Transcript - Advanced Research in Public Policy & Administration - Jun 11 2019

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Welcome, everyone, this is the advanced research and public policy research webinar.  I am Taylor Leigh, the liaison librarian to the School of Public Policy and administration here at Walden.  This webinar is designed for students who have completed the bulk of their coursework and are starting to think about their dissertation.  For the purposes of the webinar I will assume you are already familiar with the library's website, your particular research home page and at least a few subject specific databases.  That being said, I want to emphasize that everybody is welcome here.  I wanted to include that disclaimer in case you find yourself wondering what I am talking about at any given point brick if you do find yourself in that situation, I recommend watching the introduction to public policy and administration webinar, because that will clarify a lot of things we discussed here.


In this webinar we will discuss advanced search strategies for subject specific scholarly databases.  We will discuss pertinent parts of the library's homepage, and helpful resources that advanced level students have at Walden.


Let's look at our objectives today.  Our first objective is to ask us "quick answers" and library guides.  These are incredibly helpful instructional content that you have access to through the library's website.


Then we will talk about Boolean operators and how to use them when searching in databases.  We will talk about a couple of alternative search methods, alternative to the keyword strategy, and some things we will talk about our subject term searching and abstract searching.  Then we will talk about what it means to search comprehensively.  We will see how you can save searches the you do and set search alerts.


We are actually going to start, I will toggle over to the library's homepage here.  And I want to show you two helpful resources that you might not know about.  Quick answers.  And library guides.  Both of these offer research regarding the certain topics in the research library.  These are great because unlike librarians, they are available to you 24/7.  So if you get stuck in your research, you might want to check out some of this content before submitting a question to the, ask a librarian, tool.  This instructional content is particularly helpful for advanced level students, as though students will often want to utilize the library and more varied and complex ways.


Both of these types of instructional content are accessible via the main search bar on the library's homepage.  All you need to do to access them is to toggle between what is selected by default, Thoreau , to the other option which is, search everything, then you can proceed to type in any term that you have a question about.


We will use, peer review, as an example.  I will enter that in.  And this is what the results page looks like.  You will have three columns over here on the left is where you've will find the guides.  In the center column, you have quick answers.  And on the right, you have results from Thoreau, the multi- database search tool.


Quick answers.  What are quick answers?  As the name implies, these are short answers to commonly asked questions.  I will click on the first result we are seeing which says, what is peer review? I just want to show you what they look like.  Quick answers are a great place to start when you have any question about the library.  This is where the librarians go and we have a question about the library.


It will give you a sustained answer to your question and link to related content down at the bottom.  I'm going to go back to the list of results.  I want to show you our guides.  Guides are much more detailed pieces of instructional content on a variety of library skills.  So some of the more popular guys we have included the evaluating resources guide, the library guide to capstone literature reviews and our keyword searching or database search skills God's.


I will just click on one of these to show you.  When you are looking at the results you will see two links and the first link which is bolded is actually a section of the second link.  To get to the bigger guide you have to click on the second part of the guide.  This is our guide on verifying peer review.  It tells you how you would go about doing that and it just provides much more information than the quick answers to.


I'm going to the back to the library homepage and go back to the center column but what are Boolean operators?


What are Boolean operators? Essentially, they are the words AND, OR and NOT. Use these between search terms when searching databases, to tell the database how we want it to search.


When do we use each of these?  OR is always going to increase results.  When we are going to use OR in between search terms to represent the same concept of our topic.  We will see an example of this soon.  AND would be used to decrease the number of results we have, it is limiting the search were as OR expands it.  We will use AND in between search terms that represent distinct concepts of your topic.


And then NOT will also decrease the results.  You use the word NOT to exclude a particular term that is problematic to your search.


I am going to navigate now -- I will go back to the library homepage, I will go into the political science complete database.  To do so I will just show you a run through of how to get to the public policy and administration page.  You will click on the select a subject drop down, click on public policy and administration.  And in the first drop-down menu, we have databases and political science complete is the first one.


