Literature searching: Refreshing my tired brain

EditI have found some friends who are interested in this broad research area as well, Meg Cordes and Sarah Gallagher. If you’d like to join us on this exploration of the literature and holistic approach to researching,  and finding a hypothesis through discussion and reading, we welcome your input.

Yesterday evening I spent a couple of hours online with Meg, searching Victoria University’s databases. We tried Waharoa, the search discovery layer (covers physical items in the collection, and subscribed resources and their subsets), and a small handful of databases. Emerald turned out to yield the best results – focused (on our subject) and a good number of results.

Meg and I used google hangouts, her suggestion – I hadn’t used it before. As a regular user of FaceTime and Skype, it’s good. Feature-rich and I put it and Meg to the test when I asked if she could share her screen with me – the searches that she was doing whilst talking to me.

I sat back on my bed, tired from the continuous conversations with my kids all day, and watched Meg do some preliminary literature searches on our broad research topic – librarianship and parenthood.

We started with a table or concept grid, to list the range of search terms we had already thought of, and synonyms and related terms.

As Meg scrolled, we both saw the same articles of interest, she would check and add them to a saved list (later e-mailed to herself), and I would comment and interject with suggestions for adjusting the search. As we scrolled through scanning the titles and reading abstracts of ones that caught our interest, we added search terms to our concept grid in a shared google doc, open in another window.

Once a Librarian, always a Librarian.

I still had the knack. Meg said so. Boolean searching, truncation, wildcards, brackets, all that. It was like going back 8 years. I swear I have not done Boolean searching in a librarian-client relationship in quite some time.

T’was fun.

And so the fun of researching begins. Stay tuned to follow our progress.

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