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The purpose of this guide is to recommend print and electronic resources for conducting research in midwifery in the Library. Click on the links on the left for suggestions about starting your research, getting books and articles, and finding other useful tools for research in Midwifery.
To learn more about the library and its resources and how you can exploit them to your advantage, register in the Research Skills Tutorial on D2L. There are several sections in the tutorial with a short quiz at the end of each; at the end you will receive a Certificate of Completion. Many professors require you to take this tutorial--and once you finish it, you can save your certificate to reprint as often as necessary.
In the fall, the library hosts live Orientation tours as well as Zotero classes which you can sign up for at the library's entrance, and even after the formal schedule is finished, we are very happy to put on special classes at the request of at least 5 students. If you would like to arrange a special class, or you think your course would benefit from some in-class library instruction, please ask your professor to contact the librarian responsible for your faculty to set up some sessions.
Help with a Paper
I am available to help you throughout the academic year. If you would like to arrange for an individual appointment, please e-mail me with a requested date and time, and a brief description of your project.
In the library: The Library User Assistance Desk to your immediate left as you enter the library is a good place to start.
By email: Email the librarian responsible for your faculty for a reply during regular working hours.
By telephone: 705-675-4803, or toll free at 1-800-661-1058, ext. 2
For Distance Education students: Telephone: 1-800-661-1058, ext. 2 or email: Distance_l@laurentian.ca
Quick Tips on Preparing for Research
Before you start:
- understand the key terms you may be using as well as the general area that interests you;
- think about ways to narrow your topic, making it as specific as possible (unless you have been given a specific topic to research!);
- create a thesis statement;
- list the main concepts (key words) included in your thesis statement (research question), then based on your readings;
- find as many synonyms as you can for each main concept. You are now ready to start searching in the library's catalogue and databases.
When you are looking for definitions or if you don’t know much about a specific subject, reference works such as dictionaries and encyclopedias become invaluable because they contain relatively short—and understandable—articles. These articles often lay out the parameters of a subject and can assist you in trying to narrow your topic. Often such articles are accompanied by lists of readings (bibliographies) which allow you to explore your topic further.
Dictionaries, encyclopedias and guides
Some sources that may be useful for quick review of terminology related to midwifery practice (treatments, conditions, techniques, pharmaceuticals etc.)
These can also serve as a useful starting point for your research. When you look up part of your broad topic idea, its definition might suggest related topics, or sub-topics, which can suggest how you might narrow or focus your topic or clarify your research question or thesis.
- Baillière's midwives' dictionary 2012 (Print)
- The midwife's labour and birth handbook 2013 (Online)
- Oxford handbook of midwifery [e-book] 2011 (Online)
- Survival guide to midwifery 2012 (Print)
- The handbook of midwifery research 2011 (Print)
NOTE: Any of the above with "Reference" listed as the "Shelving location" are items which generally cannot be checked out/ do not leave the Library (except with special permission from the midwifery Librarian, or any other Librarian.)
Why Use Books?
- Books are extremely valuable resources when doing in-depth research on a topic! Authors have hundreds of pages to give detailed explanations and background information surrounding the various facets of your research interest.
- Using this kind of in-depth information will make it easier to form a research question or thesis statement (or even spark your inspiration)
- The bibliographies found in books are extensive, and will point you to other resources to add to your own resource list.
- Remember: scholars write journal articles under the assumption that you already have a relatively thorough understanding of the topic – this means that you will likely not find the foundational information needed for your topic in the beginning stages of your research process. In this sense, books become indispensable
Searching the Catalogue
The catalogue is your primary tool for finding books in the J.N. Desmarais Library. You can also use the catalogue to find other materials, including government publications and journals (the journals themselves--not individual articles).
You can search the catalogue by:
- Journal Title
When you know the book you are searching for, pick Title or Author; when you are searching for a topic, start with Keyword unless you know the exact Subject heading describing your topic.
More on searching the Catalogue is available in Module 5 of the Research Skills Tutorial in D2L.
E-books are located in two different places:
- Some may be located by using the library’s catalogue and selecting "Electronic" item form. These records will have [electronic resource] in the title.
- E-books can also be located by searching in e-book collections. Searching in these collections is the same as searching in a database.
Laurentian uses LC Classification. Some patrons may wish to browse for books in the stacks; Midwifery is generally classified under Medicine (R). The following are designations that are often associated with Midwifery:
RA: Public aspects of medicine
RG: Gynecology and obstetrics
In addition to books, you may wish to search for book-length Master's theses or Ph.D dissertations.
