LexisNexis Academic transition to NexisUNI

The LexisNexis Academic database has received a major overhaul and has been re-branded as NexisUNI.  While the content therein remains the same, the interface, features and capabilities have been enhanced!

Image of fireworks

Photo by Rich. CC license here.

In order to learn more about the new features check out the great documentation created by LexisNexis:

You can access NexisUni by following the ‘Databases’ link from the library homepage and selecting it from the alphabetic list.

We hope you enjoy the enhancements and changes they’ve made!

Happy searching!

PsycTESTS — a great portal to full-text tests, measures, and scales

The PsycTESTS database is a great resource for researchers looking for full-text tests and measures and more information about them. While ‘Psyc’ might be in the name, this an excellent tool for students from all programs, offering access to tests/measurements/scales related to everything from political attitudes to racial bias to career aspirations.

In this post, we’ll cover the basics of searching in PsycTESTs and try to answer the dreaded ‘what if full text is unavailable?’ question.

My Nielsen Questionnaire

Photo by Joe Gratz. CC license.

Basic Searching

You can connect to PsycTESTS from the ‘Databases’ link on the library homepage.  As with most databases, you can search for tests/measures containing certain keywords by entering a term or two into the search box. *Note: you can choose how you would like your results sorted on the search page:

Screenshot of search page

 

You can then choose to scroll through results or use the filters on the left side of the screen to refine the search further.  If a record includes a copy of the instrument itself you will see a ‘Test’ link accompanied by a PDF icon.  Click on ‘Test’ to open the PDF copy:

Screenshot of 'test' icon

No ‘Test’ Link Available?

Many researchers feel a sense of dread when there is no full-text link available for the measurement they seek.  However, PsycTESTS includes information that can often easily lead you to the measurement you need.  We’ll outline some simple steps to follow.

For this example, let’s imagine you want to access the ‘Political Ideology Measure’ from the screenshot above. The first step is to click on the name of the test itself so you can view the full record in the database.

Next, scroll down to a section labeled ‘Test Development Record’:

Screenshot of test development record

Just below the ‘Test Development Record’ you will see the heading ‘Reported In’.  This is a citation for the work in which the test/measure was originally reported.  Even though PsycTESTS doesn’t have a full copy of the test, you can consult the original article for a copy (assuming they included it).

**Note: You can click on the ‘Test Development Record’ to bring up a full list of information about the test including reliability/validity, author contact information, whether it is commercially licensed, and more:

Once you know the original reporting article, the savvy researcher might connect to Google Scholar through the library to quickly determine whether we have full-text access to the work:

Screenshot of Google Scholar check

In the event you get this far and can’t find a full-text copy of the original article, remember you can always submit an interlibrary loan request for a copy by following the ‘Order An Article’ link on the library homepage.

Happy Searching!

View on Reviews

As you may know, there are many types of reviews in academic literature. Systematic reviews, meta-analyses, scoping reviews, literature reviews, and more! With such nuanced differences it can sometimes be hard to know what type of review would be most helpful in your research, or what type of review you’d like to write.

In this post, we’d like to link out to some great guides and resources which can help you better understand these differences.  We’ll also include a couple of sample searches illustrating how to best locate reviews in Fielding’s library.

Web Resources

  • Types of Reviews Chart — This comprehensive chart is posted to a LibGuide created by Duke University’s Medical library.  It does a great job of breaking down and defining many review types.
  • Literature Review Guide with E-Lectures — Created by Harvard’s Graduate School of Education’s Gutman library, this outstanding guide walks through the literature review process and is accompanied by short e-lectures.  This is a highly recommended starting point to learn more about conducting literature reviews.
  • Scoping Reviews Wiki  — Created by a group of health librarians in Canada, this wiki page contains excellent information about scoping reviews (as do their many other pages on various topics)!

Resources in the Library

Don’t forget that you can also find great information about how to do reviews, or sample reviews, in Fielding’s library collection.

The best place to locate materials which offer definitions and guidance on conducting reviews is our Sage Research Methods Online database.

Once you connect via our ‘databases’ list you can simply search for a review type to find related materials:

Screenshot of lit review search

This will often produce a concise definition along with a number of related results. Remember, you can always click on the ‘ See more in Methods Map’ link when available to see how your search term relates to other methods and ideas:

Tips on locating sample reviews

While some databases include a ‘document type’ or ‘methodology’ filter which allows you to limit your results to reviews, by and large one of the most effective strategies is to include search terms related to the review type of interest in your search.

Here are a few examples/results utilizing different search tools and topics.

