Doing College Level Research Using Google.com In Search of Edward Drinker Cope Presented by Mark D. Puterbaugh Information Services Librarian Warner Memorial Library Eastern University St. Davids, PA Sunday, February 07, 2010
Caveat The presenter spent several years as a “Dinosaur Docent” at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences. During that time he became familiar with Edward Drinker Cope and his contemporaries. In other words, the presenter had the advantage of knowing something about the research topic beyond the knowledge of the typical college student. This prior existence, undoubtedly, gave the presenter an advantage in understanding the materials discovered through searching Google.com.
The Need for Background Information The students wanting to do this type of research should first familiarize themselves with the topic. Looking at quality reference works available through Warner Memorial Library can help. Check the following online resources: Credo Reference – dozens of subject specific dictionaries and encyclopedias. Britannica Online – the long established reference source available through Warner Library’s website. Check the online catalog for reference material. Consult a librarian.
Use Google’s Advanced Search From the Google Search Screen choose the Advanced Search link.
Advanced Search Limiters Word Limiters Language and file type Site or Domain Data, Usage Rights and more Topic specific
A Closer LookNeed More Tools? - Language Search for articles in multiple languages or focus the search to just one.
A Closer LookNeed More Tools? – Specific Domain Search for articles by: Educational institutions with .edu or U.S. Government resources with .gov These should provide credible results.
A Closer LookNeed More Tools? – File Type Search for articles in multiple formats. Acrobat .pdf MS Word .doc or .rtf MS Excel .xls MS PowerPoint .ppt many other formats Journal articles and e-books are often in Acrobat .pdf format. Important information for a variety of subjects can be found in Powerpoint presentations or Excel spreadsheets.
A Closer LookNeed More Tools? – License for Use Search for articles or books that are freely available. Using this limiter determines the accessibility of many Internet-based resources. Many Open-Access journals are peer-viewed and fine for research.
A Closer LookNeed More Tools? – Recency Having the most current information is important, especially for the sciences. Using this limiter determines when a website or other resource was last updated.
A Closer LookNeed More Tools? – Similar Resources Provides a means to search for “like” resources. This can be either websites with similar content or websites that link to a particular site.
A Closer LookNeed More Tools? – Topic Specific Search Tools Provides a means to specific resources. Google Books for the thousands of titles scanned in the Google e-book collection. Google Scholar for scholarly journal citations and information available on the Internet. U.S. Government to search websites and information from Federal, State and Local agencies. Universities provide access to the individual websites of institutions of higher-education around the world.
A Closer LookTopic Specific Tools – University Search Provides links to the university specific Google search. If you’re looking for information known to be available at a particular school this is the tool to use. For instance try using the Princeton University link and search for “Albert Einstein.” You would expect quality information from the school where Einstein taught.
A Closer LookTopic Specific Tools – U.S. Government Search Provides a single interface to search all the agencies and branches of the U.S. government. Searches Federal, State and Local government web-based information. Try searching for “Philadelphia” to see the variety of sites that are available.
Searching GoogleUsing the Advanced Tools – Limiting by Domain We enter the term we wish to search. Note: Although we haven’t done so here, it is often advantageous to enclose names in quotations to keep an individual’s name together in a search. We type “.edu” to search only the “domain” of educational sites.
Searching GoogleUsing the Advanced Tools – Limiting by Domain Search results provide a variety of authoritative links. Results come from Haverford College where Cope taught. Here A site on History of evolutionary thought at Berkley. This includes a link about Cope’s chief scientific rival, Othniel C. Marsh, Also displayed are images relating to Cope from “.edu” sites.
Searching GoogleUsing the Advanced Tools – Limiting by Domain - Results using ”.edu” Viewing the link from Haverford College provides information about items in their special collections. Included here is a brief biographical sketch of Cope from the Dictionary of Quaker Biography . Also image links related to the Cope collection.
Searching GoogleUsing the Advanced Tools – Limiting by Domain – “.edu” Results Up Close In addition to information about the special collection at Haverford College, there are images of some the materials related to Cope’s life. Here is a scanned image of a letter from Louis Agassiz, another prominent 19th century scientist, written to Cope. Their relationship played an important role in Cope’s professional life.
Searching GoogleUsing the Advanced Tools – Limiting by Domain – Choosing the a Specific File Format “.pdf” We returned to the Advanced Search screen and limited our search to information in Adobe Acrobat’s “.pdf” format, The results present articles from campus publications, announcements of special events and historical documents relating to Cope’s life and work.
Searching GoogleUsing the Advanced Tools – Limiting by Domain – Looking at an Article from a “.pdf” Search. Here we find an article for a campus publication written by the Dean of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The article discusses the life and work of Cope including the “Dinosaur Wars.” There is also a short bibliography of works “consulted” in the writing of the article.
Searching GoogleUsing the Advanced Tools – Limiting by Domain – Looking at an Event publication from a “.pdf” Search Here we find an lengthy article from the Pennsylvania Gazette a publication of the University of Pennsylvania. It was part of Penn’s Year of Evolution 2008-2009 commemoration. The article discusses the impact that Pennsylvania scholars made on the discussion of Darwin’s theories in the 19th century. This was written by Howard Goldfine, professor of microbiology at Penn’s School of Medicine, Cope was a leading proponent of neo-Lamarckism in American scientific circles.
