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Keeping up to Date
(and in control)
Research in Earth Sciences
Sue Bird
Bodleian Subject Librarian Earth Sciences
February 2011
This session
How to do subject searches for journal
articles, conference papers, etc
How to use Reference Management
How to maintain currency
Introduction to Geology Roam
Subject searching
SOLO, OLIS and Oxford e-journals cover
Oxford holdings only by title
Better to use specialist indexes covering the
world’s literature to find articles
Access via OxLIP+
Use inter-library loan for items not held in
Oxford and not online
Bibliographic databases
Excellent for locating journal articles, book
chapters and book reviews (NB. References only,
NOT necessarily [though increasingly] full text)
General or Subject specific coverage
Different interfaces but similar functionality
Not tied to library holdings
Major sources
Web of Knowledge
Also available via OxLIP+ :Treatise on Geochemistry (all 9 volumes)
Key 17th, 18th to 19th century geological literature
Search Strategies
Boolean logic
Wild cards
Which language are you using?
Search strategy
Ask a clear search question
What role does ocean circulation play in Pleistocene
climate change?
Break the question into search concepts
Pleistocene climate, ocean circulation, climate change
Find more terms from retrieved records
whilst you are searching
Boolean connectors:
AND to narrow the search
OR to broaden the search (synonyms)
NOT excludes search terms
Ocean circulation
Climate change
Other tricks:
Use symbols for wildcards and truncation
? or $ for a single character
pal?eo / pal$eo will find paleo or palaeo
* or $ for truncation or variant spellings
volcan* for volcanism, volcanic, volcano, etc
use quotation marks for searching for
e.g. “plate tectonics”
Sample search
“What role does ocean circulation play in
Pleistocene climate change?”
AND =narrows OR =widens
Search string could be
“climate change” AND “Pleistocene” AND
“ocean circulation”
Thinking outside the box
Pleistocene OR Quaternary
(but not Holocene)
“ocean circulation” as a phrase OR
ocean circulation as 2 separate terms
climate change OR climatic changes OR global
should we include pal(a)eoclimatology?
Different combinations will give different
results – you need to try them all
THE database for Earth Scientists
(Available via OVIDSP)
Keeping track of your references
Make sure you keep a systematic listing of your
references, so you can find them again when you
need them
For large number of references, software like
RefWorks (free) or EndNote (£90 from OUCS)
can be very helpful.
Most databases allow you to export references
directly to RefWorks or EndNote.
Reference Management Software
Organize your research and manage your
database of references
Include citations while you write your paper
Build a bibliography in a variety of styles.
Import references from many different data
Create bibliographies in different document
formats (Word, RTF, HTML, etc.)
Refworks is a free (whilst you are at Oxford) webbased bibliographic software package. You now
have ‘alumni’ access after you leave!
Being web-based means no software to download
and update, and you can access your personal
account from any computer connected to the web.
Courses laid on by the Computing Services
Can’t get away from it
Google is an index of web pages
A journal article is not a web page
So Google is not good at finding journal articles
An image of a journal article may be placed on a
web page
So Google may find it
If it’s free and not behind a firewall
Google Scholar
Has links to many, but not all, journal
publishers & in any case Oxford may not
subscribe to the title
So not all journals can be found through GS
Records can only be selected singly for
But quick route to full text when relevant
article found
Databases vs. Search engines
Contents are indexed by
subject specialists
Subject headings
Limiting functions e.g.
publication types,
Allow you to
View Search history
Combine searches
Mark and sort results
Save searches
Set up alerts
Searches done by
automated “web crawlers”
No thesaurus / subject
headings – just free text
No limiting functions
Usually none of these!
Interdisciplinary Databases
Web of Knowledge (
Web of Science covers journals in all subject
Citation searching
Scopus (
Provides an alternative to WOK for crossdisciplinary search and citation searching;
incorporates Geobase
Contains 42.5 million records.
(Web of Science = 39.25 million)
Nearly 18,000 current titles
(of which some 8,400 titles = Europe)
Web of Science = c.12,250 titles
– bias to North American literature
Search Strategy:
“ocean circulation” + Pleistocene + (climate OR warming)
Date range: 2008-2011
Web of Science: 35
Scopus: 15
Refworks (after deduplication): 128 !!!
Getting your hands on full- text
Is there a link to full text from the database?
Is the journal available electronically in
Check Oxford e-Journals ( )
Is there a print copy in an Oxford library?
-Check SOLO (
If not, try Inter-Library Loan via Earth
Sciences Library or RSL
-Default means of delivery is SED = Secure Electronic
Delivery i.e. e-mail attachment
Citing your references
An article in an online journal which also exists in
print should be cited in the same way as print
To cite something which only exists electronically,
e.g. a web site, follow special rules which include
the date viewed
A specific quote must include the page reference
in the citation.
Also any number of style manuals:The complete guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarism /Colin
Neville. 2007
Available on-line via SOLO
Cite them right : the essential referencing guide / Richard Pears and
Graham Shields. 2010 RSL LB 2369 PEA
Three ways to keep up to date:
Saving and rerunning searches – you save a
search and run it again in the future.
or E-mail alert / RSS Feed – you can specify a
search to be repeated at specified intervals.
Citation Alert – you will receive an alert every
time a particular article is cited in another
WoS or Scopus indexed article.
Zetoc (British Library) will tell you when the
next issue of a journal is available.
Easy to use interface to browse, view and print geological maps.
12 zoom levels with customised transparency of geology layers.
BGS Lexicon of named Rock Units to aid identification
Simple data download facility for use with Geographic
Information System (GIS) or image processing software.
The following data are available:1:625,000 solid and drift geology.
1:250,000 solid geology and linear features.
1:50,000 solid and drift geology, mass movement, artificial
ground and seven separate linear feature layers.
These slides are available on
Any questions in the future,
contact your subject