Best bet: Dissertations and Theses (ProQuest).
If you are also looking for recent theses or dissertations produced by Laurentian graduates, check out LUZONE. Note that since 2013, before graduation all Masters and Doctoral candidates MUST deposit their theses or dissertations in this repository.
Articles: Quick Tips
The databases to the right provide references to many scholarly journal articles and papers.
- Start off with keyword searches expressing your topic. Keyword searching crosses all fields.
- Use Search Operators such as "OR" and "AND" to expand or reduce your results.
- Review those items that look relevant, then, exploit the details within those entries to help lead you to other relevant articles.
- Pay attention to the subject headings (often called "descriptors") to see how the database describes your topic and use them to find related articles.
- Find other papers written by the same author; these will typically be on similar subjects.
- Follow citation trails: other articles that have cited this article will probably be on a related subject and will include citations to other articles of interest.
- For more Secrets of Searching a Database, review that section in How to Research Like a Librarian.
Peer Review is the evaluation of creative work by scholars in the same field in order to maintain or enhance the quality of the work in that field.
In the case of peer reviewed journals, which are usually academic, peer review generally refers to the evaluation of the articles in them prior to publication. For more, check out this definition of peer review.
- To ascertain whether a journal is peer reviewed, consult Ulrichsweb.
Midwifery Journals Available Online
Except as noted otherwise, each of these journals is searchable. We recommend you use the Advanced Search option and ensure that you are searching the journal you have selected. For any article retrieved before or after the dates held by Laurentian, please fill out an interlibrary loan request form for it, and the article will be emailed to you.
- British Journal of Midwifery (2011-)
- Canadian Journal of Midwifery Research and Practice (2002 to Present, minus 6 months)
- Evidenced Based Midwifery (2011-)
- Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health (1997-)
- Midwifery (1995-)
- Australian College of Midwives Incorporated. Journal (1995-2000)
- Australian Journal of Midwifery (2001-2002)
- Australian Midwifery (2003-2005)
- Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery (1995-2004)
- Journal of Nurse-Midwifery (1995-1999)
- Midwifery Today and Childbirth Education (2000-2003)
- Midwives : the magazine of the Royal College of Midwives (2007-2010)
When researching a paper, it is useful to consult the citations used by the author of an article that you find relevant. But that article itself may have been cited by other authors after it was first written. Two sources help you identify such citations:
Getting Articles @ Laurentian
In any database, when you see an article that interests you, click on it and, unless the article is available within the database itself, within the record you will see an image that says "Get it @ Laurentian":
When you click on that, you will arrive at a menu which will lead to an electronic copy of the article you want, or, if not available electronically, to Laurentian's catalogue which will allow you to check if the article is available in print in the library, and if not, to a final link which allows you to order the item through Interlibrary loan.
International, national, and provincial statistical health data are important sources of information for public health, allowing for the analysis, evaluation, and development of policies and services.
- College of Midwives of Ontario: Standards of Practice
- Association of Ontario Midwives: Clinical Practice Guidlines
- Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)
- Internet for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting
- La Leche League - Centre for Breastfeeding Information
- Mothers At Risk- Hospital for Sick Kids
- National Guideline Clearinghouse
- SOGC: Clinical practice guidelines (Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada)
- WHO Reproductive Health Library (RHL)
We cite sources to acknowledge the work of others, as well as to avoid academic dishonesty or plagiarism.
The University of Toronto has made available a comprehensive set of guidelines on How NOT to Plagiarize which deserves to be read by every student.
Citation Style in Laurentian's Midwifery Program
At Laurentian, professors will specify the citation style to be used. In Midwifery, the Vancouver style is commonly required. To learn more about Vancouver and other citation styles, consult Laurentian's guide to citation styles.
Zotero is a FREE web-based citation manager that will allow you to:
- Directly import references from article databases, the library catalogue, e-book collections, etc.
- Manage and organize your references.
- Create a bibliography.
- Share your references with others
- Add in-text citation and a bibliography directly into your assignment
Getting started with Zotero:
- Sign up for library workshop when available.
- View Quick Start Guide (video) or Tutorials (videos)
- Consult one of Zotero's own User Guides or McMaster University's Quick Start Guide or the Zotero Guide by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology