information literacy information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning

Information Literacy Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning

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Information Literacy

Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning

Search Strategy

• Identify key concepts and terms that describe the information you need

• Decide on a good search strategy using keywords (that most reflect your search concept), authors (last name) or titles ( in full, or with a few keywords)

• Construct the search using Boolean logic.

Search Strategy cont.

• Boolean logic uses a set of connecting words – AND, OR, NOT (always capitalized) – to save time in expanding or shrinking a search.– AND is used when you have two subjects that are

separate and you want to know what is available when they are combined – “this” AND “that”

– OR is used when you want to expand your search to find either “this” OR “that”

– NOT is used to remove a term from a search – “this” NOT “that”

– Terms can be mixed – “this” AND “this” NOT “that”

Search Strategy cont.

• Copy and paste – any term, author’s name or title shown on a computer screen can be highlighted, copied and pasted into a search box.

• Filter words are ignored by a search engine because they slow down a search and do not change the results. Examples of filter words: a, about, an, and, as at, be, by, from, how, I, in, is, it, of, on, or, that, the, this, to , was, we, what, when, where, which, with.

• Terminology – use the correct terms – abbreviated or common words will not retrieve the most accurate information.

Getting Full Text at UTC

• You can obtain full text through the UTC library by using the search engines on the UTC Lupton Library site and clicking on the “Get it @UTC” link. For directions:


Evaluating Websites

• Author or authority– Author’s name and status is clearly stated

– The site is linked to an institution or authority (.com, .gov, or .edu)

• Purpose of the site– Stated clearly – may have a “mission” link

– Does it fit the information needs for the search?

– Is it designed for information, entertainment, advertisement

Evaluating Websites cont.

• Content or topic– Information is factual and can be verified by another

source– The page is well-organized and has easy to navigate

URL, titles, links– The graphics are easy to comprehend and relevant to

the material presented

• Timeliness– Check the date at the bottom of the URL to see when

the page was last updated

Evaluating Websites cont.

• Accuracy and creditability– Spelling and grammar are correct– References are listed– All links are available– Nothing is being advertised or any

advertisement is clearly separated from the information (reduces bias)

Search Engines

• Several billions of pages can be found on the internet. This information is not classified, categorized, controlled, or edited by any authority. Search engines “tag” keywords to match the words the user inserts into his or her “search string” Each search engine operates somewhat differently. Knowledge about different search engines can help the user obtain relevant information. Trying different search engines using the same keywords for a topic is one way of gaining that knowledge.

Search Engines cont.

• There are two types of search engines on the Web – single search engines and meta-search engines. A good searcher uses both types– A single search engine searches its own database. Each

has a different design and different tools.

– A meta-search engine searches keywords simultaneously in many single search engines. It is not able to use each search engine’s special tools but it does eliminate duplicates and displays results in order of relevance.

Single Search Engines

• Google – - is a recognized search engine that is easily searchable either in the basic or advanced mode. If you type the search string in separately, you get thousands of hits. If you put quotations around the string, you reduce the number of references. If you go to the advanced mode, you find many features to narrow the search. Google has an image search that you can use for patient handouts etc.

Single Search Engines cont.

• AllTheWeb – is similar to Google. It give the user “Clusters” at the bottom of the page. Clusters give specific pages for information

• MSN – is a high performance search engine designed by Microsoft. It offers spell check and highlights search terms in the results.

Meta-Search Engines

• Surfwax – allows the user to sort results by relevancy, alphabet, or source and gives summaries of the results to analyze. “Focus” helps the user select better terminology. A split screen lists search results on the left and, by clicking on the magnifying glass next to the results, information about the web page on the right.

Meta-Search Engines

• KartOO – uses mapping to provide results. It gathers the results from the search, compiles them and represents them in a series of interactive maps. A subject map on the left side of the screen allows you to explore the topic even further. It looks quite different from other search engines but the results are good and easy to find.

