Sample topic: Is patient education effective in reducing COPD among smokers?
Identify the concepts in your topic:
Use a dictionary, thesaurus, textbook, database or CINAHL Headings to find alternative search terms:
Subject headings: Pre-set tags or descriptors assigned to resources/items to describe their content, or what they are about. Enables more precise searching.
Eliminates the need to search multiple phrases and synonyms for the same concept.
Databases often provide a thesaurus, or index, of the subject headings used.
SHs appear in both the Library catalogue and databases.
Truncation is used to find variations of a word ending. Truncating a word will usually EXPAND your search
Example: Remove the ending of the word children, replace with * (or ? in library catalogue), child*
Searches for child, children, childish, child's, etc.
Wildcards allow you to find variations within a word.
Example: Organi?ation will find organization and organisation (or % in the library catalogue)
NOTE: Different databases use different symbols! Check the Help area to learn the symbols for that database.
Proximity operators allow you to locate one word within a certain distance of another.
Example: Canada w3 economy. Searches for results in which the word Canada appears within 3 words of economy
|Limiters / Filters||
Use the limiters on the sidebar of results pages
Example: Date, language, resource type, etc.
Phrase searching: Add " " around words to search an exact phrase.
Works in databases and Google!
Search for terms in a specific field, such as title, author, or subject
Example: "Global hunger"[ti]
|Subject Headings||Construct a search using only subject headings, or a combination of SH and keywords.|
|Scan Results||Use subject headings, keywords, and phrases found in existing results.|
|Research the Author||Find an interesting author? Search for more articles or look for their web site|
|Agency or Association?||Notice an agency, association or expert mentioned in an article? Follow up.|
|Reuse References/Citations||Find a relevant source? Examine the bibliography, reference list, citations and footnotes for sources used by the author. Use OCtopus or the e-journal finder to find the same articles.|
Don't lose your articles or searches! Access from home, on-campus, or anywhere. Most databases allow you to create folders or personal accounts to save your research.
Why can't I just use Google or Google Scholar? Google misses content from the "deep web", including databases/articles the Library pays for (not publicly accessible). Google Scholar may bring up academic information, but you will likely be restricted from accessing content without paying, UNLESS you set up the Library Links Program with your Google Profile. Using Google Scholar with library links allows you to find information and access it FREE through OC Library.
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