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Searching Tips and Tricks
- Most databases allow for searching with Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT).
- Use AND to focus your search and combine different aspects of your topic
- Use OR to broaden your search and find sources that use different words for the same concept.
- Use NOT to omit certain terms from your results.
- Use an asterisk (*) to truncate words if you want to search for all words with that root. For example, “environment*” would search for environment, environmental, environmentalism, etc.
- Put quotes around a phrase that you want the database to search as a phrase, rather than as individual words.
- Group synonyms inside parentheses using OR between each one
URSUS is the combined library catalog for the entire University of Maine system. You can search the entire system, or select University of Southern Maine Libraries in the drop-down.
Other helpful tips:
- If you find a book that is relevant to your needs, look at the "Subject" area of the book's record. Click on a few of the subjects to find other similar books.
- In many of the book records, you can look at the table of contents - click the link under the "Inside This Book" heading. This can help you determine if a book is right for your research.
- If USM doesn't have a book you want, click the "Request" button at the top of the page and we can get it for you through our very fast courier service.
Most databases, as well as URSUS and MaineCat, assign subjects to books and articles. A subject is a designated word or phrase that describes an idea or concept and groups all articles or books about that concept together.
- Subjects are also variously called descriptors, controlled vocabulary, headings, or index terms.
- To search by subject you have to know the exact subject term. Most databases that use subjects have a Thesaurus that you can use to look up subject terms. You can also do a keyword search, find a book or article that is relevant to your research, and look at the subject terms assigned to it.
- URSUS and MaineCat use Library of Congress Subject Headings, and each database will have its own list of subject headings, so you will have to look up subjects in each database independently.
Writing a Literature Review
Health Sciences Literature Review Made Easy: The Matrix Method, 5ed (Book) by
Call Number: USM R118.6 .G37 2017
Publication Date: 2017
This 5th edition describes the practical and useful methods for reviewing scientific literature in the health sciences. The goal of this text is to serve as a resource for students who need a practical, step-by-step set of instructions for how to organize, conduct, and write a synthesis of literature on a topic of their choice.
Writing Literature Reviews-6th Ed by
Publication Date: 2014
Excellent resource on how to choose a topic, find and evaluate articles, format the lit review, and write it. Includes chapter activities and samples of different lit reviews.
Succeeding in Literature Reviews and Research Project Plans for Nursing Students by
Publication Date: 2014
This book is a practical and readable guide that will show you how to successfully complete a literature review or research project plan as part of your final year assessment. It guides you through all the necessary stages from start to finish, beginning with preparation and planning, using and critiquing research and finally writing up and completing your project.
Conducting Research Literature Reviews by
Publication Date: 2013
4th ed. Offering a step-by-step approach to conducting literature reviews, the Fourth Edition features updated examples and covers: how to select databases and evaluate their quality; selecting and organizing key words and other terms in order to effectively search databases and the Web; setting standards for evaluating the quality of research and other literature; extracting and recording information from articles and studies; synthesizing what the reader finds either descriptively or via a meta-analysis; recording and storing the results in a virtual file cabinet; and how to use bibliographic software.
Systematic Approaches to a Successful Literature Review by
Publication Date: 2012-01-24
This book takes you step-by-step through the process of approaching your literature review systematically, applying systematic principles to a wide range of literature review types. Through numerous examples, case studies, and exercises, the book covers often neglected areas of literature review such as concept analysis, scoping, and mapping.
The Literature Review by
Publication Date: 2012
This Second Edition of Diana Ridley's bestselling guide to the literature review outlines practical strategies for reading and note taking, and guides the reader on how to conduct a systematic search of the available literature, and uses cases and examples throughout to demonstrate best practice in writing and presenting the review. New to this edition are examples drawn from a wide range of disciplines, a new chapter on conducting a systematic review, increased coverage of issues of evaluating quality and conducting reviews using online sources and online literature and enhanced guidance in dealing with copyright and permissions issues.
The Literature Review by
Call Number: LB1047.3 .M33 2009 (Portland)
Publication Date: 2008-07-10
A six-step model offers invaluable assistance for selecting a topic, searching the literature, developing arguments, surveying the literature, critiquing the literature, and writing the literature review.