School of Geography Library Geographical Skills - Information Skills Session

School of
Geographical Skills - Information Skills Session
To complete this exercise you must log on to the University network. You will be
using WebCat - the University of Southampton catalogue, TDNet and GeoBase.
Note: The “Introduction to Hartley Library” and WebCat PowerPoint presentations
are available from the Geography support pages in the Information Skills section
Searching WebCat: library catalogue of the University of Southampton.
These exercises will assist you to find the books and journals you need for your
course. They will also help you to develop skills in analysing information and forming
a search strategy that you can use elsewhere.
Log on to the network
Open Internet Explorer, log on to SUSSED and go to the Library section. [Alt.
use direct url:]
Click on the link to WebCat [In SUSSED –Catalogues – WebCat; on Library
website -Quick links on the right hand side- select WebCat]
Log on to WebCat with your username and password.
Section 1 Books – Advanced search
WebCat provides a number of different ways to search for material. You may have
used the quick search as part of the exercise you did in the library. There are times
when this will return too many results and you need to reduce the number retrieved.
You can do this by combining search terms using the advanced search.
Note: You can only enter a single author (or editor) in a search line, if you want to
search on two then you need to go to the next line and change the search field.
Exercise 1
Sometimes you will be directed to read a chapter in a book rather than the whole
book. WebCat allows you to search on information held in specific fields shown in
the drop down menus, e.g. author or editor, title or keywords, but this does not
include chapter authors or chapter titles.
Here is a reference to a chapter within a book:
DICKEN, P., Peck, J. and Tickell, A. 1997, Unpacking the global, in Lee, R. and Wills, J.
eds. Geographies of economies, Arnold, London, pp. 158-166.
1. What is the name of the book?
2. Who is responsible for the book?
Search for this book in the advanced search option by using the title (or keyword)
and author/editor fields.
Search tips
 Enter only the keywords from the title in the first search box
 Enter only the last name or family name of the first author or editor in the
second search box
 If you want to search for a second author or editor at the same time use a
new line and change the search field.
 Check if there are any other limits you might want to select
3. What did you search on?
Search term
Did it retrieve any results? If not, think about what you searched and try again using
different information.
4. How many records did you retrieve that were a true match?
Now answer the questions below:
5. How many copies does the library hold?
6. What is the call number?
7. Can you borrow copies, and if so for how long?
8. What other information might you need to check for?
Ones to try on your own (or now if you have time):
Herbert, D. 2000, ‘The Chicago School’, in Johnston, R., Gregory, D., and
Smith, D.M. (eds), The Dictionary of Human Geography, 4th edn Basil
Blackwell, Oxford, pp78-80.
DeVerteuil, G. 2009 ‘Inequality’, in Kitchin, R. and Thrift, N (eds) International
Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Elsevier Press, Amsterdam, pp. 433-445.
Search for these using the most appropriate search option(s).
Search tips
 Check what you are searching – keywords, author, title etc. – use the
drop down options to change.
 Consider how few or how many terms you need to enter to retrieve the
information you want.
 Searching for a specific item is one kind of search. Searching for a topic
relies on keywords or words from a title.
Section 2: Journals
As well as textbooks you will be directed to use journals in your work as they are
important sources of information. For example, the following are examples of useful
sources in Geography first year module handbooks.
Progress in Physical Geography
Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
Journal of Geophysical Research F
(Earth Surface)
Progress in Human Geography
Urban Geography
Gender, Place and Culture
Worked Example
Progress in Physical Geography
Using TDNet ( enter the keywords from the journal
title. Search.
To find an article written from 1999 onwards, click on the tick under ‘Full
Text Access’
To find if it is held in print, click on the under ‘Print Holdings’. This will
take you to WebCat. Choose the print record.
Click on the title(s) that match(es). Note the call number.
Click on “full catalogue details” on each record to find what our holdings are.
On TDNet you should retrieve two records. The first relates to a previous name for
this title and this is not unusual. On WebCat you will also retrieve two. These should
be exact matches and relate to the formats we hold the title in, that is, print and
Note: TDNet provides access information and availability which can be useful if you
aren’t sure when electronic access starts.
