Part ii acoustical engineers information skills
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Part II Acoustical Engineers Information Skills. Isobel Stark ISVR Academic Liaison Librarian [email protected] Objectives…. This session will help you to: Identify the most relevant resources for finding information Create a search strategy Track down the references

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Part II Acoustical Engineers Information Skills

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Part ii acoustical engineers information skills

Part II Acoustical Engineers Information Skills

Isobel Stark ISVR Academic Liaison Librarian

[email protected]



  • This session will help you to:

  • Identify the most relevant resources for finding information

  • Create a search strategy

  • Track down the references

  • Reference consistently and correctly

Three important questions

Three important questions

  • What information do you need?

  • Where should you look for it?

  • How can you get hold of it?

What information

What information…?

  • high quality

  • up to date

  • relevant

Evaluation criteria

Evaluation criteria









created or







Who is







  • Authority

    • Who is the author?

    • What are their credentials?

    • Who is the publisher?

  • Objectivity & Purpose

    • Why / for whom is the site written for?

    • Links to other viewpoints?

    • Trying to: persuade, sell you something, inform or misinform?

    • Country of origin - affects the slant of the information?

Evaluation continued

Evaluation continued

  • Currency

    • When was the site produced / last updated?

    • How current are references / links?

  • Accuracy

    • Are there supporting links / references to quality information?

  • Relevance

    • Content is appropriate for your purpose?

    • Content is relevant to your topic?

Types of information

Types of Information

  • Primary Research

  • Secondary Research

  • Technical Data and Standards

  • Other ‘grey’ literature

3 tiers of information resource

3 Tiers of information resource

Grey literature

Grey literature

  • Does not fall into the traditional ‘peer reviewed’ journal/conference model

    • quality of information can vary but can be very high

    • Traditionally published from a trusted source (e.g. governmental body reports, university group research papers)

    • Non-traditional publication such as wikis, blogs, discussion lists

Finding grey literature

Finding grey literature

Finding grey literature1

Finding grey literature

  • Google etc

    • No quality control, so you must evaluate what you find

  • Google scholar

    • Limited to mainly e-publications

  • Specialist web gateways

    • Selected and annotated resources compiled by subject experts, e.g. Intute

    • Human processed so coverage smaller but better quality results

  • See Websites on the Library’s ISVR subject page



  • British Standards Online

    • Full text of most British Standards, including ISO and EN standards adopted into British Standards

    • Searching by keyword or standard number

  • IEEE Explore:

  • Other standards:

    • See the Library webpage



  • Information on how to access full text of British, European and US patents and more, see the Library webpage:

Secondary sources

Secondary sources

http:[email protected]/327471676/



  • Tend to be secondary research

  • Overview of ‘state of the art’

  • Can contain basic methods which are only alluded to in primary research.

Finding books


BL Catalogue


Other universities

Finding books

Finding books webcat

Finding Books: WebCat

  • University of southampton Library’s catalogue

  • Does contain books, conference proceedings, journal titles, UoS theses

  • Does not contain details of individual journal articles, conference papers etc.

Finding books bl catalogue

Finding Books: BL Catalogue


  • Every book published in the UK.

  • Linked to from the Other catalogues section in WebCat

  • Seen an interesting item? Checked for it on WebCat. Not there? Use Inter-Library Loan (you are allowed a max. of 2 ILLs per academic year, i.e. August-end July)

Finding books copac

Finding Books: COPAC


  • Combines the online library catalogues of UK & Ireland’s largest research libraries.

  • Linked to from the Other catalogues section in WebCat as CURL OPAC

  • Includes WebCat records

Finding books other universities

Finding Books: Other Universities

  • Sconul Vacation Access Scheme

    • you have reference (but not borrowing) rights at most UK university libraries during their vacations.

    • See the SCONUL website for more information:

Primary research

Primary research

Journal conference papers

Articles from peer-reviewed publications (so quality is assured)

Key and up-to-date research, more specific than books

But can also be secondary e.g. review articles, journalistic articles

Journal & conference papers

Paper structure

Paper structure

  • Introduction/background

  • Methods

  • Results

  • Discussion

  • Conclusions/future research

Finding journal conference papers

Finding Journal & Conference papers

  • The University pays for a number of subscription-only databases which allow you to search for this material

  • The key ones relevant to ISVR are listed on the Library’s ISVR subject pages under Databases and Indexes:

  • If off-campus use:

    • Institutional Log-in (only for some databases)

    • VPN (works for all databases)

Search strategies

Search Strategies

Anatomy of a literature search

Anatomy of a literature search

Search for articles on

Search for articles on:

  • Noise control in aircraft interiors

  • Timespan: latest 10 years

  • Database: Web of Science



  • Search statement:Noise control AND aircraft interiors

  • As of 1st Oct May 2012:30 articles found

Improving your search strategy

Improving your search strategy

  • Identify the concepts of your query

    • List alternative phrases and keywords

    • Include both narrow and broad terms

    • Controlled vocabulary

    • Use truncation/wildcards

    • Use boolean operators

  • Identify any key periods of research

  • Identify any key authors in the field

Noise control inside an aircraft

Noise control inside an aircraft

  • Identify the concepts of your query:

