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Helena VonVille, MLS, MPH Director, University of Texas School of Public Health Library Fall 2014 S IX S TRATEGIES FOR E FFECTIVE S EARCHING.

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Presentation on theme: "Helena VonVille, MLS, MPH Director, University of Texas School of Public Health Library Fall 2014 S IX S TRATEGIES FOR E FFECTIVE S EARCHING."— Presentation transcript:

1 Helena VonVille, MLS, MPH Director, University of Texas School of Public Health Library Fall 2014 S IX S TRATEGIES FOR E FFECTIVE S EARCHING

2 #2 of 35 O BJECTIVES  Be able to define what a database is  Be able to describe the strategies for developing an effective search

3 #3 of 35 W HAT IS A DATABASE ?  “Formally, "database" refers to the data themselves and supporting data structures. Databases are created to operate large quantities of information by inputting, storing, retrieving and managing that information. Databases are set up so that one set of software programs provides all users with access to all the data.”  e#Terminology_and_overview e#Terminology_and_overview

4 #4 of 35 W HAT IS A DATABASE ?  Two parts to consider  Content  Interface or search engine

5 #5 of 35 W HAT IS A DATABASE ?  Databases contain records  Records contain fields  Fields are defined by the database producer  Most fields are searchable  Searches can be directed to look in specific fields

6 #6 of 35 W HAT IS A DATABASE ?  Interface/search engine defines how the db looks and the rules for searching the db  Plays a major role in the results you retrieve  Which is the interface? Which is the database? Ovid…..MedlineMedline Ebsco…..MedlineMedline NCBI…..PubMedPubMed

7 #7 of 35 S IX S TRATEGIES FOR E FFECTIVE S EARCHING 1. Create concept clusters based on the components of your topic 2. Combine terms & concepts using Boolean operators 3. Use the appropriate vocabulary 4. Revise your search strategy 5. Search more than one database 6. Learn database search rules & peculiarities

8 #8 of 35 S TRATEGY #1 C REATE CONCEPT CLUSTERS  First and foremost– know what you want to research!  Consider the following: What class are you in?  Make your topic appropriate to the class you are taking. Who is your population? What types of studies do you want? What range of years do you want?  Why? What languages do you want to include? What setting(s) are you interested in?

9 #9 of 35 S TRATEGY #1 C REATE CONCEPT CLUSTERS  Develop a search strategy based on concept clusters  Three concepts generally work best  Combine multiple terms to create a concept  Perform broad conceptual searches Combine concepts to narrow results

10 #10 of 35 S TRATEGY #1 C REATE CONCEPT CLUSTERS  Sample aim:  Examine factors in interventions that result in the reduction of the use of tobacco products, specifically cigarettes, among adult African Americans

11 #11 of 35 S TRATEGY #1 C REATE CONCEPT CLUSTERS  Interventions  Interventions or health promotion or health education or health knowledge acquisition  Tobacco  Smoking or cigarettes or tobacco  African Americans  African Americans or Blacks

12 #12 of 35 S TRATEGY #2 C OMBINE TERMS USING B OOLEAN  Combine terms to create concepts  or  OR if searching PubMed  Combine concepts to create a single search statement  and  AND If searching PubMed  Remove terms (use sparingly!)  not  NOT if search PubMed

13 #13 of 35 S TRATEGY #2 C OMBINE TERMS USING B OOLEAN Smoking or cigarettes or tobacco African Americans or Blacks AND finds the articles where all 3 circles converge. Interventions or health promotion or health education or health knowledge acquisition Terms related to each concept are combined using OR.

14 #14 of 35 S TRATEGY #2 C OMBINE TERMS USING B OOLEAN  If you want to “google-ize” a search  Parentheses in licensed databases ensure the correct order of operations  What does this equation equal?  x 7 – 8  What does this equation equal?  (4 + 3) x (7 – 8)

15 #15 of 35 S TRATEGY #2 C OMBINE TERMS USING B OOLEAN  What does this equation equal?  x 7 – 8 = 17  According to the order of operations, multiplication and division are done before addition and substraction.  What does this equation equal?  (4 + 3) x (7 – 8) = -7

16 #16 of 35 S TRATEGY #2 C OMBINE TERMS USING B OOLEAN  This search in any Ovid database:  Interventions or health promotion and Smoking or cigarettes and African Americans or Blacks  Will return:  (((((Interventions or health promotion) and Smoking) or cigarettes) and African Americans) or Blacks)