Meta-Search Engines

• Dogpile – searches all major search engines including Google, Yahoo, AltaVista, Ask Jeeves, About, FAST, Findwhat, LookSmart, etc. at one time. It retrieves the combined results and displays them. The results can be sorted out by relevancy. It also includes images.

Health Statistics

• Statistics about health care issues is pertinent to both research and practice. This information can be obtained from several healthcare providers.

• Advance data from Vital and Health Statistics –

Health Statistics cont.

• Bureau of Labor Statistics – Health and Safety Statistics –

• Census Bureau –• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”s

(CDC) WONDER• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Data

& Statistics –• FEDSTATS – Federal Statistics –

Health Statistics cont.

• Healthcare Costs & Utilization Project (HCUPnet)

• Healthy People 2010 –

• Human development Indicators (United Nations)

• Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report – MWR –

Health Statistics cont.• National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)• Kaiser Family Foundation – State Health Facts

Online –

• Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program –

• World Health Organization –Statistical Information System (WHOSIS)


• is a comprehensive healthcare site with full-text journal articles and journal scans, newsletters and current news updates, drug and economic information, information on conferences, CE items, and discussion groups. It addresses 25 healthcare specialties that can be accessed through a drop down menu in the upper right hand corner of the home page.


• Goes back to 1982 – the hard cover “red book” contains articles listed before that time.

• When searching a topic,

click on “peer reviewed” not on “full text” (full text only searches links to items on CINAHL, not those on other sites)


• When you get the results as an abstract and decide you want the full text, go to the bottom of the record to link Get it @ UTC. If there is no full text option, go to the next link and click on it to take you to Illiad – the data will be filled in already. Answer the question “Where did you learn about this item?” Write “CINAHL.” Submit it and you will receive a notice and the e-mailed text sometimes by the next day and usually by one week.

PubMed• Goes back to 1950. This is the National Library

of Medicine Library and National Institutes of Health database. Publishers send them before publication, so citations are available on the site at publication time.

• Begin the search by putting a keyword in the box after for, then click on the Mesh database located on the left side of the page. It recommends the right medical term. Click on the term itself and it opens a list of standard “subheadings” that let you focus your search. Check the one you are interested in.


• Check “restrict search to major topic headings only” to limit your search, which may be useful for very broad topics like a disease or condition.

• Choose “send to search box with AND” to construct a command search to ask for your specific Mesh subheadings.

• You can add terms by putting them in the top box after the word for. You can put limits on the search by clicking on “limits” tab.

PubMed• Next click on “search PubMed” • Titles of selected articles will be displayed.• A green icon means that the article is available for

free. You don’t even need to use “Get it.”• To examine the articles to see if they are of

interest, click on the author line and open the citation to the abstract.

To expand a search after finding a good article, click on “related articles” on the right side of the citation


• Click “Get it” to see if UTC subscribes to the journal in which the article is published.– If the bar is green you can go directly to the article by

clicking Get it from the publisher– If the bar is yellow, you may be able to browse to the

article within the online table of contents– The first blue bar means UTC might have the article in

the printed journal collection – click on it to check the date for the issue needed

– The second blue bar directs you to interlibrary loan.

The Cochrane Collaboration

• The Cochrane Collaboration was established in 1993, It is an international, non-profit, independent organization established to ensure that up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of healthcare interventions is readily available. It produces and disseminates systematic reviews and promotes the search for evidence in the form of clinical trials.

The Cochrane Collaboration• Abstracts of Cochrane reviews are available free

of charge on its website.• Go to:• Click on “By topic” and select a topic (“airways”

produced many reviews of asthma interventions)• “Full list of all reviews” has thousands of reviews

listed alphabetically, which makes it hard to find all reviews on your subject.

• To find newest reviews go to the left side of the opening page and click on The Cochrane Library

The Joanna Briggs Institute

• The institute was established to draw academia and practice closer together and to be inclusive of all forms of evidence. In addition to systematic reviews, it gives equal importance to the transfer and utilization of the evidence in clinical decision-making through Best Practice information sheets.

• Go to: