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Search Techniques & Using Databases. Jane Long MLIS, University of Oklahoma MA, Wright State University Reference Services Librarian Al Harris Library jane.long@swosu.edu. How do I get started? 1. Keywords 2. Boolean Operators. Search Techniques. Keywords Flexible Terms

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search techniques using databases

Search Techniques & Using Databases

Jane Long

MLIS, University of Oklahoma

MA, Wright State University

Reference Services Librarian

Al Harris Library

jane.long@swosu.edu

search techniques
Search Techniques
  • Keywords
    • Flexible Terms
    • Easy Searches
    • Less Accuracy in

Searching

    • Use of Phrases
    • Use Synonyms
identifying keywords
Identifying Keywords
  • Identify the significant terms and concepts that describe your topic from your thesis statement or research question.
  • These terms will become the key for searching catalogs, databases and search engines for information about your subject.
keywords synonyms
Keywords: Synonyms

Keyword phrase: conservation

Synonyms: preserve, maintain, keep up, list, save, improvement, betterment, advancement, “water conservation,” “oil conservation,” “soil conservation,” conservancy…

keyword phrases
Keyword Phrases
  • Single concept, multiple words
  • Some electronic resources require keyword phrases be enclosed with punctuation by using
    • Quotation marks
    • Parenthesis
keyword phrase examples
Keyword Phrase Examples:
  • “Gasoline Taxes”
    • “Highway Trust Fund”
    • “Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries” (OPEC)
    • “Transportation spending”
    • “Sport utility vehicles” (SUVs)
    • “Fuel efficiency”
  • “Government Bailout”
    • “Bear Stearns”
    • “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac”
    • “Housing bill”
    • “Savings and loan crisis”
    • “Henry Paulson”
    • “Subprime mortgages”
boolean operators
Boolean Operators
  • AND = Narrow
  • OR = Expand
    • (Used with synonyms)
  • NOT = Exclude
how and is used
How “AND” is used
  • AND (narrows)
    • conservationandenergy
    • conservationandpreservationand“alternative transportation”
how or is used
How “OR” is used
  • OR (expands)
    • conservationorenvironment
    • improvementorbetterment
  • AND & OR together
    • conservationorenvironmentandecology
    • improvementorbettermentand “alternative transportation”
how not is used
How “NOT” is used
  • NOT (excludes)
    • preparation notcookery
    • maintainnotembalm
  • AND, OR & NOT together
    • ecologyand“biological science” orenvironmentnotelement
how do i pick the right keywords
How do I pick the right keywords?
  • Here is an example of a visual word search tool:
    • Visuwords
    • Use the suggestions made in the databases
how can i conserve energy
How can I conserve energy?
  • First, narrow the topic
    • What type of energy?
      • Oil resources?
      • Water resources?
    • What is meant by conserve?
      • Health issues?
      • Fewer products?
      • Preservation?
      • Who is involved in conservation?
      • Is this a call to action?
      • Will I consider what can be accomplished by an individual or by groups?
things to remember
Things to remember --
  • Rely on the use of Boolean Operators to search
  • Remember the importance of good keywords; use synonyms that provide additional search possibilities
  • Formulate a research question that aids you in narrowing your search
  • Example: What are a few simple things we can do to protect our natural resources?
finding articles
Finding Articles
  • We find articles in periodicals. This includes magazines, scholarly journals, and newspapers
  • Many of these resources

are available in print

  • Many periodicals are available for your use through our library databases
magazines vs scholarly journals
Magazines vs. Scholarly Journals

What is the difference?

difference between scholarly and popular periodicals
POPULAR MAGAZINES

USUALLY SOMEWHAT SLICK AND ATTRACTIVE IN APPEARANCE

RARELY CITE SOURCES. INFO. IS USUALLY SECONDARY, REPORTED FROM SOURCE

ARTICLES SHORT, WRITTEN IN SIMPLE LANGUAGE AND FOR A MINIMAL EDUCATION LEVEL

USUALLY LOT OF ADVERTISING AND PICTURES

PAGINATION RESTARTS IN EVERY ISSUE

SCHOLARLY JOURNALS

HAVE A SOBER, SERIOUS LOOK

ALWAYS CITE THEIR SOURCES IN FOOTNOTES/ ENDNOTES AND INCLUDE BIBLIOGRAPHIES

ARTICLES WRITTEN BY A SCHOLAR OR RESEARCHER “HORSE’S MOUTH”

PEER-REVIEWED BY SCHOLARS

LANGUAGE OF JOURNAL ASSUMES SOME SCHOLARLY BACKGROUND ON THE PART OF READER

ADVERTISING IS SPECIALIZED TO THAT DISCIPLINE

PAGINATION IS USUALLY CUMULATIVE

Difference Between Scholarly and Popular Periodicals
periodicals are available for use through the library but where are they located
Periodicals are available for use through the library, but where are they located?

Take a look in the databases!

BBut…how do I search?

databases are
Databases are:
  • Large, regularly updated files of digitized information related to a specific subject or field.
  • They are the place where we find articles from scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers.
  • They are where most of your research will take place.
full text articles
Full-text articles

Full-text articles indicate the entire article can be found within the database, no physical searching is necessary. Full-text articles are accessible in the following ways:

  • HTML (displays like a web page)
  • PDF (displays like a photocopy; best for citing info)
  • Linked (hyperlinks to full-text in another location)
periodicals list
Periodicals List

A directory used to identify the location of journals, magazines and newspapers accessible through the library regardless of format

Formats:

  • Electronic (article database)
  • Paper (soft or hard bound)
  • Microfilm (reel)
  • Microfiche (card)
it s time to begin searching
Review Search Techniques

Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals

Periodicals List

Databases…

Folder Prepared

Topic Selected

It’s time to begin searching!
citing database articles newspaper
Citing Database Articles – newspaper
  • Bernstein, Fred. “A View of Modernism Through a Vegas Lens.” New York Times 3 Jan. 2010: 11. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Jan. 2010.
citing database articles journal source
Citing Database Articles – journal source

Rozsa, Lajos. “A Psychochemical Weapon Considered by the Warsaw Pact: A Research Note.” Substance Use & Misuse 44.2(2009): 172-78. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Jan. 2010.

citing database articles magazine source
Citing Database Articles – magazine source

Kinnon, Joy Bennett. “Why Children Are Killing Children.” Ebony Jan. 2000: 126+. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Jan. 2010.

citing an ebook source
Citing an Ebook Source

Neiwert, David. How Internment Destroyed a Japanese American Community. New York: Palgrave, 2005. Ebrary. 23 Feb. 2010.

questions
Questions?
  • Contact me:
    • Jane Long
      • 774-3030
      • jane.long@swosu.edu
      • http://faculty.swosu.edu/jane.long