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Biology 457 Research Methods Deng Pan 603-358-2725.

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Presentation on theme: "Biology 457 Research Methods Deng Pan 603-358-2725."— Presentation transcript:

1 Biology 457 Research Methods Deng Pan

2 Agenda Develop your research topic Develop search strategies Choose appropriate databases Examples of using databases

3 Defining a Topic Choose a topic that interests you In this class, the topic is an invasive plant – Purple Loosestrife Preliminary search by browsing sources, talking to your professors, your group members, etc.

4 Map Your idea Create a concept map for your research topic Virtually displays the concepts and relationships among ideas A concept map helps you to further organize your ideas and define your topic

5 Develop a Concept Map Purple loosestrife Competition with Goldenrod Ecosystem functions Nutrient concentration Herbivory And other issues … Impact on species diversity

6 1.What ’ s the effect of purple loosestrife on species diversity? 2.What ’ s the effect of other invasive plants on species diversity? 3.Are there any quantity relationships between native plants and exotic plants? Develop Research Questions Impact on species diversity

7 Agenda Develop your research topic Develop search strategies Choose appropriate databases Examples of using databases

8 Identify Search Terms What ’ s the effect of purple loosestrife on plant diversity? Concept 1Concept 2Concept 3 Effect Purple loosestrife Impact Plant diversity Species diversityLythrum salicaria Relation Invasive plants Plant populations

9 Boolean Operators AND Searches for materials containing both of the search terms Narrows the search OR Searches for material containing either of the search terms Broadens the search NOT Searches for material which contains term A but does not contain term B Narrows the search Use it carefully Term ATerm B Term A Term B

10 Truncation/Wildcard Allow you to retrieve variations of a specific word Expressed by an asterisk (*) or a question mark (?) Search termExamples of searched words When should it be used ecolog*ecology, ecological, ecologist, ecologists To find both singular and plural forms or words with the same beginning but a different ending *printprint, reprint, e-printTo find words with the same ending but a different beginning organi*ationorganisation, organization If you are unsure about spelling; or want to retrieve different spelling

11 Nesting Nesting keeps concepts that are alike together and tells a search engine to search the terms in the parentheses first. Question: what’s the effect of purple loosestrife on plant diversity? (Effect* OR impact) AND ( “ Purple loosestrife ” OR “ invasive plant* ” ) AND ( “ Plant divers* ” OR “ plant population ” )

12 Review and Refine Your Search If you get too many hits, NARROW your search: Search with more specific terms. Consider adding additional search terms by using “AND” Limit your search by discipline, date, language, or type If you get too few hits, BROADEN your search: Search with less specific terms. Consider using “OR” to add synonyms. Consider using truncation or wildcard to retrieve more variations Consider removing a term(s) from your search strategy.

13 Agenda Develop your research topic Develop search strategies Choose appropriate databases Examples of using databases

14 What They Cover? Content scope and time scope General databases Academic Search Premier Subject-specific databases GEOBASE AGRICOLA Back file database JSTOR

15 Agenda Develop your research topic Develop search strategies Choose appropriate databases Examples of using databases

16 Examples of Using Databases an esource>Biology>Articles and databases


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