Software Training for Fall semester Announced

Schedule of University Libraries Academic Technologies Workshops Fall 2016. Registration is not required.

For workshop descriptions, visit the Academic Technologies blog: http://bit.ly/acadtech Questions? Contact Melissa Green, mfgreen1@ua.edu, 205-348-3423.

Box Sharing with Box, Monday, Nov. 21, 10:30-11:30 a.m., 104 Gorgas Library; Communicating & Editing in Box, Monday, Nov. 28, 10:30-11:30 a.m., 104 Gorgas Library; Google Apps Academic Paper Formatting in Google Docs, Monday, Aug. 29, 10:30-11:30 a.m., 33 McLure Library; Academic Paper Formatting in Google Docs, Thursday, Sept. 1, 9:30-10:30 a.m., 104 Gorgas Library; Microsoft Office Academic Paper Formatting in Microsoft Word, Monday, Aug. 22, 10:30-11:30 a.m., 104 Gorgas Library; Academic Paper Formatting in Microsoft Word, Thursday, Aug. 25, 9:30-10:30 a.m., 33 McLure Library; NVivo NVivo 11 Overview, Thursday, Sept. 22, 9:30-10:30 a.m., 104 Gorgas Library; NVivo 11: Working with Text, Thursday, Sept. 29, 9:30-10:30 a.m., 104 Gorgas Library; NVivo 11: Working with Audio, Video, and Images, Thursday, Oct. 6, 9:30-10:30 a.m., 104 Gorgas Library; NVivo 11: Analysis & Visualization, Thursday, Nov. 3, 9:30-10:30 a.m., 104 Gorgas Library; NVivo 11: Working with Social Media Data, Thursday, Nov. 10, 9:30-10:30 a.m., 104 Gorgas Library; NVivo 11: Working with Survey Data, Thursday, Nov. 17, 9:30-10:30 a.m., 104 Gorgas Library; NVivo for Literature Review, Thursday, Dec. 1, 9:30-10:30 a.m., 104 Gorgas Library; Qualtrics Basic Qualtrics Survey Building & Distribution, Monday, Oct. 31, 10:30-11:30 a.m., 104 Gorgas Library; Advanced Qualtrics Survey Building, Monday, Nov. 7, 10:30-11:30 a.m., 104 Gorgas Library; Qualtrics Responses & Results Tools, Monday, Nov. 14, 10:30-11:30 a.m., 104 Gorgas Library; Reference Management Reference Management Basics, Thursday, Sept. 8, 9:30-10:30 a.m., 33 McLure Library; EndNote in 30 Minutes, Monday, Sept. 19, 10:30-11:30 a.m., 33 McLure Library; EndNote: Gathering & Working with Research Sources, Monday, Oct. 10, 10:30-11:30 a.m., 33 McLure Library; EndNote: Creating Bibliographies & Writing Papers, Monday, Oct. 24, 10:30-11:30 a.m., 33 McLure Library; RefWorks in 30 Minutes, Monday, Sept. 12, 10:30-11:30 a.m., 33 McLure Library; RefWorks: Gathering & Working with Research Sources, Monday, Sept. 26, 10:30-11:30 a.m., 33 McLure Library; RefWorks: Creating Bibliographies & Writing Papers, Monday, Oct. 3, 10:30-11:30 a.m., 33 McLure Library

Sharing the Beauty of Science Contest Winners

Emerging Form: Submitted by Dr. John Yoder Biological Sciences Abdominal expression of the two patterning proteins Wingless (red) and Engrailed (green) during metamorphosis of the fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster). All cell nucleii are stained blue

Title: Emerging Form
Submitted by Dr. John Yoder, Biological Sciences
Description: Abdominal expression of the two patterning proteins Wingless (red) and Engrailed (green) during metamorphosis of the fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster). All cell nucleii are stained blue

 

Title: Single Crystal Up Close and Personal Submitted by Rachel White - Graduate Student Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Description: Single crystal CMSX-8, a nickel based superalloy, etched to reveal the microstructure and examined in a scanning electron microscope

Title: Single Crystal Up Close and Personal
Submitted by Rachel White, Graduate Student Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
Description: Single crystal CMSX-8, a nickel based superalloy, etched to reveal the microstructure and examined in a scanning electron microscope

 

