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Transcript - Introduction to Public Policy & Administration Research - Jun 4 2019

Video Link: https://youtu.be/iV-MX5sleWc

 

 

Begin Transcript

 

Narration:

>>    TAYLOR LEIGH: 

Hello and welcome, everyone, to the introduction to public policy and administration research webinar for my name is Taylor Leigh and I am their leaves in library into the school of policy and administration here at Walden.  This webinar today is designed as an introduction to the Walden library, and more specifically, it's resources for public policy and administration students.  At any degree level.  So undergraduate, master's, doctoral, everyone is welcome.  A lot of the resources we discuss will be helpful to you as you progress through your program so if you are following along on a computer I recommend creating bookmarks in your web browser so you can navigate back to some of these resource in the future.  Let's take a look at our objectives.

 

 Our first objective is to learn how to find course readings guides and assignment guides.  Another thing we will do is learn how to access the public policy and administration homepage.  This is a page of resources specific to public policy and administration students so if you are unaware of it, I want you to make sure you know how to access that.

 

We will look at keyword searching.  The some database searching skills, and we will see how to apply those skills in a subject-specific database.

 

Lastly, we will talk about how to access other helpful labor resources you can get to do the library's website before we talk about research homepages, I am going to -- I'm going to go into Blackboard -- so I'm going to show you what you probably experience if this is your first class or your first few classes in your getting into the swing of things -- I want to walk you through the process of learning about this course guides and course readings.

 

Here I am in PPPA 8004 -- some of you might be in this course right now.   But in any course, what you will do is once you are in the course, you can come to the syllabus and scroll down until you get to, course materials.  When you get to, course materials, it will tell you a little bit about how you can secure whatever text, required textbook for your course.  This is the publication manual of the American psychological association.   When I scroll over this resource, it is not highlighting.  That is because we at the library cannot provide access to required course textbooks.  You will need to purchase those one way or another, either through the Walden bookstore or a vendor of your choice.  If we keep scrolling, we see the course readings list section.  This course is cross listed three times, so it is a public policy course, also a doctorate of public administration course and a criminal justice course.

 

All of these links are hyperlinked, and they will take you if you click on one, they will take you to your course guide.  We will talk about this in a moment more but you can access your course guide right there in your syllabus.  Unfortunately, in that course guide, that will not contain every single reading for your course because there will be other readings linked directly in the classroom.

 

I want to show you what I am talking about.  I will go back to the homepage for the course.  I will come down and go to week four.  Once I am in week four, I will go to the resources section.  Here, we have required readings for this particular week.  As we scroll through these you will notice some highlight when you scroll over them and some will not.  So for this one that does, you are able to click that, a new browser will open up, a new window or a new tab, and give you that reading.

 

That is the case for these down here as well.  They have this linked icon.  But there are then others that do not light up at all, like these two at the bottom and this one here.  For each of these readings, you will see this note at the bottom that says note retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

 

That is your indication that these readings, you will access in this course guides.  How do you get to the course guides?  The first way is by clicking on the link in the syllabus like I showed you but you can also come here to the library's homepage and click on the course guides button on the right.  When you do that you will use your course code and number to track down the course guide.  For this one, we are looking for PP PA 8004.  This brings us to the course guide, the same one we access to the syllabus.

 

In these guys you will have the rest of the readings and they will be nicely organized and hyperlinked.  And this is we can access those.  One thing you might also see is assignment guides.  For courses that require specialized library instruction we have created assignment guides.  Unfortunately, it will not be an assignment guide for every assignment.  But whenever you do have assignment that instructs you to do some kind of research in the library is a good idea to check the course guide to see if there is an assignment guide available.  Want to show you an example here.  The links for the guides will be on the left-hand side.  I will go to week three discussion.  When you come into them, it will give you an overview of the assignment instructions.  In this case, it is choose an article from international peer-reviewed journal from the Walden library.  It will talk to you about that and you will scroll down and it will tell you exactly how to go about that, how to isolate international peer-reviewed journals in our databases.

 

Then it will link out to other helpful information at the bottom.  So that is something to be aware of.

