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Academic mysteries unfold at your fingertips - Databases

The Need for Databases • the catalogue doesn’t tell us the names of articles which have appeared in journals over the years. • electronic databases index articles appearing in journals going back over many years • most popular here at A & D: Avery, INNZ, Design and Applied Arts Index, API, ARCH, Expanded Academic, Proquest

Before you touch the keyboard… •Write down what you already know

•What, who, when, where, why and How? Describe your topic so it becomes more specific. The answers you come up with will become your keywords.

•Start gathering information about your topic •Concentrate on the issue that interests you most •Find support for that issue •If you don’t find support for your viewpoint, change direction! •Finally, do all pieces of information lead to a conclusion? Is there any extra material which really doesn't support your idea? Chop it out!

Brainstorming keywords and creating search strategies Step 1: Topic sentence (What I really want to know, in one sentence) How was the history of automobile styling influenced by other innovations in design?

Step 2: Main words from the topic sentence (Keywords) History automobile car styling design “craft techniques� year? interior exterior materials? innovations

Step 3: Create search strategies (Choose the connector you want to use. Put phrases in quotes.) 1.__automobile___ OR _car_____ AND __design_

2.___automobile_ AND _styl*_(AND/OR) fashion _ AND _1940s

3.____interior AND styling__AND ___automobile AND_design_____

Two Types of Database (1) Full Text Full text databases – put in keyword(s), returns with article on screen – can print it off, save to disk or email – eg Proquest, or

Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre

(2) Citation Databases or Indexes Citation databases – put in keyword(s), returns references to articles ie citations – examples are: Avery, Index New Zealand or Design and Applied Arts Index citation: Author, Article title, Journal,

Volume(Number), pages Henderson, Lyn. (1996) Instructional design of interactive multimedia: A cultural critique. Educational Technology Research and Development, 44(4), 85-104. doi: 10.1007/BF02299823

You will not find the article here, you will still need to find the physical or electronic journal


If there is no article linker • Note down or print the reference(s) from the database Author, Article title, Journal, Volume(Number), pages • Type the title of the journal in our catalogue • Note down callmark and find the right issue on our shelf

Choosing journal articles 1.Title: Does the title of the book or article let you know immediately what the contents are about?

2.Level of coverage: Is the material specifically on your topic? How many pages is the article? How deep or how wide is the coverage?

3.Subject headings: Look for words listed under “subject� in the citation. These are subject headings or descriptions of what the article is about.

Choosing journal articles, cont. 1.Title of journal: What is the reputation and point of view of the magazine? Abitare vs Architectural Record OR Viewpoint vs Journal of Design History

2.Author: What is the author’s reputation? What are her credentials?

3.Timeliness: Is the article the latest information on your topic, or is it giving a historical perspective?

Database Searching Streamlined: a tutorial  

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