Determinant how to identify and locate or newspaper/ magazine in an e-database is a challenging problem to many people who use online search engines to access and read the articles, making it an important problem in academic research because the volume of the item to search through increases each day. To address the problem, this study used both qualitative and quantitative research paradigms, with the qualitative research dependent on a systematic review of literature on how to create a search statement, the necessary components of the search statement, basic and advanced searches, and how database features enable accurate searchers to be done.
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The quantitative paradigm was based on an SPSS version 20 analysis of questionnaire responses received from different subjects. The results showed that a search statement consisting of three concepts, features of the search databases, and the use of basic and advanced searches consisting of ley words, concatenated words, and indexing were necessary to optimize the search results to identify and locate newspaper/magazine in an e-database.
The volume of materials such as magazines in e-databases continues to increase each day, making it difficult to search and locate a magazine or related article time consuming and a complex task (Brill, 2001). Despite the availability of articles and other related content easily accessible on electronic databases that are accessible on the web, many of the users wanting to interrogate and locate such articles on the electronic databases do not know the definite rules that one can use to access an article of one’s choice but conduct such searches randomly using search engines of any choice. An additional challenge and complexity arise because most of the people searching for the article of interest do not know the electronic databases they could find the article of interest (Kozlowski & Panda, 2002).
However, research has shown that a variety of searching techniques exists with the most recommended being to browse for the article without any specific rules, which later is followed by a specific search for the article in the electronic database of one’s choice and most probable target that leads to an advanced search strategy (Doyle, 2007). The rationale is that most of the electronic databases contain different materials in electronic format and each database has its own contents that are generally described on the home page of the electronic database. However, the skills and knowledge of how the search strategies work has not been explored, leading to the question of how possible it is to identify and located in an electronic database?
- To investigate how to create a search statement using keywords.
- Investigate how to utilize database features.
- How to carry out basic and advanced searches.
This literature review is a summary of the findings of different authors on how to identify and locate a newspaper/magazine in e- databases based on different search techniques, use of search statements, keywords, how to utilize database feature, and the how-to conduct basic and advanced database search techniques.
Creating a search statement
Research studies by Doyle, S. (2007) and other authors in academia have shown that when deciding to search in an electronic database for a Newspaper/Magazine it is important for one to create a search statement. A search statement is important because computers do not think but must be supplied with certain keywords to enable the computer to search and locate the article on the e-datable. It has been established that the search statement is difficult to make and one can be successful in creating a search statement by first identifying the main idea or the article/magazine to search for.
Here, the search statement is a better way of searching for an article because it consists of the terms that are used to define the article by combining them to create the title that is used to search for the article. Researchers such as Knight (2002) have proposed that when creating a search statement, it is important to minimize the number of words and optimize the number of titles being searched. Here, the search statement is used to query the e-database by utilizing its search engine. Here, it is important to note that the search statement must work in an environment consisting of two components, the datasets and the interface used to access the data.
The data, in this case, is the e-article or magazine that is in the electronic form being searched for in the database and the interface can either be unique to the search being conducted or designed to work on general search strategies. However, it is important to consider the access privileges and rights when trying to access a specific database because some e-databases limit access to those who have not signed up (Mitchell, Davidson, Branch & Lysiak, 2001).
Research articles show that different interfaces share similar features while others do not and that depends on the type of database and the search engine being used to search for an article. Here, the first step is to break the search statement into keywords and concepts. It is possible to describe the article being searched for into many words because, in English, there are numerous words that are over 500, 000. In addition, research shows that different search statements enable the search engine to retrieve information differently. Each search statement is efficient on its own and can be made more efficient by integrating it with search indexes.
Search indexes provide are based on a search strategy that depends on the author or the title of the magazine being searched for in the electronic database. In addition, the search statement can be designed to enable a specific search for a magazine based on the title of the topic of interest. Indexing is another strategy that is used to locate an article or magazine in an electronic database. For example, the REND LAKE College has over 22 electronic databases to search for items and it has two types of indexes. The Electronic Indexes is done through subscriptions and can be used to search online sources based on EBSCOhost and Serials Solutions (Ngai, 2003).
