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The Oxford Guide to Library Research / Edition 3

The Oxford Guide to Library Research / Edition 3

by Thomas Mann

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ISBN-10: 0195189981

ISBN-13: 9780195189988

Pub. Date: 10/29/2005

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

With all the changes in information storage and retrieval, anyone doing research today may feel unsure of the most efficient ways to use the library. The Oxford Guide to Library Research provides an overview of little-known but powerful strategies used by librarians and information specialists, through clear explanations of nine fundamental methods of searching.


With all the changes in information storage and retrieval, anyone doing research today may feel unsure of the most efficient ways to use the library. The Oxford Guide to Library Research provides an overview of little-known but powerful strategies used by librarians and information specialists, through clear explanations of nine fundamental methods of searching. Thomas Mann explains how these techniques can be applied profitably to almost any area of research, and considers all formats -- from newspapers to digital libraries on the Web -- for their unique advantages, as well as for their limitations. Drawing on over twenty years' experience helping library users, Mann enlivens his advice throughout with real-world examples. Against the trendy but mistaken assumption that "everything" can be found on the Internet, he asserts the lasting value of physical libraries and time-tested research strategies, while acknowledging the complementary applications of computer technology. Required reading for anyone navigating the complex universe of information resources, The Oxford Guide to Library Research offers a comprehensive, up-to-date overview of the field, one that can save its readers countless hours in the search for information.

Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
Edition description:
Third Edition
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

1.Initial Overviews: Encyclopedias3
General vs. specialized encyclopedias
How to identify which ones exists in different subject areas
Peculiar strengths of general sets
2.Subject Headings and the Library Catalog16
Filing conventions
Filing sequence
Subject headings
Uniform heading
Scope-match specificity
Specific entry
Four ways to find the proper category term
Narrower-term cross-references
Alphabetically adjacent narrower terms
Subject tracings
Recognition vs. prior specification
Narrowing a topic
Finding foreign-language books
Copy cataloging problem for researchers
Advantages and disadvantages of the catalog
Essay collections
3.Systematic Browsing, Scanning, and Use of Classified Bookstacks46
Possible methods of shelving books
Serendipity and discovery by recognition
Depth of access and full-text searching
Browsing vs. scanning
Shelf arrangement complements library catalog: advantages and disadvantages
Scattering of subjects
Exploiting the library's internal structure
Continuing need for classified bookstacks in computer age
Ways to find the right classification areas
Browsing in other situations
4.Subject Headings and Indexes to Journal Articles59
H. W. Wilson Company indexes and databases
Vocabulary control
Information Access Company databases
FirstSearch and Eureka databases
Use of Library of Congress Subject Headings for cross-disciplinary inquiries
Specialized indexes and databases
Narrowing a search
Finding where a particular journal is indexed
Full texts online
Identifying journals in a particular subject area
Cataloging peculiarities of serials vs. books
Problems with abbreviations
Journals whose titles include the name of an organization
5.Keyword Searches80
Keywords vs. subject headings: advantages and disadvantages
Print and computer sources
Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) indexes and databases
Periodicals Contents Index
Printed keyword sources
Indexes to very old journals
Additional keyword sources
Cross-disciplinary coverage of ISI sources
6.Citation Searches98
ISI indexes
Advantages and limitations
Additional citation databases and indexes
Extra features of ISI indexes
7.Related-Record Searches105
Circumventing limitations of keyword searches
Searching backward, forward, and sideways in time
8.Higher-Level Overviews: Review Articles110
State-of-the-art reviews
Sources for identifying reviews
Key points of Chapters 4 through 8
9.Published Bibliographies117
Advantages over computer printouts
Boolean combinations without using a computer
How the use of bibliographies compares to other search techniques
Separate shelving of bibliographies
The "--Bibliography" subdivision
How to find bibliographies
Guides to the literature
Great books lists
10.The Differences Between Real and Virtual Libraries132
Copyright restrictions
What, Who, and Where tradeoffs
Quality control
Format differences and their significance
Ranges of electronic sources in real libraries
Bait-and-switch claims
11.Computer Searches: Types of Sources144
Bibliographic Citation databases
Online Public Access Catalogs
OCLC FirstSearch
RLG Eureka
CARL UnCover and Faxon Finder
Full Text Databases
Internet full-text sources
NEXIS and other fee-based sources
Internet and World Wide Web sources
Points to remember about computer searches
12.Computer Searches: Types of Searches159
Comparison of computer and print capabilities
Keyword searches
Document-type searches
Boolean combinations
Component-word searches of controlled-vocabulary terms
Searches of coded elements
Geographic area codes
Combined citation and keyword searches
Web searches
Hierarchical and direct stab
Boolean combinations outside computers
Keyword searches outside computers
Consequences of naivete
How to identify appropriate databases
13.Locating Material in Other Libraries183
Determining which specific sources exist on your topic
Shortcuts to finding the best books
Library of Congress catalog online
Printed catalogs
Determining where copies can be found
Online union catalogs
National Union Catalog: Pre-1956 Imprints
Other union lists
Determining which libraries have special collections on your subject
14.People Sources203
Attitudes and assumptions
It's okay to ask for help
Advantages of getting overviews and feedback
Internet groups
Tips on phone calls
Talking to reference librarians
15.Hidden Treasures220
Microform sets
CD-ROM collections
Government documents
16.Reference Sources: Searching by Types of Literature245
Reference vs. research questions
Summary of major points of book
Methods of searching and types of literature
Explanation of types
Understanding formal properties of retrieval systems
Advantages over subject knowledge
AppendixSpecial Cases259
Archives, manuscripts, and public records260
Book reviews269
Business and economics269
Conference proceedings280
Consumer product evaluations281
Current awareness sources281
Films and audiovisual material282
Genealogy and local history283
Illustrations, pictures, and photographs287
Literary criticism289
Newspapers and newspaper indexes294
Out-of-print and secondhand books296
Primary sources297
Psychological and educational tests298
Standards and specifications302
Tabular data305

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