Unit 7 Using The Library on the Internet

 

Some of the most useful links for research are libraries.You will use libraries throughout your academic career. Many large universities have on-line catalog systems. Libraries have traditionally organized their catalogs of materials on 3" x 5" cards kept in drawers, and many still do. Now, they are converting the cards to on-line computer systems. So instead of spending hours looking up book titles, authors or subjects on cards, or titles of magazine and journal articles in huge reference books, we can type the title or author or a keword on a computer and the computer will tell us what the library has available. For this exercise we will do research in the Parks Library at Iowa State University.

The Library Catalog is the name of the Iowa State University on-line catalog of books, journals, magazines, microfilm, video, and audio materials. You can access the Library Catalog through the internet from the ISU homepage, or go to the library and use it there.

Today, we will begin with a practice exercise on the Library Catalog. Then, you will choose a topic of your own to research, and finally we will visit the library to see if you can locate the books and articles you found on the Library Catalog.

A Practice Research Project.

Directions:

1. Print out this lesson, or your teacher will give you a copy to use for the exercise.

2. Click BACK to return to the ISU homepage.

3. Choose (Click) Library, and when the screen changes, choose Library Catalog . Then click About the Library Catalog and answer the following questions.

According to the information, what is the Library Catalog?

 

What can you do with the Library Catalog?

 

How many records does the Library Catalog have?

 

What is a serial?

 

What can't you find in the Library Catalog?

4. Scroll down and choose Connect to Library Catalog using the standard web interface.

The screen will change to ISU Library Catalog: Basic Search

For this exercise your topic will be disease.

A. Make sure that the words "General Keywords" are in the left box.

B. Then type disease in the empty box on the right.

C. Click on Search.

D. Wait for the results of your search.

What are the results of your search?

That is too many records for you to read. You need to narrow the keyword search to more specific words.

E. Click BACK or search.

F. Next type acquired immune deficiency syndrome in the topic box and click Search.

What are the results of your search now?

That's a much better number.

G. Scroll down through all of the records. Most of the items on the list are books. What other media do you see there?

H. Click on View Full Record for several. (Click BACK each time to see the complete list again.) What information is included in the full record?


I. Select four items from the list and write their titles, authors, locations, collection, and call numbers here. Also write what it says in the "circulation reports."

1.

2.

3.

4.

3. Are all the books on your list available at the Parks Library? (What does it say in the circulation reports?)

 

Finding Materials on Computer files and Microfilm

Imagine that you plan to write a reserch paper about global warming.

  1. Go back to the ISU Homepage, click library , then Library Catalog.
  2. Type global warming into the search box. Be sure "Keyword" is slected. Click search.

3. What are your search results? _______________ Look at some of the titles.

4. View two full records that include [computer file] and write down the following information about each:

Author (if there is one): _________________________________________________________

Title: _______________________________________________________________________

Published: ____________________________________________________________________

Description: __________________________________________________________________

URL: _______________________________________________________________________

Where are you going to find this material? ________________________________________

Now imagine that you decide to write about a more specific aspect of global warming, El Nino.

  1. Go back to the search page and type in el nino.
  2. What are your results?
  3. Choose a record that includes [microform]. Write down the following information about it:

Author (if there is one): _________________________________________________________

Title: _______________________________________________________________________

Published: ____________________________________________________________________

Call number: __________________________________________________________________

Location & collection: _____________________________________________________________________________

Where are you going to find this material? ____________________________________________

Finding Magazine and Newspaper Articles

1. Go back to the ISU Homepage , click library, then Indexes and Abstracts.

2. Choose Indexes and Abstracts by name.

3. Scroll down the list until you see Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe. Click it.

4.Read the description. What kind of information does Lexis-Nexis include? _____________

__________________________________________________________________________

5. Click Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe.

What kinds of articles can you get here? __________________________________________

  1. Click News, then click General News.
  2. Type in el nino.
  3. Choose a source from the pull down menu: Time Incorporated Publications
    Choose a date from the pull down menu: previous ten years
  4. How many documents did you get? ______________________________________________

    Are they all about weather? _____________________________________________________

  5. Narrow your search. Scroll down to the bottom of the document list page and type el nino and environment into the FOCUS box. Click FOCUS.
  6. How many documents did you get?______________________________________________

  7. Now click some of the articles on the list. What are they about?_____________________

 The documents (articles) found in this search were found in magazines published by Time. Now do a search in some of the other available materials.