 

Unfortunately, assignment guides are not linked in the Blackboard classroom.  So you will not have, in most cases, any indication that there is an assignment guide available for your assignment in Blackboard.  Now that may be changing the future, but just know that, so you will have to come to the course guide.

 

You might be asked  to go to the library and find a peer-reviewed article from a subject-specific database.  In these cases, how do we know what databases to look in. I'm going to go to the library homepage here.  These pages are sites that provide access to a wealth of subject area at library resources, including the most relevant databases.

 

So how do we access these?  There's a few different ways, but the easiest way is on the library homepage, and the subject resource box, open up the drop-down menu that says, select a subject.  Here, you will have a complete list of our subject on pages.  I am just going to click on the public policy and administration page.

 

Once I do, you'll be on the public policy page, but you can quickly navigate between this page and the object research on pages up here in the left-hand corner.  I will just put change my research home.  A lot of these are multidisciplinary so you will want to explore some of these other subject areas as well.

 

All of the research on pages will have the same general format.  You will see a search box at the top as well as a series of drop-down menus, as you scroll down.  I want to talk to just a bit about main search bar up here.  You can search many kinds of subject specific resources by typing your search terms into this search bar.  This can be good for exploratory research at the beginning stages of a project, but the downside is that it does not allow for too much precision.

 

One thing you can do is -- well, in general, I recommend looking for scholarly literature in individual subject-specific databases.  The difference is if you do a search in this box it is searching across multiple databases, all of those databases that we have designated as relevant for public policy.

 

But you can also go into individual databases, and this will help you keep track of where you have been, how you have searched, and in many cases it will return more relevant results.

 

Moving down on this page you see we have a menu for databases, we will come back to this in a moment.  Also journals, books, government websites, which is very important for public policy.

 

And then we get down into the research help section, and here, we have all kinds of things.  Let me make sure I didn't miss anything I wanted to mention.

 

Yes, so, we have research basics up here, you will find resources to help you with some of the more common questions students have about the library, including choosing a topic, choosing a database, choosing search terms, database search strategies, evaluating different kinds of resources, and peer review.

 

If we continue down, I made a seven minute video, as an orientation for students. And another in the political science database.  And then we have more resources for the literature review.  Test and measures, theories and theorists, statistics and data, upcoming webinars, and residency materials.  If you are a doctoral student, when you go to residency -- after you get back, I should say, you can look here and you will be able to access the documents you are seeing at the residency.  Let's go back up to the database menu.

 

First question, what is a database?  I think we'll have a general understanding but essentially a database is a collection of related data organized and made easily accessible.  More to the point databases is where you will find the peer-reviewed literature for your course assignments and projects.

 

You will find a list of recommended public policy specific databases.  You can specify a subcategory of public policy and administration by clicking on this drop-down menu, within the bigger menu.

 

You will see we have a different list of databases for public policy, administration, emergency management, legal, nonprofits -- keep that in mind.  There will be overlap of course between the databases that appear in his lists.

 

These individual databases we are seeing in this list, most of time they will give you better results than you will get by searching in either the main search bar on the library homepage or even that search bar at the top of the public policy page.  You only see six that show up in the list but you can come here at the bottom and click, view all public policy databases, and that will show you all of the others that we cannot fit in this list.  So I think there's something like 35 databases total for this subject area.  Her graph the ones you see here are the best bets.

 

EBSCO provides a lot of individual databases.  EBSCO host is not the name of the database -- if you ever want to know what database you are in, look above the first search box and you will see that we are in the database political science complete.  Any EBSCO database will have the same general interface.  Which is helpful because once you learn how to navigate within this interface, you will be able to go to any of the other EBSCO databases.

 

You can see that they have three search boxes there but the key to inputting search terms is to enter one concept per search box.  One concept is not necessarily expect that does not necessarily mean one search term.  One concept can include multiple synonymous terms, but they will all represent the same concept.

 

When you are starting out searching, it is helpful to take a moment to break down your topic, whatever it may be, into the various concepts involved.  And we will see an example of this now.  Our research question that we use for the demo search is, How has technology impacted voting in the United States?

