Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Introduction to the Internet: Free Journal Indexes on the Web, MagPortal, Ingenta is an archive of free fulltext articles from over 300 journals and magazines. Coverage dates back to 1998. A partnership between LookSmart and the Gale Group. No graphics are included.

  • Search by keyword or magazine title
  • Search default is Boolean “or”
  • Use + for “and” logic; - for “not” logic e.g. +library –school
  • Use quotes to find a specific phrase, e.g. “west nile virus”

FindArticles: Search tips

ndex of recent free magazine articles available online.
MagPortal: How Does the Search Engine Work?

*Notess, Greg R. “Free Full Text: Find Articles and MagPortal”
Required reading

O’Leary, Mick. “Third-Age Aggregation from” Information Today, April 2002, Vol. 19 Issue 4, p.14, 3p (available on EBSCOHOST Academic Search Premier)

Ingenta is a free database of article citations in all subject areas, some with summaries, taken from over 28,000 multidisciplinary scholarly and professional journals. Ingenta offers keyword searching of title/keyword/abstract or of title only, searching by author; publication title; year, volume, issue is also offered. There is a “Subject Area Resource List” with links to free research content on the web in 15 general categories. Access to full-text articles is available to subscribers or on a pay-per-view basis.

The service known as UnCover merged with Ingenta in 2001. Coverage varies by title from 1988. As of 2003, there was not one complete list of titles available on Title lists are divided into publications available electronically and publications available for fax/Ariel delivery. Each must be searched separately. The default search is online articles.

Ingenta: Searching tips

Tenopir, Carol. “Ingenta Grows in the U.S. Market.” Library Journal 4/1/2002, Vol. 127 Issue 6, p34, 2p. (Available on EBSCOHost Academic Search Premier)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

WilsonWeb: library literature and information science

Truncation and Wildcards:
The truncation symbol (*) serves as a substitute for zero or a string or characters. For example, the search:cat* retrieves catalyst, catatonic, as well as categoryM*cdonald retrieves both macdonald and mcdonald

The wildcard symbol (?) serves as a substitute for a single alphanumeric character. It is particularly useful when you are unsure of spelling.

For example, the search einst??n retrieves the correctly spelled Einstein (Albert Einstein).
You can also use the operator in a constructed search query to specify a pattern or range of characters.

For example, the search
`bank{s,er,ing}` locates one of each pattern, as in banks, banker, and banking
`c[auo]t` locates one of any character, as in cat, cut, cot

In the Basic Search and Advanced Search screens, when you search on a single term the search engine will find documents that include that term as well as variations on the term as a root. For example, if you search for condition, the results will include documents with the words conditioning and conditioner. To restrict your search to the term itself, enclose it in quotation marks; “condition” will retrieve only those documents with that term.

In the Browse screen, you can look for variations of a name or term.

From: WilsonWeb Quick Reference Guide

Additional References
Quick Tips for Searching WilsonWeb
WilsonWeb Tutorial Click on Bibliographic Databases. Read the entire 10 page pdf file. (Required reading)
Wilson Web System Reviews Excerpts of reviews from Library Journal and Searcher. Fulltext of reviews available on EBSCOHOST Academic Search Premier.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Firstsearch Hands-on exercise

I. Logon system from

II. Selecting a database.
1. Do a “keyword” search in the Search for box by entering: horse breeding. Use the drop-down menu from the In: box to select General.
2. Press the Search button to view the results.
3. The resulting display provides a list of databases listed in order of the estimated number of records matching the query. Users may select from one to a maximum of three of the databases in which to do the actual search. Select PerAbs and ReadersGuideAbs then click on the Select button. You will be taken to the “Advanced Search” screen. In the Search box horse breeding is filled in as a keyword search. Click on the Search button and view the results.
4. Click on “Databases”, then on Suggest Best Databases. In addition to Keyword, items can be searched from this screen by Author and Source. Type Successful Farming in the Must Contain box and select General from the drop down menu. Select the radio button for Source. Click on List. View results. Click the hyperlink for PerAbs. With horse breeding as Keyword and successful farming as Source, click on Search and view the results.