FASTsearch

A sample search for systematic reviews related to autism in young children:

If it’s too small to see on your device, the search would look like this on a single line:

autism AND (toddlers OR “young children”) AND “systematic review”

Here’s a screenshot of the results.  Remember, FASTsearch often returns large quantities of results so you can always use the filters on the left side of the screen to better target what you need:

 

Google Scholar

A sample Google Scholar search for literature reviews or meta-analyses related to organizational leadership:

And a screenshot of the results produced. (Pro Tip: connect to Google Scholar through the library to see our ‘Full-Text @ Fielding’ links):

ProQuest Databases

A sample search for literature reviews related to PTSD and veterans in ProQuest’s psychology database:

On a single line: veterans AND PTSD AND “literature review”

Some of the possible results:

We hope these tips will help you up your review game!

Happy Searching!

PILOTS: A database that’s not about flying

If PILOTS isn’t about flying…what exactly is the purpose of this database?

Pilot

Image by Valerie Everett. CC License.

Published International Literature On Traumatic Stress: PILOTS.  Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and produced by the National Center for PTSD, the PILOTS database seeks to index worldwide information pertaining to traumatic stress and traumatic events (not limited just to veterans).

As explained on their website, PILOTS”attempts to include all publications relevant to PTSD and other forms of traumatic stress, whatever their origin without disciplinary, linguistic, or geographic limitations.”

Once you select ‘PILOTS’ from our library’s ‘Databases’ list, you will be taken to an intermediary screen.  You just need to follow the link labeled ‘Search the PILOTS database’ to proceed to the search interface:

pilotsaccess

Click image to enlarge.

Once connected, you will notice a familiar search screen thanks to our friends at ProQuest. As with our other ProQuest databases, you will be able to connect to an ‘advanced search’ page and take advantage of some handy tools such as the ‘thesaurus’. (Need a refresher on how to use a database thesaurus?  Jump on over to our post about that!)

You can even search for articles which use particular tests and measures by using their ‘Look Up Tests and Measures’ function on the advanced search page:

pilotssearchtools

Click image to enlarge.

Why use this database?

Well, anyone interested in research related to ‘traumatic stress’ will find the database useful for obvious reasons.  Beyond that, using a database specific to your subject of interest will alleviate you from having to think of search terms related to that subject. Hence, instead of using a broader search tool and needing to input several terms to return results about traumatic stress in general, you can jump straight to this database and just enter terms related to your narrower topic.

Just another tool to have at the ready when you need it!

Happy Searching!

Throwback Thursday: Cited Reference Searching

We first brought you this post about a nifty strategy called ‘Cited reference searching’ 8 months ago now.  This strategy remains so useful and relevant to all fields of study, we thought it only made sense to offer you a brief refresher!

As your scholarly research becomes more narrowly focused, you will no doubt begin to have more and more trouble finding articles related to your topic. While this is wonderful in that it means you are conducting unique research (Yay!), it is not so wonderful in that it can be difficult to find the requisite sources to complete your lit review (Boo!).  So, where do you go from here?

crossroads

Image by Lori Greig. CC license here.

One wonderful strategy for tackling this problem (or any research, really) is ‘cited reference searching’.  If you are unfamiliar with the term, it simply means looking at which authors/publications have cited an article (or book) related to your field of study. Following citation chains helps you track the scholarly conversation while at the same time freeing you of the need to think of the exact search terms which might elicit such results.

The Fielding Library has a number of resources which can assist you with this type of searching: Google Scholar, Social Sciences Citation Index, and many of the individual databases (such as those made by ProQuest).

Social Sciences Citation Index is a database dedicated exclusively to this type of research. It’s worth becoming familiar with, but requires a bit more depth than a handy blog post can supply. Check out the Fielding Cited Reference Searching LibGuide to learn all about it, Google Scholar, and PsycINFO!

Let’s take a look at a simpler example using Google Scholar.

Imagine you are deep into your research on adolescent involvement in community organizations, but you’re having trouble discovering additional articles. You do have a citation for a wonderful article published in 2008…so why not see who has cited it since?

You head over to Google Scholar, being sure to connect via the library so you can see what results we have in our collection. When you land on the search page, simply copy and paste the full article title in the search box and press search:

citedref

Below the article title/description, you will see a convenient little ‘cited by’ link (if the article has been cited). Simply clicking on this link will then display the list of citing articles. Even better, while viewing the citing articles, you can select to ‘search within’ them to find those most related to your topic:

searchwithin

‘Search within’ is a wonderful tool, particularly when you are viewing lists of dozens or even hundreds of citing articles.

