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teaching:information-search-databases [2019/01/25 15:47] (current)
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 +<​markdown>​
 +## Information Search: Databases
  
 +Hi Class, welcome to the week where we begin to discuss databases and searching
 +in a bit more detail.
 +
 +## Readings
 +
 +This week we have four readings -- two from our book and two additional online
 +articles. The readings from the book detail some search strategies. The two
 +online readings discuss two major online sources, the [Internet Archive][1] and
 +the [Digital Public Library of America][2].
 +
 +In addition to this lecture, I'll post a short demonstration video about how to
 +apply some of what we learn here to online database search.
 +
 +## "Make It Work for You," Ch. 7, Knott
 +
 +In the last week, many of you found some interesting but specific subject
 +databases when you searched UK Libraries'​ website. If you know what you want
 +(and what area to search), these are good databases to begin a search with.
 +However, certainty is not always a privilege we have. For example, we may not
 +be fully familiar with a database and what it has to offer. Or we may not know
 +exactly what terms to use when we begin a search because, among other reasons,
 +we may not be really sure what we're looking for in a database or for a
 +particular homework assignment ("what will I write about??"​). Thus, starting a
 +search with a general database, like *EBSCOhost'​s* **Academic Search
 +Complete**, can be helpful. It can help orient us to the kind of articles and
 +other works that we really need.
 +
 +## Academic Search Complete (ASC)
 +
 +The many databases provided by companies like *EBSCOhost*,​ *Proquest*, or
 +*Gale* generally all look alike, but don't be fooled by this. Each of these
 +vendors provide multiple databases---some that are general search databases and
 +some that are focused on specific topics---and even if they look alike, they
 +will search different sets of sources.
 +
 +On the right side of this slide, you see a screenshot of **Academic Search
 +Complete**. If you click on the **Publications** link at the top of that page,
 +it'll take you to a new page full of a long list of sources that **ASC** can
 +search.
 +
 +## Newspaper Source
 +
 +And then, here is another *EBSCOhost* database, but this, called **Newspaper
 +Source**, only searches newspapers. It looks almost the same as **ASC**, but
 +the two do not overlap much. To illustrate that:
 +
 +## Academic Search Complete (ASC): Search example
 +
 +Here is a search for the term '​google'​ in **ASC**. Our basic keyword search
 +results in over 36 thousand links to sources located in newspapers, magazines,
 +academic journals, and more.
 +
 +## Newspaper Source: Search example
 +
 +But in **Newspaper Source**, our same basic keyword search for the term '​google'​
 +results in over 53 thousand articles only from newspapers. Not only are the
 +results different, but the number of sources vary also, and instead of being
 +able to filter by source type (since there is only one type of source:
 +newspapers),​ here can refine by Publication Title (as well as other facets not
 +shown here).
 +
 +## ASC: Keywords versus Controlled Vocabulary
 +
 +When we search general or specific databases, we often begin with the keywords
 +that come to mind -- those keywords that closely match the topic we're
 +interested in exploring. But there comes a point in our migration from the
 +general to the specific where we not only want to explore specific, topical
 +databases, but we also want to use specific terms. Controlled vocabulary offers
 +this ability to us. These are terms that have been identified as being about
 +some topic, and we use them to retrieve sources that have specifically been
 +tagged or categorized with those terms.
 +
 +Let's say, for example, that I'm interested in reading about search itself. If I
 +use **Academic Search Complete'​s** controlled vocabulary, I have a variety of
 +options available to me, and will select one or more depending on the subtle
 +difference each of these controlled term provides.
 +
 +On the left, we see variations among terms about search. These range from
 +**Searching behavior** to **Searching,​ keyword**, and using them as our search
 +terms offers more control than just searching using the term **search**.
 +
 +On the right is listed a bunch of synonyms that we can use for our cell phones.
 +These terms were not taken from *EBSCOhost*,​ but from a thesaurus, and they
 +demonstrate just some of the variations in terminology,​ and thus complications,​
 +that we have to think about when we search. Because if we over select just one
 +of these, it means we're possibly excluding a bunch of other sources that may be
 +relevant.
 +
 +## ASC: Controlled Vocabulary
 +
 +I'll demonstrate how to take advantage of controlled vocabulary in a second
 +video, but here's an example from *EBSCOhost'​s* **ASC**. To access this
 +vocabulary, we click on the **Subject Terms** link at the top of the page, and
 +then look for a specific controlled term. If you find an interesting term and
 +use it, you'll retrieve all sources (e.g., all journal articles) that have been
 +categorized as being about that term.
 +
 +## ASC: Boolean Searching
 +
 +I'll also demonstrate Boolean searching in the separate video, and we'll learn
 +more about this type of search tactic in our lessons on Google, but Boolean
 +searching allows us to use three specific system terms to help us select or
 +exclude search results: AND, OR, NOT.
 +
 +In the screen shot on the right, I'm using Boolean searching in combination with
 +controlled vocabularies,​ but we could also use Boolean searching using our own
 +keywords, too.
 +
 +## Boolean Search
 +
 +Here's a quick explanation of how Boolean search works. Note that different
 +databases systems employ this differently -- some use these specific keywords,
 +but others may use other signifiers. Despite these differences,​ they all do the
 +same thing. The Boolean:
 +
 +**AND**: if I search for 'cats AND dogs', using the term **AND** in my search,
 +my search results should include only those sources that contain **both** terms.
 +
 +**OR**: if I search for 'cats OR dogs', using the term **OR** in my search, my
 +search results expand (grow) to include more results, including any source that
 +includes only the term '​cats',​ only the term '​dogs',​ or both terms.