Title: Into the Shell Submitted by Dr.Alberto-Perez Huerta Geological Sciences Cross section of a brachiopod shell, collected in Friday Harbor, Washington State (USA)

 

Title: Into the Shell
Submitted by Dr.Alberto-Perez Huerta, Geological Sciences
Description: Cross section of a brachiopod shell, collected in Friday Harbor, Washington State (USA)

Scientists may not think of themselves as artists, but there are times when science and research activities lead to exceptionally beautiful visual images. This spring Rodgers Library sponsored “Sharing the Beauty of Science” a contest where we invited faculty, graduate and undergraduate students from Science, Engineering and Nursing to share with us the beauty of science by submitting up two images per individual. Our top three winners come from the departments of Biological Sciences, Geological Sciences, and Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.

Congratulations to all the winners for generating such high quality images and for sharing with us the beauty of their work!

Enjoy!

Center Tours

Rodgers Library is partnering with several centers across campus to hold tours of the research facilities. Touring these centers is an opportunity for students to explore the UA facilities and also to connect with the faculty and staff that operate these centers.  Starting this week, we will tour the Cube, the MINT center and the Center Analytical Facility.

The Cube at the University of Alabama is an active space where students learn, share, think and create by designing, devising and constructing. The Cube is located in Hardaway Hall and currently includes the 3D prototyping Lab, Electronics Prototyping Lab, UA Makerspace, ideaLAB and Apps Lab. We will tour the Cube at the following days.

Monday April 4th 2:00pm                     

Tuesday April 5th 11:00 AM                           

Thursday April 7th 2:00 PM

For more information on the Cube please visit here

Center for Materials for Information Technology (MINT) was founded in 1988, and is a source of multidisciplinary research in materials for information technologies. MINT objectives are:

  • To cultivate students in the relevant disciplines.
  • To provide scientific and engineering resources and to be a communication channel for the   information technology industry.
  • To enhance the standing of the University of Alabama as a major research university.
  • To promote economic growth at local, national and international levels.

Rodgers Library will tour the MINT on Thursday April 7th, 11:00AM.

For more information on MINT center please visit http://mint.ua.edu/

The Central Analytical Facility (CAF) of The University of Alabama is a user facility housing major research instrumentation. The mission of the Central Analytical Facility is to enable and facilitate collaborative, multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary, multi-campus and regional research involving major research instrumentation.

We will tour (CAF) on Thursday April 14th 2:00PM  

If you are interested in touring any of these centers at the above dates, please RSVP with the date you want to attend.  To: Arian Abdulla aabdulla@ua.edu.

Oculus Rift – Virtual Reality at Rodgers

Experience virtual reality.  Oculus Rift arrives at Rodgers Library on April 1.   Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset.  The headset and associated hardware is located in a large black box near the Rocket room on the 1st floor.  To get started check out a key for the box at the Circulation Desk.  The Rift features/offers:

  • OLED display
  • Integrated headphones with 3D audio effect
  • Rotational and positional tracking system
  • 3D space

Some content is preloaded for users to test, including a handful of virtual worlds and 360 ̊ video examples.  The system is completely unrestricted allowing users full control.  The account is auto login, a local administrator account, so users can install programs if so desired.  Users can experiment and have the flexibility to do so.

The system has the Unreal gaming engine installer and Unity for users to setup if interested in developing a virtual world. These two programs enable developers to create 3D worlds which can be tested on the Oculus.

Take Oculus Rift for a road test.  It’s an impressive piece of modern technology.  Enjoy!

Software Training Spring 2016

Registration is not required.

NVivo

NVivo 11 Pro for Windows Overview

  • Monday, March 7, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., McLure Library Room 33
  • Wednesday, March 9, 5:00-6:30 p.m., McLure Library Room 33

 NVivo 11 Pro for Windows: Working with Text

  • Monday, March 21, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., McLure Library Room 33
  • Wednesday, March 23, 5:00-6:30 p.m., McLure Library Room 33

NVivo 11 Pro for Windows: Working with Audio, Video, and Images

  • Monday, March 28, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., McLure Library Room 33
  • Wednesday, March 30, 5:00-6:30 p.m., McLure Library Room 33

NVivo 11 Pro for Windows: Analysis and Visualization

  • Thursday, March 31, 9:30-11:00 a.m., McLure Library Room 33
  • Wednesday, April 6, 5:00-6:30 p.m., McLure Library Room 33

