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Showing posts with label journal articles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label journal articles. Show all posts

13 August 2015

Creating a search strategy


Planning a strategy before you actually start the task of searching for articles relevant to your assignment can be a good idea.... By Penny Presta.


Making plans before you go on holiday makes for a smooth trip (and is part of the fun). Planning before you start searching for your assignment is smart too. It can increase the relevance of search results and save you time (leaving more time for fun)! In the Library we call it ‘creating a search strategy’.

What is a search strategy?

A search strategy offers a systematic approach to searching for information. It involves following a few key steps to finding what you need. The good news is these steps are pretty much the same regardless of which assignment you are doing.

Identifying the key concepts

An essential part of starting your search is identifying the best subject terms and keywords. Start brainstorming keywords, followed by compiling a list of synonyms and related terms so that you know you have your topic covered.

Starting out with a broad search

Developing a search strategy is an evolving process. Generally you will start with a broad strategy and look at your initial search results, adjusting your terms as you go along. Your results can be refined by adding parameters to limit the search (such as articles published in the last 10 years or information types such as books and journal articles). 

As you progress in your search for academic materials you will begin to notice alternative subject terms and keywords in article abstracts and start using these for a different set of results.

Look through the Library’s interactive online module for the whole story.

Why bother?

Scholarly sources of information such as library databases don’t like sentences. They perform best with keyword combinations which will be the result of an effective search strategy. So if you’ve ever been overwhelmed by how to find the materials you need, maybe it’s time you adopted this systematic approach.

For assistance creating and refining search strategies, attend a drop-in at your branch’s Research & Learning point. Honours students, postgraduates and academic staff may make a one-on-one appointment with their subject librarian.

Image: CC licence Richard Lee





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29 June 2015

Get a firm footing on publishing scholarly articles

Having something to impart to your field of research and seeing your work published is no doubt personally rewarding. Finding the right journal to publish your paper is worth some effort. Here are some resources that may be useful ...  By Penny Presta.

Your own priorities will ultimately assist you when determining where to publish. Do you consider it more important to be in a top tier journal, to have low fees, to get a speedy acceptance, or to have open access and high visibility for your work?

Journals are often oriented to specific audiences and can differ in tone and writing style. To increase the likelihood of your paper being accepted you may need to tailor your article to the journal or select a journal that is a good fit for your paper.

Find out more about a particular journal
  • Ulrichsweb global serials directory is a source of detailed information on more than 300,000 periodicals of all types. Obtain a list of journals in your subject area, see tables of contents, coverage, reviews, whether a publication is refereed (peer-reviewed) and more.

Article indexing
  • Are articles from the journal indexed in databases relevant to your field, or in citation databases such as Scopus or Web of Science?

  • Are articles from the journal harvested by Google Scholar? To check go to Advanced Search and type in the publication name to see if articles from that publication are retrieved.

Journal Impact Factor or other journal rankings
  • InCites, Journal citation reports Search for a journal’s Impact Factor. Impact factor is a recognised measure used to help determine a journal’s impact within its field, and is available for all journals indexed in the Web of Science database.

  • Scopus In Scopus, click Compare Journals to analyse the prestige of journals contained in the Scopus database from 1996.

  • SJR SCImago Journal & Country Rank uses Scopus data to provide ranking information. Click Journal Rankings to see a ranked list by subject or country.

Matching your article to a journal
  • Elsevier matching enter your title and abstract to see a list of Elsevier journals that best match with your article.

  • JANE: Journal/Author Name Estimator find the best place to publish by comparing your title, abstract or keywords to millions of articles in MEDLINE for the best match.

  • Manuscript matcher by Thomson Reuters EndNote Online uses data from the Web of Science to find your best potential journal.

Quality Journal Lists

Open Access
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) An online directory that indexes and provides access to quality open access, peer-reviewed journals.

  • Sherpa/Romeo Search by journal or publisher to see a summary of the copyright or archiving permissions normally part of a journal or publisher's copyright transfer agreement.

  • Monash University Research Repository The University repository meets the requirements of funding bodies (eg. ARC and NHMRC) for a post-print or publisher version of a paper to be made available in an open access repository.

Predatory publishers
The term predatory publishers refers to those that exploit the ‘author pays’ open access model by deceiving authors into paying fees without providing the associated services. Be wary of emails seeking submissions to journals as legitimate publishers rarely follow such practices. Predatory publishers also commonly:
  • adopt a name similar to an existing prestigious entity
  • falsely claim to have Impact Factors
  • apply previously undisclosed fees after your article has been accepted and is unable to be withdrawn or published elsewhere
  • have no quality-control despite claims of rigorous processes or peer review
  • dishonestly advertise the presence of prominent researchers on their editorial boards

Distraction Watch is a blog which illustrates actual approaches by questionable publishers. Academic librarian Jeffrey Beall’s Scholarly Open Access blog includes a comprehensive list of such open access publishers and their journals. It is updated regularly and the critical analysis of scholarly open-access publishers is helpful for knowing what to look out for.

Subject Librarians in the Library can help you use databases that may be useful in making decisions about the best journals in your discipline. See the Research impact and publishing library guide for more information on this topic.


Image: Gideon Burton, under CC 2.0 licence


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22 June 2015

Document Delivery

You found this really great article but can’t access it via the Library’s electronic subscriptions – what can you do? Allow Library staff to source it for you via our Document Delivery service! Read on to find out more...by Paula Todd


Who can use it?
Monash University Library has a service for staff, postgraduate and honours students where we can source material for you, from around the world if necessary, and deliver it via a link to your inbox.

