2. 2. Search Systems vs. Databases <ul><li>Search System: a Web interface or platform developed by a vendor with various features for searching a database </li></ul><ul><li>Databases: subject-specific depositories of information, sometimes contained in search systems and sometimes free standing </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Shopping Analogy <ul><li>You can go to the Coach store & buy a purse OR </li></ul><ul><li>You can go to Saks & buy a Coach purse </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Shopping Analogy <ul><li>DATABASES (CINAHL, MEDLINE) are like brand name items </li></ul><ul><li>SEARCH SYSTEMS are like department stores </li></ul>
  5. 5. Therefore… <ul><li>The next time you need to ‘shop’ for some </li></ul><ul><li>articles, remember, there are different ‘stores’ to browse. </li></ul>available in available in
  6. 6. Constructing a search <ul><li>Identify your search topic-what do you need? </li></ul><ul><li>“ I need articles about stuttering and assessment” </li></ul><ul><li>Break your search into simple phrases </li></ul><ul><li>stuttering / assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Connect your phrases with Boolean Operators </li></ul><ul><li>stuttering AND assessment </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.internettutorials.net/boolean.html </li></ul><ul><li>Apply limits </li></ul><ul><li>date ranges, research articles, age groups, full text </li></ul><ul><li>Scan & mark the articles you want for later </li></ul><ul><li>CLIPBOARD (PubMed) & Folder (EbscoHost) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Other tips <ul><li>Consider using TRUNCATION </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shortens a keyword so that it will match with all terms starting with the same stem. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>librar* will match with library, libraries, librarian, librarianship, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ebsco & PubMed truncator: * (asterisk) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Truncation handout: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.lsuhsc.edu/no/library/services/reference/truncation.pdf </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep away from sentences and prepositions! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Databases & search systems don’t like the words ‘in, to, for, by’ etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>– Try AND OR NOT instead </li></ul></ul>

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