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Information Sources Considered

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Presentation on theme: "Information Sources Considered"— Presentation transcript:

1 Information Sources Considered
Hatch Library Guide Information Sources Considered

2 Research Made Simple Match the information need – your topic -- with appropriate, reliable sources Books Newspapers Magazines Journals Websites Other

3 What kind of information do you need?
Historical? Current? Scholarly? Popular? Brief? In-depth? Background? Statistics?

4 Selecting Sources Define the type of information you need
Consider which type of source will be most relevant and accurate Consider the requirements of your assignment Book? Newspaper? Magazine? Scholarly Journal? Website?

5 The Beauty of Books Books offer Great background information Overviews
Context & scope Authority editors & publishers User friendly formats print electronic

6 Consider Reference Books!
Throughout the research process, reference books can clarify, define, and provide vital background information General encyclopedias Specialized encyclopedias Dictionaries Almanacs Directories Gazetteers Atlases

7 Beyond Wikipedia Specialized Encyclopedias
Also known as subject encyclopedias Often have scholarly articles written by experts Good for finding topics, getting overviews Electronic Reference Sources Usually have a print counterpart You can find these in the library catalog, or in the Research Database by Subject list under Reference

8 Periodicals Periodicals: publications that appear periodically
Types of Periodicals Newspapers Magazines Trade magazines Journals

9 Newspapers Written for a general audience
Reporters and journalists are often generalists, not specialists Offer very current information Editors check facts, but because of quick turn-around, information may contain errors May provide primary source materials For example: interviews; advertisements from the 1920s Major U.S. papers include the New York Times, Wall Street Journal– available at Hatch in e-format & print

10 Magazines and Journals
Provide excellent secondary source material Great for current information Magazines offer a more popular approach – e.g., Parents Magazine Journals articles offer a more scholarly approach e.g., Journal of Marriage and the Family

11 Journals v. Magazines Journals Magazines
Target audience: academics, professionals, researchers Publishers: professional associations, universities Writers: scholars, researchers, specialists, experts Purpose: distribute scholarly information Magazines Target audience: general public Publishers: companies Writers: generalists, journalists, professional writers Purpose: entertain, inform, make a profit

12 Magazines Journals Current information
Popular topics: What’s hot in kitchen gardens this year: get some spice in your life with peppers Topics try to appeal to a wide range of readers General discussion Good for overviews or starting points Current research Specialized topics: The impact of the long-horned beetle on maple trees in the 1990s Often topics have narrow focus, special readership Detailed examination Good for cutting-edge ideas

13 Distinctions Among Magazines
Substantive General Interest Aimed at an educated readership Examples: Scientific American New Yorker Trade Magazines Cover a particular industry or field OT Practice (about occupational therapy) National Paralegal Reporter (for paralegal professionals)

14 Distinctions Among Journals
Peer-Reviewed Journals or Refereed Journals Undergo an editorial process called “peer review” Scholars, academics, or professionals -- sometimes called “referees” -- review articles submitted to these journals for suitability for publication Some journals are considered more distinguished or core journals in their fields For example, APA journals in psychology

15 How can you tell if a journal is refereed?
See if the journal turns up if you limit your database search to “peer-reviewed” or “refereed” journals Check the journal’s or publisher’s website, the journal’s inside cover, or the journal’s submission guidelines on the web Check the reference book Magazines for Libraries Ask a librarian for help

16 How can you tell if an online article is scholarly?
Look for citations throughout the article Look for a list of references at the end of the article Determine if the language is formal, technical or discipline-specific Look for charts & graphs

17 Evaluating Periodicals
Remember: there is a range of publications Different target audiences Different content Different purpose Consider your audience Psychology Professor? A research article OT client? An article in a health magazine Paralegals? An article in a trade magazine

18 What’s so great about the Web?
Government information Statistics Informational brochures Primary sources Company homepages Digital archives Virtual libraries Reference materials News International newspapers Academic sites Professional information Association homepages Professional listservs Online exhibits & tutorials Universities, libraries, museums

19 Be Web Aware… Information on the Internet comes from a variety of sources. There are often no editorial boards or publishers screening Web content! Consumers of all information, particularly from the web, must be critical of sources and evaluate all information.

20 How Do I Find These Sources?
Books, Videos Articles Newspapers Journals Magazines Websites Online Catalogs Library Research Databases Search Engines & Subject Directories

21 Like a river, information starts in one place, and ends up in another
Where information is in its journey -- and how people use it -- determines whether it is considered to be a Primary source Secondary source Tertiary source

22 The Flow of Information
The Flow of Information from the UCLA College Library illustrates how information is created once an event occurs Information sources about the event start out being primary then become secondary and finally become tertiary

23 Primary Sources Original writings or records “Firsthand” documents
Are not interpreted Example: a diary May not be published Often add originality and interest to research

24 Primary Sources May Be:
Diaries Letters Memoirs Autobiographies Songs from a historical period Speeches Interviews Photographs of an event Videos of an event Newspaper ads or articles from a historical period Artifacts (furniture, recipes, memorabilia) Records (birth certificates, tax records, property deeds, census data) Manuscripts (the Declaration of Independence) Original research reports in scientific journals Company home pages, memos, reports

25 Secondary Sources Restate, evaluate, interpret, or analyze primary source documents or the research of others Often argue a particular viewpoint Are often published by scholars in academic publications Many nonfiction books and articles that explore or interpret a topic are secondary sources Example: a college research paper Example: a book about global warming

26 Tertiary Sources Tertiary sources organize, summarize, or condense secondary sources of information These sources point to other sources of information Many reference books fit into this category Examples: bibliographies, indexes

27 How can you tell if a source is primary or secondary?
Consider how you are using the source – context is important. A biography of Sylvia Plath is a generally considered to be a secondary source. If you are studying approaches to writing biography, though, the very same biography of Plath could become a primary source. Consider the academic field you are writing in – different rules apply. In some sciences, an original research study reported in a journal is considered to be a primary source. In history, a research study on early manuscripts is considered to be a secondary source – the manuscripts are primary sources.

28 Primary? … Secondary? Both types of sources can be useful in college research papers Primary sources may seem more difficult to find, but they can add depth and interest to your research Secondary sources can provide informed opinions or information

29 Sources: making connections
Research builds on the ideas of others Use a variety of information sources to explore your research question Primary, secondary, tertiary Books, journals, substantive magazines, newspapers Good sources of information lead to better research, better papers

30 Considering information sources carefully can help make creative research connections
To learn more, see the following Hatch Library Handouts Scholarly vs. Popular Sources Evaluating Articles Citing Sources HATCH LIBRAY BAYPATH COLLEGE CREATED 2000 MH; REVISED 11/09

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