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GOL-105: Physical Geology - Researching National Parks

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EBSCOhost databases

Search more than one EBSCOhost database at the same time to find scholarly journal articles as well as popular magazine and newspaper articles.

Scholarly article databases

Newspaper database

 

 

Use My Reynolds username and password to access library databases from off-campus

If you click on any Reynolds Library database link from off-campus, you will get a Virginia's Community Colleges login screen first.  Login with the same username and password you use for accessing any services through My Reynolds (e.g., Canvas). After you login, you will get the database search screen.

If you are a student currently enrolled in a Reynolds course, and cannot login from off campus, please email Will Weaver (Web Services Librarian) dweaver@reynolds.edu or call 804.523.5323.

 

AND

Type AND between your keywords to narrow your search. The database or search engine will only retrieve those articles or web pages that contain both words. Using AND will decrease the number or hits or articles or web pages in your result list.

Example: school AND crime

Note: Some databases and search engines (such as Google and Craigslist) allow you to type a plus sign (+) in front of a keyword when doing a basic search. This works the same as AND.

Example: +school +crime

 

School And Chrime search

OR

OR Type OR between your keywords to broaden your search. The database or search engine will retrieve those articles or web pages that contain at least one of these words. Using OR will increase the number of articles or web pages in your result list (especially if not used in combination with AND or NOT). Use OR between keywords that are synonyms or have similar meanings. Example: baby OR infant

 

Search for Baby or Infant

NOT

Type NOT before a keyword to exclude that keyword from your search. Using NOT will decrease the number of articles or web pages in your result list. The best use of NOT is when you are searching for a keyword that may have multiple meanings.

Example: bat NOT baseball

 

Search for bat Not base ball

Combining Boolean Operators

Use parentheses ( ) to keep combination searches in order. In the example below, the database or search engine will retrieve articles or web pages that must contain the word law and at least one of the words in parentheses.

Example: (ecstasy OR mdma) AND law

 

Search combining law ecstasy mdma

Truncation

Truncation, also known as stemming, uses a character such as asterisk (*) or question mark (?) at the end of a word, which allows you to search for a root form of a word and pick up any ending.

Example: typing teen* will find teen, teens, teenage, teenager, teenagers.

Notes:

  • Be careful not to end the stem or root of a word too early to retrieve too many results. Example: typing cat* will find cat, cats, catalog, catastrophe, catsup, etc.
  • Different databases use different symbols to truncate words. However, most of our popular databases, such as our library catalogAcademic Search Complete and Access World News (NewsBank) use an asterisk (*) as their truncation symbol. If in doubt, check the "Help" screen for the truncation symbol.
  • Some search engines, such as Yahoo! and Google, automatically use truncation without you having to type a truncation symbol.

Wildcard Symbols

Wildcard symbols can be typed in place of a letter or letters within a keyword if you are not sure of the spelling or if there are different forms of the root word.

Example: wom?n will find both women and woman.

Note: Again, check the Help or Tips links available on most library databases and Internet search engines to verify the wildcard symbol that should be used - usually an asterisk (*) or question mark (?)

  • From the Advanced Search screen, enter your search terms.
  • Search strategies to try: 
    • enter the name of the national park within quotations to find the exact term  -
      • "acadia national park"
    • connect search terms with the Boolean operators (AND & OR)
  • From the Limit your results section:
    • Checkmark the box next to Full Text to view only full articles.
    • From the Published Date menus, enter the year range in the two Year boxes to view only recent articles (e.g., articles published within the last 5 years)
  • When the results screen appears, results are automatically sorted in relevance order.
  • If you personalized assistance with searching the EBSCOhost databases, contact the Reynolds Librarians.

EBSCOhost Advanced Searching Video Tutorial

  • From the Basic Search screen, enter your search terms.
  • Search strategies to try: 
    • enter the name of the national park within quotations to find the exact term  -
      • "yosemite national park"
    • connect search terms with the Boolean operators (AND & OR)
    • Checkmark the box next to Full text to view only full articles.
  • From the results screen, you can narrow your results from the Limit to menu on the left:
    • Checkmark the box next to Full text to view only full articles.
    • From the Publication date menu, enter Year, Month and/or Day range in the two boxes to view only recent articles (e.g., articles published within the last 5 years)
  • When the results screen appears, results are automatically sorted in relevance order.
  • To view only recent articles (e.g., articles published within the last 5 years).
  • If you personalized assistance with searching the SciTech Premium Collection databases, contact the Reynolds Librarians.