III. Advanced search screen
1. Click on Home on the Navigation menu and select the WorldCat database from the line above the navigation tabs.
2. Do a keyword search in WorldCat on the terms campaign finance reform and view the results.
3. Repeat the search, but this time select “Relevance” from the Rank by drop down box at the bottom of the page. How do the results differ from the previous search?
4. Limit the previous results to “Sound Recordings” and “Archival” materials.
5. Perform a title search on library science limited to Internet resources. (Don’t forget to deselect previous limits.)
6. Perform an author search on Pierre Berton limited to juvenile works.
7. Try out the following in Advanced Search mode:

What has been written about Thomas Hardy’s use of folklore in his stories?
Our library needs to enhance its collection of recent books on stem cells. Find only items with this year’s publication date.
Is there a new edition of The Essential Ellison? (Use the Sort feature. Descending sorts most recent first.)

IV. Searching multiple databases

1. Click on List All Databases link in the Databases menu.
2. Click on the Clear button to clear any currently selected databases. Select the ArticleFirst, PerAbs, and WilsonSelectPlus databases by clicking in the appropriate checkboxes and clicking on the Select button.
3. Click on the Clear button to clear the previous searches. Perform a keyword search for whitewater rafting.
4. Browse through the results list. Note that the results are grouped by database, and that the same record may turn up more than once in your list.
5. To sort the results (and to bring duplicate records together) click on the Sort icon.
6. Sort the results by title Ascending and increase the Record List Size to 100. Click on Set to view the results.
7. Sort the results by title descending.

V. Record retrieval
1. To perform a search in the WorldCat database, on the Navigation menu select Basic Search under Searching. Use the drop down box in “Search in database” to switch to WorldCat. Do the keyword whitewater rafting search again.
2. Click on one of the titles to view the bibliographic record.
3. To format the record for printing, click on the Print icon. Note that in order to print, you still must use the print function on your browser. (Cancel the print command.)
4. Click on the Return to return to the bibliographic record.
5. Click on the Libraries icon for information on library holdings.
6. Click on the Return icon to return to the bibliographic record.
7. Click on List of Records. To view more than one record at a time, you can mark records by clicking the appropriate check box. Mark a few records and then click on Marked Records on the menu bar at the top of the screen. Click on Detailed if you wish to view the full records.

VI. More searching
1. To open the Advanced Search screen, click on Searching, then click on Advanced Search.
2. If you are not already in the WorldCat databases, open it.
3. Search for Life on the Mississippi. Try the search as a title and select Document Type Books and Language English. Note how many records are retrieved.
4. Repeat the search now using the title phrase index. How do these results differ from the previous search?
5. Click Options on the Navigation Menu and select Sort By: Number of Libraries Descending and add your email address. Click on Set and view the results.
6. Try out these searches using an advanced search:
a. What books by Philip K. Dick were reprinted by the Gregg Science Fiction series?
b. Which Stephen King books on tape or CD are in Spanish?
c. What titles has Goldengrove Press published?

VII. Previous searches
1. To view your search history, click on Previous Searches in the Results menu.
2. Select your keyword search for Campaign Finance Reform, enter Haddock in the Search for: box, select AND under Combine Using: and click Search/Combine.
3. To run a previous search in a new database, click on Previous Searches, select the keyword search for Campaign Finance Reform, enter Haddock in the Search for: box, select AND under In: box. Click “Search/Combine”. View the detailed records.

VIII. Limiting a search
1. Perform a search from the “Advanced Search screen” in Worldcat for Planet of the Apes.
2. Click on the Related Authors icon. Check Ricardo Montalbán and click Search. Combine this search with the previous search on Planet of the Apes.
3. Perform a keyword search for Pot-Bellied Pig.
4. Click on the Related Subjects icon and select Pot Bellied Pigs as Pets.

IX. Browse index and subject headings
1. In Worldcat, enter Interior Design in the Advanced Search screen as a Keyword search.
2. Click on the Index icon to the right.
3. Observe the results. Note that the keyword index is not a phrase index, and so the word design is ignored.
4. Change the index to Subject phrase using the pull-down menu.
5. Click on the Browse button and observe the results.
6. Click on the Return icon.
7. Click on the Subjects icon.
8. Enter interior design in the Word or concept box and click on
9. Click on Expand to see more subject headings. Click on one of the headings to perform a search on that heading.