NVivo 11 Pro for Windows: Working with Social Media Data

  • Monday, April 11, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., McLure Library Room 33
  • Wednesday, April 13, 5:00-6:30 p.m., McLure Library Room 33

NVivo 11 Pro for Windows: Working with Survey Data

  • Monday, April 18, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., McLure Library Room 33
  • Wednesday, April 20, 5:00-6:30 p.m., McLure Library Room 33

NVivo for Literature Review

  • Monday, April 25, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., McLure Library Room 33
  • Wednesday, April 27, 5:00-6:30 p.m., McLure Library Room 33

Box

Sharing with Box

  • Thursday, March 10, 9:30-11:00 a.m., McLure Library Room 33

Communicating and Editing in Box

  • Thursday, March 24, 9:30-11:00 a.m., McLure Library Room 33

Qualtrics

Basic Qualtrics Survey Building and Distribution

  • Thursday, April 7, 9:30-11:00 a.m., McLure Library Room 33

Advanced Qualtrics Survey Building

  • Thursday, April 21, 9:30-11:00 a.m., McLure Library Room 33

Qualtrics Responses and Results Tools

  • Thursday, April 28, 9:30-11:00 a.m., McLure Library Room 33

Sharing the Beauty of Science Contest! There are Prizes!

Contest deadline

April 15, 2016 — 11:59 pm

Submit your entry!

Even though scientists may not think of themselves as artists, however there are times when science and research activities lead to exceptionally beautiful visual representations. We invite University of Alabama Science, Engineering and Nursing faculty, instructors, graduate and undergraduate students, etc. to share the beauty of science, engineering and nursing by submitting up to two images per individual. Share with us the visual results of your work where science crosses over to art. The images will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary panel of scientists and members of community and selected for an exhibition at the Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering.

Awards

Awards will be given to the top three images: consist of 1 TB Portable External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0

The images will also be posted online and a print exhibition will be on display at Rodgers Library

Eligibility

University of Alabama affiliates including, faculty, students, postdocs, instructors etc. working in science, nursing and engineering research.

Rules of Submission

  1. Individuals may submit up to 2 images. The max size for each image is up to 2MB.
  2. There is no contest fee.
  3. The submitter must have been involved in the generation of the images and must obtain permission for its use in this contest from any colleagues who also participated. Acknowledgement of collaborators can be credited in the written description.
  4. Images must be submitted electronically using this form
  5. In awarding of prizes, images will be judged on originality, esthetics, and composition.

If you have questions or need help, contact Arian Abdulla at aabdulla@ua.edu

Discover a Database- BIOSIS Previews

 

BIOSIS Previews contains life science data not indexed by MEDLINE or Scopus and has in-depth coverage of many areas relevant to medical research such as proteomics, gene therapy, psychiatry, biotechnology, biochemistry, experimental medicine etc. BIOSIS Previews combines the content of Biological Abstracts and Biological Abstracts/RRM (Reports, Reviews, Meetings), therefore providing widespread coverage of approximately 5,500 life science journals as well as 1,500 items from review articles, books, proceedings, meeting abstracts, notes, technical letters international meetings, book chapters, software reviews and life science patents. BIOSIS previews is restricted to the University of Alabama faculty, students and staff, and it covers  publications from 1926 to the present with weekly updates It is not included in Scout. A tutorial for BIOSIS Previews is available here.  BIOSIS previews may be worth a look as an addition to your usual sources.

On Scientific Facts, Copyright, and Fair Use

Scientific and other facts are excluded from copyright protection [1]. As such, for scientific facts, we do not generally need to worry about whether Fair Use applies. While facts are not copyrighted, they are often buried within copyrighted documents such as published journal articles. Content within journal articles that are not clearly facts may then be copyrighted and/or open to debate about reuse of this content via Fair Use.

Some examples of facts in scientific journal articles are the melting point of gold, the chemical structure of Vincristine, or the bond dissociation energy of a carbon-hydrogen bond. Reuse of these facts does not require any permission, even if they were originally published in a copyrighted document. You can reuse this type of data in your own work. You will, however, want to give proper attribution and cite the original resource, so that other researchers know the origin of the data. Some exceptions exist as it is often acceptable to not cite well-known facts (e.g. at sea-level, water boils at 100 °C).