ProQuest Basic Search Video Tutorial

ProQuest Advanced Search Video Tutorial

  • From the Advanced Search screen, enter your search terms.
  • Search strategies to try: 
    • enter the name of the national park within quotations to find the exact term  -
      • "grand canyon national park"
    • connect search terms with the Boolean operators (AND & OR)
    • From the Publication Date menus, select the Month and/or Year range to view only recent articles (e.g., articles published within the last 5 years).
  • From the results screen, you can narrow your results from the Filters menus on the left:
    • From the Publication Date menus, select the Year range to view only recent articles (e.g., articles published within the last 5 years).
    • You can also select a specific subject (e.g., Earth Science) from the Subject menu.
  • When the results screen appears, results are automatically sorted in relevance order.
  • From the results screen, full articles will be identified with a content access icon - Free access, Full access or Open Access.
  • If you personalized assistance with searching the Wiley Online Library database, contact the Reynolds Librarians.

  • From the Basic Search screen, enter your search terms.
  • Search strategies to try: 
    • enter the name of the national park within quotations to find the exact term  -
      • "yellowstone national park"
    • connect search terms with the Boolean operators (AND & OR)
      • "yellowstone national park" AND geysers
  • From the results screen, use the menus on the left to:
    • Sort your results in relevance order by selecting Best Match from the Sort by menu.
    • Limit your results:
      • From the Source type menu select a specific source (e.g., newspapers, magazines or journals)
      • From the Custom Date Range menu, enter Year range in the two boxes.to view only recent articles (e.g., articles published within the last 5 years).
  • If you personalized assistance with searching the Access World News (NewsBank) database, contact the Reynolds Librarians.

What Are Databases and Why You Need Them Video Tutorial

Comparison Table

The table below compares the various differences between information found in the library databases vs. the open Web:

Library Databases

(e.g., Academic Search Complete & MasterFile Premier)

Open Web

(e.g. Google & Bing)

Types of Information Retrieved

  • Scholarly journal articles
  • Popular magazine articles
  • Newspaper articles
  • Reference book articles (e.g., directories, encyclopedias)
  • Books
  • No sponsors or ads

When to Use

  • Best for college level research.
  • When you need to find credible information quickly.
  • Best for personal information needs including shopping and entertainment.
  • When you have time to more carefully evaluate information found on the open web.

Creditability / Review Process

  • Articles and books written by journalists or experts in a professional field.
  • All material in database is evaluated for accuracy and credibility by subject experts and publishers.
  • Reviewed and updated regularly.
  • Lack of control allows anybody to publish their opinions and ideas on the Internet.  
  • Not evaluated (for the most part).  Need to more carefully evaluate web sites for bias, accuracy, and completeness.
  • Many sites are not updated regularly and can become outdated.

Cost / Accessibility

  • Most information found through a search engine is free. 
  • Library databases cannot be accessed through search engines or the open web.
  • Many web sites found through Internet search engines contain licensed, proprietary information and require you to logon with a user account.  You must already be a member or pay for a subscription in order to access the material from these web sites.

Usability

  • The organization and various search capabilities of library databases allow users to search for and retrieve focused and relevant results.
  • Less ability to search for and retrieve precise results using search engines like Google.  Need to wade through a “grab bag” of results.

Constancy / Permanence / Stability

  • Published content from journals, magazines, newspapers and books does not change.
  • Most material remains in database for a significant length of time and can be easily retrieved again.
  • Web site content can often change.
  • Web pages and sites may disappear for a number of reasons.  May not be able to retrieve the same content at a later time.

Citing

  • Many databases include a citation tool that will automatically generate an APA or MLA style reference for the article you select.  You may still need to “tweak” this citation but these tools serve as a good starting point for citing your articles in a particular format.
  • Most web sites found on the open web do not provide a citation tool or an already formatted APA or MLA style reference for the web pages on their site.  You will need to start your citation from scratch using APA or MLA style manuals or handouts from your instructor or the library. 
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