Video Link: https://youtu.be/LNH7wjl71LE
Mysteries of the Library: Revealed! Databases
>> LISA PRESLEY: I am sharing my screen, can you see my PowerPoint?
>> ANDREA LEMIEUX: Yes, I can.
>> LISA PRESLEY: Perfect. So, a few of the things we want to talk about tonight, an overview of the session, we want to talk about what a library database is. We also want to talk about some different types of databases. We have subject specific databases. We also have more general, multipurpose databases. We are also going to talk about some database search strategies.
One of the questions I meant to ask before I pulled this up, actually, was Andrea, what are some things that you find particularly helpful about the library databases, versus Google Scholar? If you can think of something not on this chart, that would be great.
>> ANDREA LEMIEUX: I think one of the things that I think that is the most helpful with library databases is that we have selected them specifically to help students with their coursework in their capstone and this education research. So they're very specific to what our students are doing. That's what I think is the most helpful about databases.
>> LISA PRESLEY: I think, absolutely, that the content, like you're saying is going to be specific to what our students are looking for versus, in Google Scholar, you're going to find resources clicking on a variety of topics that maybe you aren't interested in -- journals that might not be relevant for you. So this chart actually provides some nice, concrete ideas of what the databases can do, versus what Google Scholar can do.
I know that this is, we cover Google Scholar in its own webinar, but it is useful. I just want to point out, that it is useful to supplement, to start with the library databases and supplement with Google Scholar, versus doing it the other way around.
We see here that in Google Scholar, you cannot limit to full text. You cannot limit to peer-reviewed. And you can't search by Ctrl F through an article abstract. You can find in the terms, itself, not in Google Scholar.
So what, actually, is a library database? We think of a library database as a large collection of related materials. So, sometimes what you find it a library database is going to be a collection of journals and books in a particular field of study. Or, you may find in the more general purpose databases, a collection of a wide range of journals and e-books and other types of resources like dissertations that will be included in a specific database.
Some of the work that we can do in the library database, we can search by topic, by title, by the title of a publication if we wanted to. We wanted to demo how some of this what happen. I'm not sure if you guys are familiar with our multidisciplinary database, Thoreau. But we're going to talk about that, as well.
We see on this slide here, we can search for articles, various ways, like I said, by topic. By title. We can dig into specific publications. We want to point out how within these databases, ones that are subject specific, we have ones that are good for pretty much any field of study. Then, we also have databases that are specific types of materials. You may find if you're looking, for example, specifically for dissertations, you need to look into the dissertations database. The Thoreau multidatabase tool will find a variety, a collection of all of these things, encyclopedias, dissertations, journals, you can narrow it down a little bit more.
One of the things we wanted to talk about was, how do we find articles by topic? Recent peer-reviewed articles on standardized testing. I want to ask, really quick, Andrea, just because I see a hand raised, do we have anything to address before I [indiscernible]?
>> ANDREA LEMIEUX: Yes, I just want to do a sound check and make sure everyone can see the presentation. I'm getting one student who can't see the presentation and the audio. I wanted to check with some other students, if you can type in the questions box, let us know if you are seeing and hearing the article okay? Okay, great. None have questions, and we are just having a few issues with one particular student. Carry on, Lisa. Thank you so much.
>> LISA PRESLEY: Okay. When we are talking about articles by topic, we want to look at a difference between Thoreau and a subject database?
>> ANDREA LEMIEUX: Sure, if that's…absolutely.
>> LISA PRESLEY: Okay. I am going to go out of the PowerPoint just for a second and I'm going to navigate over to the library's homepage. Hopefully this looks familiar to all of you.
We talked about Thoreau, this is going to be the Thoreau search. We can tell, we have a checkmark here. If we switch over to here, we're going to search a collection of other things, tutorials, webinars, etc. I just want to make sure you understand they are actually two different searches here.
If I'm interested in standardized testing... apologies, I have to login once a session, just like you guys do... so here, we see a ton of results. But a few of the things we can see, when we talk about publication types, of these thousands of results that we get, we see from here how it's can them.
Just like I said with Thoreau, it's looking at everything from peer-reviewed articles to conference materials to reviews which could be book reviews. So if this is something I’m interested in, if and, we're looking at that only interested in, we’re looking at the broader issues of topics, we may be looking at books. This is one way, when we're using Thoreau, that we can continue to refine our search. And, we can see exactly what is in here.
If you of the things we see on the left-hand side is we are going to want to limit. We often want to limit to peer-reviewed. Then, we often want to change the publication dates, too. We're not interested in standardized testing in 1911.
When you're looking at the databases in your search results in Thoreau, Andrea, is there anything, are the main things you encourage students to look at in addition to when they're looking at limiting their search, in the subject terms?
