Literature Review Keywords & Search Strategy


Hi and thank you for joining me today. This is your friendly
neighborhood librarian and today we are going to be going over
keywords in search strategy for your literature review for
your senior project. The very first thing you want to think
about when looking at your project is how are you going to define your project. This might be the title you give it for
your paper for your poster session and it’s a short sentence
that you’re going to use. Some examples might be: Mars
drill design automation, solar panel integration on hybrid school
buses, enhanced video recording and display in operating rooms, or maybe
design of an intelligent shelving system. This is a very short sentence that
packs a lot of information to it. After you’ve come up with that description
of your project that short sentence, you then need to consider keywords and this is typically where students
are running into most problems. There’s a lot of reasons for that; sometimes people
don’t know where to start. Other times the way you’re
describing your topic may not be the way experts
are writing about it. Now you want to think about
two to three keywords that can describe your topic off of
that short sentence that you’ve created. Then after you have those
keywords you want to try and create as many synonyms for
each concept and word as you can. Then narrow down what you have to
what makes sense because sometimes a synonym for a word might not be
good in the actual search you do. You can use a thesaurus or subject
terms from articles to find synonyms. You don’t necessarily need to just
come up with them on your own. OK, A good way to find expert terminology
is to look through previous class books, papers, or presentations you’ve
had from your professors. Even talking with your professors
sometimes can help you to figure out the right
words you should be using. Let’s take a look at a sample topic,
I love examples. One of my favorite ones is a design for a lightweight mobile regolith
excavation robotic platform. It looks like this and
if anybody notices the NASA logo, this is actually the NASA RAZZOR. It’s one of my favorite
robots to take a look at. So we’re going to start
working on our keywords. The first thing I might pull is light
weight, maybe I’m trying to focus on making a much lighter robot so
it’s easier for transport. Then regolith is kind of
a key part of this robot. Right, that’s the layer that we’re
looking to collect samples from and fundamentally it needs to excavate. It’s used for sample collection if you can’t do
that we’re going to have some issues. OK so we’re going to pull out those
key words we have our light weight, regolith, and excavation. Now we need to take a look at the goals
of our projects we have are key words but it’s more than just our topic sentence. What does our project need to actually do? If you look at those goals
you can get a better idea of what you should be searching for. If I’m really trying to zero in on
reducing that weight I may want to make that in aspect of my search. Maybe I wanted to focus on increasing
the volume of soil held instead. That’s going to produce very different
research from reducing weight or maybe you’re working on something
that has a conveyor system. Right if you want to improve
that conveyor system for transportation, that’s
an important goal to consider. You can also look at the actual
materials that are being used for your project if that’s a key component. If some of those materials
are interchangeable you may not give it as much consideration or if it’s just
a baseline that you’ll only use one type. Then this may not be the best but
if these components are integral to it and you are doing something different then
you can use those in keywords as well. These can be as simple as aluminum, hydrogels, photovoltaic cells if you
are considering solar energy, titanium. OK and after we’ve come up with
our list of potential keywords, we’re going to check out those
synonyms as I mentioned earlier. So excavation was one of the key
words that I pulled out. If I just consider excavation
some other synonyms for what I’m working with there might be
mining, dig, burrow, boring and not all of these words when used in a search
are going to produce tangible results. You need to look, use your judgement,
and if you only find yourself getting five results, one result,
or zero results you may want to get rid of that word that you’re using
and replace it with something else. Another thing to consider, as we don’t just look at individual
words we also look at concepts. The concept that I pulled out of my topic sentence was light
weight regolith excavation. Well I could also look at
lightweight foldable robot. That’s one of the key
features of the RAZZOR, it can fold so it doesn’t get stuck. It can easily escape which is
good because it’s on Mars and there isn’t a person that can
go help if it does get stuck. Another thing I could consider
is robotic excavation. Maybe I’m more focused on that. I don’t really care about the weight,
the weight is unimportant to me. I could also look at a wheeled robot
that operates in reduced gravity or I could look up regolith structure. Maybe I’m somewhat unfamiliar
with that concept and I need to find some more
articles about that. You have a lot of ways
of going at this and a lot of different concepts
you could potentially look at. Now after you have found some keywords, pulled the ones from your topic, just
go ahead and start searching with them. I would try different databases and
try our homepage search. There are other videos that go over
different databases that could be useful. I would recommend checking out if you are
unfamiliar with the library’s resources. Change or individual words or concepts if
you’re not getting results as I mentioned earlier and mix and match what you’re
working with until you get what you need. Look at multiple sources,
never just use one thing. We have different journals, different experts showing up in
different resources that we have. And I would also recommend using
Boolean operators; this would be NOT, OR, AND. You’ll see that in a later video and
I’ll review those in more depth. If you do have any questions so far please
feel free to contact the library and we would love to help you out. Good luck coming up with those keywords.

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