Searching and Reference

Locating quality sources of information requires mining library catalogs and articles databases (although these days, most databases offer much more than journal articles).  I can show you how to set up expert search strategies in these platforms as well as particular features that are useful for tracking your research.  I have extensive experience with major subscription databases (EBSCO, Web of Science, Lexis-Nexis, ProQuest, ScienceDirect, and Scopus, among others, as well as open source platforms, such as PubMed and other government sites alongside Google Scholar and Google Patents.

Technical documentation

Between my own writings as well as working on others’ documents, I have experience producing technical documents, from organizing and outlining content to customizing Word, HTML, citation tools, and page layout software as well as developing style guides.

Literature reviews and customization of citation manager tools

A "Literature review" is an umbrella term for various types of surveys of the literature on a topic.  Such reviews can range from a brief summary of relevant publications for incorporation in a journal article or thesis to a systematic review1, which is an extensive survey of studies or clinical trials (systematic reviews are widely associated with the evidenced-based medical literature but increasingly are being used in the social sciences and engineering and other domains where evidence-based decision making is essential).  Systematic reviews often incorporate research protocols and a meta-analysis, a more quantitative synthesis of findings.  These types of reviews are expected not only in academic research but also for practitioners where evidence-based recommendations and decisions are crucial.

Librarians such as myself can provide guidance on the literature review process.  Relevant assistance includes developing search strategies, identifying the core databases to perform searches in, producing bibliographies, and using tools to collect and analyze citations.  Such tools include citation tools (reference managers) and other types of databases as well as statistical analysis tools.  I have extensive experience with EndNote, Mendeley, and Zotero, three popular examples of citation managers.

Database design and development

Many individuals and organizations store important data in spreadsheets because spreadsheet software, such as Microsoft Excel or Google is accessible and easy to use.  But for long-term data storage needs as well as repetitive reporting, database solutions are preferable – they provide better data control and integrity, flexible reporting.  Options range from desktop solutions such as Microsoft Access and FileMaker to server-based solutions such as MySQL and Oracle alongside applications designed for specific tasks, such as bibliographic citation management or small business accounting.

I’ve worked with databases for decades and have experience in designing, customizing, and populating them and have worked with vast amounts of legacy data.  For individuals and small organizations, I recommend FileMaker, a software available on the Mac and PC platforms.

Websites and intranets

Alongside developing websites in both plain XHTML and CSS, I have experience setting up and populating sites in the popular WordPress platform.  WordPress is a great solution for individuals and small organizations which seek an customized solution that is quick to setup and easy to maintain and comes with plenty of plug-ins and add-ons for social media, shopping carts, and other features.

Another important aspect of site development is collecting, synthesizing, and editing content from multiple sources and formats.

1 Cochrane Consumer Network. “What Is a Systematic Review?”