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4 Steps of Searching

Ad167c7294796d2ab663c1cf11e9b109?s=47 phlipsmith
March 20, 2012

4 Steps of Searching



March 20, 2012


  1. Carnegie Vincent Library Lincoln Memorial University Spring 2012

  2.  Selecting the most appropriate database(s)  Selecting the best

    keywords and controlled vocabulary terms  Putting together a series of query statements  Saving your results and your search history 2
  3.  Databases are usually discipline based. Many disciplines have a

    definitive database. For example:  Education: ERIC  Nursing: CINAHL  Business: Business Source Premier  There are also general purpose multidisciplinary databases. Such as:  Academic Search Premier  JSTOR  In this presentation, we will use ERIC.
  4. Build your vocabulary!  Translate you keywords into database specific

    terminology (called “subjects”, “descriptors”, or “controlled vocabulary”)
  5.  Start with your research question. For example: The role

    of community outreach in successfully transitioning rural high-school students into college  Extract the key concepts from this statement.
  6. The role of community outreach in successfully transitioning rural high-school

    students into college  Community outreach  Rural  High school students  Transition to College
  7. Keywords Synonyms Related concepts Subject Community outreach Partnership Rural Country

    High school students Adolescents, teens Transition to College Higher education, university Life changes This is your vocabulary from your topic/research question. You can also use reference sources, thesauri, concept maps, etc. to build this vocabulary. This is the database specific terminology.
  8.  Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)  Mainly used

    for books  Database specific  In ERIC, Descriptors  Two ways of finding subjects  Use Thesaurus or Subject Browse  Look in records
  9.  When used properly, subject searching is the best way

    to:  Retrieve the most relevant results  Reduce irrelevant results  May also suggest other related terms to search, can help broaden your search vocabulary.
  10.  Method 1: Subject Directory Browse  In ERIC, “thesaurus”

     Enter your keywords  Match to relevant subject terms  Method 2: Keyword to Subject Search  Directly search database with your keywords  Find relevant articles  Use subjects assigned to these articles
  11. None
  12. Keywords Synonyms Related concepts Subject Community outreach Partnership, extension Outreach

    Programs School Community Relationship School Community Programs Rural Country Impoverished, lack of resources Rural Schools Rural Education High school students Adolescents, teens High Schools High School Students Transition to College Higher education, university Life changes, first generation college students Transitional Programs College Preparation
  13.  Use your vocabulary to construct effective searches. Combine in

    various ways your:  Key words/phrases, synonyms  Subject/Descriptor terms  Use Boolean Operators (AND, OR)  See next slide for example
  14. None
  15.  If you have too many results (more than 50ish)

    and/or want to specify certain types, use limiters.  In ERIC:  Educational Level (for example, high school)  Publication Type (for example, Reports-Research) ▪ This powerful limiter can help you locate primary research articles.  Peer Reviewed  Date
  16. None
  17.  In Ebsco ERIC, make an account and save your

    search in your personal folder.  Many other databases have a similar feature.  See the saving searches tutorial video on the side bar for instructions on this.  This will allow you to revisit and revise your search later.