I'm going to open up this database to perform our sample search.


I just wanted to mention, before I came in here I should have shown, when you are doing your research I recommend you look at all of these databases that show up in this initial list, but also there is a link at the bottom that says view all public policy databases.  Take some time to explore the other databases.  The only ones that we can fit on the short list are your best bets.  But depending on your topic, there may be other databases that are much more relevant.  So I just wanted to mention that.


When you click on political science complete, it is going to bring you to a fairly standard advanced search page in the database.  For our sample research question today, we are going to use this question of, How have water regulations affected agriculture in the United States?


I have never heard -- I've never had an appointment with a student that is had this topic so I don't think I'm stepping on anyone's toes here.


We will start by pulling our initial keywords straight out of our research question, making sure to use on search box or concept.  Again, our question is, How have water regulations affected agriculture in the United States?


I will put water, in my first search box.  Regulations, in my second search box.  Agriculture, in my third search box.   I'm going to add another search box by clicking on the plus sign to the right of the search box, and finally, it United States.


Before we search, we want to scroll down and do a couple of things.  We want to on check the full text box and check the peer-reviewed box.  We do this to ensure that we are seeing everything out there on this topic.  Not only those materials that we have immediate fulltext access to.


For the purposes of course assignments, you may want to leave the fulltext box checked, but when it comes to the dissertation you really want to see everything and we will discuss how to get this materials not available in fulltext, a bit later on.


You can also limit your date range on this initial page here.  But I prefer to wait to see how many results we get before I limit by date.  So with that said, I will come up and click on, search.  And they are getting 20 results.


20 is not bad, but it is not, certainly not enough for a dissertation literature review.  So we are going to use some of those Boolean operators to add some additional keywords and see if we can improve our results.


Here, in this first box for, water, we want to think about other terms we associate with water, in the context of agriculture or farming.  Another word I think of is irrigation.  I will add that in.  And I will use that word OR in between these two terms.  I capitalize my Boolean operators, you do not have to.  Typically, these days databases are more intuitive and they do not need you to type it that way but I still do because it helps me keep things straight in my head.


Water OR irrigation.  Then we come down to regulations.  And I think of other terms that could represent this same idea of regulations.  And a couple of things that I came up with were legislation OR laws.  We might also add words like policies or case law.


Now, agriculture, we could also add some terms like farming OR crops.  And then United States, there's really no other -- we could maybe add USA, but you are usually okay just using United States.


I have added some terms.  Now, let's see what happens.  We are going to update the search results.  Now we are getting 62 results.  That is a quick demonstration of how much more you can find by optimizing your searches with those Boolean operators.


The examples so far have all been examples of keyword searches, simple keyword searches.  This will remain one of the most reliable and straightforward ways to search.  However, there are other ways to search as well.  Some examples of alternative search methods are: subject term searching and abstract searching.  Why would we use these?  It is because it increases the relevancy of the results that you see.


Whereas keyword searching and return results that only mention research term once in passing, subject terms, on the other hand, are words and phrases assigned to articles based on the entirety of their content.  So they are  and then it lists out a series of subject terms?  much more reliable indicators of relevancy.  Keywords can be virtually anything.  Subject terms, on the other hand, are limited and specific to an individual database.  Depending on the database, subject terms might also be cool things like index terms, subject headings, or topics.


How do we know which subject terms to use in our searches?  After running a simple keyword search, like we have done, you can view the subject terms assigned to a result by looking at the information under the title. 



Could also come here to this link that says the source along the top banner.  All databases will have some form of this tool, it might be called an index and other database, but this is a tool you can use that as two search boxes you can use.  The second one, this is where you input search terms you have been using or are trying to think of more terms for, and it will suggest terms to you.


You see that the results for water default to being organized alphabetically but you can also change that hereto list them by relevancy rank.  You will see that this will be some aspect of water.  And that it will say "use" and then it will give you another term that is hyperlinked.


