Searching the Literatureplanning a searchusing information resources effectively Psychology (Applied) Heather Robb Academic Liaison Librarian October 2013
Outline • planning a search • where to look • finding answers • presentation • practical • workbook & online tutorials
Gathering information • 1 – definitions • 2 – search strategy • 3 – choose resources • 4 – begin searches • 5 – refine searches • 6 – note the sources of information used
What am I looking for? Planning is the key: • look carefully at your topic • break it down into concepts or themes e.g.“how can we assess the perception of another person’s gaze”?
How to put concepts together • AND • both words must be present in the record for it to be retrieved • OR • either word or both must be present in the record for it to be retrieved
Boolean operators AND OR looking OR gaze perception AND gaze
Boolean operators • use the Boolean operators to help you express your search logically e.g. AND AND
Synonyms and spellings • think about other terms which mean the same i.e. synonyms, or related terms • remember alternative spellings e.g. US vs British AND AND OR OR
Widening a search Other options with keyword searching: • use truncation to pick up plurals or other word endings • e.g. assess* = assessment, assessing • use wildcards to pick up spelling variants • e.g. behavio?r = behavior, behaviour • use adjaceny for words appearing in the same sentence • e.g. nature SAME nuture = nature nurture, nature versus nurture, nurture as opposed to nature,...
Widening a search AND AND OR OR
Limiting a search • Can you make your search more specific? • For example: • English language • type of publication (review articles?) • type of population (human? animal?) • date of publication (last 5 years?)
Have a go... • in pairs plan this search using the simple grid structure • break the question down into key terms/concepts • think of synonyms, alternative spelling and plurals • decide which Boolean operators are required • What part do genes play in human intelligence?
AND AND humans intellig* gene OR OR OR homo sapiens intellect* genes OR OR IQ genetic* OR genom*
Selecting your resource(s) • what kind of information do you want? • how much information do you want? • which “finding aids” cover this type of information? e.g. • Library Catalogue for books • databases such as PsycInfo or Web of Knowledge for journal articles • Nexis UK or Factivafor newspaper articles
Practical • Connect to the internet • From the Current Student’s Gateway click: Library | Subject information | Psychology | Information skills | Psychology (Applied) - Literature Searching