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Finding Academic Literature Focussing on what you want Check no-one’s written your thesis already Find out what’s been published in your field Bibliographic.

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Presentation on theme: "Finding Academic Literature Focussing on what you want Check no-one’s written your thesis already Find out what’s been published in your field Bibliographic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Finding Academic Literature Focussing on what you want Check no-one’s written your thesis already Find out what’s been published in your field Bibliographic databases Rowena Stewart Liaison Librarian Tel:

2 Think about the question you want to answer to identify its major subjects Also think up your “search terms”:  Synonyms and alternative spellings.  Colloquial and scientific/chemical terms  Specificities and over-arching/broader headings Thinking about the information you need Think about what you don’t want to read about as well as what you do  Limiting or Exclusion criteria Reviewing the literature systematically combines well focussed research question and search strategy with rigorous appraisal and synthesis of the literature. Someone reading the review must be able to repeat it. Talk through your topic. Put together some search terms

3 Bibliographic databases Library catalogue and e-journal pages tell you what journals we have. Not who has published what in those journals. Contain information about the contents of a range of publications (abstracts, journal articles, book chapters, reports and standards) Are usually subject specific Perform sophisticated searches with controlled vocabularies and limits Bibliographic (or abstracting and indexing) databases: Not limited to what the library has. Not full-text repositories but link out to full-text N.B.

4 Off-campus access to online collection Through EASE (authentication) / MyEd (portal) VPN – access to University network + wireless access Eduroam – JANET Roaming Service – secure wireless home/uni-from-home/uni

5 Inter-library loan (ILL) – Other Libraries – NLS and access schemes Recommend Books If the library doesn’t have what you want For anything you find information about and want to read in full:  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 or in print Getting the full-text

6 Common Features Be specific when you start to search for academic papers but, if you are not finding anything to read use broader words and phrases. Search histories Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT, ADJ) Truncation/wildcard Add to your search terms and selection criteria as you find (or don’t find) information on your subject. Also: A paper’s reference list Articles citing a useful work “Cited by:” Alerts/saved searches

7 Search strategies – truncation, wildcards, proximity operators, phrase searches Wildcards, useful for UK/US spellings (behaviour, behavior). A character which allows for variation in the middle of a word. Symbols and proximity operators vary between databases  use the Help WoK (olympic* SAME legac*) + REVIEW

8 Reference management software Export references Can amend records in reference management software with additional information, eg where/how got reference, Can put images in record of their own Information Capture Record your search strategy(ies) for the databases you’ve used You may need to record when you used the databases too Outline your inclusion/exclusion criteria. Help for your methodology Saved searches for re-running or generating alerts Table of contents alerts Help in keeping current WoK (olympic* SAME legac*) + REVIEW +other variable in Search History

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10 Thesis Check Databases: Index to Theses Digital Dissertations Catalogue Search if you want to look at recent ones for layout, bibliography etc Edinburgh Research Archive – for electronic deposit copy Regulations – see link to Guidelines for the Examination of Research Degrees at: Go to Academic Regulations, then Assessment Regulations. Index to Theses

11 General Web of Knowledge  for citation search check  for journal impact factors Other subjects MEDLINE – medicine BIOSIS & CAB Abstracts – Biological Sciences Bibliographic databases Physics Inspec Freely available things Maths MathSciNet ZMATH Chemistry Compendex Reaxys SciFinder Scholar

12 Help ISiskills – Liaison Librarian (Chemistry, Maths, Physics): Rowena Stewart, rm1406 JCMB, Tel:


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