X. Additional searching techniques
1. Return to the Advanced Search screen. (Tip: Select the WilsonSelectPlus database for these exercises.)
2. Perform a keyword search for garden compost. Note the number of records retrieved.
3. Try a keyword search using the query (gardens or gardening) and (compost or composting). Note the number of records retrieved.
4. Try the searching again using the *truncation symbol garden* and compost*. This search will include all words that begin with garden or compost (gardening, gardener, composting, etc.)
5. Try the above search with an additional keyword or two, using either the * truncation symbol or the + plural symbol. Suggestions: vegetable+ (searches for vegetable and vegetables), flower+ (searches for flower or flowers, but not flowering, flowered, etc.), flower* (searches for all words beginning with flower).
6. You can use the ? and # wildcards to search for irregular plurals or for variant spellings. The # represents a single character and the ? represents from zero to any number of additional characters (up to nine). Try the search women and labor. Note the number of records retrieved. Try the search again using wildcards:
wom#n and labo?r
7. Proximity operators can help narrow a search and can also be used to search for particular phrases. Try these searches:
libraries and computer+
libraries n3 computer+
war and peace
war w1 peace

XI. Expert search
The Expert Search screen is designed for users who prefer a command-line interface. Try some of these sample searches in Worldcat or make up some of your own:
ti=wind in the willows
ti=”war and peace” and au: tolstoy
su=horse racing and kw:saratoga

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Introduction to the Internet: Ebscohost's Academic Search Premiere Database

For a more in-depth guide to Ebscohost, please use the Red River College guide which is currently available for download at

In some places, this will be vague because it is not my place to provide information regarding a service for another institution that does not allow other users to access sites through its access.

Ebscohost is an online service which allowing users to access journal articles. It is accessed through subscriptions through the Internet. It offers easy access to many full-text databases. One of the most popular databases is Academic Search Premiere which includes journal and magazine articles, newspaper articles, book reviews and more. Business Source Elite is another database which is also heavily used. The information and instructions below are applicable to every database but there may be some difference in content and searching.

The great thing about the Ebsco databases is that they contain full-text articles. This means that the entire text of articles is available through a computer. An article can be printed out within minutes, but first users must understand how to search… the purpose of the guide is to teach you how to use Academic Search Premiere and achieve results with searches.

Getting started with Ebscohost
Ebscohost through your web browser
If you are at an institution that uses Ebscohost, you may already be logged into the site. If you are at home, use a username and password provided to you.

It is recommended that once logged in to click on the Articles in Magazines and Journals link. This transfers to the database selection page.

There are various databases to choose from in Ebscohost. The defa
ult is the Academic Search Premier database which is always selected when users initially log on.

Users can scroll through the
list of databases to see what else is available. Databases can be changed by moving the checkmark. Users can feel free to explore other databases but should remember the information provided here may not apply to other databases.

The guided search

The guided search window is the default search when using the databases.
The guided search offers multiple search b
oxes, searchable fields, Boolean operators, and other options that allow users create a well-focused search.

Type search words into one or more of the Find windows. If using more than one word in a box, link terms with Boolean Operators, unless searching for a string of words as a phrase. (See Boolean operators)

Field codes:
Select the fields you would like search terms to appear in by selecting the field code from the drop-down lists. Alternatively, leave the field codes as Default Fields. Field codes tell the database which fields in the record that would like to be looked for specific terms in. For example, if any articles that have any variation of the words price or expense or fee in the articles anywhere. This is achieved by leaving the field code at Default Fields, and also through the use of truncation.

Also try finding articles that deal with tuition and college (or colleges) as subjects, which is achieved by changing the field codes to SU Subject.

Combining search terms:
The AND Boolean operator is the default. There is the option of changing the Boolean operator to OR, or NOT, which will expand or limit the search according to the terms specified.


Note: Truncation is defined as ‘shortening by cutting off’.

The keyword search allows to truncate words. If a word is truncated, users will be able to retrieve records that contain any variation of that root word.