Among the strategies used to make the search, the statement is to break the title or the search statement into key words and concepts and ensure that some possible natural key words can be used to search for an article. Other researchers suggest that the concept you create should not be more than three words. Further suggestions show that when doing the search using the keywords and concepts, it is important to avoid small words such as what, are, the and those words that are connected with time such as sometimes, always, perhaps, and often. In addition, words that show the relation between items such as effects, lead to, increases need to be avoided when creating a search statement.
For instance, when searching for a magazine with information on the effects of media on bullying among children, the key identifiable concepts include children, bullying, and media. It is important when creating concepts to be able to develop synonyms for each key concept besides including spelling variants for example behavior & behavior, and singular/plural variants, for example, goose & geese. Such an approach creates key words and concepts that enable the search engine to retrieve items related to the keywords used to identify and locate a magazine in an electronic database. A typical example is illustrated in figure 1 below.
Some research results show that it is possible to sue one search term to yield good results. However, without using the correct search statement, it is possible for the search engine to generate many related results. ‘
On the other hand, the words that describe the concept of the words used to locate and identify the item being searched for include narrowing the search that is contained in the magazine or newspaper. For example, one might be interested in searching for a magazine or a newspaper that has the title “The Influence of Advertising on Incidents of Anorexia”. The main concepts of the title of the paper include “advertising and anorexia”.
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Here, the main thing is to concentrate on the central focus of the idea being searched for by limiting the search statement to just a few words. It is possible to make the search more complex and incorporate different items to search for. However, in such a situation, it is recommended that the search be made in such a way by trimming the number of keywords in the search statement. Researchers argue that when creating the search statement, it is crucial to avoid using adverbs, verbs, and articles, conjunctions, and pronouns. The use of words such as ‘of’, ‘an’ and ‘the’ should be avoided.
AND, OR, NOT components
Basically, the advanced search technique has three components that play a significant role in the search for an item and include a combination or use of the AND, OR, NOT. Here, the elements of AND, OR, NOT can be used separately or used by combining them in a search statement and that depends on the length of the search statement and its complexity.
It is important to consider using Boolean statements such as AND, OR, NOT when the need arises to combine two or more statements into a single statement. In addition, it is evident that when the search combines different statements with the AND, OR, NOT, the number of hits increases significantly. However, a significant difference exists among the use of ‘AND’ and OR, and the search results depend on the term used to combine two search statements together. For instance, it has been demonstrated that when ‘OR’ is used to create the search statement, it is possible to increase the number of hits as compared when using ‘AND’ to create the search statements.
It is important when conducting the search to include and use a search strategy that factors the use of keywords logically arranged together to achieve the goals of the advanced search. Here, the logical arrangement of the item or words leads to a logical relationship that leads to the retrieval of magazines that are in the same category as the one being searched for. However, it is inappropriate to use long strings that make the search meaningless.
Sometimes if the title of the magazine is known, it is easy to locate by using its title. Once the title has been established, it is important to search for the online Catalogue of the magazine if the article is in the database. However, it is important to note that some abbreviations can be used for the title of the magazine or newspaper being searched for. Once the magazine has been established to be in the catalog of items to look for, it is searched using its title or some items in the newspaper or magazine.
How to utilize database features
Depending on the database features, it is imperative to note that sometimes the search results can either be satisfactory or not. The database interface dictates the strategy to use when locating an item in the database such as using parenthesis and to create the required logical relationship by clear use of multiple search boxes as shown in figure 3.
The search strategies showed in figure 3 clarify the logical operators that are used to combine the search words. To make the search more predictable, it is necessary to use multiple boxes as shown in figure 3. On the other hand, it has been suggested that a specific interface has to be used that provides better prediction of the logical operators used and the strings and keywords used to create the search statement.
For instance, to search for a newspaper that discusses music and music education, it is necessary to be specific on which database to search. In the case of music education, because the keywords here are education and music, it is necessary to search first for the database with the magazines on music education. An example could be the ERIC search: music education. Once on that database, the search can be extended to “music education”, which narrows down the search to the magazine that discusses music education. Here, the database has been located and many magazines can be retrieved with the same results.
Basic and advanced searches
A search is conducted in only one field using the basic search technique based on a predetermined search strategy. In most cases, the strategy benefits one who wants to determine the size of the database and the volume of magazines on the database that are relevant to the search problem. In addition, the search technique provides the foundation for generating different search strategies especially when the title of the item being searched for is known.
