Reflection on Week 3 of the LIHNN Literature Searching MOOC

23 10 2015

This week the MOOC examined the literature search itself.  As a lot of the content was familiar to me, I found this week’s content most useful for helping me to develop a response to some of those tricky questions that I’m asked in training or assisted searches.

I’m always asked, “Why do I need to search for each keyword in a seperate line on HDAS?” and I have to try really hard not to just say “Because that’s just how you do it”!!!   The MOOC has helped me to prepare a more sensible response, that it helps you to identify any spelling errors in your search terms.

Another common question from my users is “How do I know which concept to start searching with?”.  I think this is something that becomes instinctive when you’ve been searching for a while, and as a librarian I find this really difficult to respond to.  However, the MOOC has provided me with a lovely response that it’s best to “start searching with the most well-defined concept first”.

I also learned a couple of other little tips that are new to me.  I’ve never proximity operators so I appreciated the explanation of how these worked.  I also never knew that when truncating terms you could add a number afterwards to indicate the maximum number of characters.  Illuminating!!

So, overall, this week I found the ‘Help’ and ‘Tips’ slides the most useful part of the MOOC, and it just goes to show that there’s always something you can learn 🙂




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