Ebscohost uses the asterisk symbol (*) to truncate words. To use truncation, type in the root of a word and replace the ending with an asterix (*). For example, type comput* to find articles containing the words compute, computer, computers, computing, etc.

Search limits

Near the bottom of the search screen there are several options to limit a search.

The most common way to limit searches is by choosing to find Full Text articles from journals that the library subscribes to.

Full Text articles are those which include the entire text of an article. This full text may take the form of an HTML document, which will display just like any regular Web page, or a PDF document, which shows the article as it appeared in the original paper publication. In order to view a
PDF document, users must have the Adobe Reader downloaded and installed on the computer. If the computer does not have the program, it is easily obtainable over the Internet.

Holdings are articles from journals which the Library subscribes to in paper form. Many of these articles may also be full text; if this is the case users do not have to go to the library shelves to obtain the article. However, this information comes in handy if the article is not full text in the database, because users know that they can simply go to the library shelves to find it in the journal.
It is recommended limiting searches to Full Text and Holdings. If you do not retrieve many results, please consult someone about your search strategy.

Scholarly Journals are those which contain articles that have been reviewed and/or qualified by a selected panel of acknowledged experts in the field of study covered by the journal. These journals are also known as Peer-Reviewed. Students in Nursing, Child and Youth Care, and other health and social services related programs often need to find these articles.

There are other limiters which you can use to make a search more focused and specific. These include limiting by date range, publication type or name, length, and more.

Boolean searching
Boolean searching is one of the most useful things that can be learned about databases. Boolean search terms (usually called operators) cause databases and search engines to work the way intended.

AND – Type ‘and’ between search terms and only those articles which have both search terms will be retrieved. For example, ‘dogs and cats’ retrieves only articles with both words in them.

OR – Type ‘or’ between search terms and any articles that have either words in them will be retrieved. For example, ‘dogs or cats’ retrieves any articles containing the word dogs or cats or both dogs and cats.

NOT – Type ‘not’ between search terms tells the search engine to exclude articles which contain a certain word. For example, typing ‘dogs not cats’ will retrieve articles that contain the word dogs but not any that contain the word cats, even if the word dogs is there too. If an article contains both the word ‘dogs’ and
the word ‘cats’, it will be excluded.

The results list
When EBSCOhost performs a search, a Result List opens. This is the information that the database retrieved base
d on the search words and limiters.

Search results show up as citations and include links to full text where available.

Each result is numbered with the most recent articles appearing at the top of the list. All available formats for the article are displayed—HTML full text, PDF full text, or linked full text. Use the linked page numbers (or forward/backward arrows) to move through the Result List. Click on the title links at any time to view the full record which includes an abstract (a summary of what the article is about).

HTML Full Text indicates the full article is available in the database. Simply click the full-text link or the blue article title link to read/print the entire article.

The PDF Full Text button starts the Adobe Acrobat Re
ader program which takes a few moments. It shows a scanned image of the article as it appeared in the journal. It is slower to load and often there is a lack of sharpness or clarity. It is recommended to choose the HTML version if it is also available.

The message, ‘Linked Full Text’ means that the full text is available through another Ebsco database. Simply click on the link to be taken to the other database where the article is available in full text.

A tiny camera sy
mbol means the full text article includes photos or graphics.

Notes – You will see either one or the other of these two notes in every record:
Note: If the
fulltext is not available – Request – This note is the way of saying the library does not subscribe to this journal. If there is no full text symbol in a record and it contains this note you will not get the entire article from your computer or the library, at least not immediately. You have two ways to acquire the article: a) go to another library that subscribes the journal, or b) ask to request it through Interlibrary Loan services. Alternatively, look for other articles which are available in the database or on the Library shelves. If you are having difficulty finding information, talk with an Information Desk staff member.

Note: Check the RRC Library shelves – This note tells you that the library subscribes to the paper copy of the journal. Usually, if the full text is available for the article, users would not go any further than their computer, but can always look at the paper copy whether full text is available on-line or not. If the full text is not available in the database, go to the Library shelves to find the paper copy of the article. The journals are arranged alphabetically by title, and then by date. If you are having difficulty finding the journal on the shelves, talk with an Information Desk staff member.

