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SoTL Resources in your Discipline

Discovery and Catalogue

To search for SoTL resources you want to start at the library home page: library.mcmaster.ca. This site will connect you to the catalogue, databases, online journals, helpful guides and tutorials. 
 


There are many ways to search for resources in the library, but there are two ways to search the 'catalogue'.

Please check out this Guide to Discovery and Catalogue to better understand what is/how to use the Discovery and Catalogue options
 

How to Search the Library Catalogue

Search Strategies

Image depicting the 3 boolean operators

Boolean operators allow search words to be combined.  

  • AND (all words)
  • OR (any words)
  • NOT (excludes words)

are supported. The AND operator is the default operator which means that if there is no Boolean operator specified between words, the AND operator is used.

In the Basic Search, Boolean operators must be entered ALL CAPS.

NOTE: Using a mix of Boolean operators in a single search string - e.g., (stocks OR bonds) AND prices -  will not be processed correctly in a Basic Search. Use the Advanced Search to create these more complex searches. Once the search is entered, the appropriate syntax will appear in the search box - e.g., (stocks | bonds) (prices)

In the Advanced Search, use the drop-down menus to restrict searches to certain indexes (i.e.,  Keyword, Title Keyword, Author Keyword, Subject Keyword) and use one or more Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to search for a combination of words in a single search.

Advanced Search - Boolean Searching

Phrase searching entail putting quotation marks "  " around the words to find items containing the exact words in the order specified.

Examples:

• "gone with the wind"
• "great lakes"
• "to be or not to be"

NOTE:  Limit phrase searching to common phrases or you may not be able to find any resources.

A wildcard symbol (or truncation symbol) can be used in a search to find multiple variations of a word.

The question mark wildcard replaces a single character (1) anywhere in the word.
The asterisk  *  wildcard replaces any number of characters (0 or more) and can be used in the middle or at the end of a word.  

Examples:

• wom?n      finds items containing woman, women, womin, womyn, etc.
• te?t      finds items containing tent, test, text, etc.
• te*t      finds items containing tent, test, text, tempt, tenement, testament, , etc.
• environment*      finds items containing environment, environmental, environmentalist, environmentalism, etc.
• polic*      finds items containing police, policing, policy, policies, etc.
• *      finds all items

You can also search Discovery by entering specific fields into the Search box these include fields such as:

  • DOI (Digital Object Identifier) - which is an alphanumeric string assigned by a publisher when an item (usually a journal article) is made available online. 
  •  ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and ISSN (Internatinal Standard Serial Number) - can be searched with or without dashes but including dashes is usually more precise.
  • Call Number - the "address" of books belonging to the Library's collection.
  • Course Reserve - can be searched by course code or instructor's name.

Suggested Databases

The Library subscribes to a number of databases that include SoTL-related articles. 

Try searching: (SoTL OR "Scholarship of teaching and learning") AND (education OR pedagogy OR curriculum or program) - try adding in your specific discipline to the search boxes for targeted results. 

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