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Writing 2131 Search Tips, Tricks & Techniques Walter Zimmerman Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication Librarian and Electronic Services Librarian.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing 2131 Search Tips, Tricks & Techniques Walter Zimmerman Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication Librarian and Electronic Services Librarian."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing 2131 Search Tips, Tricks & Techniques Walter Zimmerman Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication Librarian and Electronic Services Librarian The D.B. Weldon Library The University of Western Ontario Kristin Hoffmann Mathematics, Engineering, and Statistical Sciences Librarian The Allyn & Betty Taylor Library The University of Western Ontario

2 Learning Outcomes Find appropriate databases for subject searching Think like a searcher Create successful search strategies Read and understand a scientific article and create an annotated bibliography Create a properly formatted citation Avoid plagiarism The last three “bullet points” are not covered in this PowerPoint presentation.

3 Searching Overview Refine or expand the search.Choose a topic.Analyze the concepts. Create a logical search strategy using the available tools. Run the search & view the results. Choose an appropriate database or databases. Select and obtain the actual items.

4 Who is this?

5 George Boole ( ) Boole Inventor of Boole an algebra Boolean operators: AND, OR, NOT You can use these in the library’s catalogue, databases, & search engines

6 And who is this? John Venn, Inventor of the Venn Diagram

7 A or B A and B Global warming OR climate change A not B Polar bears NOT global warming Polar bears AND global warming at least one OR = at least one of the terms must be present in the document “Polar bear” OR “Polar bears” OR “Ursus maritimus” Teenagers OR adolescents OR juveniles must NOT be present NOT = the term following the NOT must NOT be present “Blue Jays” NOT baseball all AND = all of the terms must be present to retrieve the document nightmares AND children AND treatment

8 Boolean Operators at least one OR = at least one of the terms must be present in the document – “Polar bear” OR “Polar bears” OR “Ursus maritimus” – Teenagers OR adolescents OR juveniles all AND = all of the terms must be present to retrieve the document – nightmares AND children AND treatment must NOT be present NOT = the term following the NOT must NOT be present – “Blue Jays” NOT baseball– NOT very useful in a search of the catalogue and can be dangerous, eliminating useful items ANDOR NOT

9 Search Basics Searching is based on Boolean Logic – AND OR NOT (sometimes called AND NOT) Most databases also use Phrase Searching and Proximity Searching (sometimes called Positional Searching) – “ Phrase Searching ” – a NEAR b – c WITHIN N d (where N is a number from 1 to 10) Searching also uses Truncation and Wildcards – environment * Wom ? n Sometimes, Parentheses are also necessary – ( a OR b ) AND ( c OR d ) Details will vary by database but the concepts generally apply.

10 Be creative - think of: – variant spellings – synonyms and closely related words – word endings/wild cards – abbreviations – category names and members of the group – opposites – scientific/binomial nomenclature and popular names What’s a synonym for “Thesaurus”?

11 Thesauri Many databases have their own thesauri: MeSH (for PubMed) SHE: Subject Headings for Engineering INSPEC PsycInfo LCSH

12  When searching just one database, it’s best if you can use the terms specifically chosen for that database (e.g. MeSH for a PubMed search)  When your database does not have its own thesaurus OR you need to search concepts that are not in the thesaurus, you need to brainstorm use a regular thesaurus use a thesaurus from a related subject area to get ideas for terms -- and be creative!!!

13 Truncation Whenever possible and appropriate, use truncation to retrieve multiple word endings – nightmar*  nightmare, nightmares, nightmarish – Canad*  Canada, Canada’s, Canadian, Canadians, Canadiana… – Adolescen*  adolescence, adolescent, adolescents “Bee” careful not to truncate too early!!! – Bee*  bee or bees but also beer, been, beef, beet, beep, Beeb, and that’s not including beech and beetle! – Cat*  cat or cats but also catch, catchup, catalog, catalyst, catcher, catchy, catapult, etc. (up to a MAXIMUM of 5 characters after the t in Western’s online catalogue) In short – CATastrophe!!! NOTE: Our online catalogue requires ** for 6 or more additional characters after the root term. e.g. environment** to also retrieve environmentalists and not just environment, environments, environmental, environmentalism, and environmentalist

14 Wildcards Similar to truncation but restricts results to words matching the exact number of internal or final letters – wom ? n  wom a n, wom e n, wom y n, wom i n – Globali ? ation  globali z ation, globali s ation – Canadi ? n  Canadi a n, Canadi e n – carbon fib ??  carbon fib er, carbon fib re

15 Phrase Searches When it’s important for two or more words to be found in an exact order, use “ Phrase Searching ” – “carbon dioxide” – “art therapy” – “natural history” – “reproductive cycle”

16 Positional Operators When terms only have to be near each other, use positional operators – nightmare* NEAR treatment* – children WITHIN 4 nightmare* – reproduct* W/5 strateg*

17 Four plus three times seven = ?? (4 + 3) x 7 = 49 or did I mean 4 + (3 x 7) = 25 ? When you use more than one kind of logical operator, you need to use parentheses to indicate logical intent

18 Order of Operations Applied to Search Logic Parentheses should be used this way: ( pollut* OR environment* ) AND ( law OR laws OR legislation OR regulation* ) or else the logic is assumed to be: pollut* OR ( environment* AND law ) OR laws OR legislation OR regulation* because search systems generally will perform the AND operation first And this is NOT AT ALL what you want!!

