Librarian's Guide to Online Searching / Edition 2

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To succeed as searchers, all librarians require both a basic idea of how databases are put together, and a repository of concepts and techniques to draw upon. With such essentials well in hand, the searcher can plunge into almost any database that comes along and master its intricacies (and idiosyncrasies) in relatively short order. Bell's conversational style, coupled with her Searcher's Toolbox, promises increased flexibility and adaptability. This book will prove a handy guide for librarians in every conceivable information environment and across all levels of experience.

The ability to understand and navigate online environments and databases is fast becoming an essential skill for librarians. Now in a revised and updated edition, this book provides a handy guide for librarians in every conceivable information environment and across all levels of experience.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Bell's revision of this online searching guide will be invaluable to anyone starting out or looking for a refresher course on this topic. In clear concise language, the author covers everything from Boolean searching to using specific topic-based databases. . . . This easy-to-use manual, written with just a touch of humor and not a drop of condescension, is sure to be embraced by librarians of all skill levels--including the technology challenged. . . . This resource would make an ideal textbook for a library science course on online searching or simply for individuals brushing up on their searching skills." - VOYA

"Published in 2009, this work provides library professionals with an understanding of the basics of the continuously evolving field of database searching in today's libraries. The copious illustrations, suggested readings and the recap sections in relevant chapters are quite handy. The toolkits are useful for both the beginning and the experienced professional librarian, as well. The publication would essentially be a good addition to a professional collection. It will also be useful to professionals who are called upon to do online databases searching on a continuous basis and are unable to keep up with their reading of professional literature." - Library Times International

"Among the plethora of books about online reference for librarians and graduate students, this one stands out as notably useful, and perhaps even essential. . . . Teaching faculty will certainly be hard pressed to find a better textbook. Professionals, especially those like the reviewer who spend only a few hours per week in searching, will appreciate the book's comprehensiveness and clear directions. . . . It is heartily recommended for all libraries, especially those without the first edition." - Catholic Library World

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591587637
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/30/2009
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

SUZANNE S. BELL is the Economics/Data Librarian in the Rush Rhees Library Reference Department at the University of Rochester, and an adjunct faculty member with the Department of Library & Information Studies, SUNY Buffalo.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii

