I need to go on record now to admit that the search for my first two articles did not really end with the articles I thought I had (at the end of my last post). It turned out that there were some issues with those two, which I discovered the next day as a sat down to review the articles and write my first attempts at abstracts. One of the articles was something that I could not gain access to. The other list of articles by Levine ended up being full special editions of professional journals that she had overseen and put together. While they definitely contained cast studies that would have been helpful for my topic, these were editions of journals that I could find no more than 10-page samples of for free.
For my second round of looking for more articles concerning Video Games and Libraries, I got rather lucky. For our Week 6 readings, one of the articles (Dresang, Gross & Holt, 2007) discussed technology and its use in the library environment, mostly dealing with the question of whether or not there really is a gender gap any longer when it comes to younger children and their experience/comfort level with computers. Along the way, there were a few articles cited that referenced video games. I also spent some quality time with the list of cited articles/studies after I finished reading the article to gain some starting search points for my second round of article round-ups. There were two studies done by Sandvig that had to do with young children and how they use public libraries for play, which often involves video game usage. I was able to locate both of those articles rather easily through Google Scholar, and after skimming them I will be looking at them in more detail to abstract them this week.
It was brought up in class this week that we really should only be using articles from peer-reviewed journals and that are primary research articles- reporting their own findings. One of the articles I ended up with last week was definitely secondary research, describing a bunch of different studies on video games and their potential usage in libraries to advance the learning process. Because of this, I was going to need to find a third article this week to read and abstract for my group so that I don’t fall behind. Finding this third article, I used a slightly different process than last time.
I started by using Google scholar and looking up the remaining articles from my list of works cited in the Dresang, Gross & Holt article. These particular articles were not specific to libraries, but because they had to do with video games and education or learning processes they were not too far off. I would start by looking for a specific article, scanning through the list of returned results, and then sometimes adding in the search term of Library or Libraries to see how the list changed. Any remaining articles, I would pull up and scan through the abstracts. If the abstract seemed like it was in the same vein, but not exactly something dealing with Libraries* then I would go back to the original list of search results and see how many works cited that particular article. Google Scholar does this wonderful thing where you can go the opposite direction of looking though the works cited in an article and instead look at a list of articles that have cited the work in question. If you click on the hyperlink, it will pull up links to the articles that have cited your original article. This function was new to me, and through a series of trial and error attempts, I eventually found a third article for this week.
Seeing the connections between studies and articles is very helpful. It’s a newer search strategy to me, and I can see why it works so well. If an article is talking about your topic, it has probably cited other works that will be pertinent to your own study or will have been cited by others that would also work for you. My new search strategy is to use subject terms to find a list of articles to start from, then look through cited works and the articles that are citing those. It can be strenuous to keep track of which direction you have gone and what articles you have already looked at, but also reassuring to see the same names coming up again and again. Obviously these people are all in the same field of interest, and it’s almost like finding your niche in a classroom. Like having your own new study group. I’m starting to feel at home among my search lists, and it feels good.
*I have to make sure that I’m looking for and using articles that specifically deal with video games in a library environment because another member of my Youth and Technology class group has decided to look at video game usage in education. We clarified with each other that she would stick to classrooms and I would stay with libraries so that we don’t have to worry about overlapping and potentially using the same articles.
Dresang, E. T., Gross, M., & Holt, L. (2007). New perspectives: An analysis of gender, net generation children, and computers. Library Trends, 56(2), 360-386.