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Resource Guide for HMLS 312 (Technology in Homeland Security)  

This guide provides suggested research resources specifically for HMLS 312
Last Updated: Jul 25, 2012 URL: http://libguides.umuc.edu/hmls312 Print Guide RSS Updates

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The Research Assignment Calculator (TRAC)

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Technical Help

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Welcome

Welcome! This research guide was created to assist you in locating, evaluating, and using scholarly resources for HMLS 312. The guide includes variety of resources to help you as you conduct your research for this class.

 

Searching Tips and Techniques

Searching Tips and Techniques

How do I search?

Learning the basics of how to search will save you much time and frustration. These tips and techniques are the same for any research you may be doing, no matter what the topic might be.

Finding and Combining Search Terms: Using OR

Determining the correct search terminology is “half the battle.” To begin this process list possible search terms and include any synonyms, using OR between each word.

Creating Effective Database Searches Using Boolean Operators: OR

Finding and Combining Search Terms: Using AND

If you want more than one term to be included in your search use AND between the terms. This is used to narrow a search.

Creating Effective Database Searches Using Boolean Operators: AND

Finding and Combining Search Terms: Using NOT

There may be times when you need to exclude a term altogether in order to focus your search.

Creating Effective Database Searches Using Boolean Operators: NOT

Truncation

Another useful trick is to truncate the search term.

  • The usual symbol is an asterisk (*), but check the database HELP screen for to determine the symbol for that database.
  • Although this is a useful tool, especially if you want to retrieve results with all possible word endings, it can also add unrelated items to your results.
  • Some databases may not allow truncated words if the possible results are too large and if this happens add more of the root word.

 Using Truncation for Expanding Results

Keyword Searching

If you are unsure of the correct vocabulary for a particular database, begin with a keyword search, sometimes referred to as default

  • Keyword searching looks for the term anywhere in the record, which means the word could be included in the title, abstract, full-text or be the subject term.
  • This type of search usually brings back too many records, many which may prove to be totally unrelated,
  • Keyword searching, however, may be the only option when a concept is so new that standardized vocabulary has not yet been developed.

Subject Searching

You will find more focused results using the vocabulary that the database uses, usually referred to as the subject or descriptor.

  • A subject/descriptor search looks only for results with that specified terms in the subject/descriptor field.
  • lf you are unsure of the specific subject/descriptor term try doing a keyword search and when you find an article that looks like it may be useful, open up the record for that article and look at what terms the database uses to describe the content.

Finding Articles Using Subject Terms

Thesauri

Some databases also include an online thesaurus, which provides a way of entering a possible search term to determine what term(s) the database uses for your suggested term. This is especially useful as a way of including related terms that you may not have considered.

Using a Database Thesaurus

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