It takes me to water rights.  It takes me to the index, so I click it one more time.  Then you finally get to a page that looks like this.


This is a rather brief entry.  Others will be much longer sometimes.  But it will give you a scope note, so it will define what this term means so you can be sure this is what you mean.  And then I will give you broader terms, narrower terms, related terms and "used for" terms.  What I recommend doing is going through this process for any search terms you are using, and just jotting down on a piece of paper any other terms that you find through this method that might be helpful to add to your search.


I come back here to our search.  Let's talk about abstract searching, which is another one of the alternative methods I was referring to earlier.  Abstract searching, like subject to room searching, will return more relevant results than a simple keyword search, because it is going to search for your search terms only in the articles abstract.


An article abstract is a concise summary of the overall content of that article.  So if a term shows up there, it will likely be representative of the overall content of the article.  So this is a particularly good way to search, if you are getting far too many results.


Let's see.  To illustrate the searching -- how searching the abstract can affect your results, I'm going to run a demo of all of the three search methods that we have discussed today.


I'm going to clear this search.  And I am just going to -- first, I'm going to just search for the term, water, by itself.  So this is just a basic keyword to search for I just want to see how many results we get here.


For the term, water, I am seeing 13,551 results.  That is quite a lot.  Now, I just want to change that.  I am sorry -- the example I meant to use was "water laws".  So 951, still quite a lot.  Now, let's see -- I actually skipped over this, I am sorry, but I want to show you that you can also search -- you can select "subject terms" from the drop-down menu to the right and that is how we will do abstract searching as well.  But, say, we went to the process, found results and we know that "water laws" is a subject term in a database.  Then we can type it here.  Select subject terms.  And, search.


This brings us all the way down from 900 to 275.  And all of these results that we are going to see will be much more relevant to the topic of water laws, than the others that we would have found in the other search.


Now, let's see what happens if we search for this term in the abstract.  So same process, you click on the drop-down menu to the right of the search box, scroll to abstract, and search again.  And this brings us down even further to 145.  Keep this in mind, especially if you are getting far too many results, and as a reminder, whenever I am doing a search I am looking for somewhere between 50-200 results, ideally.  If I'm getting much more than that, I want to limit it a bit more.  If I'm getting fewer than not, want to think about ways to broaden my search.


Let's say -- let's switch gears here and talk about citation chaining, which is another really valuable search strategy that I want you to be aware of.


Let's say that you find an article while you are searching in this database, political science complete, or any other database.  It seems perfect for your topic.  But it is from 2011.  And your literature is supposed to come from the past five years.  What can you do in this situation?  This is when citation chaining can be very useful.


This is a way to identify the most influential articles on your topic, as well as find earlier and later articles that cite or are cited by a particular article.  So that was a bit wordy.  Essentially, it is using a piece of literature that you have defined literature, both before it or after it.


One of the most useful things if my parts of citation chaining, is to be able to find more current literature.


So, you can do citation chaining to a limited extent in our scholarly databases.  But Google Scholar is particularly useful for this exercise, because of the extent of their indexing.  They can index much more than any individual academic database that we subscribe to.


Now Google scholar has its limitations.  It indexes very widely.  But that is not at all mean that it provides fulltext access to all of the articles that it indexes.  And then you don't have the ability to limit to peer-reviewed material either.  So if you do use Google scholar, you definitely need to be aware of those limitations.  If you find articles in Google Scholar, you will need to know how to go about verifying the peer review status of that article to be able to use it in your research.


I'm going to hop over here to Google Scholar.  One of the articles that I saw when we were doing that search was called, A HUMAN RIGHT TO GROUNDWATER.  If you find an article and it is a bit earlier than you need it to be, copied the title, come to Google Scholar, paste it in, search for it, it will usually come up as the only example, sometimes there will be a few others.  But here is our article we searched for at the top.


