Art 421 History of Roman Art and Architecture: Search Strategies

Building a search strategy

Know Your Assignment Requirements

Research Assignment and Instructor Expectations

  • Completed by due date (the Research Project Calculator can help you plan to finish on time)
  • Length of finished product
  • Sources selected and used
  • References/citation form
  • Organization and flow of ideas
  • Writing skills

Topic Selection

  • Select/define/refine/focus your idea
  • Brainstorm
  • 5 Ws (who, what, why, when, where) and how
  • Determine if you will be able to cover all the important points of your topic in the space you have to fill

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators are words (or, and, not) used to connect search terms to expand (or) or narrow (and, not) a search within a database to locate relevant information. Boolean operators are also called logical operators or connectors.

It is helpful to diagram the effects of these operators:

Or Relationship Image

women or females

Or retrieves records that contain any of the search terms. It expands the search. Therefore, use "or" in between terms that have the same meaning (synonyms) or equal value to the search.

And Relationship Image

women and media

And retrieves records that contain all of the search terms. It narrows or limits the search. Therefore, use "and" in between terms that are required to make the search specific.

Not Relationship Image

image not weight

Not eliminates records that contain a search term. It narrows or limits the search. Therefore, use "not" in front of a term to ensure that the search will not include that term. Warning: Some databases use "and not" instead of "not." Check the database help screen.

Wildcards & Truncation in the Library Catalog

Use the single asterisk * truncation symbol to search variations of a word, up to five characters, for example: critic* will also retrieve critics, critical, criticism. However, to truncate a word that could have more than five characters after the root word, use two asterisks **, for example: bank** will also retrieve banks, banking, banker, bankrupt, and also bankruptcy.

Subject Searching

  1. New topics may not yet be included in the database's controlled vocabulary.
  2. Using the appropriate subject heading for a topic will retrieve all items in the database indexed under that topic.
  3. If you do not know the appropriate subject heading for your topic, conduct a keyword search first and look at the subject heading(s) of a relevant item.

Evaluating Print & Electronic Resources

World Wide Web sites come in many sizes and styles. How do you distinguish a site that gives reliable information from one that gives incorrect information? Below are some guidelines to help.

For both print and Internet resources, consider:

 

Authority
Content
Coverage
Timeliness
Accuracy
Objectivity

Types of Web Sites: the url is a key

.gov
.edu
.org
.com

Find a Book on the Shelves

  • Check the Status field of the book's record in the catalog.
    • IN LIBRARY - book is available for checkout.
    • DUE + date - book has already been checked out.
  • The Location field shows the general location of the book.
  • The Call # field gives the book's call number, which serves as the book's address in the library. Each row of books on the 2nd and 3rd floors will have a sign at the end indicating which call numbers can be found on that row.

How to Read Call Numbers

Scholarly Journals (Peer-reviewed/Referreed)

Image of American Journal of Philology
  • Authors are authorities in their fields.
  • Authors cite their sources in endnotes, footnotes, or bibliographies.
  • Individual issues have little or no advertising.
  • Articles must go through a peer-review or refereed process.
  • Articles are usually reports on scholarly research.
  • Illustrations usually take the form of charts and graphs.
  • Articles use jargon of the discipline.

Search Terms

Search the CSUN Online Catalog using the subject keyword command and any or all of the following terms:

Art vocational guidance Graphic arts marketing Art united states marketing
Graphic arts vocational guidance Resumes employment Graphic arts united states marketing
Art marketing Arts study and teaching Artists legal status (also Law and Art)

Suggested Keywords for Art Index:

Art as a profession Salaries Marketing
Design as a profession Wage surveys Artists and financial support
Career planning Self employed Art and business