Written Part of the Assessment
Click on ‘Contents’ for an overview of the Section or click the button to progress through the Section.
The written part of the final assessment is worth 50% of the total mark.
It consists of a 25 item bibliography together with an Database Evaluation and Search Strategies for one of the databases used to create it. The latter has a 250 word limit.
Now you have completed the units, you need to start working on your bibliography.
This piece of work will assess how well you can search databases and catalogues, and also how well you know the Harvard referencing system.
What is it?
A bibliography is a list of references to information sources (e.g. books, journal articles, reports, guidelines, systematic reviews) on a particular topic. It should be
a) numbered, and
b) arranged alphabetically,
using the Harvard system.
You must provide at least 25 references in total in the form of a Microsoft Word document.
The bibliography must be new work and must be entirely your own work.
Choose a Scenario
Choose a clinical scenario from those given to you. You are required to find books, research articles, guidelines, systematic reviews and other relevant sources of information which will provide you with ‘evidence’ to plan the care of the patient involved. Basic information about the patient’s condition, clinical guidelines for their care, research evidence on the best way of treatment and care and anything else you may think relevant. Use catalogues, databases and websites to find references to these resources (you don’t need to find the book, article, report etc. itself).
Choose at least three appropriate ones from the list in Unit 3. It’s wise not to choose databases that all index the same kinds of information types as you’ll need a wide range of different ones (see the marking criteria below). Make sure at least one is a database that specializes in your area of interest e.g. Maternity and Infant Care if your topic is an aspect of pregnancy or childbirth or CINAHL if it is an aspect of Nursing.
Choose search words carefully, think about different spellings, synonyms. What is the scope of your topic (UK only? limited to the last 5 years? research?) Are you going to do a text word or subject heading search, or both? Will you use Boolean terms?
Refer back to Unit 3 and the on-line search demonstrations if you need to.
Types of information
Ensure that you select a wide variety of information types for the bibliography; try to include books, journal articles of different kinds, reports, guidelines, systematic reviews. Refer back to Unit 2 if you need to.
Arrangement of the References
The completed bibliography should be presented in alphabetical order and numbered. Make sure the bibliography has a title so that your subject is clear. References should be cited using the University Harvard Referncing Guide.
Make sure that you double check your work. Look out for inaccuracies in spelling, punctuation and spacing. Check you have followed the correct template within the Harvard system – remember books are referenced slightly differently from journal articles, for example. It is most important to be consistent.
Here is how the Bibliography will be assessed:
Standard to Achieve
Relevance of items to the scenario
Citations not entirely appropriate
20% or less relevance
Range of types of sources
Covers the whole range of information sources (6 or more types)
Fairly wide range
(4 or 5 types)
Limited range(2 or 3 types)
Only one kind of source is covered
Academic validity of the items
Uses appropriate critically evaluated sources throughout
Uses appropriate critically evaluated sources most of time
Uses appropriate critically evaluated sources sometimes
Uses appropriate critically evaluated sources seldom or not at all
Accurate use of Harvard
no technical errors
1-5 technical errors
6-10 technical errors
More than 10 technical errors
Accuracy of presentation and style and layout
0-3 errors of spelling, punctuation or grammar
4-6 errors of spelling, punctuation or grammar
7-9 errors of spelling, punctuation or grammar
More than 9 errors of spelling, punctuation or grammar
Database Evaluation and Search Strategies
As you research your topic, bear in mind that you will also need to evaluate the features, strengths and weaknesses of one of the databases you used – so make notes as you are going along.
Also remember to record the search terms and strategies you used in that database.
These are the ‘boxes’ to be filled in in the template:
1. Name of your chosen database
2. Give reasons why you chose the database – including a description of its content, and what you think are its strengths and weaknesses
In terms of subjects covered; resource types indexed; types of search and limits available and any other functions – and why you chose the database.
Is it easy to search; does it give useful/appropriate results; does it cover all the subjects its claims to cover well; does it provide abstracts; subject headings; a wide range of useful ‘limits’ etc.)
3. How did you search it? Did you use text-word searching or subject heading search? Both?
4. What search terms did you use?
5. Did you use Boolean operators – if so, how? Did you select subject headings? If so, which ones?
Describe how you used them.
6. Which ‘Limits’ did you use?
(e.g. publication year, ‘research studies’) if any were used/available
Length: 250 words in total .
Here is how it will be assessed:
Standard to Achieve Marks Available
5 3-4 1-2 0
Recognition of features & characteristics of catalogues/databases
Thorough recognition of features of databases Good recognition of features of databases Partial recognition of features of databases Little or no recognition of features of databases
Assessment of catalogues/databases 5 Thorough assessment of strengths and weaknesses Good assessment of strengths and weaknesses Some valid assessment of strengths and weaknesses Little or no valid assessment of strengths and weaknesses
8-9 4-7 1-3 0
Appropriateness of search strategies 9 Detailed, complex and appropriate search terms and strategies Good understanding of search strategies with mainly appropriate search terms Partial understanding of search strategies with some appropriate search terms Little or no understanding of search strategies with inappropriate/ ill-defined search terms