Exercise 2
Search for the journal below and complete the following:
Earth Surface Processes and
Call no.
e-journal Y/N
Holding (print)
*NOL = National Oceanographic Library, part of the University of Southampton and the library for
ocean and earth sciences. Also NOCL = National Oceanographic Centre Library, Liverpool
Note: You can also search on WebCat for journal titles, but remember to change the
search field to journal title
Section 2 b: Finding the print or electronic full text of an article
Your lecturers will direct you to read specific journal articles. An example of a
journal reference is:
Giocoechea, E.R. 2005, ‘Immigrants contesting ethnic exclusion: structures and
practices of identity’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 654-699
These can be found either in the journal collection - Level 1 for print, Internet for ejournals or in our Reserve collection (Level 2 for print, WebCat for E-Reserve).
Search tips
Journal Collection
Reserve Collection
Search for journal title on WebCat or TDNet
Search for article title and/or author – WebCat only
Note: to be able to see a link to an E-Reserve item you need to login to WebCat. (To
access from off campus you will need to login to the University network through the
Virtual Private Network (VPN) service.)
Exercise 3
Now try a search for this journal reference on TDNet.
McGuirk, P.M. 2000, Power and policy networks in urban governance: Local
government and property-led regeneration in Dublin Urban Studies, Vol. 37
(4), pp. 651-672
9. When do our print holdings start for this journal? Is it the same as the online
Section 3: Finding your own material
You will need to find journal articles and books for yourself, especially when you are
given an assignment or essay. To do this you need consider your topic carefully.
Search tips
Break topic down into the main themes or concepts.
Identify the key words or terms that might describe these themes, either as
single words or combined together.
Consider limits to apply, for example articles published from 2000 onwards.
The material you use needs to be of academic quality and the University provides
specialist databases to help you. GeoBase and Web of Science are two important
ones for Geography, but there are others – see Databases and Indexes section,
Geography Subject Support pages
Note: These are bibliographic databases, so you will need to use WebCat and/or
TDNet to find the full-text.
Exercise 4
We are going to look at GeoBase. Go to the Library homepage, select Information
Skill, and then Tutorial ( Click on
GeoBase in the list of Database, and then select Compendex & GeoBase Informs
tutorial. This will open the tutorial and the database.
Note: You will be asked if you want to close a window – say ‘Yes’. Also you will need
to temporarily switch off the browsers pop-up blocker.
Locate the ‘Select Database’ section on the database page and remove the tick
against ‘Compendex’. Work through the tutorial slowly.
FOLLOW-UP EXERCISES – Complete by 13th October 2011
IMPORTANT: Off campus access to electronic resources.
When you are away from the University you can still use many of the e-books and ejournals that the library provides for you. To find out how view the “Accessing
resources from off-campus locations” presentation available from You will need
Exercise 5
Below is an example of an essay topic that you might be asked to write.
a) How does an understanding of the spatial distribution of landforms help us
interpret a landscape?
b) Critically assess the ecological approach of the Chicago School
Now try the following for both topics
A. Identify the key words and concepts.
B. Using the GeoBase Quick search the keyword(s), following the examples
covered in the tutorial. Are there any terms that would benefit from using
truncation (*). Review the results.
C. Try a different combination of keywords. Review your results. Are they
relevant? Do they list any other terms that you might need to consider?
D. Click on Search History and compare your results. What else can you do on
this screen? Investigate some of these options. What difference might it
make to the way you enter your searches on the main search screen?
E. Having completed some searches try to locate the full text.
Exercise 6
3. Draw a line or lines between the type of search and the resource you might use.
Book on a reading list
Journal article
Google or Google Scholar – Internet
search engine
WebCat – University library catalogue
TDNet – University Journal catalogue
Essay topic
General information
GeoBase – geographical database
indexing the content of journals,
conference proceedings, research
Specific Journal title
Web of Science – science database
indexing the content of journals,
conference proceeding
Dorothy Byatt, Academic Liaison Librarian, School of Geography. Contact [email protected] Sept. 2011
Dorothy Byatt, Academic Liaison Librarian, School of Geography. Contact [email protected]