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Library Research Skills An Introduction. Part Three: Database Searching. A Drexel University Libraries Tutorial. Designed by: Anita Chiodo Emily Missner Devaney Ann Keith Kennedy Alison Lewis. The Right Tool for the Job. NEED books articles. USE this tool catalog

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library research skills an introduction

Library Research SkillsAn Introduction

Part Three:

Database Searching

A Drexel University Libraries Tutorial

Designed by:Anita ChiodoEmily Missner DevaneyAnn Keith KennedyAlison Lewis

the right tool for the job
The Right Tool for the Job

NEED

books

articles

USE this tool

catalog

periodical indexes and databases

NEED

books

articles

This is generally true. However, a number of other resources (e-books, videos, reference books, etc.) can be found in the library catalog. Also, many indexes and databases contain citations for books, technical reports, government documents or other materials.

what s in the databases
What’s in the databases?

Most provide citations

Vastag, Brian. (2004) “Does video game violence sow aggression?: studies probe effects of virtual violence on children.” JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association 291, 15, 1822-24.

Many have abstracts

The Yale Journal of Criticism, Spring 2002 v15 i1 p59(39) The memories of "The Dead". (The Theater of Irish Cinema)(Critical Essay) Kevin Whelan.

Abstract: James Joyce\'s short story "The Dead" can be read as a cultural history of how the Great Irish Famine affected Dublin, Ireland. Significant historical events shaping this story include cultural nationalism, battles at Boyne and Aughrim, policies of the Duke of Wellington, and provincialism.

Some actually have full text articles

The whole article online and ready to read.

what s in the databases4
What’s in the databases?
  • They are searchable by
    • Keywords
    • Author
    • Title
    • Other entry points
  • Can cover a wide variety of topics (like Expanded Academic) or focus on one subject area or discipline (Ceramic Abstracts/World Ceramics Abstracts)
slide5

How do I choose a database?

Let’s go to the library website and locate these paths.

  • Databases by subject
  • Databases by title
  • Subject guides
slide6

Click here for databases by subject or title

Let’s go to the subject guides page

Click here to find subject guides

slide7

The subject guides are created by librarians to help you find the best research resources to use for each topic.

There are guides on a variety of different topics.

before you start to search
BEFORE you start to search

1

  • Make sure your topic is focused. Can you state your main idea in one sentence or question?
  • See the “Getting Started on Research” tutorial if you need help with this first step:

http://www.library.drexel.edu/research/tutorials/research/research.html

  • Pull out words from your sentence that express the main ideas or key concepts you’re working with
slide9

The Research Queston

Dude! What if my car crashed into a moose?

Key Concepts

  • Car
  • Crash
  • Moose
before you start to search10
BEFORE you start to search

2

  • Once you have your key concepts, start to brainstorm – for each of your key concepts, try to come up with other words that
    • Mean the same thing OR
    • Mean something similar
group terms according to concept
MOOSE

Moose

Alces alces

CAR

Car

Automobile

Vehicle

Truck

Group terms according to concept

CRASH

  • Crash
  • Collision
  • Wreck
  • Accident
before you start to search12
BEFORE you start to search

3

Once you have brainstormed additional terms for each of your key concepts, you need to build a search strategy by linking these terms together

slide13

Introducing important words

OR

AND

Stay tuned to learn

how AND and OR can

change the way you

search!

moose and or cars
Moose AND/OR Cars

AND

means both words or concepts must be present

means either word or concept is present

OR

slide15

AND

OR

Moose

Cars

Moose AND Cars

Moose

Cars

OR broadens your search and produces more results

AND narrows your search and focuses your results

slide16
MOOSE

Moose

Alces alces

CAR

Car

Automobile

Vehicle

Truck

CRASH

Crash

Collision

Wreck

Accident

AND

AND

OR

OR

OR

OR

OR

OR

OR

Here’s how to enter this search into a database

(car OR automobile OR vehicle) AND (crash OR collision OR accident) AND moose

library research skills an introduction17

Library Research SkillsAn Introduction

This concludes Part Three: Database Searching

Visit Part Four to learn about Finding Full-Text!

A Drexel University Libraries Tutorial

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