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Part of the Tamalpais High School Physical Education Program

Finding online articles and other sources

This emphasizes the Big 6 information literacy skill of location and access. The Big 6 are:

  • Task Definition
  • Information Seeking Strategies
  • Location and Access
  • Use of Information
  • Synthesis 
  • Evaluation

Location and Access Strategies

How do you find what you need?

  • Use the library catalog to find print resources. A subject or keyword search is often the most effective method. Use the call number to locate the book. The call number will be on the spine of the book, towards the bottom. 
  • Within a print resource use the table of contents or index to pinpoint information.
  • Use a  subject specific database such as Rosen Teen Health and Wellness (username: tamalpais, password: hawks). These databases are subscribed to and contain current, reliable information. Within the database, browse subjects or you may use a keyword search. Databases often have features that allow you to email the article to yourself, print in a printer friendly layout and create a citation in MLA, APA and Chicago formats.
  • Use Boolean operators such as AND, OR, NOT, ADJ(x), NEAR(x), WITH and SAME when using search engines such as Google.

 

Selected Sources

Is it CRAP?

Everything you wanted to know about Boolean operators but were afraid to ask

Boolean Operators: Definitions and Examples

AND -- Finds documents containing all your search terms. Note: Google and other search engines default to "AND."
Example: computers AND "bulletin boards". Notice the quotation marks around the phrase. 
Why is this a good search? 
Bulletin boards don't have to be electronic. Adding the word computers to the search makes the context clear. Searching with both using the AND operator is likely to exclude any items on cork bulletin boards and unlikely to exclude any items on electronic bulletin boards.

OR -- Finds documents containing any of your search terms. 
Example: farming OR agriculture

Why is this a good search?

Farming and agriculture tend to be used interchangeably. Searching with both using the OR operator makes retrieval of all relevant items highly likely.

NOT -- Finds documents containing your first word, but not your second word. 
Example: accelerators NOT nuclear 
Why is this a good search? 
Excluding nuclear from this search makes it likely that items retrieved will be about motor vehicle accelerators rather than nuclear accelerators.

ADJ[x] -- Finds documents where search terms appear within x words of each other and in the same order. Where x is not specified, defaults to 1. 

Example: Kofi ADJ3 Annan 

Why is this a good search? 
Name searches are often compromised by the appearance of middle initials in items. Specifying that the first and last names appear within 3 words of each other, rather than right next to each other, ensures complete retrieval of items that name Mr. Annan.

NEAR[x] -- Finds documents where search terms appear within x words of each other, in any order. Where x is not specified, defaults to 1. 

Example: Clinton NEAR5 Gore 
Why is this a good search? 
This would be a good search for finding items about Clinton's relationship with his Vice President because it specifies that their names should appear close together in the item.

WITH -- Finds documents where search terms appear in the same sentence, in any order
Example: Vermont WITH tourism 
Why is this a good search? 
Specifying that Vermont and tourism should appear in the same sentence should retrieve a good set of items about Vermont tourism, rather than items about tourism in other places that are "about the size of Vermont" or "reminiscent of Vermont." The SAMES search is also less restrictive than searching on "Vermont tourism" as a phrase. That would exclude items that contained such phrases as "tourism in Vermont".



SAME -- Finds documents where search terms appear in the same paragraph, in any order
Example: French SAME Quebec 
Why is this a good search? 
Specifying that French and Quebec should appear in a paragraph together should retrieve a good set of items about French culture and language in Quebec, rather than items about the French in France that mention Quebec in passing.