Go back to the BASIC search page and change the sources and dates for your search.

1. Type in el nino in the key word box

  1. Change source to magazines and journals and then to major newspapers.
  2. Change date to all available dates and then to another choice.
  3. How many documents did you get each time? _____________________________________

    What familiar magazines and newspapers do you see in the lists of documents? ___________

    _________________________________________________________________________

  4. All of the articles that you see on the list can be read online. Click on some of the articles and skim them.

 

Now imagine that you are planning to write a paper "How El Nino has been effected by global warming."

1. Write some key words here and add some boolean operators like AND, BUT, OR, and quotation marks.

Your search phrase(s): ______________________________________________________________

  1. Scroll to the bottom of the documents list page and type your search phrase into the FOCUS box.
  2. Look through the results and choose a couple of articles that might be useful. Write the information about them here for your references.
  3. Name of magazine or newpaper:_______________________________________________________

    Title of article: ____________________________________________________________________

    Author: _________________________________________________________________________

    Date/volume/section/page: ________________________________________________________________________________

  4. Click on the names of some of the magazines or newspapers and skim the articles. Do you see your key words highlighted? ______________
  5. Are all of the materials you clicked on magazine or newspaper articles? ________ If not, what else do you see? _____________________________________________________________________

Finding Academic Journal Articles

I. Here is one way to find articles. Some of these articles will be bound in book form on the regular shelves of one of the libraries on campus, some will be on microfilm, and the current ones will be in the Periodicals Room or other reading rooms on campus:

1. Go back to the ISU Homepage , click library, then Indexes and Abstracts.

2. Choose Indexes and Abstracts by name.

3. Scroll down the list until you see Agricola. Click it.

4. Read the description. What kind of information does Agricola provide?

5. Scroll down and choose Connect to AGRI Using the WebSPIRS Interface. The screen will change to the WebSPIRS search page.

6. Type food additives in the search box to the right of the keywords box and click Search. What are your results? _____________ That's too many records! You need to narrow your search.

7. Click BACK to Search and type in Food Additives and coloring. What are your results? __________________. This is better.

8. Choose Record 5 and write down the following information here:

Author(s) AU: ___________________________________________________

Title of the article TI: ______________________________________________

Source (include everything) SO: _____________________________________

Journal title: _____________________________________________________

Place of publication & publisher: ____________________________________

Date: __________________________________________________________

volume number: ___________________________________________________

pages: __________________________________________________________

9. Click check for holdings.

10. When the screen changes, write the information from the record below:

Title of the journal: _____________________________________________

Location(s): ______________________________________________________

Call Number: _____________________________________________________

Circulation reports: Is the date & volume of the article you want available? __________

Where? _____________________________________________________________

If you want a current copy of the journal, where can you find it? _________________

  1. Here is another way to find journal articles. Many of these articles can be read on line. Others you have to buy.
    1. On the Library homepage click Full Electronic Texts-Journals.
    2. Choose a journal to search by clicking on a letter of the alphabet that corresponds to your major, for example P for psychology.
    3. Click Psychology in the schools and when the screen changes, click Psychology in the schools again.
    4. Choose one volume and click it.
    5. Choose one article from the table of contents and click PDF Full Text. What do you get?
    6.  

       

    7. Close the article you got by clicking the close box in the upper left corner. Then go back to the page where you chose an issue of Psychology in the schools.
    8. When you find the table of contents of a journal, you will have a choice of things to do such as looking at the current issue, browsing old issues, or searching for articles. Try each of the options to see what you can do with the on-line journals.
    9. Do a journal search for nonverbal communication. Click journals in subject category. Pull down the menu and choose psychology. Order your results by search relevance. How many documents were found?
    10.  

