Smarter searching with library databases
Thursday, 30 March, 2023 - 19:30
Learn how to access library databases, take advantage of the functionality they offer, and devise a proper search technique.
Your gateway to a wide range of online information resources
TRAINER: Hello and welcome to this session, Introduction to Library Services. My name is Rachel. I am a Learning and Teaching Librarian and I will be taking you through this session. The slides and handout for this session are available to download from the join room page, and there'll be links at the end of this session. I shall get started. Here are our objectives. Hopefully, by the end of this session, you'll be able to confidently navigate the library website, access resources relevant to your study, and access help and support provided by the library.
The first two objectives will help you when you're looking for information for your assignments or independent research.
How does the library work? Nearly all of our resources are available online, and they're available 24/7. You just need to be connected to a device. We do have a library at Milton Keynes, but most of the resources that you are going to be using are going to be available to you online. You can use Library Search to find and access these resources. This is our discovery tool, which you can find on the homepage of the library website.
You can go directly into our different databases to find subject-specific information, and a database is simply a collection of resources, often, but not always specializing in a range of subjects. If you want to know more about databases and getting the most out of them, you can follow our other training session, Smarter Searching with Library Databases, but more help with using library search is available if you would like to find it later. Let's move on to the next slide, our resources.
The library provides access to a huge range of online books, journal articles, newspapers, databases, images, and more. I mentioned journal articles, and a journal is a periodical, which is published on a regular basis, sometimes monthly, sometimes quarterly, and has lots of separate articles written by scholars, quite often by different individuals or groups of scholars. We also have selected resources for your study collections, which introduce you to resources in your subject area. So we're going to go to the library website and have a look at Library Search now.
I'm going to stop sharing these slides, and I'm going to move to sharing my screen. So one way to get to our library services webpage is going via student home. You'll see, we've got a link just here to library services. I'm going to open that in a new tab. As you'll see, we've come into the library services webpage. This is our homepage. We've got tabs across the top, and we're going to go to search, and you can search in this bar just here. I'm going to do a search for you now, and I'm going to look for an ebook.
So I'm going to put in a title. Just bear with me one second. I will get a title, and we can have a look at that. I've put that into the search bar, and I'm going to click search. As you will see, we've got a list of results which have come up just here, and the top two, because I searched for chocolate, health, chemistry, nutrition, and therapy, we can see these two are ebooks that are matching that title. That's the title that I was wanting, I was looking for. We've actually got two copies of this ebook.
Sometimes we buy extra copies at a different date. One thing I just want to point out as well is, at this moment in time I'm not signed in, and it's really handy to be signed in, so always check that you're signed in, and your username, your name will appear in the top corner, and that gives you some benefits which are going to help you with searching. For example, if I wanted to save a title that I'd search for because I thought it was going to be helpful to me, I would go to this pin just here, click on it, and add it to my favorites, and you may have noticed that the pin jumped up to the top just here, so we're going to click on that. As you will see, that title has gone into a list of my saved results.
If I come back to library search at a different time, I'll be able to find that just there, and get back to that title. Other things to find out about if you click on the result, it takes you to more information about this resource, such as authors, and subject words as well. The other thing you can have a look at is if you go to the full text available, it takes you into the resource itself, and this one is handily broken down into lots of separate chapters. I'm going to go back to Library Search now, and I'm going to go back to the search page, and I'm going to do a new search.
This time, I'm going to look for a journal article. I'm just going to get another title to have a look for. I'm going to pop this back in the search bar as well.
As you'll see, my result has come up for me here, and this time, because it's an article it's telling me it's an article as well. I could, if I wanted to, go into the record, or I could find the full text available. Other things to be aware of though, is you'll see down this side, we obviously got a lot of results that have come through. We've got over 12,000 results.
If you wanted to narrow down the amount of results that you were getting, you can choose with some of these filters, and because we knew we were looking for an article there, we could have ticked article, applied that filter, and then it would've cut down as you see how many results that were coming back to me. Okay? That might be helpful. Remember again, if you want to save that result, you can click on the pin. This one has got a cross-through, so I've already saved that to my favourites.
If I decided I don't want it anymore, I could take that off, and if we went to my favorites, using that pin again, we would find that it's not in that list, but we have got the chocolate book that I'd look for a little bit earlier on. That's a really handy feature of using Library Search.
You can use Library Search as well to do a subject search, and if that's something that you're interested in doing, there's another training session available to you called Using the Library Search for your Assignment.
