Library 150: Information Literacy & Research SkillsE. Chisato UyekiFall 2006: Week 2 September 29, 2006
Getting StartedNIS accounts? Changing your passwordOffice Hours today: 12-1:30Any questions?
Todays Class: Finding BooksSearch strategies Library catalogs: CSULA Library Catalog (OPAC)All CSU Union Catalog (Pharos)WorldCat & Open WorldCatEvaluation CriteriaInterlibrary Loan
Search TechniquesAlternative Terms / SynonymsUse synonyms for better-quality resultsExample: teenagersAlternatives: youth, adolescents Related TermsUse words for similar conceptsExample: smokingRelated terms: tobacco, cigarettes
Search TechniquesTruncationNeed at least three letters to startpolitic* retrieves: politic, politics, political, politicians, etc.Check the HELP section of each database for the correct symbol
Search TechniquesAND: Narrows a searchMeans ALL keywords must be in search resultsReading AND children
Search TechniquesORBroadens a searchEither one, the other, or both keywords must be in search resultsWomen OR Females
Searching the catalogKeyword vs. Subject Heading SearchingBooks = Broad TopicsReservesPeriodicals by nameBasic SearchAdvanced SearchHelp
In-class Exercise GroupsLekeith and DeisyJessica and YelenaMichelle and NoeKaren and AntonioSandra and GabbyEsmeralda and LatashaMiriam and LamarMaria and Luz
Broaden Your SearchUse ORwith synonyms, alternative termscar OR automobileto include related termsdriv*(e, er, ing) OR vehicle operatorUse a more general term(go from freeway to road)Search by KeywordUse truncation
Narrow Your SearchANDretrieves only items where the two concepts overlapExample: smoking AND teenagersUse Advanced Search to limit byplace (United States, California, etc.) format (printed materials, scholarly articles, etc.)time period (last 5 years)language (English) Person or group of people (girls, Asian Americans)
Sophisticated Searching Techniques Keep a record Consider alternative perspectivesDiscipline-based resourcesAnd, Or, Not, & TruncationSubject terms Citation searching/chasingDiversify types of materialsRefine & revise search terms
Evaluating your ResultsCritical evaluation:Who created it? (authority)For whom? (audience)When was it created? (currency)What does it include? (scope & treatment)How does it relate to other works?Does it help answer your question?Adapted from Lisa Janicke Hinchliffes Evaluation of Information
Other catalogsAll CSU Catalog Search:(urban OR city OR cities) and automobile* and changeInterlibrary LoanOpen WorldCatsameWorldCatLos Angeles and automobile* and change
Review some of the search techniques that we just used:
These techniques are very useful for research in any of our databases.
Whenever you start out with a topic, spend a little time thinking about alternative terms. We used important alternative terms for our last search.Think of synonyms or related terms.Look up a book about your topic and see what other terms appear repeatedly. Or check a specialized thesaurus, dictionary or subject encyclopedia. We have a wide range of them in the library, selected with your classes in mind, so take advantage of them- a few are listed on the second side of your resource list handout. Another technique we used was truncation. A similar technique that our catalog doesnt have, but many databases do is wildcard. You can see some examples on the screen.
In the library catalog, the symbol for truncation is an asterisk. You type the trunk of the word (politic here) followed by the asterisk, and your search term will include various endings.
Our library catalog doesnt use wildcards, but many other databases do. Heres an example using the question mark as the wildcard symbol.
Each database is different, not every one uses an asterisk for truncation or the question mark for a wildcard.Some search screens will show you a truncation example. But others wont. What each database does have is a Help section. It really helps to take a second to check the Help section before you get started.
In our library catalog.[show Help tab]
Zero Results?!?what happened? (check spelling)And try some of these techniquesOn limiting: dont start out with lots of limits, but instead do a quick search, see what you get and then limit accordingly.Depending on the professors assignment, you might try looking at your topic more internationally by looking at sources that are written outside of the US, or from an ethnic news source rather than a mainstream source.
The library and a lot of the resources that we have in the library are organized by subject or discipline of study. Because this is an interdisciplinary course looking at cross-discipline topics it may be helpful to begin by thinking about the disciplines that might be working on your topicsUse example from one of their topics.