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Effective Search Strategies. Why we’re here Why you want to do a literature search what do you get from it? Learn to set up a search in a way the computer.

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Presentation on theme: "Effective Search Strategies. Why we’re here Why you want to do a literature search what do you get from it? Learn to set up a search in a way the computer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Effective Search Strategies

2 Why we’re here Why you want to do a literature search what do you get from it? Learn to set up a search in a way the computer can work with Select appropriate resources to search Find and use the articles you’ve found

3 Why do you want to do a search? Why – affects: What you are looking for affects: Where you look and What question you ask Where you search = what are you looking for? WebpagesGoogle, Yahoo, Alta Vista BooksTrellis Journal articlesResearch Databases Never count on a computer search to get you everything!

4 A simple sample search Is laughter the best medicine? 1. Is laughter the best medicine? humor therapeutic 2.(laughter OR humor) AND (medicine OR therapeutic) 3.55 documents brief records displayed 25 at a time

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7 Disposal of hazardous wastes in Ontario Disposal| hazardous wastes| Ontario Cleanup| toxic wastes| Quebec Dumping| industrial wastes| Alberta Recycling|| Canada

8 Generating word lists Watch for spelling differences – British vs. American spellings, plurals List the words that are mandatory, what makes your topic unique Avoid words not relevant to your search List component parts as well as collective The computer will only look for what you ask it to

9 Logical Connectors OR cleanup OR dumping AND dumping AND wastes NOT toxic NOT radioactive

10 Disposal of hazardous wastes in Ontario Disposal| hazardous wastes| Ontario Cleanup| toxic wastes| Quebec Dumping| industrial wastes| Alberta Recycling|| Canada OR OR OR

11 Disposal of hazardous wastes in Ontario Disposal| hazardous wastes| Ontario Cleanup| toxic wastes| Quebec Dumping| industrial wastes| Alberta Recycling|| CanadaAND

12 Disposal of hazardous wastes in Ontario Disposal | hazardous wastes| Ontario Cleanup | toxic wastes| Quebec Dumping | industrial wastes| Alberta Recycling|| Canada Becomes (disposal or cleanup or dump* or recycl*) and (hazardous wastes or toxic wastes or industrial wastes) and (canad* or ontario or quebec or alberta) Note () to keep concepts together

13 Truncation or Wildcards Computer* to retrieve computer or computers or computerised or computerized or computerisation or computerization... Cart* (thinking cart or carts) will also get cartography, cartoons, cartwheel, cartilage, cartesian,...

14 Database choice can be critical Chose your database based on where someone is most likely to publish. Selection of a good database can reduce the number of strange citations.

15 When the best-planned search goes awry Disposal of hazardous wastes in Ontario Disposal| hazardous wastes| Ontario Cleanup| toxic wastes| Quebec Dumping| industrial wastes| Alberta Recycling|| Canada

16 When the best-planned search goes awry – too many hits Add another column Disposal of hazardous wastes in Ontario soils Disposal hazardous wastes Ontario soil Cleanup toxic wastes Quebec clay Dumping industrial wastes Alberta gravel Recycling Canada

17 When the best-planned search goes awry – too many hits Remove terms generating unwanted references Disposal of hazardous wastes in Ontario Disposal| hazardous wastes| Ontario Cleanup | toxic wastes| Quebec Dumping| industrial wastes| Alberta Recycling || Canada

18 When the best-planned search goes awry – too few hits Delete a column Disposal of hazardous wastes Disposal| hazardous wastes| Cleanup| toxic wastes| Dumping| industrial wastes| Recycling||

19 When the best-planned search goes awry – too few hits Reduce phrases to individual words Disposal of wastes in Ontario Disposal | wastes | Ontario Cleanup | | Quebec Dumping | | Alberta Recycling | | Canada

20 When the best-planned search goes awry – too few hits Add more terms Disposal of hazardous wastes in Ontario Disposal| hazardous wastes | Ontario Cleanup| toxic wastes | Quebec Dumping| industrial wastes | Alberta Recycling| | Canada Redirection | Trucking| Transport|

21 When the best-planned search goes awry Try other databases: - Ethics in engineering – Phil Index or Compendex - Office psychology – ABI/Inform or PsycINFO Broaden your search by searching by author Cited Reference searching

22 Getting the articles The GetIt link can often take you to the article or journal table of contents Trellis tells you if we have the journal or books in print or electronically CISTI Source for grads & faculty Interlibrary Loan/RACER for whatever remains

23 Cited Reference Searching

24 Web of Science Covers: arts & humanities1975 – present social sciences1956 – present science & technology1900 – present

25 What about Google & Google Scholar? The searching is different but some of your preparations would be similar. You have to decide the quality of the material. You often have to do much more filtering of junk. There are gaps in Google Scholar’s coverage. What’s the sorting? Different results on different days!

26 Review Determine what you are looking for - write down the ideal title - what are the most common synonyms? Select the database most likely to have what you are looking for. Search using the words in your list, combining them with brackets and logical connectors

27 Review – pt. 2 Review your results critically - what’s good about the ones you like? - what other words, spellings can be used? - Check the bibliographies and citing references Find your articles by searching for the journal title in Trellis or by using

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29 More Help? Drop by the Reference Desk Phone the Reference Desk Use the Chat Reference service Contact your liaison librarian Ask a Librarian


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