What I want to point out, let me try to make it a little bit bigger.  That might be too big.  I want to point out this cited by hyperlink here.  It says, cited by 11, and number could range from one, two up to thousands.  But if we click on it, it is going to show us all of the other articles or books that have been published since the article we searched for, that have cited that article.


An older article might be more cited by an article from last year, but that does not necessarily mean that the older article is objectively better.  Just a side note.


Now, when you find things in Google Scholar, we clicked by the, cited by the link and looked at the literature that has come out since that article was published.  You are going to see links on the right-hand side.  If there are freely available versions to the article that you are looking at, they might show up over here.  Google library can in no way guarantee the authenticity of what you find in Google Scholar.  So buyer beware.  If it seems like a fishy source, then my suggestion is to not use it, and you can request it from us via document delivery service, which we will see in a moment.


However, if you have Walden library linked to your Google Scholar in your web browser, you'll see links that say, "find at Walden".  That means we have this article or this book chapter or what have you.  By clicking on that, it will act like a bridge and take you to whatever database it lives in in our collection, so don't be afraid of that "find at Walden" link.


We have seen how to do citation training in Google Scholar.  I recommend clicking on the, related articles, link as well.  You can find some good literature that way as well.


We have deviated from the presentation, but you do have access to all of this information if you want to grab this file. 


Comprehensive searching.  Comprehensive searching means exhausting the literature on your topic.   This often requires that you look outside the Walden library or your own research on page.


We do have a wonderful webinar on searching comprehensively so I will not go into too much detail, but I will say almost all dissertation topics are to some extent interdisciplinary in nature.  Especially those in public policy and administration.  These subject areas can be combined with virtually any other subject area out there.  Health policy, education policy, social services policy, etc.


Look at your particular research homepage, but also think hard about your topic and decide which other homepages you should visit.


I'm going to come back over to the public policy page.  If you are on the research homepage, you can easily navigate to one of our other research homepages by clicking on this drop-down menu on the top left.  So take a moment, review the other subject pages and do not be afraid to explore those.


Going to go back to political science complete.  Let's say, we are going to talk about save searches and search alerts.


Let's say that you run a search that is particularly well-crafted, and it returns excellent results for you.  You might want to say that search.  Now, you might want to do this for two reasons.  One, to return it to this list of results at a later date because you might do it at a public computer or when you do not have time to go through all of the results, seek and save the search to come back to.  You might also want to do this to be notified of new content added to the database that aligns with your search criteria.


For either case, the good news is, that you can do this.  It is really helpful.  If you go to the top of the results page, where we are now, and look off to the right, we see this, share, button.  If you click on that, it will expand the drop-down menu, and from here you can do various things.


You can add this whole search to a personalized folder.  You can go through the first 20 results and pick out  which of the results you want to archive in your own folder.


For both of these options, it will allow you to do that without setting up a personal account.  However, do not count on those results being here the next time that you sign in.  To save them in a permanent -- in a more permanent way, you need to come up here and click on the folder icon or the sign on link, and it will allow you to create a personal account with this database.  And that is just her name and an email address, it is free.


At that point, you can save your results or your searches into folders that will always appear here when you come back --  have materials that go missing. 


Here are email alerts. You are updated when new content that meets your search criteria is added to your database.  This is when you're focusing more on writing and you are not necessarily going to be in the databases on a daily basis.  But if you use this tool, it will email you, so it helps you stay on top of literature on your topic.


Lastly, you can copy this permalink  at the bottom, and you can email that to yourself or save it in a Word document.  That will let you come back to the search anytime that you want to.  Simply by clicking on that link.


Now, let's talk about accessing materials outside of our collection.  There will be times -- I will go back to library homepage.  There will be times when you need materials that we do not provide direct fulltext access to.


