Scopus: Time-saving tips for navigating peer-reviewed academic literature

Thanks to Caroline Gibson, Academic Liaison Librarian, for giving a great presentation on some less well-know features of Scopus, one of the largest abstracting and indexing databases of academic literature available.

Apologies for the late start to those of you streaming in online.

The recording of Scopus: Time-saving tips for navigating peer-reviewed academic literature is now available.

The demo focused on:

  • Search tricks specific to Scopus
  • Analysing results
  • Personalised features such as alerts, lists and saved searches
  • Bulk download of PDFs

Search tricks specific to Scopus

In Scopus there are two types of phrase search:

  • fuzzy phrase with double quotes, e.g. “palm oil” will return the two words, their plurals and UK/US alternative spellings together, in any order.
  • Exact phrase with curly brackets, e.g. {Elaeis guineensis} will return the phrase as you type it. It’s not case sensitive, but will include hyphens, and will restrict to results with these words in this order only.

Analysing results

Caroline demonstrated using the ‘Analyze results’ feature once you have conducted a search. This feature allows you to visually gain insights into your topic such as:

  • publication trends
  • top authors
  • journal (or source) titles publishing on this topic
  • countries and institutions publishing on this topic

Scopus‘s strength is that data is linked throughout the database, so you can explore articles, citations, authors, journal titles etc in more detail just by clicking.

Use the ‘Find it’ button to check OneSearch for the full text.

Personalised features such as alerts, lists and saved searches

It is recommended that you create an account with Scopus (and all Library databases) to access the personalised features.

You can keep up to date with the literature by setting up email alerts:

  • When new results that match your search are published
  • When your favourite journal brings out an new issue
  • When an eminent author publishes a new article, or is cited
  • When a key article is cited

There are also ‘Lists’ to organise your saved results, and ‘Saved searches’ to revisit your saved searches. You can even just view new results since you last ran the search to save you trawling the whole list again!

Download of PDFs

This features elicited the first ever Wow! moment in Research Bites history!

Researchers were impressed to see that Scopus allows you to download full text PDFs – where available – directly to a folder on your computer. It even names them for you in a helpful format.

This is in addition to exporting results to reference manager such as EndNote, .

There are specific systems settings required for the bulk download of PDFs, which you can find in the Scopus help.

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From database search to writing

Thank you to Dr Steve Wright for his very insightful session looking at a workflow that takes the researcher on a cyclical, digital journey from searching the literature to writing a thesis/paper.

workflowslide4 workflowslide5

The introductory slides are available here: 20150415 Research Bites – from database to writing, and the recording will be available to watch soon.

The session was based on the assumption that the researcher is searching, reading, note-taking, managing documents, and writing digitally, potentially using multiple devices, such as laptops and tablets/iPads.

Most of the examples used Web of Science and Endnote Web, and Endnote for iPad, which are tightly integrated. Most databases and search tools, such as OneSearch and Google Scholar, also facilitate ‘pushing’ references to Endnote and other reference management tools.

When it comes to annotating and highlighting text in PDFs, Steve mentioned doing this within Endnote, or using other apps such as Good Reader, which allow you to export your notes.

For more intensive textual and qualitative analysis, Steve briefly introduces atlas.ti, which he’ll look at more next Thursday’s session. This software allows you to code your notes, effectively creating data out of your reading…

Questions

Why would I use Web of Science rather than Google Scholar? Yes Google Scholar does have very broad coverage, and quick indexing which is done by automated web crawlers. It’s great for broadening your search beyond journal literature into grey literature, conferences and websites. Web of Science on the other hand is a well-established, complex bibliographic database that indexes 12,000 ‘high impact’ journals and has much more sophisticated search functions, indexing (e.g.. subject categories, refining features) and citation data.

Does using Endnote for iPad and storing PDFs in your Endnote library fill up your iPad with PDFs? PDFs are not automatically synced to your iPad, so you only tap and download the ones you want to read at the time.

Can you unattach/delete PDFs from your Endnote references? Yes there is an option to delete the PDF.

Can I get Endnote to work on my Mac? This handy Lancaster Answer tells you how.

April is all about Information Management

Hello readers! April’s Research Bites programme is all about Information Management.

As always, there’s no need to sign up, and there will be tea or coffee and a sweet bite on offer.

New journal article alerts
Thursday 9th April , 12.00. Bowland North SR 1
Find out how to set up automatic alerts so you know when new articles come out on your topic.
Jenny Brine, Subject Librarian, Library

From database search to writing
Wednesday 15th April, 12.00. Bowland North SR 1
Get insights from an active researcher about his workflow using Endnote on an iPad and laptop.
Steve Wright, Learning Technologist, Faculty of Health and Medicine

Data Citation: What you need to know
Thursday 16th April, 12.00. Bowland North SR 1
Learn about the concept of data citation, how it can become an integral part of effective research practice, and how you can raise the profile of your own research data.
Hardy Schwamm, Research Data & Repository Manager, Library

Using Qualitative Data Analysis software to integrate research evidence and literature
Thursday 23rd April, 12.00. Bowland North SR 27
Learn how Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) software can be used to help manage, analyse and integrate research literature and qualitative data.
Steve Wright, Learning Technologist, Faculty of Health and Medicine

Tools to manage your bibliography
Tuesday 28th April, 12.00. Bowland North SR 25
Get to know the pros and cons of some of the reference management tools available to you.
Lorna Pimperton and Tim Leonard, Librarians, Library

Using other libraries and archives
Thursday 30th April, 12.00. Charles Carter A05
Find out how to search for and access material held in other libraries and archives.
Helen Clish, Subject Librarian, Library