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EH325 -- Major Authors (Neil Gaiman): Search Strategies

This LibGuide focuses on the author Neil Gaiman. EH325 surveys major works by a featured author(s), including works by major authors of a particular era, literary movement, region, nationality, and/or genre.

Page Overview

This page offers search strategies -- basic walk-throughs or "recipe" instructions -- for searching for print and online information sources useful for this course.  For the sake of space and brevity, these instructions are somewhat generic -- the themes to which variations may be applied.  If you have questions about these searches or any variations, contact a librarian.

The Searches

General Instructions

Most online searches you do will be of the "V" type: you start with a broad term (in this case, Neil Gaiman for the most part, although terms like Norse or mythology might be the leading term) and then focus down to specifics through employing a set of filtering terms.  There is no predicting where you will find the information you seek, so fluency in searching the library's online catalog, electronic databases, and the internet is a must.  Remember that online searching largely is a vocabulary drill:in which you try to put in the search boxes words that are most likely to harvest the results you are seeking.  You don't need to use natural language searching; in most instances just nouns or noun phrases will be sufficient.

The Searches

JaxCat

  • Subject search
    • gaiman neil (the name *must* be in inverted order)
    • myth? (the ? mark lets you piggy-back multiple terms having a common stem into a single search)
    • norse
    • myth, magic, monsters
  • Advanced/Keyword search
    • top box = neil gaiman (name in natural order entered as a phrase)
    • middle box = focus term
      • e.g., the title of one of the works, norse myth? (harvests myth, myths, mythology. mythologies in a single search), the name of a norse god or event

Databases/Gemfinder

  • Advanced Search (three search boxes stacked)
    • top box = neil gaiman
    • middle box = focus term (e.g., title of one of the works, a character's name, norse, name of a character, god, or event, interview, myth*)
      • in databases, the * functions the same way as the ? does in JaxCat
    • bottom box = as needed for additional filtering

NOTE: In JaxCat you do not have to enter a search term in the starter box.  Just set the radio button on JaxCat and then click on the Search button.  You will be taken to a screen which displays all the JaxCat search options.  Gemfinder is different.  You MUST put something in the starter box.  Usually this should be your broadest search term; then <search>, and when the results list comes up click on Advanced Search, <search> again, and then add your filtering terms.  In both databases and Gemfinder, set the Boolean operators immediately to the left of the search boxes appropriately.

Internet

  • Google Advanced Search (type this in the initial search box)
    • all box = neil gaiman (other "essential" words such as myth? or the name of a deity go here as well)
    • exact box = title of work (if needed; this box is for phrase search terms)
    • domain box (scroll down) = .edu
  • For dissertations and theses
    • all box = neil gaiman (other "essential" words such as myth? or the name of a deity go here as well)
    • exact box = title of work (if needed; this box is for phrase search terms)
    • any box = dissertation  thesis
    • domain box (scroll down) = .edu
    • file type box = Adobe Acrobat PDF
  • Google Scholar Advanced Search
    • type Google Scholar Advanced Search into the initial Google search box, then click on the Google Scholar link in the results list
      • click on the waffle in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, then click on Advanced search
        • top four search boxes function the same way as in Google Advanced Search, only Scholar searches for journal articles instead of web pages
  • NOTE:  GSA, on a selective basis, may be used to locate full text for articles whose full text is not available in databases.
    • From the database results list, copy the title of the article whose full text you seek
      • paste the title into the exact box in GSA <search>