In contrast, any descriptions, explanations, figures, and illustrations are generally protected by copyright in journal articles. To reuse this material, you will need to ask permission from the copyright holder or determine if Fair Use applies [1, 2].

A few years ago, I asked two scientists, who are experts in data reuse, if scientific photographic images count as facts. So for example, a microscope image of a cell, or a nanometer length scale image of a material’s microstructure. One scientist replied “no, these images are not facts because they are a photograph, and photographs can be copyrighted.”  The other scientist replied “it depends on how good your lawyer is!”

Happy Fair Use Week!

Refs:

[1] Copyright Basics from the US Copyright Office, http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf

[2] Code of Best Practices in Fair Use, http://www.arl.org/focus-areas/copyright-ip/fair-use/code-of-best-practices#.VsNUgvkrLmE

UA Makerspace Workshops Spring 2016

UA Makerspace Workshops Spring 2016

Wednesdays 2-3pm

Location: Rodgers Library, Scholars’ Station (Room 119), *unless noted below

Please Note: Space is limited, Scholars’s Station computers are available on a first-come first served basis.

March 3 & 30 location: The Cube, Hardaway 172.

March 2016

Wed. 3 – Introduction to Physical Computing with Arduino (session 1 of 2)

Level: Beginner

In the first part of this two part series, participants will learn the basics of physical computing: how microcontrollers like Arduinos work, what you can do with them, and what you need to get started.  *location: The Cube, Hardaway Hall Room 172

 

Wed. 9 – Capturing the Past: Scanning and Printing Fossils

Level: N/A

Follow the process of scanning and printing specimens from the collection of the Alabama Museum of Natural History.

 

Wed. 23 – Alternatives to 3D Printing: Creating 3D Structures Using Vector Art and 123DMake

Level: Intermediate

Looking for alternatives to 3D Printing? This workshop will demonstrate software and techniques to construct your 3D design using wood, paper and other materials. Participants should be familiar with the preparation of basic files suitable for 3D printing.

 

Wed. 30 – Introduction to Physical Computing with Arduino (session 2 of 2)

Level: Beginner

In the second part of this three part series, participants will get hands-on with an Arduino microcontroller, working with LED lights and analog sensors such as knobs, light sensors or pressure pads. *location: The Cube, Hardaway Hall Room 172

April 2016

Wed. 6 – 3D Modeling Software Options

Level: Beginner

Explore a variety of software packages suitable for generating 3D models.

 

Wed. 13 – Vector tools for Digital Fabrication

Level: Beginner

Transform simple hand drawings into useful digital designs for laser cutting rubber stamps, stencils, and more.

 

Wed. 20 – 3D Design using SketchUp: Symmetry in Design (session 3 of 3)

Level: Intermediate

Build complex forms using component tools and symmetry. Participants should have some familiarity with SketchUp or other 3D design software.

 

Wed. 27 – Generative Design

Level: Intermediate

Learn about the benefits and flexibility of designing with code. See real-world examples of how code can be used to create physical objects. Make a new design by “growing” it from a seed. Modify a design with randomness or noise. Participants should have some familiarity with Processing or another programming language.

 

Sponsored by College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Art and Art History, New College, The Cube, Creative Campus, University Libraries, Alabama Museum of Natural History

Millions of books for Learning, Instruction and Research

What is WorldCat? It is a huge database that lists over 179 million records held in over 10,000 libraries worldwide. It includes records that represent 400 languages. The dates of the records covered go as early as 1000 BC to present. WorldCat is updated daily. WorldCat is a powerful tool, and a great time saver for the researchers. One search can look at over 10,000 libraries at once.

 

What things are listed on WorldCat? Some of the things that are listed are books, film, newspapers, manuscripts, maps, video and audio recordings, microfilm, websites and internet resources.

 

How do I search WorldCat?  One can search by keyword, title, author or subject. You can further filter results by publication year, language, author or type of publication. The advanced search allows you to search with three different search fields by combining subject, title, author, keyword or ISBN. You can also limit your search to your specific institution’s library. After searching, WorldCat provides a list of resources that match your search query.

 

From The University of Alabama Libraries’ website

  • Under Research Tools, Click on Databases
  • Click on “W”
  • Select WorldCat. Remote access requires authentication. MyBama Id and Password is required.
  • From there you can perform a basic search or an Advanced Search. The advanced search allows you to limit your search by language, type of item, (book, Internet, article, etc), date of publication etc. If you do not select any item the default search will look at all the items.

