Tag Archives: search

LibrarySearch update: finding books and articles

Happy New Year! Over the Christmas break we’ve been upgrading our Library Management System, and with it, LibrarySearch has had a little update too.

You’ll notice that some of the functions look a little different, so for this week we’ll be updating the blog with guides to some of the essentials.

Finding a Book

  1. Search for the item in the Books, Music and Films search.
  2. Choose ‘Get It’. Under ‘Availability’ you will see how many copies of the books are available for loan – if you sign in you can view more information e.g. due dates.
  3. Choose ‘Sign In for more options’ and log in.
  4. Click on the link under location to see all items e.g.One week loan. You will also be able to see any books on loan once you have logged in.

Finding a Journal Article

  1. Search for the title or topic in the ‘All’ search.
  2. Click ‘View It’ to see where the article/ebook is available.
  3. Click one of the links after ‘Full text available at:’ to view the article/ebook.

Metropolitan Museum of Art books

New York’s famous Metropolitan Museum of Art has a catalogue of 1,300 books published in the last five years available for free via Google Books. Current book titles that are in-print may be previewed and fully searched online, with a link to purchase the book. The full contents of almost all other book titles may be read online, searched, or downloaded as a PDF.

Check out this list of full-text items freely available online!

The Met is a great source of Art history material – a perfect Resource of the Week for LibraryLovesArt Month!

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Web of Science – new interface

Web of Science was the first major database made available for online searching by students themselves. It launched in the U.K. back in 1990 as BIDS (Bath Information and Data Service, as it was based at Bath University.)

Despite the name, Web of Science (WoS) contains something for everybody. It includes the Science, Social Science, and Arts and Humanities Citation Indexes.  Clearly it cannot cover everything in such wide areas: in fact, it only covers about 5% of the journals published.  However, it covers the core titles, the journals which are most cited in each field each year.

This makes it an excellent first choice for exploring a subject. You get to see what has appeared in the core journals, without anything that will be too obscure or hard to find. For undergraduate work that will usually be ideal. Researchers have the further option to search for papers which cite the key papers on their topic, to see how the field has progressed.

The latest WoS interface has a black banner with orange lettering, very like the new RHUL style.  Perhaps we were ahead of a trend? Beneath it the search form has been reduced to a single search bar, like Google’s (and LibrarySearch). For more complex searches you can click “Add another field”.

It is still possible to narrow your search to just some of the indexes, to save time and reduce unwanted results.  Just click on “More settings” to see the indexes and deselect those that are not needed by unchecking their boxes, as in this example:

WoS science search

In the search above, the inverted commas around “honey bees” specify that we only want those two words together as a phrase.  The asterisk after disease* is a “wild card” which will also search for ‘diseases’ or ‘diseased’.

Notice in the black banner that we are searching “Web of Science core collection” but there is an orange arrow by it.  Clicking that gives the option to search other databases, in particular Biosis Previews, which lets you search the largest single life science database from 1969 to 2008.  You can also choose “All databases” to search them all at the same time. This makes WoS the core resource for biologists.

When the results appear, the FindIt@RHUL  lozenge which previously appeared under every result has disappeared.  Don’t worry, just click on the solid block labelled “Full Text” and the familiar blue button will reappear.

WoS search results

The range of saving buttons above the search list has been replaced by a single block labelled “Save to EndNote online”.  But it has a down arrow beside it.  Click that, and you will get more options, including “Save to EndNote desktop” and “Save to RefWorks”, the main supported options at Royal Holloway.

If you liked the old interface, don’t be put off by the solid blocks of the new one, everything still works as it did.  Whether you are researching for a first year essay or a doctoral thesis, WoS is a good place to start.

 

Adrian Machiraju

Google Search tips

The tips below are useful when searching Google and other databases.

Search term example Explanation 
“ethical consumer”Use double quotes (“”) if you want Google to search a phrase in that exact order
beverages -teaType a minus (-) sign immediately before the term you want to exclude. The minus sign should be placed immediately before the word preceded by a space. This search retrieves items on various beverages other than tea
“fair trade” tea OR coffeeGoogle’s default is to search all the words you type in your search. If you want it to search either one or several words, you can use the OR operator (note that OR must be typed in upper-case)
“student protest” 1960..1970If you want to limit the result to pages covering the subject within a specified date (e.g. 1960-1970) type the date separated by two stops (..) and no spaces
~schoolIf you want to search for synonyms place the tilde ~ immediately in front of the word or phrase. Eg ~school will retrieve pages on college, academy, university, education, etc.
consum*Insert an asterisk (*) as a wildcard symbol. This allows stem or word variation searches. For example typing consum* will retrieve material on consumer, consumers, consumerism, consumption, etc.

Zanran Numerical Data Search

It can be very hard to find data such as pie graphs, bar graphs etc and Zanran fills that gap. Like a Google for data but it works much better than Google for data. When you put words into Google you simply get lots of pages of varying quality and relevance which you have to work through.

If you run a search in Zanran when the results appear run the cursor down the PDF or Excel icons and an image from the document appears.

zanran

 

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You can add limits as well, such as saying that the the site must be less than 2 years old, that the site must come from a certain country or search for specific sites (for example searching *.gov.uk will bring up only material from UK government sites).

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