Sunday, July 13, 2008

Citation Pearl Growing Search Strategy

Citation pearl begins with a known item. When you look up the item you use the index or search terms from it to search and locate more items like the one that you have. I began with a journal article that I had found during a previous search.

Database Used:  Academic Search Complete

Topic:  Everyone Wins: Differentiation in the School Library by Carol Koechlin & Sandi Zwaan

Found article

Even though on this database you can click on Find More Like This, I needed to continue my search using the given strategy. To continue my search for more articles, I clicked on the last of the subject terms given, libraries & education.

Libraries & education search = 509 hits

This gave me a number of hits to look through, but I didn't need to look very far. On the first page, the tenth hit was an article on librarians as reading teachers.

Are Librarians Reading Teachers Too?

This hit gave a whole new set of subject terms that I could click on and continue looking for more articles. I would use this strategy again. This is a great strategy to use when you have some information and just need a little bit more. It saves time from starting the search from the very beginning.

Specific Facet First Strategy

Specific facet first strategy uses the most specific facet to do your search. If you don't know which is your most specific facet, you can search your facets individually to get it.

Database Used:  LexisNexis Academic

Search Topic: Changing Role of the Elementary School Librarian

changing role = 998 hits
elementary school = 997 hits
librarian = 1,000 hits
My facets were very close, but I chose elementary school to start with.

Search #1:  elementary school = 997 hits

These were too many hits to look through and I wanted to narrow my results. I went the route of successive fractions. Within my results I added my next specific facet, changing role. The results were "No documents found". I went back and tried my last facet, librarian.

Search #3: S1 and librarian = 21 hits

The third hit looked very interesting. It was an article from The Washington Post.

Third Hit:  School Libraries Make Room to Learn; Multimillion-Dollar Investment Promises     Better Books, Computers, Appearance

I liked this strategy to search with, but I need practice to come up with my most specific facets. Since I don't know which facet would be the most specific, I need to look them up first and that takes up valuable research time. I feel I would get more use out of successive fractions than with this strategy. 

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Successive Fractions Search Strategy

This is a Successive Fractions search strategy. This strategy is used when searching broad concepts with a large number of hits. It narrows the search by applying limiting techniques like Boolean operators. This is done step-by-step until the search is reduced to a manageable number of hits.

Database Used:  Library Literature

Search Topic:  Changing Role of the Elementary School Librarian

Concept search #1:  elementary school
Results:  1,922 hits

Concept search #2: S1 AND role change OR position change
Results:  6 hits

Concept search #3:  S2 AND librarian OR media specialist
Results:  4 hits

I was surprised at how quickly my search results were narrowed. Unfortunately, I ended up with only 4 hits of which only 1 was relevant to what I was looking for. I need to go back and revise my concepts.

Fourth Hit:  The Changed Role of the Elementary Library Media Teacher

Friday, July 11, 2008

Building Block Search Strategy

This is a Building Block search strategy. It starts with single concept searches that usually result in a very large number of hits. When all of the single concept searches are completed, they are combined using Boolean operators. This narrows the topic and reduces the number of hits.

Database Used:  ERIC/FirstSearch

Search Topic:  Changing Role of the Elementary School Librarian

Concept search #1:  (role change) OR (position change)
Results = 30,155 hits

Concept search #2:  school OR (elementary school) OR (primary school)
Results = 403,506 hits

Concept search #3:  librarian OR (media specialist)
Results = 5,353 hits

Combined concept searches:  S1 AND S2 AND S3
Results = 102 hits

After the combined searches were completed, the first hit yielded a match. This article discusses how library media specialists can be partners in student achievement.