 

Most of the time, you can just start by taking keywords straight out of that research question.  Or research statement.  I am going to do that.  I will put technology in the first search box, voting in the second search box and United States in the third search box.

 

This is the basic way to set up the search.

 

The first thing you want to do is check this box for peer review, because peer-reviewed literature is the kind of literature that you need 99/100.

 

We can uncheck the box that says full text -- we want to do that because it depends on what stage you are at in your program.  If you are still in the coursework stage, you will want to leave that check because you need literature immediately.  If you are collecting literature for your dissertation then you want to uncheck that because that will ensure your searching comprehensively.

 

Once those things are selected, I will search and we are getting 171 results for that search.

 

That is not bad.  Come getting fewer than 50 results that's my indication that I need to start thinking of ways to search more broadly.  That could mean removing some of my search terms but you will want to search more broadly than getting 50 results.

 

If you are getting much more than 200, that is when you want to think about ways to limit your search.  We will see examples of that now.

 

We have 171.  The first way to limit, I would recommend, is by date.  So you can come down here and use this publication limiter and drag the bar on the left all the way up to 2014.  Sometimes you have to click it again to make it update.  That leaves us with 37 results.  You might want to find more results.  One way to do that is to add more terms.

 

This is when adding more synonymous search terms will be handy.  So in addition to --When we talk about technology, we might also use words like digital or electronic.  I have separated these words with the word, OR.

 

You don't have to capitalize but I do out of habit is used to be that you had to.  And it helps me keep everything straight when I am looking at it.  So that is why I do that but you do not have to.

 

When we are talking about voting, we might think of the word, elections.  Then for United States, usually that is fine the way it is, we might enter USA as well.

 

Once we do that, let's search again.  Then we get back up to 160 results.  We went from 37 to 160.  So that's a brief demonstration of how many more results you stand to find by including a few extra search terms for each concept.

 

Once you start scrolling through your list of results, you will see various ways to access the full text of the materials.

 

A very common way to do that is you will see an HTML full text link , that will open up the full text of that article in your web browser.  You also may see a PDF full text link, that will do the same thing but will be in PDF format and you can download it.

 

You also might see this find at Walden button.  This is very common.  When you see this button, it is an indication that we have this resource, this article, somewhere in our collection.  But not in this particular database.  So when you see this button, click on it, and it will take you to wherever the article lives.

 

Do not be afraid of the, find at Walden button.

 

You will have the abstract and you can stroll down.  Sometimes it doesn't work this smoothly but the last time I did the webinar, I tried to access this article and it just took me to an error page.  It told me I could not access it.  That does happen, and a lot of times the reason for that is there is a one-year embargo placed on electronic content by the publisher.  So we do not have access to that content for one year after it is published in print format.

 

If you ever come across that, and you really need that article, you can request that through document delivery service, which we will touch on in a moment.

 

Another good thing to know about is if you click on the title of an article, it takes you to the detailed record here, you have the PDF access or the full text access over here on the left.

 

But you can scroll through and look to the authors, the authors will often be hyperlinked.  You can click on their names to see the other publications they have in the database.  The journal name as well will be hyperlinked, and then you will see, subject terms.  These are helpful to know about.  These are terms that have been applied to this particular article by people who have read it.  Experts in the field have read it and said, this article is about these things.

 

It is helpful to review the list of subject terms because often you will find helpful search terms that you can use in your future searches.  In this case, we have subject terms and then author supplied keywords.  These are similar.

 

And then you can also read the abstract if you are ever unsure if an article is really relevant for your research.  Read the abstract and it will probably clear that up.  It is just a sustained summary of the article's contents.  So I wanted to show you that detailed record page and also the tools that you have on the right.  You can upload it to Google drive, you can add it to a folder within this particular database, print it email it, save it, cite it, all kinds of things.  You can grab a permalink which will allow you to get back to this resource whenever -- you can email that to yourself and save it in your own records.  You can have it read this article to you, you can translate it, all kinds of stuff.

