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Developing Search Strategies. Jill Crawley-Low, Veterinary Medicine Library, University of Saskatchewan . Developing Strategies for Searching Electronic Resources. clearly define the question & concepts consider the vocabulary organize the terms construct the search statement

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developing search strategies

Developing Search Strategies

Jill Crawley-Low,

Veterinary Medicine Library,

University of Saskatchewan

developing strategies for searching electronic resources
Developing Strategies for Searching Electronic Resources
  • clearly define the question & concepts
  • consider the vocabulary
  • organize the terms
  • construct the search statement
  • decide which databases to search
  • execute the search
clearly define the question
Clearly Define the Question
  • example of a precisely worded question:
    • “are there articles on mycorrhizal symbioses in vascular plants written in the last 5 years?”
identify the main concepts in your question
Identify the Main Concepts in Your Question
    • “are there articles on mycorrhizal symbioses in vascular plants written in the last 5 years?”
  • mycorrhizal symbioses
  • mycorrhizas
  • vascular plants
  • 2000+
consider the vocabulary
Consider the Vocabulary
  • forms of keywords – mycorrhiza, mycorrhizal, mycorrhizas
  • synonyms – mycoflora, fungal flora
  • truncation
    • ? replaces one character
    • * replaces more than one character
organize the terms
Organize the Terms
  • free-text or index searching
  • Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)
  • Parentheses
boolean operators
Boolean Operators
  • most search engines don’t allow natural language - use keywords or key phrases and combine them with Boolean operators
    • and retrieves records containing both terms (narrows a search)
    • or retrieves records containing either term (broadens a search)
parentheses
Parentheses
  • allow you to control the order in which keywords or key phrases are searched
  • all search statements containing “and” plus “or” in the same sentence must use parentheses to control search order
free text or index searching
Free Text or Index Searching
  • enter keywords or phrases
    • e.g. vascular plants or mycorrhiza
  • search for terms in specific fields
    • e.g. king in au, vascular plants in ti
construct the search strategy
Construct the Search Strategy
  • “are there articles on mycorrhizas or mycorrhizal symbioses in vascular plants written in the last 5 years?”
  • (mycorrhizas or mycorrhizal symbioses) and vascular plant? and py>=2000
determine which databases to search
Determine Which Databases to Search
  • Microbiology Abstracts: Algology, Mycology & Protozoology – references in biological life sciences, medicine, and microbiology

http://www.csa.com/factsheets/microbiology-c-set-c.php

  • Web of Science - citation databases contain the references cited by the authors of the articles, also use these references to do cited reference searching- find articles that cite a previously published work

http://scientific.thomson.com/media/scpdf/ba_qrc_11_15.pdf

  • Biological Abstracts - coverage of worldwide journal literature in the life sciences including agriculture, biochemistry, biotechnology, ecology, immunology, microbiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, public health, and toxicology http://www.biosis.org/media/pdf/qrc/BIOSIS_on_SilverPlatter_QRC.pdf