Searchlight on Transformational Leadership

LuminatoatHarbourfront
By Bahman (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Many Brandman students are on the leadership path, so here is a searchlight focus on how to search for information about transformational leadership.

1. Start on the library homepage. Type transformational leadership into the Discover! search box and click on “Search”
2. The first result you receive should be a Research Starter.
research starter
Research Starters are a great way to get some background information as well as some suggested search terms and a bibliography. Getting this type of basic information can deepen your understanding and provide a clearer vision of how you want to approach the topic. Discover! has many Research Starters covering a myriad of topics.

Now that you have that background information, you can narrow your topic in many ways.

1. Add the Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals limiter
2. Place the term in quotation marks: “transformational leadership”
3. Change the dropdown limiter from Select a Field to SU Subject Terms
4. Change the date range
5. Add additional terms

As always, when you need assistance, ask a librarian. We’re here to help.

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Searchlight on Transformational Leadership

LuminatoatHarbourfront
By Bahman (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Many Brandman students are on the leadership path, so here is a searchlight focus on how to search for information about transformational leadership.

1. Start on the library homepage. Type transformational leadership into the Discover! search box and click on “Search”
2. The first result you receive should be a Research Starter.
research starter
Research Starters are a great way to get some background information as well as some suggested search terms and a bibliography. Getting this type of basic information can deepen your understanding and provide a clearer vision of how you want to approach the topic. Discover! has many Research Starters covering a myriad of topics.

Now that you have that background information, you can narrow your topic in many ways.

1. Add the Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals limiter
2. Place the term in quotation marks: “transformational leadership”
3. Change the dropdown limiter from Select a Field to SU Subject Terms
4. Change the date range
5. Add additional terms

As always, when you need assistance, ask a librarian. We’re here to help.

Discover Search or Library Catalog Search? What’s The Difference?

discover

Discover! Search?

catalog
Or Library Catalog Search?

Where do I start?

When you access the search tools on the Leatherby Libraries homepage, knowing what materials you would like to retrieve will drive your choice between using the Discover! search or using the Library Catalog. Here’s a quick breakdown.

Discover!
The Discover search is the broadest search tool on the library site. When you search using Discover and do not apply any limiters, you will receive results that may contain books, eBooks, newspaper articles, scholarly articles, dissertations, trade publications, conference proceedings, audio files, magazines, and more. The materials retrieved will be a mixture of sources from within the library and without. This means that much of the material retrieved may not be available to you without using interlibrary loan. Even then, some material retrieved using a Discover search without limiters may not be available at all. Don’t get me wrong. Discover is one of the best tools around, but you need to use more care and pay attention to the results carefully to make sure that you don’t get too excited about a source that may be out of your reach.

Library Catalog
The Library Catalog lives up to its name. It is a listing of the materials that physically reside in the library as well as many of the eBooks that we subscribe to. The catalog is a wonderful way to access books and DVDs. It does not work for searching for articles or materials not owned by the library. The good news? Most everything that you retrieve can be accessed either online or via our document delivery service. The bad news? There will not be as many options as a Discover! search.

In the end, both search portals have their uses. If you are confused about which one to use when starting your search, just ask a librarian. We’re here to help.

Keyword Or Subject Searching: The Keys To Unlocking Database Searching

Claus de la Ciutat, segle XVII, museu Històric Municipal de València
By Joanbanjo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

We know that many of you have questions about the difference between a keyword search and a subject search. It can be confusing, but we are going to give you the key to unlocking which will work best for your search. First of all, let’s look at how the two differ before we examine some specifics.

Keyword—uses natural language, just like you would use in a Google search
Subject—uses language that is controlled by the database to describe your topic

Keyword—more flexible. You can combine terms in many ways
Subject—less flexible. You need to know the exact term used in the database

Keyword—looks for keywords anywhere in the document
Subject—only looks for term(s) in the subject heading field

Keyword—can return too many or too few results
Subject—if too many results are received, you can add subheadings

Keyword—may retrieve irrelevant results
Subject—results are usually highly relevant

How do you know when to use what?

Do you want to combine terms? Use a keyword search.
Do you know the appropriate subject? Use a subject search.
Is there little information about your topic? Use a keyword search.
Does your subject search return no results found? Use a keyword search.

Here’s what it looks like in action. If you want to perform a search for information about LED light bulbs, simply perform a keyword search for LED light bulbs. In contrast, the subject search may require that you use the term Light-emitting diodes.

keyword

The bottom line is this. To find the subject heading for your topic, perform a keyword search. Examine the results and find two or three that are relevant. Take a look at how those relevant articles are subject-tagged, and then perform a new search using the term(s) and changing from Keyword to Subject. Your results will be much more precise than your initial keyword search.

Once you know which option works best for your search, you will unlock the door to finding the best sources for your topic. As always, your Brandman librarians are here to help.