       

    11. Choose one PDF Full Text and look at it.

 

 

Your Research Topic

 

Your goal is to build a list of books and articles from magazines or journals that you will use to write an imaginary research paper. Such a list is called a bibliography. Real academic research papers require long bibliographies, at least 10 sources for an undergraduate paper, and many more for a graduate paper. For this practice exercise, we will find just a few sources.

Finding Books and Videos

First you will find some names of books.

1. Write some possible topics you would like to learn about here. Try to be very specific. Use one or two words. Do not use a or the at the beginning of your topic because The Library Catalog cannot read them.

 

 

2. Click BACK or Search and you will see The ISU Library Catalog: Basic search page.

3. Type in your topic and see how many records the library catalog finds. If there are too many records, you will have to narrow your search. If the library catalog finds no records, you will have to try other key words. Vary your search with more words and AND, OR, and NOT and quotation marks to group phrases. Don't worry. You will find keywords that work.

 

4. Look through the list of records the library catalog finds. Do any of the records seem useful? Some may not be about your topic at all. You may have to find different keywords.

 

5. Click on the full view records that you want to learn more about. Choose several that are available in the Parks Library. Write the information below for each item. We will go to the library to find your books.

Tltle:

Author:

Call number:

Location:

Is it available? Look at the circulation reports at the bottom of the full view record.

 

Your goal is to continue to build your bibliography. Remember that you are gathering sources for a research paper on one topic. You have already found some books; now you will add some articles from magazines or journals.

1. Write your topic here. Use the same topic you used for your book search. Again, try to be very specific. Use one or two words with and, or, and not. Remember not to use a or the at the beginning of your topic because ICAT cannot read them.

2. Go back to the ISU Home page and click library, then Indexes and Abstracts.

3. Choose Indexes and Abstracts by name.

Primarily for Undergraduates

4. Scroll down the list until you see Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe.

6. Type your key words into the empty keywords box, choose a source and date and click Search. How many words matched your search? __________ Too many?

7. Narrow your topic. Scroll down to the FOCUS box. Type in more specific keywords and use AND, BUT, OR, and quotation marks if appropriate. How many articles (documents) are on the list? _______.

8. Choose several of the documents. Look at them to see which ones would be good for your research project. Write down the following information for each useful one:

Author: _________________________________________________________

Title: ___________________________________________________________

Source (include everything)

Name of the magazine: ______________________________________________

volume number: ___________________________________________________

date: ____________________________________________________________

pages: __________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

Primarily for Graduate Students

1. Go back to the ISU Homepage, click library, then Indexes and Abstracts.

2. Choose Indexes and Abstracts by name.

3. Scroll down the list until you see an index for your field. Choose one. If you don't find an interesting one, go back and try Index Databases by Subject.

4. Scroll down and connect to the index of your choice Using the WebSPIRS Interface. The screen will change.

5. Type your keywords in the empty keywords box and click Search. What are your results? _____________ Too many records? You need to narrow your search.

6. Click BACK or Search and type in more specific key words with and, or, and not. What are your results? __________________. Keep trying if you are not successful.

7. Choose several records, click on them, and write down the following information about each of them here:

Author(s)

Title of the article:

Source (include everything)

Journal title:

volume number: ___________________________________________________

date: ____________________________________________________________

pages: __________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Scroll back up to the top or bottom of each of the records pages and click check for holdings When the screen changes write the information from each record below:

Name of the journal: _____________________________________________

Location(s): ______________________________________________________

Call Number: _____________________________________________________

Status: __________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Write about the process of finding information in the library. What do you do to find a book, video, or microfilm? How do you find a magazine or journal article? How do you find out if the magazine or journal is in our library? What was the most difficult part of your search?

Write in the space provided on the next page. Then send me your ideas. Click Here


Helen H. Schmidt
Instructor, Intensive English and Orientation Program
Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, U.S.A.
Email:hschmidt@iastate.edu

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last update: October 2000