What can be requested?
In addition to electronic articles sourced from non-Monash libraries, copies of print only material held at other Monash branch libraries can also be supplied.  Document Delivery also obtain loans of items from Australian and overseas libraries.

How do I use it?
The online form is available via a link on the Library tab in your my.monash portal (look under Services) or from the Library website.

If you are using Search and the article or journal is not held by Monash, a link to the Document Delivery request form will appear in the “view it” tab which should pre-populate the request form with most of the information about the article.

Where do I collect them from?
Electronically sourced items or scanned printed items such as articles will be sent via a link or as an attachment to your Monash email address.

Physical items such as books and other materials will be sent to the nominated Monash branch library for collection. If you are registered as off-campus, items may be sent to your off-campus Department location or home address.

Please see our library guide for much more information about document delivery and interlibrary loans.

What happens for undergraduate students?
If you are an undergraduate student you can visit any participating Victorian academic library* and borrow books or photocopy print articles in person.  Before you go make sure you have registered for a CAVAL card at one of the Monash branch libraries and have checked the opening hours of the library you wish to visit.  Note that this reciprocal agreement does not allow for electronic access to other libraries. See CAVAL for more information and the list of participating libraries.

*Includes University of Tasmania Library!


 Image: Sebastien Wiertz, under CC 2.0 licence

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25 March 2015

What are journal articles?

Warning: reading high quality journal articles can seriously damage your ignorance!  If that isn’t enough to inspire you, you’ve probably been told you must use journal articles in your assignments so read on for the lowdown… By Penny Presta.



What are journal articles?

Journal articles are where researchers report the findings of their research. They are published in journals (also known as serials or periodicals) which release new issues regularly making them a good source of current discourse. Journal articles tend to report on specific aspects of research rather than providing an overview of a topic that might be found in books.

Some Journal types include:
  • scholarly/academic -  often these are peer reviewed
  • trade/professional
  • magazine
Journal Articles may be:
  • primary articles - in which the authors are reporting on their own research findings
  • secondary articles - in which the author summarises the findings of other people’s research (e.g. review articles).
What to look for

As a student you will predominantly be required to use scholarly and peer-reviewed journal articles. Scholarly articles usually follow a set format. To identify a scholarly article look for the inclusion of:

  • Author credentials, affiliations etc.
  • Abstract (summary of the findings)
  • Introduction (statement of topic including purpose and context)
  • Method - if it’s a primary article (a description of the study with enough detail to allow it to be replicated)
  • Results and discussion (actual data or findings, analysis of results in relation to the purpose of the research and any limitations)
  • Conclusion (take home message, suggestions for future research)
  • References.

Finding known articles

If you already have the details of the journal article, the easiest way to find out if the library gives you access is to search for the Journal Title using the eJounals A-Z. Then navigate to the publication year and volume you are looking for.

Alternatively go to Search and use the Citation hyperlink and enter some details in the fields provided.

Finding articles on a topic

If you are not looking for a specific title you can use Search. Search is a ‘discovery layer’ that includes both local and remote resources. Limit your results to journal articles or peer-reviewed journal articles. See Paula’s blog post for more on how to use Search.

Library databases may provide more comprehensive coverage of journals in a particular discipline, and may contain many articles not available via Google due to their licensed or copyrighted nature. See Romany’s blog post for more on Library Databases.

Why am I expected to use journal articles?
  • Using academic articles promotes an understanding of how experts carry out research and report their findings.
  • Exposure to key research papers assists in obtaining an understanding of the fundamental ideas and vocabulary of a discipline.
  • Supporting your writing with evidence allows you to demonstrate you have necessary skills in searching for and critically evaluating sources.
  • The ability to extract key information from the literature and synthesise ideas is essential for professional expertise and engagement in a field.
Still stuck?

For assistance with locating journal articles, attend a drop-in at your library’s Research & Learning Point and chat with a librarian.




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6 January 2015

Hein Online: is there anything it can’t do?

Hein Online is a database that covers so much. It is suitable for people with little or no legal research experience through to those with advanced skills.......By Caroline Knaggs


Conan O’Brien wrote the famous line “doughnuts, is there anything they can’t do?” for Homer Simpson in the episode Marge v The Monorail and it is tempting to apply the concept to Hein Online. This database covers so much (it is the world’s largest image-based legal research collection) and is so easy to use.

HeinOnline is divided into Libraries which cover specific collections of legal material. The most frequently used secondary sources library is the Law Journal Library, an archival collection (i.e. from vol. 1 issue 1 onwards) of law journals from around the world including the US Ivy League and all Australian law schools. Other secondary libraries to note are the Foreign and International Law Resources Database, the Intellectual Property Collection and the Phillip C. Jessup Library which contains international law materials for those involved with the Jessup moot. Hein’s Scholarcheck provides journal article citation details.

For primary sources, Hein contains the (UK) Statutes of the Realm (legislation beginning at the reign of King Henry III) to the current US Code and early UK and US case law through to current cases from the US Supreme Court and much more. US Cases are made easier to find using the Fastcase citator. The World Treaty Library brings treaties from a range of organizations together in one place.

The Search function provides a range of options and documents can be printed or downloaded as a PDF file.

Hein is suitable for people with little or no legal research experience through to those with advanced skills. New content is added monthly, making each search an adventure. HeinOnline: the “go-to” legal research database.

If you are a Monash staff or student, you have free access to HeinOnline as one of the Library’s many database subscriptions.

Caroline Knaggs, is a subject librarian and member of the Law faculty team


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