Preface xv

1 Database Structure for Everyone: Records, Fields, and Indexes 1

Historical Background 1

Indexing and Abstracting Services 1

From Printed Volumes to Databases 3

Database Building Blocks 4

Fields and Records 4

Quick Recap 5

Beyond Fields and Records 6

Field Indexes 6

Quick Recap 11

Examples of Indexes 12

Exercises and Points to Consider 17

Suggested Reading 18

Notes 18

2 The Searcher's Toolkit: Part 1 19

The First Basic Tools 19

Basic Tool No. 1: Boolean Logic 19

Quick Recap 24

Basic Tool No. 2: Controlled Vocabulary 25

Basic Tool No. 3: Field Searching 26

Terms in the Searching Lexicon 27

Quick Recap 29

Applying the Tools 29

Master FILE Premier: Notes and Search Examples 29

Exercises and Points to Consider 35

Notes 38

3 The Searcher's Toolkit: Part 2 39

Completing the Toolkit: Basic Tools 4-7 39

Basic Tool No. 4: Proximity Searching 39

Basic Tool No. 5: Truncation 43

Quick Recap 46

Basic Tool No. 6: Limits to Constrain Your Search 46

Basic Tool No. 7: "Pearl Growing," A Useful Search Strategy 47

Quick Recap 48

Your Mental Toolkit 48

Summary and Advice 49

Exercises and Points to Consider 49

Suggested Reading 50

Notes 50

4 Social Science Databases 51

Introduction to Subject Databases 51

Library Literature & Information Science 52

Background and Coverage 52

Notes and Search Examples 52

Quick Recap 56

ERIC on the Web 56

Background and Coverage 56

Notes and Search Examples 57

Working with Results: The Clipboard 64

Quick Recap 66

Psyc INFO from Ovid 66

Background and Coverage 66

Notes and Search Examples 68

Working with Results 75

Additional Feature: The PsycINFO Thesaurus 76

Quick Recap 76

Exercises and Points to Consider 77

Beyond the Textbook Exercises 79

Notes 80

5 Databases For Science and Medicine 81

PubMed and MEDLINE 82

About MEDLINE 82

PubMed: More than MEDLINE 83

Introduction to the PubMed Interface 84

Notes and Search Examples 85

Output in PubMed 94

Quick Recap 95

The Web of Science and the Citation Indexes 96

History of the Citation Indexes 96

Web of Science Content 97

An Index Focused on Citations 97

Additional Differences in Available Fields 98

Searching the Web of Science: Main Search Interface 99

Cited Reference Searching 106

E-mail, Print, Save, or Export Results 111

Advanced Features: Advanced Search and Analyze 112

Quick Recap 114

Exercises and Points to Consider 115

Beyond the Textbook Exercises 117

Notes 118

6 Bibliographic Databases 119

WorldCat: The "OPAC of OPACs" 120

Background and Coverage 120

A Tool for Many Parts of the Library 121

Notes and Search Examples 122

Quick Recap 131 131

Background: The Path to 132

Notes and Search Examples 133

Quick Recap 138

Revisiting Your Local OPAC 138

Exercises and Points to Consider 139

Beyond the Textbook Exercise 140

Notes 140

7 Humanities Databases 141

America: History and Life 142

Background and Coverage 142

Notes and Search Examples 142

Many Tools: Folder, Output Options, and More 149

Special Feature: CLIO Notes 151

Quick Recap 151

MIA International Bibliography 152

Background and Coverage 152

Notes and Search Examples 154

The Marked List and Output 161

Additional Feature: Directory of Periodicals 163

Quick Recap 165

Exercises and Points to Consider 166

Beyond the Textbook Exercises 167

Notes 167

8 Numerical Databases 169

Finding Numbers 169

Concepts about Numbers 170

Quick Recap 173

A Comment about Searching for Numbers 173

Statistical Insight from ProQuest 174

Background and Coverage 174

Notes and Search Examples 175

Outputting Records 183

Quick Recap 184

American FactFinder 185

Background and Coverage 185

Search Modes in American FactFinder 186

Quick Recap 189

Bureau of Labor Statistics 190

Pay & Benefits at the Bureau of Labor Statistics 191

Occupation Information at the Bureau of Labor Statistics 193

Quick Recap 194

Numbers and the Reference Interview 195

Exercises and Points to Consider 195

Beyond the Textbook Exercises 196

Suggested Readings 197

Notes 198

9 Focus on People 199

Part 1: Information Seeking Behavior 200

Some Theoretical Background on Information Seeking 200

Applied Research on Information Seeking Behavior 202

Quick Recap 207

Part 2: The Reference Interview 208

What Is the Real Question? 208

Question Negotiation in the Reference Interview 211

Beyond the Face-to-Face Reference Interview 214

Why Is the Reference Interview So Important? 217

Quick Recap 217

Exercises and Points to Consider 218

Suggested Readings 218

Notes 218

10 Choosing the Right Resource for the Question 221

Start With the Reference Interview 222

Questions for Databases 222

Why and When to Try a Database 223

Quick Recap 226

Choosing a Database 226

Free Databases on the Web 228

Quick Recap 230

Questions for the Web 231

Personal Uses of the Web 231

Professional Uses of the Web 231

Quick Recap 232

Exercises and Points to Consider 233

Suggested Readings 233

Notes 234

11 Evaluating Databases 235

Basic Facts and Figures 236

Initial Factual Information to Gather 236

Testing and Benchmarking 240

Testing 240

Benchmarking 245

Making a Request for Purchase 247

Elements to Include in the Request 247

Exercises and Points to Consider 249

Suggested Readings 250

Notes 250

12 Teaching Other People About Databases 251

Teaching Principles 252

Principle 1: Teach to Your Audience 252

Principle 2: Avoid Lecturing 253

Principle 3: Wait for Answers 254

Principle 4: Less Is More 255

Principle 5: Transparency in Teaching 255

Principle 6: You Have the Right to be Wrong 255

Principle 7: Teaching with Technology 256

Principle 8: Practice 257

Database Teaching Opportunities 258

Teaching at the Reference Desk 258

Teaching an Information Literacy Session 259

A Staff Presentation 264

The Full Semester Class 265

Exercises and Points to Consider 266

Suggested Readings 267

Notes 267

References 269

Index 281

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