Visual: Library homepage.
Narration: Hello, everyone. This is a Library orientation video for doctoral-level students in the School of Public Policy and Administration. In this short video, I will introduce you to relevant parts of the Library’s Homepage as well as the subject homepages for Public Policy & Administration and Criminal Justice & Security. I will also show you how to contact the Library to get more help and how to schedule a doctoral research appointment with myself or another librarian.
The first thing I want to make sure you are aware of are the SPPA research homepages. These pages are your subject-specific headquarters for Library research. There is a page for Public Policy & Administration and another page for Criminal Justice & Security.
Visual: Subject Resources box, Select a Subject drop-down
Narration: You can access these Research Homepages from the Library’s homepage by clicking on the drop-down menu in the Subject Resources box. Select either Public Policy & Administration or Criminal Justice & Security. Also take a minute to look at the other research homepages and consider if your research topic overlaps with any of those subject areas. If it does, take some time to explore those pages as well.
Visual: Public Policy and Administration Research Homepage
Narration: On the Research Homepage, you will see a search box and a series of drop-down menus. You can search many kinds of subject-specific resources by typing your search terms into the search box. In general, though, I recommend looking for scholarly literature in individual databases. This will help you keep track of where and how you have searched, information that you will need when writing chapter 2 of the dissertation. When you click on the Databases drop-down, you will find a list of recommended subject-specific databases. You can specify a sub-category of Public Policy & Administration by clicking on the drop-down menu at the top of this list. These subject-specific databases will often give you much better results than you will get by searching in the main search bar on the Library’s homepage.
Visual: Moving down on page through individual drop-down menus
Narration: Moving down the list of drop-downs on the Research Homepages, you will see pages for Journals, Books, and Government Websites:
In the Journals menu, you can browse journals across policy, security, or criminal justice-related topics.
In the Books menu, click on the link to see selected subject-specific books from our collections and to learn tips on searching for books more generally.
The Government websites menu contains a short list of government websites specific to policy, security, or criminal justice. These are great places to look for statistics and legal information. Click on the link at the bottom to see even more government websites for SPPA subject areas.
In the Research Help box, you will see additional drop-downs that can help you think through your research process. Take a moment to explore theses menus. You will find resources to assist you with selecting keywords and relevant databases, finding theories and statistics, and conceptualizing the literature review, among other things. You can view Residency materials in the last menu.
Now I’m going to return to the Library Homepage to conclude our tour…
Visual: Library homepage
Narration: The main search bar is a great place to do exploratory research if you are just beginning to brainstorm a research topic. It uses our multi-database tool Thoreau to search most, but not all of our databases. I recommend using this search tool at the beginning and end of your search process. Generally speaking, you should be using individual databases to find the bulk of your literature, but this will depend on your topic.
You can switch the main search bar from Thoreau to Search everything, and this is how you can easily search for our Quick Answers and Library Guides. Quick Answers will display in the central column, and guides will appear on the right.
You can access Course Guides by clicking on the Course Guides button.
Visual: Course Guides page
Narration: Use your course code and number to track down your course. Here you will find all of your course readings that are not linked in Blackboard. If there are any assignment guides available for your course, they will appear as additional tabs on the left hand side of the screen.
Visual: Library Skills page
Narration: Click on the Library Skills button to access our webinar archive. You can view Upcoming webinars or Recorded webinars. You can also browse our Library Guides, tutorials, and Residency presentation materials here.
Visual: Start Your Research page
Narration: From this page you can access our comprehensive list of databases, verify peer review status of a journal using Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, or search by content type. As doctoral students, you may want to review some dissertations, either those that have been completed at Walden or dissertations on your topic that were completed at another institution. Click on Dissertations and then one of the two database options. You can search the same way you search in our other databases.
Visual: Dissertations page
Narration: Another feature on the Library’s homepage is our Dissertations databases, which can be accessed by clicking on Dissertations. You can either search for Walden dissertations or dissertations from all over the world. As a doctoral-level student, both can be helpful. Walden dissertations from your subject area are good to look at to help you get a sense of how your final product will look, especially chapter 2, the literature review. On the other hand, looking at dissertations on your topic completed at other institutions will give you a better sense of how your peers have approached your topic. Dissertations can be particularly helpful for identifying potentially relevant theoretical and methodological approaches to your study.
Visual: Services page
Narration: If you ever find any materials that we do not have in full text, you can request them via our Document Delivery Service. This is a free service in which you submit a request for an article or book chapter, and they are delivered to you electronically within 7-10 business days, usually sooner. There is a 30-article lifetime limit on DDS requests, so use these requests wisely.
Visual: Ask A Librarian page
Narration: For all general requests and questions, click on the Ask A Librarian button in the top left corner of the Library homepage. You can email us, call us, or chat us during certain hours.
As doctoral students, you have the additional option of scheduling an appointment with myself or another liaison librarian to discuss any aspect of your research process.
Visual: Library homepage
Narration: That concludes this short Library orientation for SPPA doctoral students. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are always happy to help!
Created June 2018 by Walden University Library