1. Where to search for literature?
Before selecting your topic
First browse among books! You find them grouped according to subjects. The literature, manuals of the last 10-15 years you may find in the reading room. Older material may be searched in the online and the card catalogue. 80% of our material can be found in the stacks, and is searchable through our catalogue.
After you have selected the topic
- Internet documents, the content and reliability of web pages are NOT CONTROLLED BY ANYONE! They might be useful for gaining information, but they are not sufficient for drawing scientific conclusions. Meanwhile, databases contain books, journal articles, conference materials, patents, reports, institutions’ publications, etc. which are assessed, corrected (peer reviewed) by experts and editorial boards. This means that these documents are likely to contain professionally correct material.
- The several billion web pages “covered” and searched by popular search engines only cover the so-called surface web and usually this does not include professional databases, journals, etc. which belong to the invisible or deep web.
- The search results of search engines are also ambiguous: their coverage of the sources on the Internet is not clear. It depends on the search engines how they order the thousands of hits (and it is not sure that the best ones will be among the first ones). The content of the bibliographic databases may be defined more clearly: we know which documents from which period are included. We may hope, that a good, targeted search will really retrieve the best publications.
- what subject fields, disciplines are covered?
- what kind of documents are covered?
- what period of time is covered?
- does it lead to the full text of documents (or at least some of them)?
- is it possible to search the database from home or only from the library (campus)?
2. How to search for literature?
If we try to find some information either in a database, or by a search engine on the Internet, we have to be aware of the rules of searching which may be slightly different from database to database, from search engine to search engine, from interfact to interfact. The aim of search programmes is to ensure that the search results satisfy our needs. In order to achieve this the programmes handling databases:
- enhance the selection of proper search terms by (indexes, thesauri),
- make it possible to search for term fragments as well,
- make it possible to combine search terms by (logical -Boolean- and proximity) operators,
- make the limitation of the hits possible (for language, period, etc.),
- make it possible to “export” (save, print, e-mail) the results (hits).
Most of the Internet search engines are also capable of most of the above functions. However, the standardization of the search terms is not possible, and as a matter of fact, hits may not be saved in the same way.
The following table summarizes how the suggested databases function and what symbols are used in them.
|CAB Abstracts||?||AND||OR||NOT||N5 like near
W8 like within
|EbscoHost User Guide|
|Web of Science||?,$||AND||OR||NOT||“”, same||Refine…||WOS|
type of doc,
|Advanced Search Tips|
Advanced Search tips
It is possible to save (Export, Save, Download, Send to file) the results (hit sets), as well as to print or e-mail them quite simply. Do not forget the records you need and set which data (fields) you need!
Note: In order to find documents you always need the author, title, and the year of the publication in the case of books, and in the case of journal articles the data of the journal (title, year, volume, issue, pages) which may be found in the Source field.
It is also possible to improve the effectiveness of Internet search. Do not forget about critical approach!
3. How to acquire original documents?
The Veterinary Science Library has the most important books and journals in veterinary science from all over the world. Besides, we can acquire any document from other Hungarian or foreign libraries.
- The books and journals in the library’s collection may be searched in the catalogue of the library or on the homepage (CD ROMs, current journals). It is possible to make copies of these items.
- It is possible to access electronic journals offering the full text of the articles from the list of current journals.
- You may also find several services offering access to full text journals such as (Science Direct, Ebsco, Springer).
- It is possible to find any foreign periodical in Hungarian libraries through the National Periodical Database. You may visit other libraries in Budapest to get the articles quickly. It is also possible to order them via interlibrary lending, which normally takes a few days. It costs 300 HUF for an article from another Hungarian library. Books may also be borrowed by interlibrary lending.
- Finally there are documents that are only available abroad. The price of these documents as well as the delivery time is very changable. It is possible that our partner sends the article in electronic format within a few days for a fair price, but the average price of an article is 2-3000 HUF, and borrowing a book may cost 4-5000 HUF (postal costs!).
You have to consider all these before ordering a document. Ask the help of librarians!
4. How to cite the literature used?
The identification of your source is the most important. You have to cite the sources because of the requirements of copy right, and the ethical requirement to make it clear which thoughts come from other authors, and which are yours in your paper. (Of course, you have to make correct citations also because your tutor has an overview of the literature as well.)
- If you take a thought, a chain of thoughts from a study, refer to it, but do not quote it word by word, but write about it in your own words, then you have to cite the whole work. There is no need for using the quotation (” “) marks.
- If you take something word by word (exact quotation) (such as a characteristic term, sentences, tables, figures, images) than you have to give the source of the quotation exactly (with exact page numbers!). As a matter of fact, the quote must be put into inverted comas (” “)!
References may be put at the bottom of pages into footnotes, or at the end of the paper.
There are two ways of connecting the text with the references:You have to cite Internet sources as well! The necessary data (if you can find out): author, title, publishing organisation, URL (http…), the document’s date of publication on the Internet/date of amendment/date of reading.
- put the name of the author and the year of publication into brackets after the quotation or hint (e.g. Abc, 2000), in which case the list of references will be ordered alphabetically according to author names,
- continuous numbering ((1) or 1 (in upper index)), in which case the list will contain references ordered numerically.
The most important requirement with regard to the list of references is identification and consistency. The necessary data and the punctuation suggested may be found in the guide to thesis writing.