One of the things, I'm sorry, I wanted to ask you for your database tips. But one of the things I wanted to point out, too, is if we change this from this page options from Brief to Details, this is a really brief hit and you can see your abstract right within your list of results without having to click into the article to look. Part of the reason I like this is because, if we have multiple search terms, it is building our search terms and the subjects and it will also bold them in the abstract.
Anything else, Andrea, that you wanted to point out about search results in Thoreau?
>> ANDREA LEMIEUX: No, I'm okay right now. Thanks.
>> LISA PRESLEY: Perfect. I am going to hop back in, so we're talking about, so we set peer-reviewed. We talked about how to limit by publication date. We could have change that to 2018, some it was going all the way back to think it was, 1911. Into then, limiting to peer-reviewed.
What, though, if instead of having a broad topic like standardized testing, you're interested in finding articles by title? We want to just quickly demo this, as well. And, I can't copy and paste from here. Apologies. We can take this entire title and we can search in the databases or in Google Scholar for this exact title. Since we are actually coming up on my time, do you want me to demo that, Andrea, in terms of using the quotes in the databases or Google Scholar to pull up full text?
>> ANDREA LEMIEUX: If you want to continue on with the rest of your content, that's okay, too.
>> LISA PRESLEY: Okay, that sounds good. We could do a similar thing with an article by title, by just searching by that specific title in Thoreau or Google Scholar.
Then, one of the things we wanted to make sure that we talked about is this difference between a database and a vendor. EBSCO, many of you have heard of, and they are a very large vendor. And, they have a ton of databases. Listed below Ebscohost are some of the databases you might be familiar with. What that means is these databases like PsychINFO and Education Source are in the EBSCO platform. They are all going to look kind of similar when you reach this research interface. Sometimes there are additional search features and limiters that you can use in these specific databases, but the main thing to be aware of here is that PsychINFO is a database and EBSCO is the vendor for that database.
Listed here is ProQuest, they are also very large vendor of databases. And, you will find a lot of the articles you're looking for, whether you're searching by topic, whether you're searching by title, you're going to find articles in these specific databases. Then, on the far right are some additional databases like ScienceDirect, Taylor and Francis, Sage Journals, which are not nearly as large as ProQuest or EBSCO. But certainly, we have databases owned by those vendors.
I believe that takes us to the concluding portion of my section.
>> ANDREA LEMIEUX: Great. Everybody should see the PowerPoint with the database search basic steps one through eight. Is that what you're seeing on your end, Lisa?
>> LISA PRESLEY: Yes, ma'am. Sorry about that. I was drinking water.
>> ANDREA LEMIEUX: Great. Since library databases search differently from tools like Google Scholar, it's good to know the exact steps that will get you the relevant search results. So the steps that you see on the screen are a good cheat sheet to keep handy. I'm not a big advocate of printing, I like trees to stay in the ground, but this is one thing I advocate students print. If you're working on a larger dissertation or research project to basically provide you with the process for searching library databases because the process is, essentially, always the same.
If we briefly go over these things, “how do you search a database?” the first step is, you simply take your assignment or discussion prompt, your dissertation topic, and you list out the main ideas, and then brainstorm synonyms and any similar concepts. Then, step two is selecting a database. All databases, essentially, search the same. Number three and four are pretty important, enter one idea or concept per search box. But the little caveat to that is you could combine similar ideas and concepts in the same search box separated with OR.
Next, we are going to limit our search. The three main ways we are going to briefly cover tonight are again, full text, peer review and date, which Lisa went over earlier.
Steps six through eight we will talk about briefly, but we are not going to cover so much in this webinar because we have other Mysteries webinars that talk about this. But you will search and review your results, get the full text of anything that looks interesting or pertinent to what you're trying to accomplish. And then of course you evaluate, modify, experiment, and start back up at step one, again.
Let's look at a discussion prompt and see what a database search will look like if you had a topic such as, "Is parent involvement in elementary school related to student success?" So that's your assignment. And, you are to find some peer-reviewed material that can answer that question. The first step, if you go back to our list, is, you take the main ideas and then brainstorm synonyms and similar concepts. In this topic, what are the main ideas? The main ideas are parent involvement, elementary school and student success. So we are going to start with what we have. That's always a great place to start.
Let's head over to the library. You should all be seeing the library homepage. Now, the next step, step number two, is select a database. We covered an overview of databases, but let's just to a really quick refresher. At the top we have Thoreau. That searches all the main library databases. It searches most of them. There's a few that it doesn't, but for the most part, we use Thoreau for exploratory research when we are not really sure where to start.
