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Finding Academic Literature in Physics Richard Holmes, Durham University Library.

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Presentation on theme: "Finding Academic Literature in Physics Richard Holmes, Durham University Library."— Presentation transcript:

1 Finding Academic Literature in Physics Richard Holmes, Durham University Library

2 Aims To bring everybody up to speed Pre-empt some common questions Dispel common misapprehensions Explain the tools available Provide time for hands-on and for Q&A

3 Format Where to search Introduction to the tools Hands on How to search: strategies and techniques Hands on Q&A Feedback

4 Quick Question Where do you search for academic information at the moment?

5 Use the Right Tool Google isn’t great for academic research Alternatives are more efficient… Save you time Improve your results What’s wrong with using Google then?

6 Problems with Google Too many search results Not targeted at academics Indiscriminate harvesting of information Search results are manipulated (personalised) Google has no awareness of Durham holdings or subscriptions But, good for finding ‘grey’ literature

7 Library Catalogue, then? Hands-on! Using the library catalogue - - find at least one good-quality piece of academic research on:http://library.dur.ac.uk Determination of the Hubble Constant

8 Library Catalogue Benefits: Degree of quality assurance Check local availability of specific content Find monographs on your subject Access to everything it finds No good for finding: Chapters (in textbooks) Articles Conference papers Newspaper reports Theses Technical notes Images An extremely superficial search tool

9 Commercial Databases Two distinct types: Full Text VS Bibliographic

10 Commercial Databases 1 - Full text collections – ScienceDirect – Institute of Physics e-journal collection Search every word in every paper (deep searching) View the full PDFs immediately (where entitled) But… Narrow breadth (limited or individual publishers) Multiple search interfaces to learn Increased chance of ‘false hits’

11 Commercial Databases 2 - Indexes of bibliographic information – Web of Science – FirstSearch – Astrophysics Data Service (ADS) Search multiple publishers at once Mainly peer reviewed materials But… No knowledge of your access entitlements Use ConneXions to check Local availability

12 A Hybrid…’Discover’ Deeper searching Identifies a range of content types (including articles, chapters, images, primary material) Options to limit or filter results Searches just owned/subscribed content but can also search more broadly But… Less comprehensive than some alternatives No citation data to assess popularity or impact Less refined than some alternatives

13 Have a Go! “Determinations of the Hubble Constant” Catalogue - ScienceDirect - --> Databaseswww.dur.ac.uk/library Web of Science - --> Databaseswww.dur.ac.uk/library Discover - (link under search box)www.dur.ac.uk/library No one resource covers everything! Use a range of options.

14 What to search Entering correct syntax

15 The Research Cycle1. Decide where to search 2. Choose your search terms 3. Perform the search 4. Review results

16 Choosing Search Terms Identify keywords from your topic: Describe the physics behind butterflies’ iridescent colours

17 Choosing Search Terms Identify keywords from your topic: Describe the physics behind butterflies’ iridescent colours

18 Choosing Search Terms Identify keywords from your topic: Describe the physics behind butterflies’ iridescent colours Advanced searching techniques: Synonyms: butterfly | Lepidoptera | diurnal insect Truncation: physic* to locate physics, physical science, physicist… Wildcards: colo?r to locate colour or color Phrases: “iridescent colour” Joining Words: AND, OR, NOT

19 Have a go! Identify keywords from your topic: Describe the physics behind butterflies’ iridescent colours Advanced searching techniques: Synonyms: butterfly | Lepidoptera | diurnal insect Truncation: physic* to locate physics, physical science, physicist… Wildcards: colo?r to locate colour or color Phrases: “iridescent colour” Joining Words: AND, OR, NOT

20 A Word on Google Scholar Filters out web sites and other ‘lay’ material Searches mainly academic domains Some awareness of Durham collections Broader search than some alternatives Indexing is still automated Hazy definition of ‘scholarly’ Depth of coverage (misses key resources) Limited filter/refine options Less structured/consistent records than alternatives Tip: Set up ‘library links’ The GoodThe Bad

21 Evaluate your resources Consider: Who wrote it What are their credentials? Who did they write it for? Why did they write it? When did they write it? Further guidance at https://www.dur.ac.uk/library/using/finding/evalinfo/

22 Key Points In most databases you do not have full access to everything No one database searches everything Use the right tool for the type of information you need Full Text searches deeply in a narrow spectrum of literature Bibliographic searches information about materials; not the full text ‘Discover’ combines bibliographic and full text searches Commercial databases need more careful and more literal instructions than Google… …but are more efficient and offer better limit/filter options

23 Further Information Physics Subject Page - https://www.dur.ac.uk/library/physics/ (follow link marked ‘Research Skills’)https://www.dur.ac.uk/library/physics/ Slides available at: https://www.dur.ac.uk/library/physics/info_skills/undergradsession/ https://www.dur.ac.uk/library/physics/info_skills/undergradsession/


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