Objectives. Learn how to :devise effective literature search strategyidentify and utilize relevant reference databasesfamiliarize with the services and resources available in the NUS Libraries. At the end of this briefing, you would be able to
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1. Library Skills Tutorial for Life Science Honours, DBS & Pharmacy Graduate Students
Conducted by :
Hew Yik Suan
23 August 2007
3. At the end of this briefing, you would be able to … initiate a systematic approach on conducting research – e.g. how to use Boolean operators to construct search strategy
identify relevant reference databases for your research project
perform the search effectively in the relevant reference databases (Web of Science & BIOSIS Previews)
5. How to initiate a literature search? Start with a simple / quick literature search in LINC.
Follow with an extensive search in relevant reference databases.
6. How to construct the search statement?
7. Research Topic :
Altruism in Animals
8. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences One of the most comprehensive reference sources for life sciences
It comprises of more than 3,000 specially commissioned, peer-reviewed articles from 5,000 contributors from all over the world
9. Altruism Behavior of an animal that benefits another at its own expense
Selfless concern for the well being of others
The practice of thinking of the needs and desires of other people instead of your own
Sacrifice, if necessary of life itself, so that others, offspring or other genetically close younger relatives, may survive or otherwise benefit.
10. Search Concept Research Topic: Altruism in Animals
11. Search Statement
OR is used to indicate that any of the terms may be present
AND is used to indicate that both terms must be present
12. Use Boolean operators to formulate
the search statement
(altruis* OR unselfish behavi* OR selfless) AND (animal*) NOT (Ant* OR Formicidae OR Hymenoptera)
altruism, altruist, altruistic
behavior, behaviour, behavioral
animal, animals, animalia (Latin word)
13. Recap: 1. Identify your research topic
2. List the keyword, synonyms & broader terms
3. Use Boolean operators to construct the search statement
4. perform the search in the relevant reference databases
14. Search Relevance How do you know that the search is relevant?
You may consider the following questions :
Does the item give an overview of your topic?
Does the item cover one or some aspects of your topic?
Does the item cover the situation in the country and place that you are covering?
15. Search Relevance Internet Resources
Is Google search sufficient and relevant for your topic of interest and satisfy your information needs
Large amount of irrelevant material.
Search engines do not search in every part of the Internet, esp. into the contents of many of the online databases
16. Evaluating Sources How good are the sources?
In evaluating your sources, you may wish to consider the following general criteria:
Suitability (Does the source contain the information you need?)
Authority (What are the author’s credentials? Is it done by the experts in that field?)
Accuracy (Are the information, data or methods reliable? Are you able to contact the author of the document to verify details, if necessary?)
Objectivity (How objective is it? Is it peer reviewed? Determine if the document is a mask for advertising. If it is, the information may be biased.)
Timeliness (Is the information up-to-date? What was the date of last revision?)
Do you think searching one reference database is sufficient for your research topic?
19. Answer :
Searching one database may not be sufficient. Conduct the search in a few other relevant databases to get a wider coverage and perspective.
20. Abstracts and Indexes
Biomedical & Life Sciences
Reference Databases in E-Resources:
Web of Science – Science Citation Index Expanded
21. Web of Science Multi-disciplinary databases to search for specific articles.
Covers about 8,700 high impact research journals
Unique by its citation search
Coverage begins from 1900. NUS Libraries subscribes from 1980 onwards
22. BIOSIS Previews The important reference database in Biological and Biomedical Sciences.
Coverage also includes traditional areas of biology, such as botany, zoology and microbiology, as well as related fields such as plant and animal science, agriculture, pharmacology and ecology
Interdisplinary fields such as biochemistry, biophysics, and bioengineering are also included.