Most of the time, you are going to start over here, research by subject. And, when you click on this, you will see that all of our databases are going to be grouped together by topic. So if your topic was mainly about psychology, you would click on psychology. If it was mainly about human services or social work, you would add to those pages. Our main topic is related to education, we're going to go there. There is no need for us to search Criminal Justice, Nursing, IT. So we're going to head right over to Education.
Not all of what we call our subject research databases are going to look the same. You're going to have a main search box at top. You will have your, you can think of what you think of as physical materials, things you can use in the library. Then, this last box at the bottom is research help -- so, how-to guides. When you get to the [indiscernible] you can look right here under the databases drop-down menu. And, you can often start with anything that's labeled "best bet." Those are just recommendations of good places to start.
So, Education Source is one of the main education database resources. We are going to click in there. Again, as Lisa was saying, Ebscohost is the vendor, but we're actually searching the database called Education Source.
So let's go back to, we will go back to step three. So enter one idea or concept for search box. Let's go ahead and take our main ideas, so we said parent involvement, elementary school, and student success.
So now, we said, even though one idea or concept goes into each search box, we can include synonyms and similar concepts in each search box. Now, we start typing OR to give the database suggestion, it's going to suggest other terms. My rule of thumb is pick the ones that seem most appropriate for your topic. I don't always use all the ones that are suggested.
So I am going to search parent involvement OR participation. Now, I know in other countries, elementary school is called primary school. Also in the United States, we call it grade school. So I want to put in all those options.
Then, student success we might also call academic achievement, academic performance. So now, this database is going to find any of those terms. Parent involvement or participation.
And, they're also going to find any one of these terms. AND, they're also going to find any one of these terms. Not all of them, but the database has a choice to pick from. Just remember OR goes inside the search box and you can leave this AND in the [indiscernible] over here.
Go on to step five, the things to think about are full text, peer review and date. Full text is often, typically, checked, but peer review is not. So make sure to check that peer-reviewed for research articles. And, I don't recommend limiting by date, at first, because we can always do that on the Results page. So, let's go ahead and search.
Like I said, we're not going to go too much through steps six, seven and eight. You can find that in other Mysteries webinars. But let's do another quick debrief of what we're looking at. So, we have 303 articles that have any of these terms in combination with one another. I recommend not limiting my date at first because, if you look over the left-hand side most databases on the results page will give you some options to limit, so you don't have to go back to the main search page. So you can see here, there's a date limiter then if we wanted to, we could type in 2016, 2017, to get the last four, five, most current articles.
Then, the last thing to point out is this subject line right here. So, this is one of the most useful tools I find to be available in databases, which is, all of these are the main ideas of the article. Before we even look at the abstract, you can easily see that this article is about: participation, elementary schools, academic achievement. This is interesting, it happens to be focused on Indonesia. So if that wasn't the title, we could see that from the subject line. Then, have something about socioeconomics related to this article.
So if we wanted to limit this search to just articles whose main idea is about their participation, we could go and modify our search by deleting these options up here and telling the database to search for parent participation in only this subject line. So, we get articles that are mainly about parent participation. They're not just mentioning them, they're actually the main idea of them. So if we click search, our 303 results go down to 218 results. That is essentially how databases work, those eight steps will get you relevant results, each time.
If you want to learn more about some of the more neat features that you can do, we use quotation marks. We can use something called truncation and other fancy search techniques that you can learn about in some of our other Mysteries webinars.
So before I move on, is there any questions that I can address to the group, Lisa?
>> LISA PRESLEY: Nope. Not at this time.
>> ANDREA LEMIEUX: Great. So I just want to quickly, since we're wrapping up here, just let you know that EBSCO databases search slightly differently than ProQuest databases. So in EBSCO databases, they search for these actual terms, these literal terms, in the article title, publication information, subject and abstract.
Now, when you search a ProQuest database, for instance, it actually ends up searching in the entire article. So if we were to try this same search, limit to full text and peer review, if I search the entire article for these terms, it's going to give me too many results. Right? 100,000 results. So, the easiest way to limit those is to go back and notify your search and tell it to search anywhere except the full text.
So that's a really important concept to distinguish between the two types of databases. So, ProQuest databases and EBSCO, is that you are going to end ProQuest search anywhere but the full text. Then it searches much more like in EBSCO databases and searches the article title, publication information, subjects, and abstract, instead of the entire article title. So now gets us down in a reasonable amount, 276 results, and again, we can limit by date and all those options are available there on the left. Those are just some quick tips on searching databases that you can search through.
The PowerPoint, if you're having a hard time understanding the difference between the ORs and the ANDs, so there are some graphics here. When we did [indiscernible] but when we give the database options up OR, it could search for either elementary school or primary school or, even if the article had both, it would bring up that article, as well. That is how you can make more sense of how we use the AND and the ORs.
