Monday, March 2, 2009

How to Search Using Words You Know - ex. "Hot Tub Monkey"

So I was talking with another librarian a while back about different and interesting animals in our world, and I couldn't remember what the "Hot Tub Monkey" actually was. You've heard of them, haven't you? A species of monkey on an island in Japan likes to hang out in hot springs -hot tub monkey. So let's take a look at several resources and see what my 'entry level' search turns up! (I call it 'entry level' because I have no plan whatsoever in citing resources at this point, I'm just trying to nail down better keywords for more academic/credible info.)

Internet search - hit!: Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata -now that would be a great handle) -the only problem with this search is all of the crap included with the good fuscata!

Library Catalog Search: denied! -You have to actually know a little more than a nickname for entering a search here.

Academic Search Premiere: hit!: -Not a lot, and mixed accuracy like the internet, but it was there!

JSTOR: hit!: surprise because this is almost completely academic/scholarly stuff!

JapanKnowledge: (an all Japanese language database so I had help on this one from my good friend in Inter-Library Loan, Hiroko, do this part): denied! -the vernacular "hot tub monkey" is not a cross-cultural phenomenon! Ah well, something for your trivia backlog then!

Don't forget to try every iteration of keyword when doing a search in a database you're unfamiliar with. The author, academic group, or even culture may describe it differently than you!

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