One way you might encounter these materials is by searching in a database and not limiting to full text like we mentioned earlier.  Some results will not show the fulltext options, the PDF or HTML.  And you won't find a "find at Walden" link either.  You will need to submit a document delivery service request for these items.


Let me show you how to do that.  From the library homepage, you'll come here along the top banner and click on, services.  Under, student services, there is a link for, document delivery service.


 You can read about what this is.  Essentially you give us the information you have about the source, the citation information, and typically they will be articles or book chapters.   And we will email you that content in 7-10 business keep this in mind, you can redo the information here or watch a short video on how to do that and you will sign in to make the request over here on the left.


There is a 30 article lifetime limit, so keep that in mind.  Most students don't even come close to that limit but try to reserve those document delivery requests for articles that seem very important for your research.


Now, I want to show you one other resource called WorldCat, this is another way you can go outside of the Walden library. is an international  catalog. It has records of virtually every resource out there, whether it be a book or a video or a journal, anything.


We can simply enter the title of what we are interested in, and I will use just Walden.


When I do that, it will give me a list of results.  And just from using the word "Walden" I'm getting close to 75,000 will most likely give you the most recent addition of Henry David Thoreau's Walden first, so if that is what you are looking at, looking for, you can click on that.  Obviously, this is an example, you probably would not be using this particular book for your research, but you might.  For any resource, you click on it and then come down here, and you can enter your own ZIP Code.  So I am going to do -- enter mine in here.


Typically, you are able to enter your ZIP Code here and click find libraries and it displays all of the libraries in your area that have that resource.  So there might be, if you have a good public library system in your area you can get lots of materials through them, it will also show you libraries at universities and colleges.  If it is a private institution, make sure you call before you go and say that you have this particular resource that I would like to come consult.  And they are usually pretty understanding about that.


That is just something else to know about.


I also wanted to just mention the fulltext guide that we have.  I'm going to do a quick search here for fulltext.  And the guide is called find fulltext and covers both of those tools we just saw, plus other ideas for how to go about getting access to resources.


Let me show you one more thing before we go.  I'm going to use that same search again and type in the word "matrix".  No, I am not looking for the Keanu Reeves movie, and looking for a tool.


I just want to mention a couple of tools recommend to stay organized, as you continue to collect literature.  Because that is an important skill to have.  One tool that we recommend -- I wonder if we -- no, I don't think we have -- yes, this is an example of what we call a "search log".  It is a simple table that you can make an Excel or Word.  Four columns, database, search terms, results, notes.  It is where you record your notes on where and how you have searched.  Because you will be asked to report on your search strategy in chapter 2 of the dissertation.  This is used at the database level.  Then once you start collecting literature, I will show you an example of what we call the "literature review matrix".


This is a literature review matrix.  As you can tell, it is a bit more complex.  There are more columns.  But essentially, you use it the same way.  It is where you record notes on the individual sources that you collect for your dissertation.


If you do this in Excel, you can sort the columns at the end, which is a really helpful thing to be able to duplicate will help you synthesize the literature, which is another thing you'll be asked to do in chapter 2, the literature review.


Lastly, let's see -- I have included a link here to our citation management software guide.  Take a look at that if you are interested, there's a lot of different citation management software out there that in a sense can do the same things that that search log and literature review matrix dup but if you are interested, you can read more about that there.


That concludes what I wanted to get through today, but I want to make sure you know how to contact us.  The first is to click on "ask a librarian" in the top corner of the library homepage, up here.  When you do that, it will take you to a page where you can choose how you contact us.  You can email us, chat, you can call us by phone, if you are a doctoral student you can schedule a one on one research appointment with a librarian.  It is a 30 minute sitdown, in which you can ask anything you have questions about, and you really get some individualized attention.


Lastly, this webinar will be archived in our webinar archive that is available through our website.  And I will show you where that is really quickly.  If you go to "get help", and this "webinars" box, go to "recorded webinars" back and you can browse through all of the webinars in our collection.


Thank you all so much. I hope you have some questions.


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