Searching GoogleUsing the Advanced Tools – Limiting by Domain – Looking at a historical publication in “.pdf” format Here we find the Biographical Memoir of E.D. Cope. This is a very important find! “Published since 1877, Biographical Memoirs are brief biographies of deceased National Academy of Sciences members, written by those who knew them or their work. These biographies provide a personal and scholarly view of the lives and work of America's most distinguished scientists and a biographical history of science in the United States.” http://www.nasonline.org
Searching GoogleUsing the Advanced Tools – Limiting by Domain to “.gov” – Looking at the results in“.pdf” format The result of this search displays information from such agencies of the U. S. Government as the: Library of Congress National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Park Service
Searching GoogleUsing the Advanced Tools – Limiting by Domain to “.gov” – Looking at the results in“.pdf” format From a variety of resources comes detailed information about the Edward D. Cope Houses. Library of Congress National Registry of Historical Places National Park Service These provide insight into Cope’s domestic and economic life.
Searching GoogleUsing the Advanced Tools – Limiting by Domain to “.gov” – Looking at the results in“.pdf” format From the Bureau of Land Management comes this report on the history of paleontological exploration in Montana. This includes a description of Cope’s death defying expedition which camped near the Sioux nation shortly after the massacre at the Little Big Horn.
Searching GoogleUsing the Topical Search Tools – Google Scholar “Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.” http://scholar.google.com/intl/en/scholar/about.html “Google Scholar is a freely-accessible Web search engine that indexes the full text of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Scholar We now search for articles on Cope in Google Scholar.
Searching GoogleUsing the Topical Search Tools – Google Scholar – Scholarly Resources Scholar list displays information from: Primary resources (things written by Cope and his contemporaries). Secondary resources (more recent writings reflecting on Cope’s life and work). Google Scholar aims to rank documents the way researchers do, weighing the full text of each document, where it was published, who it was written by, as well as how often and how recently it has been cited in other scholarly literature. http://scholar.google.com/intl/en/scholar/about.html
Searching GoogleUsing the Topical Search Tools – Google Scholar – Books and Reviews Here is the text of a 700 page monograph written in 1869 by E. D. Cope. It describes amphibians found in North America. A Google search on the monograph’s title also found a19th Century review of the book in The American Naturalist at JSTOR.ORG.
Searching GoogleUsing the Topical Search Tools – Google Scholar – Articles from Resources Article citations from more recent publicationsome of these would have to be obtained through the library or inter-library loan. Here we have a recent web article from the American Scientist written by Keith Thomson who is emeritus professor of natural history at the University of Oxford and a senior research fellow of the American Philosophical Society. Thomas is the former Head of Philadelphia’s Academy of Natural Sciences. http://www.americanscientist.org
Searching GoogleUsing the Topical Search Tools – Google Scholar – Advanced Features Google Scholar has a variety of limiters to focus the results. These include searching for: Specific author Date range Subject area
Searching GoogleUsing the Topical Search Tools – Google Books “Google Books (previously known as Google Book Search and Google Print) is a service from Google that searches the full text of books that Google scans, converts to text using optical character recognition, and stores in its digital database.” “By March 2007, Google had digitized one million books, according to the The New York Times at an estimated cost of US$5 million. On October 28, 2008, Google stated that they had seven million books searchable through Google Books, including those scanned by their 20,000 publisher partners. Of the 7 million books, 1 million are "full preview" based on agreements with publishers. One million are in the public domain.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Books
Searching GoogleUsing the Topical Search Tools – Google Books – 19th Century Scholarship Cope, his friends, allies and critics produced volumes of scholarly material relating to the study of North American paleontology. The results list presents many of Cope’s monographs which have long passed into the public domain.
Among the monograph’s found on the results list is Origin of the Fittest (1887).This is a collection of essays written by Cope largely in defense of his neo-Lamarckian view of evolution. Searching GoogleUsing the Topical Search Tools – Google Books – Primary Resources
Searching GoogleUsing the Topical Search Tools – Google Books – Finding the Secondary Resources Another Google search on the title produced a 19th Century review in American Naturalist from the JSTOR database. The search on the title also produced a review of “The Origin” by Alfred Russell Wallace, the co-discoverer of natural selection with Charles Darwin. This is found on Western Kentucky University’s website.
Selecting “Books that Mention Edward Drinker Cope” returns a results list of book reviews and commentary by a variety of Cope’s contemporaries. Searching GoogleUsing the Topical Search Tools – Google Scholar – Secondary Resources Among the Books
Searching GoogleUsing the Topical Search Tools – Google Scholar – Scholars without End Among the results list are a “Who’s Who” of 19th Century paleontology. These include writings by Joseph Leidy, Louis Agassiz and Cope’s chief rival O.C. Marsh.
Can You Do College Level Research Using Google.com?First Reflection The answer is YES!!! What we have found: Primary texts written by Cope and his contemporaries. Secondary texts written by scholars critically reviewing Cope’s work. Citations from recent peer-reviewed journal articles. Popular articles written for the general public by experts in the field. These are excellent for background information.
Can You Do College Level Research Using Google.com?Second Reflection The answer is YES with some very serious qualifications!!! What we have not found: Full-text from current peer-reviewed articles reflecting recent scholarly study into Cope’s life and work. (These would be available be through the paper and electronic periodicals at Warner Library.) Full-text of books reflecting recent historic and scientific reflection by current scholars in the field. (These would be available through Warner Library’s e-book and paper book collections.) The ability to directly export information to a bibliographic reference manager. (This would be available through Warner Library’s databases, such as EBSCOhost or WilsonWeb, to a tool like the Library’s RefWorks account.) You may receive a tilted image of Cope’s life by doing your research solely in Google. Modern contemporary scholarship is very important. Cope’s place in the world of science is not what it was. The view of 19th Century paleontology is far different than the view from the 21st