As a quick recap, one of the greatest benefits of cited reference searching is that it frees you from the difficult task of predicting which search terms will find the best results. For example, an article came up in my Google Scholar results list about ‘neighborhoods and HIV’. While this certainly sounds related to community organizing, it may not have come up in a keyword search if those exact words (‘community’ and ‘organizing’) were not used in its abstract.

A final word to the wise: citation numbers are only numbers without context. An article could have been cited 97 times because it provides wonderful contributions to the field, or because 97 other authors wholly disagreed with its content. Context is key with citation numbers!

Happy Searching!

SWOT did you say?

All you business researchers out there know the value of a good SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis. Not only is conducting a SWOT analysis useful in the strategic planning process, but reading analyses for other companies can offer the business researcher added insight. But, where do you find them?

One great place to check is the LexisNexis Academic database.  Let’s be honest though…sometimes LexisNexis might not feel like the most user-friendly tool. Allow your librarians to reduce the confusion by offering some straight-forward steps you can follow the next time you want to search for a SWOT analysis for a particular company.

Step 1: Follow the ‘databases’ link on the main library website and select LexisNexis from the alphabetical list.

Step 2: Once you’re connected, click on ‘Search by Subject or Topic’ near the top of the screen to reveal a menu.  In the section labeled ‘Companies’ select ‘Company Profiles’:

lncompanyprofiles

Click image to enlarge.

Step 3: Just below the search box, follow the link to ‘Advanced Options’.  This will open a new search interface where we can use some fancy syntax to search specifically for SWOT analyses. (Also, the text above the search box should now say ‘Company Profiles Search’):

lnadvanced

Click image to enlarge.

Step 4: Here’s where it might start to feel a little confusing. Using the new search area we’re going to build what LexisNexis likes to call a “segment search”.  In reality, we are just going to specify the search fields we want to use–just like when you choose to search for ‘author’ or ‘title’ in other databases.  The big difference here is that the names of the fields are quite different.

Part 1: Specify a company.  In the ‘Segment Search’ box, the first thing we want to do is specify what company you are interested in.  To do that, you can either use the drop-down menu to select ‘Company’ or you can simply type in the word: COMPANY.  (Company is the search field in this case).  Now, in parentheses, type in the name of the company:

lncompany1

Click image to enlarge.

Part 2: Specify that you want a SWOT analysis. Now we need to tell LexisNexis that you are interested in finding a SWOT analysis for this company. First, type in the word ‘and’ after the company you specified. Next, either use the drop-down menu to select ‘Publication’ or simply type in the word: PUBLICATION. (Publication is also considered a search field). Now, in parentheses, just type in the word ‘swot’:

lncompany2

Click image to enlarge.

There you have it.  Although it might feel a bit strange, you are really just specifying search fields and plugging in the corresponding information. In this example, I wanted to find ‘Starbucks’ in the company field and anything related to ‘SWOT’ in the publication field. Now just press ‘Apply’ and the main search box will auto-fill with the text you entered:

lnsearch

Click image to enlarge.

The results page will show you any existing SWOT analyses for your company of interest. Be sure to pay attention to the publication dates as well as the companies who conducted the analyses–these can both be interesting points of comparison. To read an analysis, just click on its link in the results page:

lnswot

Click image to enlarge.

Of course, you will only be able to find analyses for companies about which LexisNexis has some data.  However, many companies are present so it is certainly worth a look!

We hope these steps will make it a bit easier to find what you need. Remember you can always contact the library for help.

Happy Searching!

My thanks to Earnrolyn at LexisNexis for her ‘business research’ webinar which first introduced me to this wonderful tip!

ProQuest Power Search

Happy New Year blog readers!  After the holiday break and a busy Winter Session we are ready to get back down to business with some more tips.

What’s on this week’s agenda?  Cross-searching ProQuest!

Now calm down, contain your excitement. Let’s talk about what this means exactly.

As you may have discovered, sometimes searching Fielding’s FASTsearch returns too many results.  But sometimes searching just one subject-specific database does not allow you to see how your topic is treated within other disciplines. What to do, what to do…?

One great option is to search several ProQuest databases at once (a.k.a. “cross-searching”).  This method allows you to hand-pick several (or more) databases covering subject areas relevant to your research.

How It Works

To get started, follow the ‘databases’ link on the library website and select any ProQuest database. Once you’ve connected look in the top, left-hand corner of the screen for a link labeled ‘Change Databases’:

On the next screen you will find a list of all of the ProQuest databases to which Fielding subscribes.  Now, you can read through the descriptions and select any you would like to add to your search. Once you’ve made all of your selections, just click on the ‘Use selected databases’ button:

If you want to confirm that the process was successful, take a look at the number in parentheses (after the word databases) in the top, left corner of the new screen. This number should correspond to however many databases you selected:

And voila! Now when you run a search you will be searching all of these resources at once! Wasn’t that easy?