The next thing that I'd like to show you is the selected resources for your study page. If we go back to the Library Services webpage, once again, we'll see these tabs along the top, and we are going to go to Library Resources. Because Library Search is really useful, and you'll use it a lot, but if you're struggling to get started, you can make use of some of our collections of library resources that are available from this tab on the library webpage, the library resources tab. Down the side here, we could click on any of these if we wanted to, and it just breaks it down into the different types of resources we've got such as ebooks, journals, we've got some dictionaries.
If you're a law student, you might want to come to the law cases, legislation, and official publications. We've also got some news sources just here as well. You could go straight to the type of source that you are looking for. What we are going to focus on just now is the selected resources for your study. Let's go into that link now. Okay? As you'll see, we've got lots of different breakdowns of different subjects under here. We've got Art History, we've got Languages, we've got Music, we've got Science to name but a few.
If you're studying one of these subjects, then you can click on them, and you can go through them, and we'll see exactly what's available to you there. I'm going to choose social sciences. As you'll see, there's a list of resources available. Firstly, I'm just going to say though, if you were specifically studying Criminology, you could go through to Criminology, and if you were specifically studying Sociology, you might choose that, we will just stick with this one just for now.
As you see, as we scroll down, we've got lots of different types of resources available, and it gives you a little bit of an abstract, a breakdown, an overview of what type of resources you are looking at there. For example, this top one is a database, and it's a full-text database, meaning that when you go in, if you search for articles, you'll be able to get the full text of it, and it's also got some accessibility tips, and so it tells you how to use that. We can scroll down a little bit further, and we'll see we've got another database through JSTOR. It's got a link to Nexis. This is a full text of newspapers and other news sources worldwide. We've got Sage journals online. We've got lots of different resources which have been selected because they're going to hopefully provide you with information, which is going to be supportive of your studies. This helps to get you started. Library Search is really useful and will search across all of our collections, but this is going to hopefully narrow it down to the resources which are going to actually help you with your subject area. We'll just go back up to the top.
As I say, if we go through to sociology, you'll find that some of the resources might be the same as they were in the general social sciences one, but here we start to get, we've got an e-journal, which might be helpful to you, and we've got a British Journal of sociology. It breaks it down even further into your subject area. Selected resources for your study might be a really helpful way to get started if you are finding that too much information is coming back when you're searching through Library Search. I'm going to stop sharing my screen for a second, we're going to go back to the slides.
We're going to try it.
Now, let’s try it for yourself. What I'd like you to do is go to the selected resources for your study page and find the page that's relevant to your degree subject and have a look at that resource and find what resources are available to you for your subject. Just be aware as well if you're studying a subject like Counselling, think about the broader subject. You probably want to go in through Psychology and then get down to Counselling a bit like we did with Social Sciences down to Sociology.
Then the next thing I'd like you to have a go at is try and find one of the following in Library Search, an ebook, The Complete Dinosaur and a journal article, Reflections from the Stratosphere. Just remember, try to be as accurate as you can with your spelling to help you bring back the results through Library Search. What I'd like you to do now is pause the recording, give yourself about six minutes to have a go at that, and then come back to us.
Hopefully you've been able to complete that task, and if you do have any questions about that, I'm going to show you in a second how you can get in touch with the library help desk if there were any problems with that, but hopefully you've been able to successfully get through, like to the selected resources for your study page and find one or both of the resources in Library Search.
We're going to have a look then at Help and Support for you. In a second, I'm going to go back to the Library Services homepage to support you with that, because on the Library Services homepage, we do have a tab for Help and Support. If we go to this tab just here, we'll see we've got Help and Support page and it's broken down into different sections.
The first thing that I'd like to show you about is there's plenty of guidance which will help you with finding and using Library Resources. You'll see just here, it's broken down into finding resources for your assignment, finding e-journals and online articles, and finding you using books and thesis. Please do use those resources if you need any further support with getting resources for your assignment. Other things to look out for are our Referencing pages and our Disabled User-support Pages. If we go to the side just here, I'm going to click on the Disabled user-support page.
We've got a YouTube video about what the OU Library offers disabled students. We've got some information about how accessible databases are and tips with them. We've got information about converting files. We've also got referencing accessible formats information. This is going to be a really helpful page to you.
I will go back to the help and support page now, and we're also going to have a look at our referencing guidance information. We've also got a Referencing and Plagiarism page, and this has got all sorts of useful links to it. We've got a link to the Cite Them Right database. It's an online referencing guide and it will show you how to reference different things that you've used in your study. You can search for a resource if you want to reference it. We've also got a quick guide to Harvard referencing, which I shall click on and show you, and this one just here has picked out some of the resources that are commonly used, which you're possibly going to use in your assignments, such as module websites. It's well worth having a look on there as well if you know that there's a resource that you're going to need to use in your assignments and reference.`
A very specific page for OU module pages and module material here. If I click on that link, I'll take you through, because for example, you might use a module textbook, or you might use a chapter in a module textbook, and it shows you the correct part of Cite Them Right to go to to find out how to reference that. Hopefully, that page is going to be helpful to you as well.
