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Database Evaluation and Search Strategy

Using tools and strategies we've already discussed, identify and select a scholarly database that best suits research on a topic of your choice. For example, if my topic is “costs and benefits of organic farming practices,” I may decide to use the database FSTA: Food Science & Technology Abstracts.

Next, evaluate the database using criteria from the “Evaluation of Scholarly Databases” handout. You will need to state something about the database’s journal selection, citation capabilities, indexing, basic (or advanced) searching abilities, costs, and relation to full-text. You can see an example of a good scholarly database evaluation here. Yours does not need to be as elaborate as the example, but it should address all the criteria.

Finally, develop a strategy for searching the database and retrieve the full text of at least one relevant article on your topic. While developing your strategy, consult the database’s help files and be sure to try out different search modifiers, search fields, nesting, and truncation symbols.

Keep a detailed record of your search strategy (this can go in your journal). Come to class prepared to discuss the procedure for completing this assignment, and any questions or problems you encountered.

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Created by: Martin Wallace | Revised: 03/17/2014

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