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Introduction to Library Research Leslie Murtha 609-463-4815 Psychology 101 Michael Carr.

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1 Introduction to Library Research Leslie Murtha 609-463-4815 Psychology 101 Michael Carr

2 Today’s class Will cover – An introduction to library services – Selecting research topics and finding background material. – Using the library catalog and research databases to find information on a topic Learning Objectives – Know about the services of the ACCC libraries – Develop a preliminary search strategy – Practice the basics of catalog and database searching

3 Keys to the library Your ID card is your library card. – You need your barcode and a PIN to use our self-service options. You can use your ACCC card to get books from many libraries. – We can deliver books from one library to another in a few days. – Use your ACCC ID card to get a borrower’s card from other libraries. – We can borrow materials for you from libraries all over the US. It’s not just books! The libraries subscribe to many full-text magazines, scholarly journals, newspapers, and other online resources. – You don’t have to be in the library to use our online resources. Librarians are happy to help you find information and learn to be an effective researcher. Remember to bring money for printing and copying, and a USB drive to save your work.

4 Getting Started What is your research question? Where should you look? – What types of sources will be useful? Background and context Evidence What terms should you use for searching?

5 Library Research Process Select a topic Find background information Draft research question(s) Tools Vocabulary Strategies Search for relevant information Read and digest Refine question(s) Relevant to your class Interesting to you Overview Issues & controversies Important people, places, events Key words and concepts Open-ended (not yes/no) Not too broad Not too narrow or local Examines relationships Books, articles, web sites, … Who studies this question? What words describe your topic?

6 Research Question Broad topic: Alcoholism How are college students affected by alcoholism?

7 Choosing Search Terms Computers don’t think in sentences. Select the most important ideas in your question. Words like “effects,” “causes,” “issues” rarely work as search terms. Make a list of synonyms and related concepts to expand your search.

8 Using Boolean Operators OR Returns records containing any of the terms Use for words with similar meanings or for related concepts Combining terms with OR makes your set of results bigger AND Returns records containing all of the terms Use to make connections between 2 or more ideas Combining terms with AND makes your set of results smaller.

9 Review Use encyclopedias and other reference books for background information. Identify key concepts – Use synonyms to expand your search Use OR for similar terms and AND for terms with different meanings Use the library catalog for books, and research databases for articles. Scholarly literature is written by experts for experts and students. – Always includes a bibliography Always be a little skeptical. Look beyond the surface to evaluate your sources.

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