 +
 +**NOT**: if I search for 'cats NOT dogs', using the term **NOT** in my search,
 +my search results should include only those documents or sources that include
 +the term '​cats'​ and specifically do not include the term '​dogs'​. In this sense,
 +the Boolean **NOT** limits my results.
 +
 +## Boolean Searches And, Or, Not
 +
 +Here's a graphic representation of Boolean search using Venn diagrams (by the
 +way, feel free to visit the site in the URL at the bottom of this slide, it
 +contains some nice tips).
 +
 +## Not Just EBSCOhost
 +
 +Other databases work similarly. Remember *ProQuest*? It has its general
 +database and then its specific ones, and it also offers controlled vocabulary
 +(they call them thesauri), and Boolean searching. ​
 +
 +## ProQuest'​s Thesauri
 +
 +Here's a list of the different thesauri employed by *ProQuest*. *EBSCOhost* also
 +uses different sets of controlled vocabulary, but they tie specific controlled
 +vocabularies to specific databases. *ProQuest* makes all of their thesauri
 +available. This can be useful and also shows a difference between the two main
 +vendors.
 +
 +## Not necessarily for everyday
 +
 +You won't need these tools everyday, but they should be a part of your toolbox,
 +so that when you do have a demanding information need that requires a thorough
 +search of the documentation and the literature, you'll have them available to
 +you. That is, these tools are precision instruments,​ and having a command of
 +them will provide to you a valuable skill set.
 +
 +## E-journals
 +
 +And then, if you want to get specific, you can search for specific e-journals
 +(journals that are online if not also in print). Many journals are titled
 +topically -- that is, are descriptive of their contents and their areas of
 +interest -- and so searching them by keywords can be helpful in identifying
 +important journals in your area of study.
 +
 +## "The Elements of Search,"​ Ch. 8, Knott
 +
 +We've briefly covered the elements of the search interface in the previous
 +slides. Chapter 8 extends upon these and adds an additional element: **You**.
 +
 +These precision instruments require a little work -- you have to get to know
 +them, how they work, what they search, and so forth, and you have to devise
 +ways, give the background knowledge and information you already possess, to
 +leverage the most out of them.
 +
 +Plus, you won't need all of them all the time -- but knowing a few of the
 +important topical databases that you have available to you is forever helpful.
 +
 +Remember also, all databases have help pages that demonstrate how to get the
 +most of their databases (and thus, help you not waste your time, which is
 +valuable, right?). So get to know those help pages. Even Google has one.
 +
 +## The Help Pages
 +
 +Here's a screen shot of the menu that leads to *ProQuest'​s* help page. Get to
 +know these!
 +
 +## Demonstration Video
 +
 +I'll provide an extra video that helps put this all into some perspective and
 +practice.
 +
 +## Can the Internet be Archived?
 +
 +For some of our lectures, we'll talk not just search and sources from our book
 +readings, but I'll also highlight some other sources that are on the web and
 +that you should know about. Today, I want to highlight web archiving and a
 +couple of digital libraries.
 +
 +How many times have you clicked on a link only to find that it no longer works?
 +Your experience with this problem may vary, but it is a growing problem on the
 +web. We rely on documentation and evidence to support the claims that we make.
 +In fact, all of science and technology and research (humanities or social
 +science) depends on our ability to link documents together, either through the
 +footnote or the citation or the link. Link rot threatens our ability to
 +progress and advance. The **Internet Archive** helps address this problem by
 +capturing versions of web pages as they existed at certain points in time, but
 +as the article on the **IA** indicates, no archiving service can be
 +comprehensive. The Web is too big and some things will not be captured or will
 +be lost even after they'​re captured.
 +
 +## time travel -- Memento
 +
 +*time travel*, like the **Internet Archive'​s Wayback Machine**, provides an
 +interface for accessing archived versions of the web. Check both sites out at
 +the links in this slide. They'​re not only super cool, but super helpful too. At
 +the right is a screen shot from the **Wayback Machine** of *Amazon.com* as it
 +looked on October 13, 1999.
 +
 +## Digital Public Library of America
 +
 +In addition to archiving past versions of the web, digital libraries offer an
 +additional way to explore all that's available but difficult to find via a
 +simple Google search. The **DPLA** specifically attempts to link together
 +digital collections across the U.S. In doing so, it provides access to millions
 +of times -- photos, sound files, text documents, and more. If you create an
 +account, totally free, like a public library, you can build your own
 +collections. If you're technologically oriented, you can also use the **DPLA**
 +and its database to build apps -- whether for the desktop or the smartphone.
 +
 +## europeana
 +
 +**europeana** is Europe'​s counterpart to the U.S.'s **DPLA**, which is also as
 +beautiful and as awesome. You can use **europeana** to locate images of artwork,
 +artefacts, books, videos, audio, and more. Check it out.
 +
 +## In Conclusion
 +
 +* Search strategy: when starting off, it's sometimes best to begin with the
 +  general and then migrate to the specific. This is true not just for databases
 +  but also for terms, and it works just as well in these databases as it does
 +  with Google.
 +* Use controlled vocabularies,​ if offered, by the database, to help you control
 +  your own search.
 +* Use Boolean searching
 +* Get even more specific with e-journal searches
 +* Read the help pages for any specific database. Knowing how to use a specific
 +  database will save you time.
 +* Visit sources such as the **Internet Archive**, the **DPLA**, **europeana**,​
 +  and others for access to rich collections,​ archive or current
 +
 +[1]: https://​archive.org/​
 +[2]: https://​dp.la/​
 +</​markdown>​
teaching/information-search-databases.txt ยท Last modified: 2019/01/25 15:47 by seanburns