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Library Databases Exercise (uOttawa), Level I

 


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I. Current events databases

 

These databases contain documents that are intended for the general public. You’ll generally find articles on a variety of subjects (politics, economics, technology, science, sports, fashion, entertainment...) covered in a relatively general way, in relatively general language. They are good places to find up-to-date information, articles on events of general interest, and simple (sometimes simplistic!) explanations of some more specialized concepts and terms (i.e. popularization, FR vulgarisation). It’s important to keep in mind that these terms may not be used as accurately or precisely as they would be in more specialized documents.

 

  1. Go to the Translation subject page on the uOttawa library site (http://www.biblio.uottawa.ca/index-e.php):
    1. From the Research Help menu, choose Reseach Guides and Librarians.
    2. Click the down arrow beside Arts and Humanities, then click on the Translation and Interpretation link. (You can access this page here: http://uottawa.libguides.com/Translation-en.)

  1. From the Translation and Interpretation tab at the top of the subject page, choose the Contexts — Newspapers and magazines option.

  1. Read the descriptions of the databases listed: Eureka and Factiva, as well as the News Sources Research Guide, which will provide a sorted list of additional . For each database, identify (if you can):
    1. the languages covered;
    2. the types of documents included;
    3. the regions represented.

  1. Explore the interfaces of each of the databases, and find the advanced search options. For each database, identify (if you can):
    1. three specific parts of the articles you can search in order to better target your research, and one example of how each might be useful for doing targeted searches.
    2. three publications included in the database. (See Note 1.)

  1. In one or more of these databases, find English and French newspaper articles from Canadian newspapers discussing the wearing of helmets (FR casques) in hockey.
    1. Describe the databases and the search words and options you used to target useful articles efficiently.
    2. Skim a few of these articles and briefly summarize what you learn about this issue.
    3. In these articles, try and find terms that are pertinent to this subject (or the subjects of hockey and helmets in general). See if you can find their equivalents in the texts in the other language.
    4. Identify any co-occurrents of or expressions that commonly occur with these terms, and if possible find their equivalents in the texts in the other language.
    5. Describe how the texts help you to establish that these terms are equivalents and are used in similar situations.
    6. Consider what subject fields may be good starting points for searching for specialized resources on this subject.

 

II. Specialized databases


 

Specialized databases generally cover a specific domain or range of related domains (e.g. health, social sciences, natural sciences). The resources are generally intended for specialists in these domains, so they are good sources of more specialized terminology and more advanced — and usually more precise — descriptions of concepts in a specific subject field.

In this exercise, we’ll look at where we might find information about the issue of helmets in hockey and the vocabulary used in specialized texts.


  1. Return to the Research Guides page: http://www.biblio.uottawa.ca/html/Page?node=help-guides&lang=en.

  1. Identify what subject field(s) might be pertinent for looking for articles relating to the wearing of helmets in hockey. (You will likely wish to consider more than one possible subject field for this topic.)

  1. Navigate through the expandable lists and click the appropriate link(s) to view the resources that the librarian for that field has selected as particularly interesting.

  1. Most librarians will have selected some databases; these may be found on a special Databases tab, or may be found on a related tab (e.g. Articles). (See Note 2.)

  1. Read the descriptions of the available databases, concentrating on those most closely linked to this area (sometimes called Key databases, with less closely related ones called Related databases). Try to find the database you think will be most likely useful for finding articles in each language. (Don’t forget to look at the pages in both English and French, to be sure you don’t miss anything.)

  1. Do a search for articles on this subject in a database for each language.
    1. Describe the databases and the search words and options you used to target useful articles efficiently.
    2. Skim a few articles (or at least their abstracts, if they are provided) and briefly summarize what you learn about this issue.
    3. In these articles, try and find terms that are pertinent to this subject (or the subjects of hockey and helmets in general). See if you can find their equivalents in the texts in the other language.
    4. Identify any co-occurrents of or expressions that commonly occur with these terms, and if possible find their equivalents in the texts in the other language.
    5. Describe how the texts help you to establish that these terms are equivalents and are used in similar situations.

If you do not find any results in a database, try another one.


  • Did you come across any publications in specialized databases that contained bilingual abstracts? (Often, Canadian and French-language journals provide abstracts in both languages.)
  • Do you think these can be particularly useful for translators? How? Are there any things you would need to be careful of in using them for your research?
  • Compare the results to those of your previous search in current events databases. How are they different? Why/when do you think you might choose to search in one or the other of these resources?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE 1: You will likely find a list of included publications in the advanced search options or the descriptions of the databases, or you may have to do a few searches to find examples.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE 2: It may not always be immediately obvious on which tab the database list is presented. (For example, the specialized databases for translation are found on the Translation Studies tab.) You may need to take a look at several tabs before you find the right one. But you may also find other interesting resources while you look. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tutorial created by CERTT Team (2010-09-23) and updated by Elizabeth Marshman (2017-09-18).