But….Why Exactly?

This method will let you expand your search to relevant subject areas without going quite as broad as FASTsearch. For students whose research covers multiple disciplines and subject areas, such as education topics, it can be beneficial to cast a wider net.

As always, feel free to contact the library any time with questions.

Happy Searching!

So where can I find…..? Quick tips for MyFielding

As Fielding migrates much of its old Felix content into MyFielding, it can occasionally be tricky to find what you need. Here in the library, we fairly regularly receive questions about how to navigate to a variety of these materials and thought we would share the answers to some common inquiries.

Dissertation Guidelines and Instructions

While the library website itself does not contain information about how to complete your Fielding dissertation, this information is available via MyFielding.  Once you’ve logged in, hover over the ‘menu’, select ‘Research’, and then select ‘Dissertation’:

My Fielding Menu

This will bring up a sub-menu of options.  For those of you interested in finding guidance regarding font, spacing, pagination and more, select ‘Style Guidelines’ from the menu:

Style guidelines page

In addition to the content on the main page, make sure to note that you can find attachments and sample works in the ‘documents’ section, as well as additional guidance in the ‘FAQs’ section on the right side of the page.

TurnitIn

To navigate to the pages which offer more information about TurnItIn, this time select ‘Resources’ then ‘Turnitin’ from the MyFielding menu:

turnitin

Here, you will find general information, as well as pages specifically addressing common student and faculty questions.

Software

We occasionally receive questions from students seeking access to various software packages.  Fielding does provide links to discounted access of SPSS, the AATBS Bronze Package, and the Taylor Method study materials via our online store.  To access the store, hover over the ‘menu’, select ‘student services’, and then choose ‘The Fielding Store’.

Once you’re connected to the store, click on the ‘software’ link to see what is available:

software

We hope these quick tips will help you more readily find the information you need!

 

Annual Reviews: Keeping current with timely, critical research reviews

We live in an exciting time with access to TONS of information about anything and everything…hence the popular phrase: ‘information overload’. Case in point, there seems to be some irony in this Google search:

Google search for 'information overload'

Search results retrieved 10/14/15.

 

Of course there are some, such as Clay Shirky, who argue that the problem is not necessarily information overload, but rather “filter failure” (he made this point during his keynote address at the Web 2.0 Expo back in 2008).  Since the cost of publishing and producing content is so low nowadays, there is no check on the content’s quality.  Hence, tons of information is ‘out there’, but we don’t always have the best tools and systems to filter through it and know where to devote our energy.

Unsurprisingly, people who are able to access subscription resources (like library databases) have a leg up in that they at least can access a collection of peer-reviewed materials, vetted by a specific process, and as such deemed more credible in the academic world. But even then, there is so much content to sift through!

How do you know the primary contributors to your field of study? What are the recent research trends?

One useful resource in Fielding’s library to help answer some of these questions is a collection of journals called ‘Annual Reviews‘.  As they explain on their ‘overview’ page, Annual Reviews “critically reviews the most significant primary research literature to guide researchers to the principal contributions of their field and help them keep up to date in their area of research.” Reviews in each subject area are-yes, you guessed it-published annually.

While Fielding’s subscription does not include all subjects covered by Annual Reviews, it does encompass the major subject areas most pertinent to our programs of study.  These include:

  • Anthropology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Environment and Resources
  • Law and Social Science
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Sociology

So how can you access and take advantage of these little gems?

Easy! Simply follow the ‘databases’ link on the main library website and select ‘Annual Reviews’ from the alphabetical list:

annualreviews

 

Once connected, navigate to the ‘browse journals’ section in the center of the page.  Any journal identified with a green check mark is available to you–just click on the title to connect to its content:

annualbrowse

After you select a journal you can take advantage of many features.  Of course, you can view the content of the latest issue (or select to view past issues) and connect to full-text.  You can also use some handy tools such as the ‘most cited reviews’ or ‘featured reviews’ to discover some of the publication’s most popular content.

annualfeatures

When viewing the full-text HTML version of an article (when available) you can access additional features such as viewing figures, related reviews, and more.

Annual Reviews, as most journals and databases, also allows you to sign up to receive alerts when new articles or tables of contents are published.

Want to learn more?  Check out the Annual Reviews Tutorials page to access video, PDF, and PowerPoint tutorials on navigating this collection.

