Ebsco- Advanced Searching


We’ve done a basic search within an Ebsco database where we talked about the different options and features available. I want to clarify that basic does not equal easy, so don’t feel bad if you’re still struggling with searching in the databases. Basic just means that we don’t use a lot of the extra search stuff. We’re going to build on what we learned in the last video to move on to the next level of searching by using subject headings and Boolean operators. I’m sure you’re all super excited! I’m going to teach you how I search, but just about every librarian and researcher is going to have a slightly different approach. This is actually a good thing because there’s not a right way to search. You just need to find a way that you like and that works for you. I’m going to cover my two methods for performing an advanced search in Ebsco databases. We’re still in the general search database, Academic Search Complete. if I was doing a real search, I’d want to select one the Ebsco databases that focuses on my particular topic. But this will work for now. So, for the advanced search method number one we’re going to use the advanced search boxes. and to get to those you just click on ‘Advanced Search’. And here you can insert a concept and all its synonyms on each line. And then you can combine each line with the AND Boolean operator. Remember that keyword planning handout I made you do last week- the one where you had to put all the ORs AND and truncations? This is where you’ll actually use that. I’m going to go back to my research question about online college classes Let’s say I narrowed my topic in a bit and I want to look specifically for how to engage students who are taking an online class. So on the first line, I am going to focus on the concept of online classes. And again these are the key words or the phrases that I have come up. Alright, so I have combined the phrase online class with online course or online learning and remember the ORs are for synonyms. Those are going to make your search bigger. It’s asking the database to find anything that talks about online course or online learning or online class. It makes a search bigger That’s only one concept though. My next concept is talking about higher education because I’m sure there’s articles on online learning as relates to maybe workforce training for the K-12 environment. And I really want to focus on colleges or universities. So the next line is going to have information about college or university or the phrase higher education and you can see that I have truncated college. That’s going to find college or colleges and university or universities and that the term higher education in a phrase and combine them all with ORs. And my last concept is going to be the idea of student engagement. There is probably a lot of ways I can search for this. I really want to force the database to search it as a phrase so that’s how I’m going to search. And if this turns out to be too narrow, or doesn’t find what I want to, I can change that last one. And if you have additional search terms or concepts you can keep adding lines. But my suggestion is to pretty much max it out at three. After that starts to get a little too complex And once you’ve entered all your search terms, you can come down to the search options and you can start limiting. You can limit to full text, or scholarly peer review journals, or you can limit by the published date. Honestly I don’t usually check any of these until I have an initial idea of what my search looks like so I’m not going to do anything, I’m just going to click on search. 131- that’s actually not bad at all. An overwhelming search is one that’s got thousands and thousands of results. 131 I can completely deal with. And this is before I even applied any of the limiters. So I’m going to go ahead and do at least one limiter. I think I will limit to the scholarly peer review journals. And now we’re down to 98. Even better! A lot of times I will limit by date. It only goes back to 2005 so I’m not really going to mess with that. You can limit to academic journals And there’s a bunch of other limiters here as well. I’m not gonna mess of those especially with the search some already under 100. And so I’m pretty happy with how that looks. This is where you can actually start looking through the titles to see if there’s anything that’s interesting This looks really good- Promoting Engagement in Online Courses. This is where you can start adding things to your folder. These are items that you’ll be saving for later. To print off, or to find, or to request via interlibrary loan. OK- so this is a pretty fancy search. We have got our Boolean operators, and phrases, and truncation but it’s still a key word search. That means that these are words are coming out of just our heads. The words that we have thought of Not always a bad thing. Sometimes you can find really great things that way. But, to take it to an entirely different level, we want to use subject headings. And this is my advanced search tip number two- searching with subject headings. Well, how do you find the right subject headings from your search? The way I do it is that just go through the list of articles and see which ones closely match what I’m looking for. So I’m going to to come back down to the one I saved And click on the title to bring up the full record. And this is where you’ve got the abstract, and the title, and the author and the journal title What I’m really interested in are the subject terms And the subject terms are linked which means you can search on them tjust by clicking on them which is amazing. I am going to say OK. I definitely am interested in student engagement so I am going to click on that. Though this is running a search just on student engagement which is why I found 2000 and that’s only one part of what I’m looking for. I also want the concept of online learning or online teaching so I’m going to hit the back button and go back to that record. So o clicked on student engagement. Now I’m looking through the other subject headings to see if there’s another good match for another concept. And online courses- I think it’s a good one. Okay, again, this is 3000 but it’s only searching on online courses. Now I want to combine my searches and this is where the search history comes in. To get to the search history just click on search history and this will expand all of the searches you’ve done. So I started my initial keyword searches all my fancy Boolean in quotes and truncation. And then I moved up here the second line where I limited it to just scholarly peer reviewed articles My third line is my search on student engagement and my fourth line is my search on online courses. The search history is pretty much one of my absolute favorite features of Ebsco databases. It allows you to see what you searched, you can go back and rerun a search, or combine searches which is what we’re going to do now. To start combining I clear the search at the top. It really doesn’t make a difference but think it looks better. And then I come back here and I select the searches I want to combine, which are ‘student engagement’ and ‘online courses’. You can see you have the option to search with AND or to search with OR. AND is going to make your search smaller. It’s going to tell the database that you want to find articles that talk about student engagement AND online courses. If you search with OR that tells the database you want any articles that talk about student engagement OR online courses. That will combine these two so you’re going to have over 5000 articles. I don’t want that! I want a smaller search, so we’re just going to search with AND That results in just 26 articles which is wonderful, as that’s very manageable. Remember we are in Academic Search Complete which is a database that covers a lot of different topics but it’s not really focused on education. If we were in one of the education specific databases we’d be finding more And just like and we did our key word search you can to start looking through and seeing which articles are a good match for your topic So maybe I just want to add a couple to my folder and then, again, are the items are in my folder and if the folder view over here is yellow that means I have added them in. The next video we’re going to talk about creating an Ebsco account to make sure those things are saved permanently. Which is really handy. And since I only had 26 articles I decided not to use any of the limits. I could if I wanted to limit to ‘scholarly peer-reviewed. That takes me down to just 13. Again, very manageable. Now if you are super rad you can combine subject headings and keywords. But let’s just focus on searching first with key words- those are the words we came up with. And if you want to use the very fancy Boolean and phrases and truncation I would encourage you to do so. Then you browse through that list of articles, save any that you think are a good match Then you can locate subject headings by pulling up an article that seems to be relevant to your topic, and then click on the subject headings and combine those by using the search history. I know this sounds complex and a million different steps. But, believe that or not, the process becomes easier and easier the more you do it. And it’s going to result in much better searching then searching in just Google will or Google Scholar or just doing a really basic search in the databases

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