 

Now, if you are ever struggling to find good results in a subject-specific database, well, let's take a moment here, if this was our topic, what I would do from here is come back to the list of databases in the public policy page and go into each of them.  And run that same search.  You can experiment with your search terms but once you go through the list and maybe some additional ones in the bigger list, you will have a pretty good idea how much is out there on your topic.  But let's say you are struggling to find good results in the subject specific databases, you can also try searching in Thoreau.

 

When you do searches on the main page, you are using Thoreau. And you know that because there's a button above the search box that has Thoreau check.  There are pros and cons of using Thoreau.  It is multidisciplinary, it will show you lots of different results in different formats, books, articles, newspapers, etc.

 

It is often good for undergraduate research or for graduate discussions.  It's also good for an overview of a topic to see what is out there.  Some of the limitations are that it does not show you everything.  You will need to go to some other individual databases to search comprehensively.

 

It is not appropriate as the only database you use, especially at the dissertation or doctoral level.  Because it is not comprehensive and it is not subject-specific.  I think are getting something like 160 results from that last search.  I will do a comparison search here.

 

You can just enter in a term here.  What I like to do is click this link underneath it says, advanced search.  And that will take us to a search page that looks nearly identical to the one we were sitting in political science complete, except that we look above that first search box and we see that we are searching Thoreau.

 

Let's enter in those terms again.

 

We want to scroll down, check the peer review box, leave the full text box checked.  And they can limit our date range on the first page.  I'm going to go ahead and do that by entering 2014 into the first year box.

 

Let's see how many results we are getting.  2355.  This is a really good example of the differences in results you will see when you use a big search tool like Thoreau, or even Google Scholar, it is much worse and go Scholar, you get more results than this -- and some of those subject specific databases, you will be dealing with a lot of noise in this list of results -- a lot of results coming from different subject areas not immediately relevant to your topic.

 

If you ever have a question about anything library related, I want to show you where you can come to get help.  Here we are back on the library some page.  Want to show you quick answers and library guides.

 

We have seen how this button is checked for Thoreau, but we can toggle to search everything.  And when we do that, you'll notice the text that appears in the search box changes.  It says search library schools, quick answers, articles and more.  That is what you want to do.  And you can enter in any phrase or word you the question about.  I will use the term, peer review, as an example.

 

You will have three columns.  On the left side will be where the guides will be.  The central column is where quick answers will be.  And then on the right, you will see results from Thoreau.

 

Quick answers are very concise answers to commonly asked questions.  So when we searched for peer review, the first quick answer we saw, what is peer review.  So you can click on the Senate will tell you in a very condensed form, what peer review is, how it happens and then it will link out to other relevant information here.  On the other hand, we look over to the left and we can look at some of our guides on peer review.  You will notice two links in these -- for these guides.  The first one will actually be a section of the second one.

 

I will click the second one to take me to the bigger guide.  This is are verified peer review guide.  As you can see, this will give you much more information about peer review, as well as walk you through the process of verifying the peer review status of articles or anything else you find.

 

I'm going to come back to the library's homepage now and I want to make sure you know where you can reach us as you encounter issues or have questions in the future.

 

This button here on the right, ask a librarian, this is how you will contact us.  You have a variety of ways you can do that.  You can email us a question.  You can chat at us during specific hours.  You could call in a question.  And if you are a doctoral student, you have the option of scheduling a doctoral research appointment.  That is a 30 minute sitdown with a librarian, or they can offer you individualized assistance with your research.  So keep that in mind as a very valuable resource.

 

That concludes what I wanted to cover in this session.  Just to review, we learned to access course readings and assignment guides.  Learn how to access the research homepages in the public policy with homepage.  We learn to do a basic search the database, political science complete, and we learned how to access some other library resources and how to get more help.

 

So, I am just going to scroll through these other slides, we deviated from the PowerPoint presentation and that is okay.  I just want you to see that I have hyperlinked all of this information, so feel free to download this PowerPoint and save it in your own files.

 

Okay, so, I have stopped the recording.  And I will take any questions you might have.  Thank you so much for attending.  And let's see -- what kind of questions we have.

 

End Transcript

 

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