Whether you want to keep informed of the latest research in your field, or gain some background information in a certain discipline, be sure to add Annual Reviews to your list of resources to consult. They have done much of the work of filtering through the loads of information related to a particular subject, allowing you to focus on the highlights, major discoveries, and trends.

Happy Searching!

More than you ever wanted to know about searching in PubMed

Searching for and discovering literature in the medical field can sometimes be a bit different from searching for works in other disciplines. With all of that medical jargon, how do you know where to begin and what terms to use?

Medical Library

Image by roseflreising. CC license here.

One of the best resources available for medical research within Fielding’s Library is the PubMed database. While PubMed is freely available on the web, connecting through the library will allow you to link out to more full-text options when available.

So, what exactly is PubMed?  Well, in their own words: “PubMed comprises nearly 25 million citations for biomedical literature…”.  As explained on their FAQs page, PubMed includes citations for works “covering portions of the life sciences, behavioral sciences, chemical sciences, and bioengineering.”  I’ve worked with users who have utilized PubMed to find literature related to chronic pain, massage therapy, animal assisted therapy, prostate cancer, and more.

Let’s chat about one important search strategy and some resources which will help you make the most of this database.

Search Strategy–Medical Subject Headings

One of the largest barriers to conducting research in the medical field can be determining the best search terms. As we all know, medical terminology can be a bit convoluted and not necessarily easy to predict. In fact, special terms known as ‘Medical Subject Headings’ (a.k.a. MeSH terms) exist to help classify and make medical works find-able.

Utilizing MeSH terms in a PubMed search is an excellent strategy to help you find highly relevant materials.  The problem?  Well…figuring out what MeSH terms actually exist on your topic.

 

Overwhelmed

Image by Walt Stonburner. CC license here.

Lucky for us, the National Library of Medicine has created a ‘MeSH browser‘ which makes this task a lot easier.  Let’s work through a simple example.

In this scenario, let’s say I am trying to find some studies regarding anti-anxiety treatments for adolescents.

Once I cruise on over to the MeSH browser, the first thing I will do is input one of the major terms I’m interested in, such as ‘anti-anxiety’:

Image of MeSH browser

Click image to enlarge

The next page will show me possible MeSH matches for my subject of interest (*Note: I used the ‘find exact term’ search option):

Sample results page from MeSH search

Click image to enlarge

 

Let’s pause for a moment….that page looks weird doesn’t it?  Since I asked the browser to find exact term matches, it has returned a list of terms which all satisfy this criteria.  I was interested in anti-anxiety treatment, so let’s click on “Anti-Anxiety Drugs” to see what happens:

Official heading entry

Click image to enlarge

Whoa Nelly!  What’s up with this page?  There’s a lot of information to sort through here, but I’ve circled the three most important pieces in yellow.

First, the MeSH Heading. Even though I clicked on ‘anti-anxiety drugs’, I was directed to a page where the official heading is ‘Anti-Anxiety Agents’.  Since I am interested in anti-anxiety treatment options, this is likely the best term for my research.

Second, the Scope Note.  If you’re not sure if the official heading is appropriate to your research, check out the scope note. This note is meant to describe what is encompassed in the use of this heading. It will often also say what is not included in case this affects your choice of terms.

Third, the See Also terms.  The list of ‘see also’ terms is showing some options for related MeSH Headings.  For instance, there is a MeSH term for ‘anxiety disorders’.  If my first search strategy does not work out, I may want to run some additional searches with these other headings to see how they affect my results.

I repeated this strategy for my population of interest, ‘adolescents’, and discovered that the MeSH heading for that term is simply: adolescent.

Now that I have some terms at the ready, I will hop back on over to the PubMed Advanced search screen and plug them in like so:

Sample PubMed Search

Click image to enlarge.

This search found me a whopping 1300 results.  From here, I can use the filters on the left side of the screen to narrow them down.  I can also use the ‘see similar articles’ link below any article to help me focus on a particular sub-set of documents.  Likewise, it’s always easy to revise the search and add in a keyword or additional MeSH heading.  As with any research, you may need to test out a few keywords, MeSH terms, and combinations to see which yield the best results.

Search results page.

Click image to enlarge

Now, do yourself a favor and take a long sip of coffee, you deserve it.

More Resources

There obviously can be A LOT to learn about databases like PubMed.  We’ll link you out to some useful resources to help you learn more about making the most of this tool:

Publishing in Medical Journals

When publishing articles in some medical journals, they will ask that your references use the ‘Index Medicus’ abbreviations for journals. Index What-i-cus? Here’s a handy tool to help:

Many citation managers such as Zotero or EndNote also offer the ability to create Index Medicus formatted references. Be sure to consult their help resources to find out how.

Happy Searching!