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Using THOR: 

Using THOR A presentation brought to you by the Purdue University Writing Lab 226 Heavilon Hall 494-3723 http://owl.english.purdue.edu

What is THOR?: 

What is THOR? THOR is the web interface to the Purdue Library system. THOR is available online at http://www.lib.purdue.edu

What services does THOR provide?: 

What services does THOR provide? THOR gives you access to: The Purdue libraries’ catalog and other library catalogs Indexes of various databases that contain specialized information Electronic resources and journals Library information Research tutorials

What do I need to know to use THOR effectively?: 

What do I need to know to use THOR effectively? What is my topic? What kinds of information do I need? What are some key words related to my topic? How do I combine keywords in a search?

What is my topic?: 

What is my topic? What am I looking to find out with my research? What is the focus of my research?

What kinds of information do I need?: 

What kinds of information do I need? Information comes in many different forms: Books Journal articles Newspaper and magazine articles Electronic sources of information Web pages

What are some key words related to my topic?: 

What are some key words related to my topic? Keywords are words or phrases that should appear in the information you are searching for. Keywords are the most important terms related to your topic. The more keywords you can generate, the more specific and refined you can make your search.

How do I combine keywords in a search? : 

How do I combine keywords in a search? You can use key phrases to search or combine your key words into phrases. Put phrases in quotation marks so that the search engine will use them as phrases. ('writing labs') You can also use special words called Boolean operators to combine your terms. For more about Boolean operators, see the next slide.

How do I use Boolean operators?: 

How do I use Boolean operators? To combine keywords or key phrases in searches, you can use the words AND, OR, and NOT. These terms are called Boolean operators. Boolean operators combine your search terms in different ways. They can also be combined with each other in a single search. You should choose the operator or operators that will best combine your terms.

What does each Boolean operator mean?: 

What does each Boolean operator mean? AND means to search for occurrences of all of your keywords together. ('writing labs' AND teaching) OR means to search for any occurrences of either of your search terms ('writing labs' OR 'writing centers') NOT means to search for your terms but eliminate any results that contain the term specified after NOT ('online writing labs' AND owls NOT birds)

What are the main sources of information that THOR provides?: 

What are the main sources of information that THOR provides? THOR provides access to two different sources of information: The library catalog Electronic indexes

What does the library catalog contain?: 

What does the library catalog contain? The library catalog is a searchable database of all of the books, journal collections, and documents that the Purdue library system has. Material that is not available can be requested from other libraries.

What do the electronic indexes contain?: 

What do the electronic indexes contain? The electronic indexes are databases of outside information grouped by subject or type of media. This information may include: citations and/or complete text for books,articles, conference papers, and other material.

What’s the difference between the catalog and the indexes?: 

What’s the difference between the catalog and the indexes? The indexes are databases of material outside of the Purdue library catalog. The catalog is a database of all the material available in Purdue’s libraries. When you find information in an index search, you will then need to search the library catalog to find out if the material is available in Purdue’s library and, if available, where it is located.

What are different ways of searching the catalog?: 

What are different ways of searching the catalog? Quick search Simple search Assisted search

What is a quick search?: 

What is a quick search? A quick search allows you to search for a set of keywords, a phrase, an author, a title, or a call number. The quick search is located right on the catalog page.

How do I do a quick search?: 

How do I do a quick search? Enter the information that you wish to search for into the search box. Remember to combine keywords or phrases with AND, OR, or NOT and to put phrases in quotation marks. Select the kind of information (keyword or phrase, author, title, journal title, or call number) from the drop down list. Click on the search button.

What is a simple search?: 

What is a simple search? A simple search allows you to search the library’s catalog for a single phrase, combination of keywords, book or journal title, author, subject, or call number.

How do I do a simple search?: 

How do I do a simple search? Enter your search terms into the search for box. Select the kind of information you wish to search by from the search by box. Click on the search button.

What is an assisted search?: 

What is an assisted search? Searching for keywords and key phrases individually or grouped with other key words or phrases. Searching for keywords using AND, OR, and NOT. Specifying where the key words are located: in the title, in the subject, author’s name, or publishing information. An assisted search allows you to look for information by:

How do I do an assisted search?: 

How do I do an assisted search? Enter keyword(s) or key phrase(s) into the box or boxes. Choose whether to search for all of the words, any of the words, or the words combined as a phrase. Select where you want to search for the keywords: as a keyword anywhere, or in the title, author, subject, or publishing information. If you are using more than one box, select AND, OR, or NOT to combine your searches. Click on the search button.

What are some other tips for doing searches?: 

What are some other tips for doing searches? Try searching by subject or keyword anywhere first, unless you are looking for a specific author or a specific title. To search for related words, use a ? to end a word. For example, searching on comput? will return results with computers, computing, and computer

What should I do if I get no results?: 

What should I do if I get no results? Try a different combination of keywords. Try searching by subject or as 'keyword anywhere.' Try more general keywords instead of your specific terms. Try searching with keywords instead of with phrases.

What should I do if I get too many results?: 

What should I do if I get too many results? Try a different combination of keywords. Use the NOT operator to eliminate results that you don’t want from your search. Refine your keywords to include more specific terms and search with these new terms. Search for specific phrases.

What happens after I do a catalog search?: 

What happens after I do a catalog search? Information from catalog searches appears in the form of a list of library records. Clicking on a record will take you to a page for that specific material.

What does a library record tell me?: 

What does a library record tell me? These records contain information about the material: author, title, publisher, and subjects that it’s categorized under. They also contain information about where the material is located: what library it’s at, and the call number to find the material on the shelves. They allow you to save a record as text or to email it to yourself.

How do I keep track of the information I find?: 

How do I keep track of the information I find? You can print out records, email them to yourself, or save them as a text file. Emailing records to yourself is a good way to keep track of them – you can then combine them all into one file and print them out.

What kind of indexes are there on THOR?: 

What kind of indexes are there on THOR? THOR has many indexes. Subject indexes index information by subjects or relate to specific subjects. Media indexes index particular types of media (such as articles) by subject.

How do I choose an appropriate index?: 

How do I choose an appropriate index? There may be more than one index that is appropriate – try your search in several. What kind of media are you looking for? What subjects does your search fit into?

What are some good indexes to start with?: 

What are some good indexes to start with? Lexis-Nexis (for periodicals) Periodicals Contents Index (for periodicals) E-journals Index (for full text of articles) Social Sciences Abstracts Index (for the social sciences) ERIC (for education and social sciences)

What kind of material do indexes provide?: 

What kind of material do indexes provide? Some indexes provide the complete text of articles or papers. Other indexes will just provide citation information. You will need to look citation information up in the Purdue library catalog to see if the library has it.

How do I search the indexes?: 

How do I search the indexes? Most indexes use either keyword searching with Boolean operators (AND,OR, NOT) or searching using phrases. Use the same keywords that you used to search the library’s catalog to search the index. Check the help for the index you are using – it will tell you how best to search.

How do I find out if the Purdue library has material from an index search?: 

How do I find out if the Purdue library has material from an index search? Go to the library catalog and do a quick or assisted search for the title, author, or call number of material that you retrieve from an index search. Don’t forget to email yourself the records you retrieve, or print them out for future reference.

Where can I go for more help?: 

Where can I go for more help? Ask a librarian – they’re glad to help! Take the CORE tutorial available through the library website. Come to the Writing Lab (226 Heavilon) and talk to a tutor. Visit our OWL: http://owl.english.purdue.edu

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