Search Results: After all the results for books are shown one can click on the title for a more detailed information about the item.  The results will also indicate if the UA Libraries has an item. If you click on holding library, you will be taken to the catalog of that particular library where you will find more information about the book.

  • Lastly don’t forget about Interlibrary loan. You can Interlibrary Loan items that UA Libraries do not own
  • Click on link Interlibrary Loan from UA libraries website
  • Log in at ILLiad with your Bama ID and password
  • Fill out ILLiad form and click on “submit”

For more questions: Email a Librarian at Rodgers or Reference by Appointment Or call Arian Abdulla 205-348-2108

UA Libraries join BioMed Central

UA Libraries are now a member of BioMed Central.  This STM publisher offers peer-reviewed open access journals.  BioMed Central is publisher of biology, health, and medicine titles, including BMC Biology and BMC Medicine and, in addition, several other health-related journals.

Research articles in BioMed Central journals are freely accessible online immediately upon publication.  Authors of BioMed Central articles retain copyright to their work.  Content in their journals is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

With this membership, UA faculty can publish in  BioMed Central journals at discounted rates.  Open access is a good way to leverage visibility of your research.  PubMed Central journals may be worth a second look if you haven’t already tried.

ORCID – Get your own Unique Author Identifier

Have you ever tried to find a specific researcher’s scholarship through a database search? Chances are you have run into some challenges such as discovering multiple Researchers with the same name. One potential way to refine your search would be to limit the results to the Researcher’s Institution. But, what if the Researcher has held positions at multiple Institutions? Multiple search queries and further refinement would be necessary.

One solution to this difficulty of locating a specific Researcher is the use of an ORCID unique author identifier. By using a unique identifier for authors, searching for a specific researcher is straightforward and only requires knowing the author’s identifier. However, this will only work if the researcher has registered for an identifier such as ORCID (www.orcid.org).

Registering for an ORCID identifier is easy and free. Simply register, add your scholarship works, and then use your ORCID identifier. Your ORCID identifier can be used when submitting publications, applying for grants, and on your personal webpages.

The University of Alabama recently became ORCID Institutional members, and so we will have more information about ORCID soon.

However, a few points you may be interested in:

  • Scientific and Engineering databases have already started to add Author Identifiers as a search option (e.g. Web of Science).
  • Several publishers and grant agencies are now requiring an Author Identifier with submission.
  • Importing your scholarship citations and other works into ORCID can be somewhat automated and painless. For example, I was able to export my citations from Google Scholar and then bulk import them into my ORCID Identifier profile.

Here is my ORCID identifier webpage for an example of how your ORCID identifier will appear to the public:

http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7363-531X

We encourage you to check out ORCID at www.orcid.org and get your own unique Author Identifier today!

ResearchGate

ResearchGate, is a social networking site designed exclusively for researchers and scientists. It was founded by virologists Dr. Ijad Madisch and Sören Hofmayer and IT-specialist Horst Fickenscher in 2008. According to ResearchGate’s site, more than eight million scientists worldwide use the network. Their primary aim is to share publications, collaborate, and build reputation, ask questions and receive answers from researchers in the same field, and present and get feedback on their research. ResearchGate is free to join, and members can upload copies of their publications. Once you create an account you can tailor the notifications and privacy settings associated with your account. The official mission of ResearchGate states: “Our mission is to connect researchers and make it easy for them to share and access scientific output, knowledge, and expertise. On ResearchGate they find what they need to advance their research”.

WorldCat Presentation on Feb. 3

Rodgers Library will offer a short presentation on access to books for research, instruction, learning, and personal interest – primarily books found in libraries of other universities nationwide.

Where:  Scholars’ Station, Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering

When:  2:00- 2:30 P.M., Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Audience:  For all UA faculty and graduate students

The focus is on Worldcat.  During our presentation, we will share with you important information about the WorldCat database and how to use it in your work.  WorldCat is a master list of books found in most college and university libraries in the United States, plus books in many other libraries such as the Seattle Public Library.

Take a Journey in Science Kicks off February 2nd at Rodgers Library

What:  A series of lightning talks on high-interest topics in science/medicine/nursing that shape our understanding of the world.