    • Noise control

    • Inside

    • Aircraft

  • List alternative phrases and keywords:

    • Noise abatement, noise limitation, noise cancellation

    • Interior, internal, cabin

    • Aeroplane, plane

Terminology and spelling

Terminology and spelling

  • British English vs. American English

    • Colour or color

    • Aeroplane or airplane

  • Hyphenation

    • X ray, x-ray, xray

  • Alternative vocabulary

    • Lorries, trucks, HGVs, heavy goods vehicle

Controlled vocabulary

Controlled Vocabulary

  • Used by Compendex, Inspec, Medline

  • Designated keywords added to describe subjects covered by an article

  • Also called descriptors, keywords, subject headings, thesaurus terms

  • Using these makes search results more relevant

    • Avoids terms mentioned in passing in the abstract

    • Finds material using alternative vocabulary

    • Should retrieve all records in a database on given topic

Truncation and wildcards

Truncation and wildcards

  • Use truncation to find words with a common stem or to find singular and plurals

    • Aero* will find aeroplane, aeroplanes, aerospace, aeronautical etc etc

  • Use wildcards to replace none, one or more letters in the middle of the word

    • Wom?n will find woman and women

    • Colo?r will find color and colour

Part ii acoustical engineers information skills

Boolean Logic

a AND b

a OR b

a NOT b







Can be used to join different search terms

Example search statement

Example search statement

  • For ISI Web of Science

    (NoiseAND (control OR limitation OR abatement OR cancellation))


    (aircraft OR aeroplane*)


    (interior* OR internal* OR cabin*)



  • As of 1st Oct 2012:61 articles foundcompared to 30 articles when searching using Noise control AND aircraft interiors

Which database

Which database?

Web of science

Web of Science

  • General subject coverage

  • No subject headings – word search only

  • Citation links enable you to track further related research from an initial ‘key’ paper

  • On the Web of Knowledge platform



  • Physics, electronics, good for acoustics

  • Subject index (controlled terms)

  • On the Web of Knowledge platform



  • On the Engineering Village platform

  • General engineering

  • Coverage from 1969 onwards

  • Subject index and thesaurus



Click on the drop down boxes to access the many features available


… and more




  • Medical database – useful for human factors

  • Subject index and thesaurus

  • Available on various platforms, EBSCO is the most user-friendly

Other databases

Other databases

  • Biosis

    • Biological, good for anatomy (human and animal)

  • PsycInfo

    • Psychology, good for awareness and perception studies

  • Transport

  • RILM Abstracts of Music

  • ESDU (Engineering Sciences Data Unit )

Finding the full text

Finding the full text

Track down the references

Track down the references

  • From online databases

    • Direct links

    • TD-Net

    • WebCat/search catalogue link

Part ii acoustical engineers information skills

TD Net links

Part ii acoustical engineers information skills

Following full text link through TDNet

Track down the references1

Track down the references

  • Direct links from databases

    • Used on Compendex

    • may include links to items to which UoS does not subscribe

  • TDNet symbol

    • checks UoS electronic journal holdings

  • WebCat button or ‘search library catalogue’ link

    • checks UoS WebCat for print and electronic (N.B. sometimes can return no matches because of differences in cataloguing an items in the database and in our WebCat especially for conference material)

Track down the references2

Track down the references

  • Seen an interesting item but drawn a blank online or in WebCat?

  • Inter-Library Loan (you have an allowance of 2 ILLs per academic year, i.e. August-end July)

Recording your references

Recording your references

Recording references

Recording references

  • It is important to accurately record references so others can trace back the resources you used in your research.

  • Record the full details of the reference accurately and neatly

  • Record how and when you found it

  • N.B. Use the databases download/save/export to bibliographic software options if possible to minimise errors

Recording references1

Recording references

  • Reference software

    • Endnote Web (available via Web of Knowledge)

    • Endnote (on networked university machines)

  • Can help you keep track! See Bibliographic software on the Resources page:

Part ii acoustical engineers information skills

Register to use Endnote Web

Part ii acoustical engineers information skills

Click on My Endnote Web to start

Endnote web

Endnote Web

Endnote help and tutorials which you may find useful:

  • link to your Endnote Web

  • to Endnote Web, including demos of formatting bibliographies and editing citations with Cite While You Write (CWYW). Takes 4 minutes and can be used with or without sound.

  • webinars on Endnote & Endnote Web

  • channel with video demos for Endnote & Endnote Web

Reference style harvard

Reference style - Harvard

  • Standard in text citation is of the form (author, date) e.g. (Elliot, 2009)

  • Standard reference in the bibliography for a book is of the form: Author (date), Title, place of publication: publisheror, for journal articles:Author (date), Article title, Journal Titles, vol (issue no), pages

  • For more examples, including book chapters, edited books, conference papers, email corespondence etc see:

Further help

Further Help

  • Contact ISVR Academic Liaison Librarian, Isobel Starkemail: [email protected] phone: 023 8059 2709

  • Library ISVR webpages

  • Library Subject Enquiry Desk, Level 3Open 09.00-19.25 Mon-Fri & 10.00-16.55 Sat

  • Login