The advanced search function has been shown to be more specific and to give more control to the user. According to Altschul, Gish, Miller, Myers, and Lipman (1990), the strategy enables a more refined search using key words that are combined to make a search statement. It is possible to search for multiple items in multiple databases to access the designated item. In most cases when the basic search has retrieved a large collection of articles, the advanced search provides the capability to narrow down the search to particular items. The strategy is useful when searching for an item with the name of the author.
Altschul et al. (1990) argue that it is possible to add the search limits before the search for the item of interest is commenced. Such an approach reduces the time required for the search to be executed and such limits have been established to be effective especially when the search item is not known. One of the strategies to use is to limit the language and the document type as illustrated in figure 5 below.
According to Mead, Sit, Rogers, Jamieson, and Rousseau (2000), in context, Figure 6 shows the advanced search strategies that demonstrate how most interfaces are used for advanced searches indicates that most search history of what had been searched before is saved to lighten the work of searching again for the item. It is important to treat such searches as adjunct workspaces that enable a search to be concentrated on different search techniques (Phillips, 2001). In addition, the results for each facet are saved to improve future results when a new search is conducted on similar items. In figure 5, the history of search facets has been utilized to expand the search for the article of interest by finding the relevant item via keyword searching.
The study was based on quantitative and qualitative approaches where the qualitative approach was based on content analysis and the quantitative approach was based on the use of numerical data that was analyzed using the SPSS software to determine the percentage responses for the items used to collect the data from the respondents (Veit & Gould, 2009). The benefits of using the qualitative paradigm include the ability to articulate how to collect a detailed analysis of the information in the research area and enabled the researcher to avoid making pre-judgments.
On the other hand, the quantitative analysis enabled the researcher to test and validate the results based on existing information, collect and provide an accurate representation of the findings, and enabled the quick collection of data and information from the respondents
Findings and Analysis
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
The results represented in table 1 of the study shows that most of the respondents strongly agreed that they first create a search statement before they start to search for an article in the electronic database. Here, 31.8% strongly agree with the idea of creating a search statement and 26.1% agree with the idea of a search statement. In addition, those who agreed on the use of a search statement had used it before and successfully located the item they were searching for. On the other hand, those who disagreed that a search statement was necessary to locate a magazine on the electronic database constituted 63%.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Table 2 shows the responses as percentages of those who strongly agreed and those who disagreed that search statement should be refined before it is used to identify and locate an article or item on the electronic database. The responses show that 64% disagreed that the search statement has to be refined before it is used to locate and identify a document on the electronic database. However, the reason could be that most of the respondents on the issue of refining a search statement might not be aware of the need to refine the statement of might not have done it before, or was not aware that by refining the search, it could be possible to reduce the volume of articles retrieved.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Table 3 shows the responses of those asked about the use of database features to locate a newspaper on the electronic database, with 77.7% agreeing that the features were crucial in narrowing the search to a particular newspaper.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Table 4 shows the responses to the use of basic and advanced searches to locate an item in the database. The majority of the responses who account for over 77% agreed that when an advanced search is done preceded by a basic search, the results are likely to be very accurate.
The results of the study indicate that most of the respondents (57.9%) agreed that when searching for an article in the electronic database, it was necessary to create a search statement with the necessary elements with the key words necessary to enable the computer to search for the article. In addition, the key words enable the computer to optimize the search results in identifying the correct item being searched for. On the other hand, it was noted that the search engine features were critical in narrowing a search to a specific item that can be indexed to make the search more specific. The use of basic and advanced searches increases the precision nature of the search because it consists of concatenating words that make the search to locate and identify a newspaper more accurate.
In conclusion, it was established that to accurately locate and identify a newspaper or magazine in an electronic database, it was necessary for the search to be executed based on the keywords defined in the search statement. In addition, the search strategy consists of three key concepts that are categorized into concepts 1, concepts 2, and concepts 3 and each concept narrows the search to a specific item, optimizing the search by reducing the search volume and increasing the accuracy of the target search. In addition, the study established that indexing and using of concatenating terms such as based on the scope of the study to include terms such as ‘AND’, NOT’ OR makes the search more accurate.
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