Who:  Presentations by preeminent UA STEM and Nursing faculty

When:  Every Tuesday  during the month of February, 2016 (dates and times in table below)

Where:  Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering (1st floor outside Nightingale Room)

Audience: All UA students.  Faculty welcome too.

How long:  10 minutes or less, plus Q&A

Sponsor:  Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering

Schedule of presentations
Speaker Title of Talk Date/Day/Time
Dr. Graham McDougall, Capstone College of Nursing What is Chemo Brain? Tuesday February 2nd 2:00-2:15 PM

 

Dr. Norma Cuellar, Capstone College of Nursing Alternative Medicine as an Intervention for Restless Legs Syndrome

 

Tuesday February 9th  2:00-2:15 PM

 

Dr. John Vincent , Department of Chemistry What makes an element essential to the human diet or makes it a drug?: Chromium

 

Thursday February 18th 1:30- 1:45 PM

 

Dr. Asma Hatoum-Aslan, Department of Biological Sciences The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend:  Enlisting Bacterial Viruses to Combat Drug-Resistant Infections  Thursday February 25th 2:00-2:15 PM

 

Join the fun and learn about science Contact:  Arian Abdulla aabdulla@ua.edu , or Mangala Krishnamurthy mkrishna@ua.edu

Lectures on Health Topics Winter 2016

UA’s College of Community Health Sciences is hosting a lecture series to explore medicine and health trends. Faculty will lecture on issues and advances in medicine and research, incorporating science, research, and clinical applications, with questions answered after the lectures. Attendees will learn ways the body works, hear about advances changing how we see disease and health; and find out which way cutting-edge research is headed. These events are free and open to the public and will be held at the Bryant Conference Center. All courses will be held at noon on each day.

Jan 14: Dr. Richard Streiffer          
Choosing Wisely: Picking the Best Medical Care

Jan 21: Dr. Joe Fritz 
The Beat Goes On: Atrial Fibrillation

Jan 28: Dr. Alan Blum
I Don’t Inhale: Cigs, e-Cigs, and Marijuana

Feb 4: Dr. Jane Weida
Family Medicine Cares: Helping Haiti Heal

Feb 11: Dr. Jimmy Robinson
Preventing Athletic Injuries in the Elderly

Feb 18: Dr. Anne Halli-Tierney
Delirium: I’ve Lost My Mind

Feb 25: Dr. Jason Clemons
Diabetes: Managing Your Sugar

Mar 3: Dr. Tom Weida
To Be or Not to Be: Health Care Reform

Ways to Achieve Success at the Library

There are many things to consider for getting the best results when using Rodgers Library.  Here are a few:

1.  Get to know library staff
2.  Consult the UA Libraries’ Web pages
3.  Renew books to extend loan periods or return them when due
4.  Ask library staff about resources and services offered by the libraries
5.  Visit the UA libraries often (Gorgas, Bruno, McLure, Rodgers, Hoole)
6.  Consult library-prepared research guides for chemistry, nursing, and other subjects
7.  Identify the most important databases in your field
8.  Use Interlibrary loan (ILL) to get books and articles not found in local collections
9.  Use citation management tools – Refworks/Endnotes
10.  Understand locations (Annex, Rodgers, Gorgas) for print books and journals
11.  Learn how to access electronic books and journals
12.  Use free scanners / scan & deliver
13.  Login and use academic software
14.  Collaborate with others in Group Study Rooms

Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering

Effective Literature Searching

Before you can make a successful search, analyze your topic.  Decide:

What are the main concepts?

What are the primary keywords related to each concept?

What alternative keywords or synonyms represent each of these concepts?

Normally, this will involve doing some reading about the topic in a source such as a review article or a textbook. If a review article or textbook is not helpful, a quick online search, may help you develop an initial understanding of the topic. The steps outlined below take you through these initial points and the subsequent steps of a literature search:

Literature Searching Tips:

  1. Select and identify your topic. What is the topic of your research?

Example: Grassland management and butterflies. What aspect of this topic are you particularly interested in? Example: Grassland management and butterfly diversity.

State your topic as a question: Does the way in which grassland are managed have an impact on butterfly diversity?

