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Your dissertation and the Library James Webley 19 February 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Your dissertation and the Library James Webley 19 February 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Your dissertation and the Library James Webley 19 February 2013

2 Session outline To review the research/literature review process How the librarys services and resources can help you with your work. Demonstrate key resources Further help and advice. 19 February 2013

3 Research Process Starting out Devising a search strategy Locating your references Reviewing and evaluating your results Writing up Keeping up to date 19 February 2013


5 Starting out Books/ebooks, textbooks, Wikipedia, previous projects, lecture notes. Build up concepts and keywords relevant to your topic. Identify phrases. Remember variant spellings (e.g. US and English), different meanings, synonyms etc. 19 February 2013

6 Search Strategy Use your keywords/concepts as search terms Select appropriate resources – search engines (e.g. Google Scholar) and Library resources Use search tools: AND, OR, NOT Truncation - * (e.g. dynamic* = dynamics, dynamical, dynamically) Search within results and citation searches Refine by year, type of publication, subject etc. 19 February 2013

7 Search Strategy - Google Use the Advanced Search options: Phrase searching – Machine learning Combining keywords - OR, +, - Limit by file type, date, language etc. Limit by domain,,.eu,, 19 February 2013

8 Locating references Library Catalogue for print and ebooks Search Engines, Subject Databases, and Ejournals Access material via Follow a research trail – bibliographies, references, citations. Find/access material not held at Bristol - COPAC/ILL /SCONUL 19 February 2013

9 Reviewing/Evaluating results Read the abstract – is it relevant? – Coverage Is it free of errors backed up by reliable sources? - Accuracy Who wrote it? Expert? Academic? Corporation? - Authority Bias? Commercial interest? - Objectivity When was it published? - Currency 19 February 2013

10 Writing up/Keeping up to date Store and manage references as you search Cite and reference properly – acknowledge your sources Avoid plagiarism ZETOC, Citation alerts (Subject Databases), Publishers Alerts, Google Alerts 19 February 2013

11 Where do you search for information ? 19 February 2013

12 Google Scholar : friend Can search in the same way as Google. Searches for scholarly information including journal articles. Good coverage. Links to other articles that have cited that article. Shows articles that UoB subscribes to. 19 February 2013

13 Google Scholar : foe Results ranking unclear. No list of journals covered. Does not index all records from databases. Includes non-academic sources such as blogs. Limited search options/ no sort options/duplication. Cant always get the full text. 19 February 2013

14 Google Scholar : the verdict...a searcher who is unwilling to search multiple databases or to adopt a sophisticated search strategy is likely to achieve better than average recall and precision by using Google Scholar. Walters 2009, p.16. Use Google Scholar in conjunction with other academic search tools at your disposal: 19 February 2013

15 Library Resources 19 February 2013

16 How can the Library help with my research ? Q. How do I find articles on quantum cryptography? A. Compendex, IEEE Xplore, Web of Science, ACM Digital Library Q. What is the most highly cited journal in the field of artificial intelligence? A. Journal Citation Reports 19 February 2013

17 How can the Library help with my research ? Q. How do I keep up to date with what is published in my subject? A. ZETOC Q. How do I find previous dissertations written on my topic? A. Index to Theses 19 February 2013

18 In summary, intelligent research involves: An awareness of the search tools available to you. A knowledge of how to refine/sort/combine your searches. Critically evaluating the resources you find. Using appropriate tools to manage your information. 19 February 2013

19 For ongoing help and advice… Subject Enquiries 19 February 2013

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