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The Oxford Guide to Library Research

Mann, Thomas
Publisher:  Oxford University Press, New York, USA
Year Published:  1998  
Pages:  316pp   Price:  $14.95   ISBN:  0-19-512313-1
Book Type:  Handbooks/Manuals

Library of Congress Number:  Z710.M23   Dewey:  025.5'24 -- dc21
Resource Type:  Book

An overview of little-known but powerful strategies used by librarians and information specialists, with clear explanations of fundamental methods searching.



1. Initial Overviews: Encyclopedias
General vs. specialized encyclopedias-Examples- How to identify which ones exists in different subject areas-Peculiar strengths of general sets

2. Subject Headings and the Library Catalog
Filing conventions-Filing sequence-Subject headings- Uniform heading-Scope-match specificity-Specific entry-Four ways to find the proper category term- Narrower-term cross-references-Alphabetically adjacent narrower terms-Subject tracings-Subdivisions-Recognition vs. prior specification-Narrowing a topic-Finding foreign-language books-Copy cata-loging problem for researchers-Advantages and disad-vantages of the catalog-Essay collections-Summary

3. Systematic Browsing, Scanning, and Use of Classified Bookstacks
Possible methods of shelving books-Serendipity and discovery by recognition-Depth of access and full-text searching-Browsing vs. scanning-Shelf arrangement complements library catalog: advantages and disadvan-tages-Scattering of subjects-Exploiting the library's internal structure-Continuing need for classified book-stacks in computer age-Ways to find the right classifi-cation areas-Browsing in other situations

4. Subject Headings and Indexes to Journal Articles
H. W. Wilson Company indexes and databases- Vocabulary control-Information Access Company data-bases-FirstSearch and Eureka databases-Use of Library of Congress Subject Headings for cross-discipli-nary inquiries-Specialized indexes and databases- Narrowing a search-Finding where a particular journal is indexed-Full texts online-Identifying journals in a particular subject area-Cataloging peculiarities of seri-als vs. books-Problems with abbreviations-Journals whose titles include the name of an organization

5. Keyword Searches
Keywords vs. subject headings: advantages and disadvan-tages-Print and computer sources-Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) indexes and databases- Trade-offs-Periodicals Contents Index-Printed keyword sources-Indexes to very old journals-Additional key-word sources-Cross-disciplinary coverage of ISI sources

6. Citation Searches
ISI indexes-Examples-Advantages and limitations- Additional citation databases and indexes-Extra features of ISI indexes

7. Related-Record Searches
ISI CD-ROMs-Circumventing limitations of keyword searches-Searching backward, forward, and sideways in time

8. Higher-Level Overviews: Review Articles
State-of-the-art reviews-Sources for identifying re-views-Key points of Chapters 4 through 8

9. Published Bibliographies
Advantages over computer printouts-Boolean combina-tions without using a computer-How the use of bibli-ographies compares to other search techniques-Separate shelving of bibliographies-The "-Bibliography" subdi-vision-How to find bibliographies-Guides to the liter-ature-Great books lists
10. The Differences Between Real and Virtual Libraries
Copyright restrictions-What, Who, and Where trade-offs-Quality control-Format differences and their sig-nificance-Cataloging-Ranges of electronic sources in real libraries-Bait-and-switch claims

11. Computer Searches: Types of Sources
Bibliographic Citation databases-Online Public Access Catalogs-CD-ROMs-OCLC FirstSearch-RLG Eu-reka-CARL UnCover and Faxon Finder-Dialog-Full Text Databases-CD-ROMs-Internet full-text sources- NEXIS and other fee-based sources-Internet and World Wide Web sources-Points to remember about computer searches

12. Computer Searches: Types of Searches
Comparison of computer and print capabilities-Keyword searches-Document-type searches-Boolean combinations-Component-word searches of controlled-vocabulary terms-Searches of coded elements- Geographic area codes-Combined citation and keyword searches-Web searches-Hierarchical and direct stab- Boolean combinations outside computers-Keyword
searches outside computers-Consequences of naivete- How to identify appropriate databases

13. Locating Material in Other Libraries
Determining which specific sources exist on your topic- Shortcuts to finding the best books-Library of Congress catalog online-Printed catalogs-Determining where copies can be found-Online union catalogs-National Union Catalog: Pre-1956 Imprints-Other union lists-Determining which libraries have special collections on your subject

14. People Sources
Attitudes and assumptions-It's okay to ask for help-Advantages of getting overviews and feedback-Internet groups-Tips on phone calls-Sources-Talking to ref-erence librarians

15. Hidden Treasures
Microform sets-CD-ROM collections-Government documents

16. Reference Sources: Searching by Types of Literature
Reference vs. research questions-Summary of major points of book-Methods of searching and types of liter-ature-Explanation of types-Understanding formal properties of retrieval systems-Advantages over subject knowledge-Sources

Appendix: Special Cases
Archives, manuscripts, and public records
Book reviews
Business and economics
Conference proceedings
Consumer product evaluations
Current awareness sources
Films and audiovisual material
Genealogy and local history
Illustrations, pictures, and photographs
Literary criticism
Newspapers and newspaper indexes
Out-of-print and secondhand books
Primary sources
Psychological and educational tests
Standards and specifications
Tabular data



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