The Full Record Display
Clicking on any title from the results list will take users to an expanded record, regardless of whether the article is full text or not.

The full record display includes all the information from the short display, such as title, author, source, and more. The abstract gives you a summary about the article. Hypertext link
s take you to subjects headings, the journal and the author(s). There is a word count for full text.

HTML full text
If the record includes HTML full text, it will immediately follow the citation (the bibliographic information) at the top of the screen.

PDF full text
If the article is available through PDF full text, users will see the PDF link at the top of the screen. Click on it to go to the Acrobat version. Users will have been taken directly to this version if they had clicked on the PDF link from the results list display. Please note that the PDF version may not include the bibliographic information necessary to cite the article for your bibliography so it’s a good idea to print the full record display for future references.

To print a PDF article, be sure to click on the Acrobat Printer Icon half way down the page, and not on the browser printer icon at the top.

The subject se
Users can search t
he alphabetical list of subject headings to see if what they have in mind is an actual heading or if they should be using another term or phrase. Often they will be referred from one heading to another that is being used instead.

Click on the subject search button in the blue toolbar near the top of the screen. Users can then type their subject word or words in and you will be taken to the subject list. If the search term or phrase is being used in the database it will be displayed. If not, users may be referred to another related heading. If the latter is the case, click on the link to jump to the related heading.
In the example, ‘Broadcasting’ was typed in, which is a recognized heading. Users can jump immediately to all (1363) articles or select the link to the newspaper or periodical references.

Related terms
With many results, users may want to view related terms to narrow down a search. Click on any one of the narrower terms to link to the records.

Subdivisions allow users to break down the main heading into more manageable ‘chunks’ of information. These subdivisions appear in alphabetical order and may even have links to subdivisions of their own.

Image collection search tip
To search for an image:
1. Click the Image Collections sub-toolbar button. The Image Collections Search Screen appears.
2. Enter search terms for the image wanted in the Find field (for example, Eleanor Roosevelt).
Your search term must match exactly a word in the title or caption of an image; the search term Roosevelt does not yield the same search results as the search term Roosevelts. Users can use Boolean search terms to further specify searches (for example, Delano and Roosevelt).
3. Select from the available categories to narrow the focus of a search. If no selections are made, all categories are searched.
4. Click Search. A Result List consisting of thumbnail images with brief descriptions appears.

* To print the image, click Print. The Print Manager is displayed. Click Print, then print from the browser window.

* To save the image, click Save to disk. The Save Manager is displayed. Click Save, then save from the browser window.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Introduction to the Internet: Red River College Library Catalogue

(RRC uses the WebVoyage OPAC developed by the Endeavor Information Systems)
Search tips
If your search results in no hits, try another kind of search or check your spelling, punctuation and spacing
Limits apply to keyword and title searches only
Keyword (relevance ranked)
Use for broad searching.Enter word(s) or phrase(s) in any order.
To truncate, use ?: constitut? (finds constitution, constitutional, etc.)
To search phrases, use quotes: “meech lake”
To indicate essential terms, use + in front of word +trudeau
To exclude terms, use ! in front of word !quebec
To indicate important terms, use * in front of word *canada
Search limits can be used.
Advanced keyword (and, or, not)

To combine terms, use the connectors: and, or, not
To truncate, use ?: child? (finds child, children, etc.)
To search phrases, use quotes ”world wide web”
Search limits can be used.

For individuals, type last name followed by first name or, last name followed by first initial e.g. atwood m
For organizations or groups, use normal word order e.g. red river college
Use Library of Congress (LC) Subject Headings e.g. canada history 1867-1914
If you don’t know the standard subject terms, use a Keyword search.
Call number
Type as much of the call number as you know, including punctuation and spaces: qd941 ; ps648 .d4 064 2000
Omit articles or foreign equivalents (a, an, the, le, la, l’, etc.) when they are the first word of a title, otherwise include the article e.g. cat in the hat, but NOT the cat in the hat
Quick Limit and Set Limits
Can only be used with Title or, Keyword searches.
Cannot be used with Author, Subject, or Call Number searches.
Can limit by: location, year, type of material e.g. book, video, periodical, kit, etc.
Click on Limits to clear search limits.
Additional search tips
Press Enter key to execute search.
Click New Search or Reset to clear search statement.
Click Previous Searches to edit search statement (under heading Edit, click the number corresponding to the search statement you want to change).

