With all of the new developments in information storage and retrieval, researchers today need a clear and comprehensive overview of the full range of their options, both online and offline, for finding the best information quickly. In this third edition of The Oxford Guide to Library Research, Thomas Mann maps out an array not just of important databases and print sources, but of several specific search techniques that can be applied profitably in any area of research. From academic resources to government documents to manuscripts in archives to business Web sites, Mann shows readers how best to exploit controlled subject headings, explains why browsing library shelves is still important in an online age, demonstrates how citation searching and related record searching produce results far beyond keyword inquiries, and offers practical tips on making personal contacts with knowledgeable people. Against the trendy but mistaken assumption that "everything" can be found on the Internet, Mann shows the lasting value of physical libraries and the unexpected power of traditional search mechanisms, while also providing the best overview of the new capabilities of computer indexing.
Throughout the book Mann enlivens his advice with real-world examples derived from his experience of having helped thousands of researchers, with interests in all subjects areas, over a quarter century. Along the way he provides striking demonstrations and powerful arguments against those theorists who have mistakenly announced the demise of print.
Essential reading for students, scholars, professional researchers, and laypersons, The Oxford Guide to Library Research offers a rich, inclusive overview of the information field, one that can save researchers countless hours of frustration in the search for the best sources on their topics.
Thomas Mann, Ph.D., a former private investigator, is currently a Reference Librarian in the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress. He lives in Washington, D.C.
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