Presentation on theme: "Information Sources Considered"— Presentation transcript:
1 Information Sources Considered Hatch Library GuideInformationSourcesConsidered
2 Research Made SimpleMatch the information need – your topic -- with appropriate, reliable sourcesBooksNewspapersMagazinesJournalsWebsitesOther
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 accurateConsider the requirements of your assignmentBook?Newspaper?Magazine?Scholarly Journal?Website?
5 The Beauty of Books Books offer Great background information Overviews Context & scopeAuthorityeditors & publishersUser friendly formatsprintelectronic
6 Consider Reference Books! Throughout the research process, reference books can clarify, define, and provide vital background informationGeneral encyclopediasSpecialized encyclopediasDictionariesAlmanacsDirectoriesGazetteersAtlases
7 Beyond Wikipedia Specialized Encyclopedias Also known as subject encyclopediasOften have scholarly articles written by expertsGood for finding topics, getting overviewsElectronic Reference SourcesUsually have a print counterpartYou 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 PeriodicalsNewspapersMagazinesTrade magazinesJournals
9 Newspapers Written for a general audience Reporters and journalists are often generalists, not specialistsOffer very current informationEditors check facts, but because of quick turn-around, information may contain errorsMay provide primary source materialsFor example: interviews; advertisements from the 1920sMajor 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 materialGreat for current informationMagazines offer a more popular approach –e.g., Parents MagazineJournals articles offer a more scholarly approache.g., Journal of Marriage and the Family
11 Journals v. Magazines Journals Magazines Target audience: academics, professionals, researchersPublishers: professional associations, universitiesWriters: scholars, researchers, specialists, expertsPurpose: distribute scholarly informationMagazinesTarget audience: general publicPublishers: companiesWriters: generalists, journalists, professional writersPurpose: 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 peppersTopics try to appeal to a wide range of readersGeneral discussionGood for overviews or starting pointsCurrent researchSpecialized topics: The impact of the long-horned beetle on maple trees in the 1990sOften topics have narrow focus, special readershipDetailed examinationGood for cutting-edge ideas
13 Distinctions Among Magazines Substantive General InterestAimed at an educated readershipExamples:Scientific AmericanNew YorkerTrade MagazinesCover a particular industry or fieldOT Practice (about occupational therapy)National Paralegal Reporter (for paralegal professionals)
14 Distinctions Among Journals Peer-Reviewed Journals or Refereed JournalsUndergo an editorial process called “peer review”Scholars, academics, or professionals -- sometimes called “referees” -- review articles submitted to these journals for suitability for publicationSome journals are considered more distinguished or core journals in their fieldsFor 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” journalsCheck the journal’s or publisher’s website, the journal’s inside cover, or the journal’s submission guidelines on the webCheck the reference book Magazines for LibrariesAsk a librarian for help
16 How can you tell if an online article is scholarly? Look for citations throughout the articleLook for a list of references at the end of the articleDetermine if the language is formal, technical or discipline-specificLook for charts & graphs
17 Evaluating Periodicals Remember: there is a range of publicationsDifferent target audiencesDifferent contentDifferent purposeConsider your audiencePsychology Professor? A research articleOT client? An article in a health magazineParalegals? An article in a trade magazine
18 What’s so great about the Web? Government informationStatisticsInformational brochuresPrimary sourcesCompany homepagesDigital archivesVirtual librariesReference materialsNewsInternational newspapersAcademic sitesProfessional informationAssociation homepagesProfessional listservsOnline exhibits & tutorialsUniversities, 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, VideosArticlesNewspapers Journals MagazinesWebsitesOnline CatalogsLibrary Research DatabasesSearch 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 aPrimary sourceSecondary sourceTertiary source
22 The Flow of Information The Flow of Information from the UCLA College Library illustrates how information is created once an event occursInformation sources about the eventstart out being primarythen become secondaryand finally become tertiary
23 Primary Sources Original writings or records “Firsthand” documents Are not interpretedExample: a diaryMay not be publishedOften add originality and interest to research
24 Primary Sources May Be: DiariesLettersMemoirsAutobiographiesSongs from a historical periodSpeechesInterviewsPhotographs of an eventVideos of an eventNewspaper ads or articles from a historical periodArtifacts (furniture, recipes, memorabilia)Records (birth certificates, tax records, property deeds, census data)Manuscripts (the Declaration of Independence)Original research reports in scientific journalsCompany home pages, memos, reports
25 Secondary SourcesRestate, evaluate, interpret, or analyze primary source documents or the research of othersOften argue a particular viewpointAre often published by scholars in academic publicationsMany nonfiction books and articles that explore or interpret a topic are secondary sourcesExample: a college research paperExample: a book about global warming
26 Tertiary SourcesTertiary sources organize, summarize, or condense secondary sources of informationThese sources point to other sources of informationMany reference books fit into this categoryExamples: 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 papersPrimary sources may seem more difficult to find, but they can add depth and interest to your researchSecondary sources can provide informed opinions or information
29 Sources: making connections Research builds on the ideas of othersUse a variety of information sources to explore your research questionPrimary, secondary, tertiaryBooks, journals, substantive magazines, newspapersGood 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 HandoutsScholarly vs. Popular SourcesEvaluating ArticlesCiting SourcesHATCH LIBRAY BAYPATH COLLEGECREATED 2000 MH; REVISED 11/09