Most online catalogues will provide similar searches. If there are any differences, these will generally be highlighted near the search page. It is often wise to look at a library’s catalogue in case there are any differences noted. For example, a school’s catalogue would not use LC subject headings.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Introduction to the Internet: Web browsers

Browser:Short for Web browser, a software application used to locate and display Web pages. The two most popular browsers now are Windows Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Both of these are graphical browsers, which means that they can display graphics as well as text. In addition, most modern browsers can present multimedia information, including sound and video, though they require plug-ins for some formats.


Browser basics

With Windows Internet Explorer, a Favorite is a shortcut to a page you’ve seen before. When you are looking at a page you would like to come back to, you can make IE save the ‘location’ of that page for you. Select Favorites from the menu bar and choose Add to Favorites. You can now go directly to that page by choosing its name from the list under the Favorites menu. IE allows users to organize these “favorites”. Clicking on the “Organize Favorites” button gives you the option of creating folders within your Favorites folder to better organize your saved sites.
Similar options are provided on Firefox under the “Bookmarks” menu.

Find command
Allows you to search a document to find a particular term or string of text.
  1. Click the “Edit” menu at the top of the page.
  2. Then select the “Find on this page” (IE ) or “Find in this page” (Firefox).
  3. When the dialog box appears, enter the term you want to find and click enter.
  4. Click the “Find Next” button to locate the next occurrence of the term in the page.
Home icon
Takes you back to the page that appears whenever you start the browser. For Internet Explorer you can set your own home page as follows:
  1. Start Internet Explorer
  2. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  3. Click the General tab.
  4. In the Address box, type the Web page that you want for your home page.
    NOTE: If you want the page that you are currently viewing to be your home page, click Use Current.
  5. Click OK.
Alternatively now when you’re browsing the Internet through IE you can click the drop-down arrow next to the homepage icon on your browser and select the option Add or Change Home Page. Click Yes on the dialog box.
The process in Firefox is similar.
  1. Start Firefox.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  3. Choose the Main option if not already chosen.
  4. Type in the desired homepage or click Use Current Page. There is also the option to choose a page from your bookmarks.
  5. Click OK.
Cache (Temporary Internet Files)
Internet Explorer keeps a record of web pages (known as cached pages) which have been viewed recently. Whenever you “surf” the Internet, your browser temporarily stores images and pages on your hard drive. This is done to speed up your download when you revisit pages – the images are already on your hard drive, so you don’t have to wait for them to download again. The place where the information is stored is called the cache. The cache also tells you and others where you have been online, showing the pages and images that were viewed during your last visits.
To clear the cache in IE:
  1. Click on Tools in the menu bar.
  2. Click Delete Browsing History.
  3. Under Temporary Internet Files click the Delete Files… button and click Yes on the confirmation dialog box
Internet Explorer automatically keeps track of pages that have been visited in the current session, which forms the history. This history is accessed by clicking through the button on the IE toolbar, or by viewing the list of sites visited under the File menu.
Keyboarding shortcuts
Cut certain material (must be highlighted) Ctrl + X
Copy certain material (must be highlighted) Ctrl + C
Paste certain material Ctrl + V
Find certain information on the current page Ctrl + F
Additional resources
Cohen, Laura. Using Internet Explorer 6.
Internet Explorer.
A tutorial covering navigation, menus, using favorites.
net.TUTOR: About Web Browsers
Interactive tutorial from Ohio State University
Surf the Web: Web Browsers

Introduction to the Internet: References

Chisholm, Charlyn, Keating. Internet for beginners.
Cohan, Laura. A Basic guide to the Internet. From the University at Albany, SUNY’s Internet tutorial.
Harness E-Mail: How it works
What is the Internet, the World Wide Web and Netscape? From the U C Berkeley tutorial, Finding Information on the Internet
Webopedia Online sources for definitions relating to the Internet and to computer technology