  1. Find Background Information: Once you have identified the key terms or subjects for your topic, look for them in a textbook, general or subject encyclopedia, or subject glossary.
  2. Deciding which databases to use. The most effective way to search journal articles on a topic is to use a database such as PubMed/Medline, Web of Science, Google Scholar or Scopus.
  3. Develop a search strategy. Develop an initial list of keywords that can be used to research your topic. Search the Scout Catalog and other databases using those keywords. Revise your keywords as needed to broaden or narrow the search. Use Boolean operators (AND, OR and NOT). Boolean operators allow you to combine your search terms in many different combinations. Databases often contain buttons or drop-down menus that allow you to select for Boolean operators.
  4. Refine your search: If your initial search brought up few results try these tips: Try alternative less specific keywords; check spelling, Use OR to include synonyms, and include more database coverage. If you have too many results try: more specific keywords. Use AND to include additional keywords, and use NOT to exclude certain words.
  5. Saving your Search: The databases may have the option to create a personal account that allows you to save a copy of your search. This is strongly recommended. Always save or print the useful articles that you find. In many databases you can export your articles to reference management software such as EndNote.
  6. Managing your information: EndNote helps you to store and manage your references. EndNote is also built into the Microsoft Word. One can automatically insert citations and create a bibliography using this feature. The University of Alabama maintains a site license agreement for EndNote, which provides unlimited licensing for faculty, staff, and students. http://oit.ua.edu/oit/services/software-licensing/endnote/

In summary here are the 5 key tips for effective literature searches:

  1. Make a start with Scout from UA libraries. http://www.lib.ua.edu/#/home  At Scout you can search the library’s collection in print and online, from manuscripts to books to individual and journal articles.
  2. Follow the Literature searching tips as described above.
  3. See resources for your subject areas. These resources are tailored library guides for each discipline to help you find the key databases and information sources that are relevant to your research area.  http://guides.lib.ua.edu/
  4. Get the full text of an article through many of our databases. http://www.lib.ua.edu/#/databases?page=1
  5. Use the Inter-library Loan services if the University of Alabama Libraries do not have any item you need.  https://ua.illiad.oclc.org/illiad/

Created by Arian Abdulla

Evidence Based Medical Literature Search in Databases

Using PICO (T) as a guide to find medical literature in databases in Nursing and Allied Health Professions

What is PICO (T)? 

PICO (T) is an instrument used in medical and health research to help researchers formulate a question to get evidence based results.

Using PICO (T) format as a tool where applicable can help to base question to begin the literature search.

 

P = Patient, Population, and/or Problem

I = Intervention

C = Comparison

= Outcome

T = Type of Study or concept of time

 

 

  • Plan a search strategy by identifying major elements of the question to subject terms such as MeSH, Keywords
  • After viewing the initial search results, one can narrow the search for the Comparison, Outcome, Time factors or Type of study

Example:  Does sleep hygiene among healthcare workers increase productivity at work?

 

Frame the question to include PICO (T) elements

 

Frame Natural Language
P (Problem or Patient or Population) Sleep deprivation, healthcare workers
I (intervention) Sleep, rest
C (comparison) Long shift, Not sleeping, stress
O (outcome) productivity

 

 

Key terms in the question  Database Terms –  MeSH*/ Keywords
 P (Problem/Patient/Population)  = Sleep deprivation, healthcare workers Sleep deprivation, insufficient sleep, Health personnel [MeSH]

sleep deprivation [CINAHL]

 I (intervention/indicator)= Sleeping 8 hours,

rest

 

Sleep hygiene [MeSH]

Sleep hygiene [CINAHL]

 C (comparison)  Standards, Education [ MeSH, CINAHL]
 O (outcome)  Efficiency [ MeSH, CINAHL]

*Medical Subject Heading in PubMed/Medline

 

Useful Links for PICO/Evidence Based searches:

 

http://pubmedhh.nlm.nih.gov/nlmd/pico/piconew.php

http://learntech.physiol.ox.ac.uk/cochrane_tutorial/cochlibd0e84.php

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2127107/pdf/9251552.pdf

Post submitted by Mangala Krishnamurthy

Highlight of 2015

Great fun was had by all at Rodgers Library’s 25th anniversary celebration in October.  Professor Alan Lane entertained our guests.  Thanks, Alan.

 

 

Photo By Layton Dudley

Alan Lane, a chemical engineering professor, becomes Doobie “Doghouse” Wilson, when he plays his blues and folk music in clubs around the area. CW | Layton Dudley