Searching the CSU library databases: My experience

In my exploring and searching experiences so far I have found the CSU library databases to be user-friendly and easy to navigate. The tutorials are clear and give some good information about refining searches to make them more relevant. I have not used the Primo search before and am impressed with the number of options available for refining searches and the ease with which these options can be applied. I can see myself making use of the ‘My Folder’ function as a useful way of organising search results and storing them for use at a later date. I also like that the Primo search results include a ‘more options’ tab that provides a direct link to Libraries Australia to search beyond the CSU library (should that be necessary).

I also enjoyed exploring the journal databases. I used Academic Search Premier a lot during my undergraduate studies so I was familiar with many of the features of the Ebsco Host database but I did find the tutorial useful in reminding me about using truncation and selecting appropriate search fields. I also found the ability of the SFX button to search beyond the one database for full text articles to be very valuable. Searching SFX led me to looking in Science Direct which bought up a page of related articles (those using similar key terms to the one that I searched) which would lead to further relevant results. It was easy to set up a personal account in Ebsco and again the ‘My folder’ tool provides an opportunity to create customised folders and sub-folders, a great way to organise search results.

I found the ProQuest tutorial very interesting and it has made me curious to explore some tools that I have not used before. One of the advanced features is to export the record to the Endnote program, a referencing tool that I am unfamiliar with but have heard about. The ‘My research folder’ allows you to receive alerts and RSS feeds. Again, I have heard of these but have never used them. I would like to find out more about these and see if it would be worthwhile to utilise them in my research.

Finally, I conducted some searches in the A+ Education database (via Informit). I found that the number of results was similar to searches conducted in other databases but the results were mostly from newsletters or departmental journals. Despite this, I feel that, from a busy teacher’s standpoint, these articles are easier and quicker to read, keep you up to date to developments in the field, and provide relevant examples of current classroom/library practice. I am glad that I found this database as I think that it will provide for some interesting professional reading.

Overall, searching the library databases was an interesting and valuable learning experience!

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