19 Choose a Topic the effect of global warming on reproduction in polar bears

20 Analyze the Concepts Climate change and its impact on polar bears with respect to reproduction

21 Analyze the Concepts Climate change and its impact on polar bears with respect to reproduction

22 Analyze the Concepts Climate change and its impact on polar bears with respect to reproduction

23 Analyze the Concepts Climate change and its impact on polar bears with respect to reproduction

24 Create a Search Chart (class discussion) Polar BearsClimate ChangeReproduction Ursus maritimusGlobal warming reproducti* polar bearmeltingBirth rate* Climat* chang* Topic: How reproduction in polar bears is affected by climate change-- OR AND

25 Putting it All Together 1.(”polar bear” OR “polar bears” OR “ursus maritimus”) AND 2.(“global warming” OR “climat* chang*”) AND 3.(reproducti* OR “birth rate*” OR fertility) Polar BearGlobal warmingReproduction “Polar bears*”Climate change(s)Reproductive “Ursus maritimus”Climactic Change(s)Birth rate* Fertility

26 Finding Appropriate Databases Browse by Program (Librarians’ content) Databases by Title (if you know the name)

27 Life Sciences

28

29

30 More Databases

31 Your Choice For a more focused search, choose Browse by Program For a broader, more multidisciplinary search, choose Databases by Title Life SciencesSCOPUS Conservation BiologyWeb of Science Zoological RecordGoogle Scholar ORScholars Portal Search BIOSIS PreviewsJSTOR Academic Search Complete ProQuest Research Library Aquatic Science and Fisheries Abstracts OR

32 Multidisciplinary Databases  Web of Science  Scopus  ScholarsPortal Search  Google Scholar  Applied Science and Technology Abstracts  ProQuest Research Library  Expanded Academic Index  Academic Search Complete  JSTOR

33 Your Turn! (5-10 min) Create a search chart for a topic that interests you (aka a topic for your WRI 2131F assignment!) Jot down as many keywords as you can think of. Find the “Browse by Program” page that corresponds with your topic. Who is the librarian responsible for that subject area? What is the first listed database?

34 Four Searches Scopus Web of Science/BIOSIS Google Scholar Scholars Portal Search

35 Let’s Try Scopus First This search found 59 items so let’s add the term reproducti* to find reproduction or reproductive in addition to the other two concepts.

36

37 Refined Search with the Addition of the reproduction term Click on “Get Western” to check whether we have the items electronically, in print, both, or neither. To get the electronic copy To get the location of a print copy

38

39

40 If You Want, Click on the Tower to Go Live to Scopus * * Make sure you’re on campus, or have used the off-campus access option.

41 Test Your Search Elsewhere Keep track of your keywords & save your search strategies Repeat the same search in other pertinent databases For more thorough results, try all the recommended databases in your field For broader results, try multidisciplinary databases

42 Let’s try Web of Science

43

44 Clicking on “All Databases” will allow you to search Web of Science together with BIOSIS, the major biology database.

45 Web of Science Search Note the need to change default search of “Author” in the second line to “Topic” for a basic keyword search.

46  With 144 items found, it’s time to go back and add the “reproducti*” term......or refine the results with the categories or subject areas at the left.

47 Getting the Article All citations have a Get Western button......and some also have a direct link to the full text.

48 Let’s Try Google Scholar

49 Google Scholar Search ("polar bear" OR "polar bears" OR "usrus maritimus") ("climate change" OR "climate changes" OR "climatic change" OR "climatic changes" OR "global warming") (reproduction OR reproductive) The “AND” operator is unnecessary in Google searching and any space is assumed to be the “AND” operator. Google requires that the logical “OR” be in all caps.

50 ("polar bear" OR "polar bears" OR "usrus maritimus") ("climate change" OR "climate changes" OR "climatic change" OR "climatic changes" OR "global warming") (reproduction OR reproductive) Click on Recent articles to search only recent years Click on “Cited by nn” to see newer articles that cite this one. For best results in obtaining full- text, click on Get Western.

51 ScholarsPortal Search You can search from one to several dozen databases at one time Search terms are searched broadly by default but you can narrow down results by changing fields searched first to keyword and then to title or subject Let’s start by going to Zoological RecordZoological Record

52 First Search Attempt – Zoological Record We are searching anywhere in the record for all three concepts.

53 Search Terms in Scholars Portal Search The search in Zoological Record found only11 results, 9 of them peer-reviewed journal articles, so let’s search more databases with the same search terms.

54

55 Selecting ALL Natural Sciences Databases

56 Search Results The search in all Natural Science databases found 45 results, 33 of them peer-reviewed journal articles.

57 Restricting some or all of the concepts to “keywords” means that each concept must appear at least once in the title, abstract, and/or descriptors (i.e. subject headings.)

58 From Where Did the Results Come?

59 Results by Database

60 Things To Remember Databases use many different kinds of search software Each one has some sort of assistance available – Search Help – Search Examples – Search Tips – Help This session is about the general “rules” for creating good searches so always check the Help to make sure of the details! Look at these tips until you are familiar with the software.

61 Summary Searching is a skill that can be learned Choosing the appropriate database(s) is as important as creating a good search strategy Brainstorm and/or use a thesaurus to find the best terms Proper use of truncation/wildcards, positional as well as Boolean operators, and parentheses where necessary, will create the best searches Help is generally available on search software screens – check it for database-specific information such as truncation symbols, field names, sortability of results, etc. Help is also available from staff at the Service Desks in each library or by phone

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63 Writing 2131 Search Tips, Tricks & Techniques Walter Zimmerman Writing, Rhetoric, and Professional Communication Librarian and Electronic Services Librarian The D.B. Weldon Library The University of Western Ontario ext Kristin Hoffmann Mathematics, Engineering, and Statistical Sciences Librarian The Allyn & Betty Taylor Library The University of Western Ontario ext 86217

64 Need More Information? Walter Zimmerman Electronic Services Librarian Research & Instructional Services The D. B. Weldon Library The University of Western Ontario London, Ontario N6A 3K ext Zimmerma AT uwo DOT ca


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