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.

New Years Resolutions continued

Recently alerted to a query on linkedin by Sally Pewhairangi to name your top 3 priorities for the next 12 months, I decided it was time to update any interested followers on how my New Years Resolutions were going.

My top three priorities for the next 12 months are:

1. Write.
2. Present that writing in a professional environment e.g. at a conference.
3. Read more offline for pleasure.

I included numbers 1 and 3 in my “New Years Resolutions” post back on January the 4th.  Not that it’s a priority, but I wanted to include #2 in between them as I would really like to write something that is worthy of presenting at a conference. That’s just a personal goal I have.
Another priority is to rein in my writing and focus on making it more professional and authorative.  This will be something to work towards for a while.  Advice on how I might do this will be greatly appreciated!
Other than time and experience, perhaps #3 and study too, I’m not sure how I can “get more professional” in my writing.

New Years Resolutions

  1. write
  2. read more offline for pleasure

Pretty simple really.

#1 on the list, will help me to do the following:

  • attend NLS5 and ALIAlibtec11 in Perth in September this year as a speaker and delegate
  • improve my vocabulary
  • complete some papers with my chosen institution of learning (an actual institution – OPNZ)
  • improve and grow as editor of LIANZA’s fortnightly publication, Library Life.

#1 on the list will also help me to believe my intuition and what other’s have told me, that I have something to offer in writing for and speaking to others travelling along a similar path in the library and information field.

#2 on the list will help me remain sane.  Other than writing for myself (and by default, the profession), this is definitely what I need to be doing more of, to keep things in perspective.

Will keep you posted on these new years resolutions.