From 1980 to the present
Modules : LSM4231 Structural Biology
LSM4232 Advanced Cell Biology
LSM4241 Functional Genomics
LSM4251 Plant Growth and Development
LSM3253 Plant Physiology
23. Free site: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ A leading medical database produced by the National Library of Medicine
Covers fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, the health care system and preclinical sciences
Modules: LSM3212 Human Physiology
LSM4223 Medical Microbiology
LSM3222 Human Genetics & Infectious Diseases
LSM4224 Free Radicals and Antioxidant Biology
LSM4243 Tumour Biology, etc
24. Zoological Record Covers all aspects of zoology including behavior, biochemistry, development, ecology, evolution, feeding and nutrition, genetics, morphology, parasitology, reproduction, systematics, techniques, physiology and zoogeography
Available on the web from 1978 – present
Modules : LSM4262 Tropical Conservation Biology
LSM4252 Animal Development & Reproduction LSM1103 Biodiversity
25. SciFinder Scholar The world's largest and most up-to-date collection of chemical information, including biochemistry, organic chemistry, macromolecular chemistry, applied chemistry, chemical engineering, physical, inorganic, analytical chemistry, agricultural sciences and biomedical sciences
Includes journal articles, patents, books, technical reports and conference papers
Updated daily and contains data starting from 1905
Modules : LSM3231 Protein Structure and Function
CM1121 Basic Organic Chemistry
LSM4233 Chemical Biology
LSM4242 Protein Engineering
26. NUS Libraries Portal
27. NUS Libraries Portal
28. E-Resources Online Guide for Biological Sciences http://www.lib.nus.edu.sg/lion/sg/sc/biol/biol.html
29. This PowerPoint presentation is available via http://libpweb1.nus.edu.sg/lion/slb/BioSc.ppt
30. Handouts 1. Powerpoint notes
2. 2-pages guide : Web of Science (Basic & Advanced search)
3. 2-pages guide : BIOSIS Previews
31. Useful Writing Guides
Cite right : a quick guide to citation styles – MLA, APA, Chicago, the sciences, professions, and more Charles Lipson/ C. Lipson. – university of Chicago, 2006. (PN171 Foo.Li 2006) (CL Books)
The concise handbook for technical writing / C.T. Brusaw, G.J. Alred, W.E. Oliu. –St. Martin’s Griffin, 1996. (T11 Brs) (SC Reference 9)
A short guide to writing about biology / J. A. Pechenik. – 5th ed. - Pearson Longman, 2004. (QH304 Pec 2004) (MD/SC books)
A student handbook for writing in biology / K. Knisely. – W. H. Freeman, 2002. (QH304 Kni 2002) (SC Reference 5)
A student’s guide to writing a scientific paper : how to survive the laboratory research report. /by Alan A. Gubanich. – 3rd ed. - Kendall/Hung Pub. Co., 1998. (T11 Gub) (SC Reference 9)
Successful scientific writing : a step-by-step guide for the biological and medical sciences /J. R. Matthews. – 2nd ed. - Cambridge University Press, 2000. (R119 Mat) (MD/SC Books)
The write right guide : a NUS writing guide / C. Low & D. Pan. - 5th ed. – Singapore : Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning, NUS, 2003. (PE1408 Low 2003) (SC Reference 9)
Writing and presenting research / Angela M. Thody. – Sage Publications, 2006. (LB2369 Tho 2006) (CL Books, HML Books)
Writing papers in the biological sciences / V.E. McMillan. – 3rd ed. - Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2001. (QH304 Mcm) (MD/SC Books)
Writing research papers : a complete guide / J. D. Lester. - 11th ed. – Longman, 2005. (LB2369 Les) (SC Reference 9, CL Books)
Writing science through critical thinking / M. F. Moriarty. Jones & Bartlett Pub., 1997. (T11 Mor) (MD/SC Books)
Writing with confidence : writing effective sentences and paragraphs/ A. Meyers. – 7th ed. - Longman, 2003. (PE1408 Mey 2003) (Sc Reference 9)
Your research project : a step-by-step guide for the first-time researcher/ N. Walliman. – 2nd ed. - SAGE, 2005. (LB2369 Wai 2005) (CL Books)
32. Come to the Information Desk
Tel : 6516-2454
Hew Yik Suan (Mrs)
33. Thank you All the best in your research !