17 Blacks Articles with ((Interventions or health promotion) and smoking) AND African Americans will be returned. Articles with Cigarettes and African Americans will be returned. All articles with the term Blacks will be found. (Intervention s or health promotion) African Americans AND OR Cigarettes African Americans AND Smoking #17 of 35

18 #18 of 35 S TRATEGY #2 C OMBINE TERMS USING B OOLEAN  Where do you think the parenthesis should go?  Interventions or health promotion and Smoking or cigarettes and African Americans or Blacks

19 #19 of 35 S TRATEGY #2 C OMBINE TERMS USING B OOLEAN  Where do you think the parenthesis should go?  (Interventions or health promotion) and (Smoking or cigarettes) and (African Americans or Blacks)

20 #20 of 35 S TRATEGY #2 C OMBINE T ERMS U SING B OOLEAN  You can “google-ize” a search but…  Parentheses are important!

21 #21 of 35 S TRATEGY #2 C OMBINE T ERMS U SING B OOLEAN  Example concept cluster

22 #22 of 35 S TRATEGY #3 U SE THE APPROPRIATE VOCABULARY  Each database has its own unique terminology  Also known as a “controlled vocabulary”  Search for controlled vocabulary terms within the database

23 #23 of 35 S TRATEGY #3 U SE THE APPROPRIATE VOCABULARY  Common controlled vocabularies  MeSH: Medical Subject Headings Used by both Medline & PubMed  Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms Used by PsycINFO

24 S TRATEGY #3 U SE THE APPROPRIATE VOCABULARY #24 of 35

25 #25 of 35 S TRATEGY #3 U SE THE APPROPRIATE VOCABULARY  Many databases also have special fields that utilize a different vocabulary or codes  Librarians frequently use them to help refine searches

26 #26 of 35 S TRATEGY #3 U SE THE APPROPRIATE VOCABULARY  Example from Ovid Medline  MeSH + subheadings / eh [Ethnology] / th [Therapy]  Publication type

27 #27 of 35 S TRATEGY #3 U SE THE APPROPRIATE VOCABULARY  Ovid PsycINFO  Subject headings  Key Concepts  Classification code  Population Group  Methodology

28 #28 of 35 S TRATEGY #4 R EVISE YOUR SEARCH STRATEGY  Multiple searches in the same db are the norm  Use citations found in earlier searches to help develop and revise searches

29 #29 of 35 S TRATEGY #4 R EVISE YOUR SEARCH STRATEGY  Example:  African Americans or Blacks or Ethnic Groups

30 #30 of 35 S TRATEGY #5 S EARCH MORE THAN ONE DB  No one database does it all  Not even Google or Google Scholar  Each db has strengths & weaknesses  For in-depth health promotion research paper:  PsycINFO and Medline/PubMed

31 #31 of 35 S TRATEGY #6 L EARN DB SEARCH RULES & PECULIARITIES  Adjacency (proximity) searching  Interface function  Terms must be within certain number of words from each other  PubMed– not allowed Use “quotation marks” for phrases

32 #32 of 35 S TRATEGY #6 L EARN DB SEARCH RULES & PECULIARITIES  Adjacency (proximity) searching  Ovid (Medline, PsycINFO) Cancer adj3 screening  Ebsco (CINAHL, Acad Srch Comp) Cancer n3 screening  Words in any order Cancer w3 screening  Words must be in the order entered  Cancer screening will be found; screening for cancer won’t

33 #33 of 35 S TRATEGY #6 L EARN DB SEARCH RULES & PECULIARITIES  Search in specific fields  Fields are defined by database producer  How to search defined by interface  Ovid databases Ovarian cancer.ti,ab. and english.la.  PubMed Ovarian cancer[tiab] AND English[la]  Ebsco databases (TI Ovarian cancer OR AB Ovarian cancer) AND LA english

34 #34 of 35 S TRATEGY #6 L EARN DB SEARCH RULES & PECULIARITIES  PubMed requires CAPITALIZED operators  “and” vs “AND”; “or” vs “OR”; “not” vs “NOT”  Search for phrases using “quotation marks”  Works in Google, too!

35 #35 of 35 S IX S TRATEGIES FOR E FFECTIVE S EARCHING 1. Create concept clusters based on the components of your topic 2. Use the appropriate vocabulary 3. Combine terms & concepts using Boolean operators 4. Revise your search strategy 5. Search more than one database 6. Learn database search rules & peculiarities

36 Contact: Helena VonVilleAmy Taylor Q UESTIONS ? A SK A L IBRARIAN OR VIA TEXT : A SK A L IBRARIAN


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