This December we’re upgrading the authentication system that allows you to log into our e-resources, and some saved searches and results will no longer be accessible after the upgrade. So, if you use the LibrarySearch E-shelf, Web of Science or Scopus saved results, please take a look at the instructions below!
It’s good practice to backup and export your saved results, and if you’re not already using RefWorks to do this, take a look at the information below to find out how to set up a RefWorks account, and how to export your saved results. You can also email saved records to yourself – look for an Email option when viewing the saved results in the database. For more information on using RefWorks in future to manage your references, please visit http://libguides.rhul.ac.uk/RefWorks or contact email@example.com.
We just received an email on narrowing down search results – “I’m searching for books on the idea of performance but I always get thousands of results which are based around performance meaning how well something is performing such as a business etc. Do you have any suggestions for how I can search for more relevant materials?”
So I thought it might be useful to put the answer into a blog post – as we’ve all been there.
Things to Try to get better search results
1. Change your keywords.
If your search for ‘performance’ brings back unrelated items, try changing what you search for. Synonyms might include ‘drama’, ‘theatre’, ‘performing arts’ etc.
Try adding more keywords e.g. ‘audience participation’, or a particular theorist, theory or performer you’re interested in.
LibrarySearch and other databases have list of subject headings – click on these to find more examples of keywords.
2. Combine your keywords.
Databases will accept certain combinations of words and use them to make your search more effective.
3. Change the database.
LibrarySearch is pretty general – if you’re after items on a particular subject, go to your subject guide and try the Finding E-resources link for a list of more specific databases.
4. Who’s cited what?
When you finish a recommended article, or book, go to the back and take a look at what they referenced when writing it – then look these up and carry on!
You can also use Google Scholar to see who’s cited the article or book you’re reading now – and see what they said on the topic.
Look for the ‘Cited by’ part, and click it to get information on other articles and books.
Try LibrarySearch to get hold of articles or books, and if it’s not there, don’t panic – we can get it!
If you’re just starting to use LibrarySearch to find information for your assignments you might find this playlist useful – we’ve a range of videos to help you get to grips with using LibrarySearch to manage your account and find what you need.
Browsing journals online can be difficult, depending on the database that you have to use to access them. You can use the ‘Journals by Title’ search in LibrarySearch to find a publication.
Some are very easy to use, and make it clear where the most recent issue is – such as in the video above.
Here are some examples relevant to Media Arts which are a little more complicated…
Accessing Variety using the FIAF database
To look up access options for the Variety magazine, go to LibrarySearch (librarysearch.rhul.ac.uk) and use the ‘Journals by Title’ search:
Select ‘View Online’ to see the access options:
If you’re using FIAF, you should be taken to a page with some bibliographic information on the journal, and under ‘List of issues’ a collapsible list of contents pages, which should link to the PDF of articles wherever possible:
Click ‘PDF’ to view the article.
Accessing Screen International using the Nexis UK database
Some publications, like ‘Screen International’ are only available via the Nexis UK database. You will need to follow the link to Nexis, but then try using the date range filters to narrow down the range of articles. Clicking ‘Search’ should take you to a recent list.
If you have any questions about accessing publications, leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.