Databases and Search Strategies by oneforseven

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									Databases and
Search Strategies
What is a database?

     An organised collection of
      information.
Examples of Databases

    A telephone book
    Windows explorer

    A media library

    The word wide web

    CINAHL, ERIC, Expanded
     Academic, etc.
How is information organised in
a database?
     Table of contents
     Alphabetical order

     Numerical order

     Index

     Subject
Electronic Databases

   Organised electronically for
    rapid searching.
   Examples from our library:
       Library catalogue
        [www.library.dce.ac.nz]
       CINAHL, Medline
       Others
     Choosing the correct database
         Discipline specific - depends
          on the questions you are
          asking
How to Use a Database:
Straightforward Search

      When you know what you
       are looking for, you can
       easily search by:
        Title
        Author
        Subject
        Keyword
        Date
How to Use a Database:
Complex Search
     When you aren’t sure where
      the answer to your question
      will lie, you have to develop a
      search strategy, which
      includes:
       Asking a question,
       Breaking it into its
        component parts,
       Searching each part
        individually, then
       Combining the searches to
Search Strategy: Step 1

  Develop your
   question:
     Question: Is it just as safe
      for women to have their first
      babies at home as in the
      hospital?
   Search Strategy: Step 2

   Break your question into its
    component parts:


 1           2           3               4
Safe   First babies   Home birth   Hospital birth
       Search Strategy: Step 3
 FIND AS MANY SYNONYMS FOR EACH
   OF THE PARTS AS POSSIBLE

    safe      First babies      Home birth          Hospital birth


Safety      Primiparity
                             Homebirth
Risk        Primipara                              Hospital deliveries
                             Home deliveries
Morbidity   Primiparous      Out-of-hospital birth
                                                   Hospital confine-
Mortality                                          ments
Outcomes
Search Strategy: Step 4
Build the Search
   Search each component
    individually in the appropriate
    database
   Combine the individual
    searches until you can find
    overlaps containing all, or most
    of the search terms.
Let’s see how it works:
         Finding a database
   Start at: http://www.library.dce.ac.nz/

                                              Click “databases
                                              and article
                                              Searching”
Enter User name and
password
    Username:
     BRLGATEWAY
    Password: remote6
Choose the suitable
database              For this tutorial I
                      have used
                      CINAHL, under
                      “health” (you have
                      to scroll to find it).
                      The choice of
                      database is
                      determined by the
                      question and the
                      discipline most
                      likely to contain
                      the answer.
Open search



              It is always
              preferable to use
              the “advanced
              search”. Click on
              this tab to open it.
Search

   Search each component individually in the
    appropriate database.

                                            Do note the
                                         tabs that take you
                                                from
                                        “results” to “history”
Combine Searches – “OR”
   “Or” seeks to expand sets


                                          Articles
                                         containing
                              Out-of-     any term
Home           Home                       meaning
                              Hospital
 birth   or   delivery   or
                                         “Children
                               birth
                                           born at
                                           home”
Combine Searches – “AND”
“And” seeks to restrict sets
                                  Articles
                                  containing
                                  all the
                                  search
    Home birth         risk       terms




   Hospital birth   primiparity
Scan the Final Results

    Title
    Abstract

    Availability
Look for promising results
Locate Material

   Bill Robertson library (see
    www.library.dce.ac.nz for
    details. See also the services
    for off-campus students)
   Other Universities Libraries
    (Otago, Canterbury, Victoria…)
   Some articles have full-text
    available on line!
   Interloan
Some extra hints…

   Play with all the features of the
    searching engine.
   Look at the “limits” you can set
    (see “refine search” tab)
   Search for words in specific
    fields (title, author, key word,
    etc.)
Summary

    Formulate your question
    Divide it into parts
    Find synonyms and related words for
     each part
    Search each term individually
    Combine the search terms to find the
     most effective range of information
    Evaluate results
    Locate the source of information

								
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