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On Friday we met at the Engineering Library where Christy Hightower presented some of the resources available to us for retrieving information on research topics. The presentation was organized around the qualities of the information we are searching for and the general arc of a search.

Qualities of Information

  • Age
    • Is the information current or old?
    • Newest information can be found in Journal articles or conference proceedings (depending on the field)
  • Depth
    • Who is the target audience? Experts, people in the industry, people in general?
    • Is this a broad overview, or an in-depth people.
  • Volume/Completeness
    • How much information is required?
  • Focus
    • Is this information narrowly focused or more general?
  • Well-written, Well-illustrated?
    • Is it written in a way that is easy to understand or uses precise language?
    • Are there figures and diagrams that are easy to follow and understand?
  • Treatment
    • Applied vs. Theoretical
    • Opinion, Editorial
    • Statistical
  • Influential / Groundbreaking
    • Is this information groundbreaking or incremental?
    • Has this work influenced other writers?
  • Availability
    • Is this information available right away or will there be a wait for it?
  1. Define an information need
    • The Topic or Subject
    • What qualities or characteristics are most important
  2. What format best meets the need?
  3. Choose a source
    • Books
    • Journals
    • Conference Proceedings and Poster Presentations
    • Web Sites
    • Dissertations and Theses
    • Encyclopedia Articles, other background
    • Lab protocols
    • Patents
  4. Choose a vocabulary
    • A review for laymen would use a different vocabulary than a dissertation.
    • Vocabulary can vary between theoretical and practical works.
  5. Decide on Search Strategy
    • Keyword, author search
    • Citation analysis
  6. Construct the Search Syntax
    • boolean operators
    • fields and limits
  7. Refine your search

Resources available

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lecture_notes/04-15-2011.txt · Last modified: 2011/04/19 03:59 by eyliaw