Another thing that I'd like to highlight to you is that if you're in the UK and some parts of Ireland, is the SCONUL Access scheme. If we look under this support for library services and we click on SCONUL, it goes through exactly what this SCONUL Scheme is. This allows you to join other university libraries near to you to borrow books or use their study space.
Not every university is a member, but if you are interested, please apply using the instructions that are on this page. It shows you how to join and how to renew your SCONUL access. If you aren't near to the library in Milton Keynes, but you happen to be somewhere else in the country, and there is a university library that's taking part, you may be able to access their space. Have a look at that information on this page and think about whether you might want to join that scheme.
So back to our Help and Support, and the final thing that I'd like to show you just up on the top here is our training and events page. You may have already found this because you've managed to get to an Introduction to Library Services session, but just in case not, we have all the training sessions and you can find details on these. You can also watch recordings of previous events as well. It's got dates of upcoming sessions on the 3rd of August, for example, we have The why and how of referencing. I've already mentioned the session Smarter searching with library databases. If that is one that you would like to come to, you can see where the date is and the time so 19:30 or 7:30 in the evening. If you click through, it tells you a little bit more about the session.
It shows you where you can get a copy of the slides and the handout. If you click on the room, you'll be able to join that as and when the session is starting. Just have a look at that page and see if there are any other sessions which might be of interest to you, which you're going to support with your studies. If we go back to the main page, the main training and events page, as you'll see here, we have a list of recent and upcoming events as well.
If you click on that, it gives you a breakdown of everything that's happening over the next couple of months as well, so you can put those into your diary if you think they're going to be helpful to you, this goes right up to December, 2022. I should just come out of that list and back to the Library web-page. What I'm going to do now is stop sharing and go back to the slides.
We shall have a look at the fact that we have some other additional information and guidance. If you wanted to do an activity, we've got Getting started with the online library, and this helps you have an introduction to some of the amazing resources that we've got available. That's going to go further into the resources we've got than we have done today in today's session, and also Unboxing the library. This short activity introduces you to collections in the online library, and a more detailed look is this final one, Using library search for your assignment. There is going to be a handout available. If you go back to the page where you've joined from, it's got the slides as I just showed you a minute ago and handouts, and those links will be on there for you as well.
Where to go for help. If you can't find the answers you need or things aren't working the way you expected, you can contact the Library Helpdesk.
You'll see that on every page of the Library Services website, there is a link to contacting us. You can do it in a number of ways, so you can web chat with us. There's a box at the bottom of this, say on every webpage of our website, you can email us from the address that's on the screen, but you'll also find that on the Library Services webpage as well, and you can phone us. The Library Helpdesk is there to help you whenever you need it, and you can contact it in the way that you feel most comfortable with. Those details are on every page, as I say, of the Library website, the phones are staffed 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, or you can send us an email. The Webchat service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Hopefully that's going to support you as well. Just to make sure, you know where you can find those details on the Library webpage, what we should do is just share the Library website one more time. As I mentioned, just down here at the bottom of this page that was the training and events one, you've got this link to chat to a librarian, or you can contact the library helpdesk in other ways.
Here's the form that will come through to us if you fill it out, and here's our phone number. If you didn't have a chance to jot that down just now, then you can use the Library website to do that. As I mentioned, it doesn't matter what page you are on of the Library Services webpage, you'll see those details just there.
We'll go one last time back to the slides. We're just going to review what we've done in this session. During the session you've accessed the Library website and Library Search. You've actually searched for things within it.
You've accessed some of our collections of library resources available from the Library Resources tab on the Library website. You've identified where to find further help and support with using the Library through contacting the Library helpdesk.
Hopefully that means you'll now be able to confidently navigate the Library website, find resources relevant to your study and know where to go for help and support, and hopefully feel confident enough with using that Library website and getting in touch with us, if there's any further information that you need.
These slides are available to get hold of on the Training and Events page from the join room page as well. You can get those from there, if you would like a copy of those as well. Thank you.
That's the end of the session, and hopefully you'll find this useful, but please do get in touch with us if you need any further help and support.
Thursday, 30 March, 2023 - 19:30
Learn how to access library databases, take advantage of the functionality they offer, and devise a proper search technique.