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Finding Academic Literature Rowena Stewart Liaison Librarian Tel: 0131 650 5207 Thinking about your subject to get search terms.

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Presentation on theme: "Finding Academic Literature Rowena Stewart Liaison Librarian Tel: 0131 650 5207 Thinking about your subject to get search terms."— Presentation transcript:

1 Finding Academic Literature Rowena Stewart Liaison Librarian Tel: Thinking about your subject to get search terms Bibliographic databases

2 What question do you have to answer? Have a Think What is your literature review on? Do I have to think? 1)Get a grip on what you’re investigating. And so:  decide your research focus which may prevent you amassing information on diverse strands of the topic not immediately relevant. 2) Prepare words and phrases for finding the academic information you need from the resources available to you  “Search Terms” It helps you to:

3 Search Terms & Focus  What you already know may help you decide on your focus within a broad subject and to come up with the words and phrases which describe the topic you’re investigating. Consider: synonyms and alternative spellings. Professional and colloquial usage broader terms Which antihypertensives are safest in treating hypertension during pregnancy or childbirth? Major subjectsantihypertensiveshypertensionpregnancy or childbirth Alternative spellings related terms synonyms anti-hypertensive(s) beta blockers specific drug names high blood pressure toxemia preeclampsia PIH Parturition Birth Labour/ labor  any limits on the type of studies you want to read?...PICOS Patient Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome, Study design

4 Library Catalogue cf Bibliographic databases Library catalogue and e-journal pages tell you what journals we have, eg Clinical Nursing Research Not who has published what in those journals, ie not that in Clinical Nursing Research in 2009, D Finfgeld-Connett published Management of aggression among demented or brain-injured patients. Contain details of millions of articles from 1000s of publications Are usually subject specific Perform sophisticated searches limited to topics, date, authors or type of publication Bibliographic databases 1) provide references/citations for material and often abstracts or summaries as well but only link out to full-text 2) are not limited to what the library has N.B. Bibliographic databases

5 Bibliographic databases let you avoid some steps because they provide access to academically or professionally approved material.  you just have to decide if what you’ve found is relevant. Information Assessment Currency – when was it written? Authority - Do you trust the author of the information? Accuracy – are there mistakes elsewhere? Objectivity - Is there bias? Relevancy - Is the information on the aspect of a subject you are interested in? Searching bibliographic databases Be specific when you start to search for academic papers but, if you are not finding anything to read use broader topic search terms.  see what you get and use further search terms from your results  find articles which have, in their reference list, a paper you’ve found useful.

6 Search strategy - truncation Truncation allows you to look for all forms of a keyword: plurals, variant endings, etc. e.g. music* = music, musical(s), musician(s), musicianship antihypertensive* Symbols can vary depending on databases!

7 …Boolean logic for combining search terms All foods with raspberries (100) All flavours of ice cream (100) Raspberry ice cream (1) Raspberr* OR ice cream (199) Ice cream AND raspberr* (1) Ice cream NOT raspberr* (99) …and truncat*

8 Search strategy – wildcards Usually a ? Mark. Like truncation but a wildcard allows for variation in a letter in the middle of a word instead of at the end, eg organise/organize: organi?e. labour/ labor: labo?r You could use OR to achieve the same result.

9 Search strategy – snowballing Just one useful book or article can lead you to more: –Search for other writings by the same author and co- authors. –Follow up on references used by author in their bibliography. –Use “cited by” or “more like this” feature if there is one. –Follow up subject headings/keywords used in database records

10 Try any links which seem as if they will give you full-text. Treat like a normal reference and use the library catalogue Because we may have what you want: online from a different site In print Reading the full-text Off-campus access to online collection Through EASE (authentication) / MyEd (portal) VPN – access to University network + wireless access

11 Inter-Library Loan (ILL) for what we don’t have 5 free requests per year. After that - £5 per request received. payment – e-payment request via ILLiad - Visiting Other Libraries - National Library of Scotland, Other Uni Libraries, etc

12 Where to find (out about) databases A-Z list and lists by subject Searcher (default tab) for quick searches and probable full-text

13 Citing References Allow those reading the record of what you’ve done, to read the sources you have read. Credit and show you have read the key relevant work and are able to use it to support your arguments/move on. Avoid plagiarism. The work of others which you use in your own work is cited to: There are manuals for the different styles with instructions on how to cite different types of material. There is reference management software which may help, eg EndNote Online. Different disciplines cite sources in different ways – find out the “style” you are expected to use.

14 Help ISiskills – Rowena Stewart, Tel:


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