Again, this is a brief webinar to give you some information to get you started on databases. So all of the things that you want to learn more in-depth, you can use the links that are in the PowerPoint. How to find databases by subject, all the way to the end here, which has a longer discussion about what subject terms are.
So lastly, as we close up, I just want to let you all know how you can get further help about any library topic or your own research that you're interested in. I like to think of this as three tiers of help. So, Quick Answers is kind of a do-it-yourself. Ask a Librarian is available for personalized assistance for all students. And then, doctoral research appointments are more individualized instruction for our doctoral students.
So how do we use those help features on our website? Quick Answers is kind of talked in here top, instead of clicking Thoreau, we're going to search everything which includes our library website. For instance, if you're interested in DOI and what that is -- we didn't cover that, of course, at all, tonight -- but you can search our Quick Answers FAQ database. And in the middle here, you will see all kinds of common questions students ask. What is a DOI? How do I find it? How do I cite an article with and without a DOI? So that is what you can do for your sort of self-help, if you want.
Ask a Librarian is more individual and personalized help. So that's available at the top of all of our library website pages. There are two main ways you can contact us are through email and chat. An email, you can fill out the short forms. Typically, our turnaround time is 24 hours. But honestly, it's much quicker -- typically, the day of, if not within a few hours. But, don't tell any of my colleagues I said that, because the standard line is 24 hours. But again, reach out to us. We often can send you a response much quicker than that.
Chat is available throughout the week, so you can look at hours here. Just keep in mind, if you use a voicemail, that we return all voicemail via email. So look for a response.
The last tier was doctoral research appointments, which are available for doctoral dissertation students. If you would like to meet with me if you are [indiscernible], if you would like to meet with Lisa if you’re in College of Health Sciences, or any of our other librarians, you can select your college and school and then select a date and time that works for you and fill out, again, a short form that you can submit to us. And, we can meet by phone, screen sharing, whatever is going to work the best for you.
So, that is the presentation for tonight. So what we are going to go ahead and do, since we are at the hour, is we are going to go ahead and stop the recording. But we're going to stick around for a couple minutes, if anyone has any questions. So thank you everyone, for coming, that has to leave after the first 30 minutes. If you have any questions, please put those in the question box and we will stick around and answer those. Everyone else, have a good night.
So, Lisa, was there any question that we didn't get to in the questions box? Anything that anyone has confusion over that they want us to re-cover, again?
So, it does look like we did have a question about data sets. Data sets are actually, they use, I would say, use significantly different research strategy. So I would certainly reach out to Ask a Librarian or your Library Liaison if you are a dissertation student, particularly if you are a dissertation student, because that is a research strategy and skill set that we want to make sure that you're aware of, because it works significantly different than just searching the database, straight out, for journal articles.
It looked like we had another question about how we got to the abstract. So let me go back to my results page and talk a little bit more about how you actually get some information about the article, itself. So you can see here in my results list, I have 218 articles. Then, they're listed here, and you typically are only going to see the way the interface is set up, the article title and just some basic information. So there's a few ways that you can look at that. There's in EBSCO, I think ProQuest has this functionality, too, but there is a little icon over here on the right that has a magnifying glass and a piece of paper. You can see a quick sort of overview of the first part of the abstract, so you can quickly scroll through your results. Of course, if you click on the article title, you can scroll down and see the abstract, as well. Is there anything you wanted to add to that, Lisa?
>> LISA PRESLEY: In terms of the abstract?
>> ANDREA LEMIEUX: Yeah, I know you had a way that you showed it in your results list.
>> LISA PRESLEY: Oh, yes, under Page Actions to the right, you know it says search results one through 20, Page Actions, details.
>> ANDREA LEMIEUX: So you like to use the detail function. That will give you less results per page. Or actually, I think it makes it longer, actually, and just displays the abstract. So if you want to, kind of, switch between that, go from detail to brief, if it will let me switch back. There it goes.
That is another option, if you want to review your results that way. Let's see... there was a question about the recorded version. That will be sent out via email. And then, I wouldn't worry, I know that there was a question about how I got to ProQuest. ProQuest database. What I would recommend is not worry so much about the vendor. I would certainly just focus on going to research by subject, depending on what your topic is. So when I was in education, there was a list of all kinds of recommended databases. But all of these are most, most of these, not all, are EBSCO databases. So, Education Source and ERIC are the most important, so they're listed first. When I went to "view all education databases,” there were some ProQuest listed. So, there's 30 education databases total, and if you scroll down to the P's is where I found ProQuest Central, which is a multidiscipline database. Multi... it gets later at night and all my jargon gets jumbled up. This is a good database ways different to search across disciplines.
I think that that answers most questions. Again, if anyone needs any future help, feel free to contact us at Ask a Librarian. Thanks, everyone, for attending, and have a good night.
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