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Research Skills

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by

Mary Elling

on 10 November 2017

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Transcript of Research Skills

What is research?
Research relies on your information literacy skills.
Information literacy is your ability to
locate
retrieve
understand
evaluate
use information
All in an ethical manner

The 6 "Ws"
When you find information, it's important to evaluate it.

Practice
You are researching how a chemical process pollutes a lake.

Which is the best source? What source is most likely to biased?

1. An environmental database (note: a peer-reviewed, academic journal, is a high-quality source)

2. A website by a chemical company

3. A current events database

4. A newspaper database

Use the Online Catalog


Many databases allow you to use search operators (Boolean operators) to help you narrow your search

And
- finds articles that contain both terms
health
and
medicine

Or
- finds articles that contain either or both terms
health
or

medicine

Not
- finds article that contain one term and not the other
Health
not
careers
Why is this important?

Note: You can also narrow results by filtering by date!


subject search
title search
author search

What is the difference?

To find a book on any topic, what library resource would you use?
To find a chapter in a book - use the table of contents. To find your topic discussed in a large book use the index.

Question: If you want to find the cost of operating different car models, would the library catalog be a good place to start?
What source is best?
A car manufacturer's website
A current affairs website
An article in a science encyclopedia
An article about nuclear cars from nuclearpower.org
An online newsletter from an environmental group
Government website about education



Boolean Operators

Search Operators
(
And, or, not - these words combine search terms in an advanced search
)
Research Skills
W
ho - is the author an
authority
?
W
hat - is the information relevant?
W
hen - how old is the information?
W
here - where was the information published? Is the source reliable,
credible
?(not
biased
and objective)
W
hy - what was the author's motive?
Ho
w
- how did the author get her or his information?
Victorian life
and
Oscar Wilde


Victorian life
or
Oscar Wilde - to broaden (find more articles)


Victorian life
not
Oscar Wilde



At your library online catalog
When do you use an encyclopedia?
Why do you narrow a topic?
Which group of topics are grouped from broadest topic to narrowest topic?


bottle-nosed dolphins, dolphins, mammals, animals


animals, mammals, dolphins, bottle-nosed dolphins

Using Databases


1. To gain overview information about a topic

2. As the first step in the information process

3. For topics related to more general knowledge
Which topic is most narrow?
1. The typical day of an elementary school student in Japan

2. Japan

3. Education in Japan today

When is a topic is "to narrow" for a 3 page paper? Topic: Why are service dogs allowed in public places?

What question best addresses your assignment? Why is it important to be able narrow or broaden a topic? How does the number of pages impact your choice of topic?

Note: the subject area in a database can focus your topic





You are researching Islamic art. What database would be best?


World Societies

Religions of the World

Eastern Cultures and Life

Question: Why is a database a good place to start when you need slides for a presentation?

You can use a results expander or a results limiter in some databases. Example: results limiter: academic journals





Search strategies are important!
Identify key words and concepts

example: Cultural differences are important when launching a global advertising campaign

Key words:

cultural culture global

advertising marketing brands



Question: What is a good way to keep track of sources? (notecards? spreadsheets? works cited?)


Journals
published regularly
trade journals,scholarly journals, research results, new thinking
many only online
search via databases - mark box!
different from "popular magazines"
Using Information Ethically


1. Cite all information including art work, ideas, music. A full citation is the most correct way to give credit.

2. Respect copyright law. Obtain permission when you publish material belonging to someone else. Give them credit.

3. As soon as you write something, it belongs to you.

4. Many educational uses are covered under fair use laws. (Example: you or a teacher may show a music video, movie clip, clip from a TV show, a scanned document) note: Burning a CD to use in a class is not covered under fair use
" An information literate individual--with their strong analytical, critical thinking and problem-solving skills--can be expected to be an adaptable, capable and valuable employee, with much to contribute. "


quote from: Philadelphia University at:
www.philau.edu


What is a
primary
source?

1. an eyewitness account - a letter, diary, log, video of a participant, an interview of a survivor, letter, autobiography, etc.

* Not an article, brochure, website, biography, etc.
Where do you start?

The order of your research is important!
1. Focus your topic
2. Identify the information needed and likely sources

Which article is most likely biased?

"The age of solar has arrived"

"Solar ban faces challenges"

"EPA rule to increase solar draws mixed reactions"

Exon says "Solar will never work"
For background information about tuna?
For a presentation about education today?
To find authoritative information about the scientific possibility of nuclear powered cars.




Identify potential sources
1. What sources (3) are best for a paper about Stan Lee (comic book writer and editor of Marvel Comics)

a. Encyclopedia article about Stan Lee
b. Book about contemporary literature
c. Google search on "Marvel Comics"
d. Search in a literature database on 'comic books"
e. Website about graphic novels


a, c, d
Combine Terms and use the Advanced Search
3. Search, evaluate, record
4. Organize your information, create a rough draft

5.Revise your work, get feedback
6. Review the success of your research
Full transcript