This assignment on database searching will help you prepare for your first perspectives paper. It is recommended that you complete this assignment first. This assignment will help you refine your database search based on your research questions for the mathematical/analytical perspective of inquiry. (You are not required to complete this document for the scientific perspective of inquiry, but you may choose to do so for your own purposes.) Complete either worksheet format below and submit it to Blackboard for grading.

Database searching is a crucial skill for conducting research as it allows researchers to effectively retrieve relevant information from a vast amount of available resources. This assignment aims to familiarize students with the process of refining their database searches based on their research questions, particularly focusing on the mathematical/analytical perspective of inquiry.

To begin, it is essential to understand the nature of the research questions in the mathematical/analytical perspective. These questions often involve quantitative analysis, statistical modeling, and mathematical theories. Consequently, the databases used for searching should include academic journals, conference proceedings, books, and other scholarly sources that specialize in mathematics and related fields.

The first step in conducting a database search is to identify the key concepts or terms related to the research questions. These terms are essential for formulating search queries that accurately reflect the intended scope of the study. For instance, if the research question is about statistical modeling in finance, key terms might include “statistics,” “modeling,” “finance,” and specific concepts such as “time series analysis” or “financial derivatives.”

Once the key concepts are identified, it is important to consider alternative terms or synonyms that can be used interchangeably. This step is crucial as different authors may use different terminology to describe the same concept. Additionally, it broadens the scope of the search and increases the chances of finding relevant literature. Tools such as a thesaurus or the database’s built-in search features can be helpful in generating alternative terms.

The next step is to construct search queries using the identified key concepts and alternative terms. It is advisable to use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to combine the terms and refine the search. For example, a search query for the research question mentioned earlier could be:

(statistics OR statistical) AND (modeling OR models) AND finance

This query ensures that articles containing either “statistics” or “statistical” and either “modeling” or “models” in the context of finance will be retrieved. The use of parentheses clarifies the logical relationships between the terms and ensures the desired combination of terms.

After formulating the search queries, it is time to select appropriate databases to conduct the search. While general academic databases like PubMed or Google Scholar may contain relevant articles, specialized databases such as MathSciNet or IEEE Xplore are more likely to have articles specifically related to mathematics and analytical research. It is advisable to consult with subject-specific librarians or use library research guides for guidance in selecting appropriate databases.

When conducting the actual search, it is important to keep track of the search results. Many databases offer features for saving and exporting search results, making it easier to manage and organize the retrieved articles. Additionally, it is helpful to take note of the search strategies used, including the search queries and the databases searched, for future reference.

Once the search results are obtained, it is necessary to evaluate the relevance of the retrieved articles. This involves examining the title, abstract, and keywords to determine if the articles address the research questions. It is crucial to critically evaluate the articles for their quality, relevance, and reliability, taking into consideration factors such as the authority of the authors, the reputation of the journal or conference, and the methodology employed.

In summary, database searching is a vital skill for conducting research and finding relevant literature. The process involves identifying key concepts, formulating search queries, selecting appropriate databases, and evaluating the retrieved articles. The mathematical/analytical perspective of inquiry necessitates searching specialized databases and employing specific search strategies using mathematical and analytical terms. By following these steps, researchers can effectively refine their database searches and locate relevant literature for their research questions.