Where to Start


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Places to begin the research project.

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Where to Start

  1. 1. Where to Start
  2. 2. Starting a research project is easier when you are equipped with the keywords and ideas important to the topic. So where can you start collecting this type of information for your research?
  3. 3. If you feel dismayed beginning a research project, remember this, your librarian is there to help you. Stop by the reference desk, call 610- 341-1777 or email reference1777@eastern.edu. However, there are resources you can use, right now, to start you on your way.
  4. 4. Popular, consumer oriented, information resources can unlock words and ideas that are helpful in understanding a subject. Encyclopedias and dictionaries are tertiary resources that provide terms, names, dates and more to put your research in perspective. They provide a road map for discovery. Start with Reference Works.
  5. 5. Good to a Point. Never use a reference work as your only or main source. The information provided in encyclopedias and dictionaries is too general for serious research.
  6. 6. Reference works are important sources for words and ideas commonly associated with a topic. They are a place to begin!! By gathering background information you control the course of the research.
  7. 7. Looks at the News Media The popular media outlets report on the issues that have changed the world. 150 years after the fact the Gettysburg Address is still in the headlines. Newspapers, magazines, and other on-air or online news services provide both secondary and tertiary accounts of events.
  8. 8. Old News The Internet provides access to many digitized newspapers and magazines. Articles and reports can provide a historic perspective on a topic like the Gettysburg Address. The Internet Archive, The Library of Congress’ Chronicling America and Google’s Online Historical Newspapers are useful resources. Searching archives can lead to exciting primary and secondary finds.
  9. 9. Websites In the early stages of gathering background information, finding authoritative information from the World Wide Web is helpful.
  10. 10. Evaluate But, with anything you find from the Internet, it is necessary to evaluate information against other authorities to assure the quality of the information. As with a reference work, information from a single website should not be the sole basis for your research.
  11. 11. Authority What constitutes an authoritative website? • Trusted Domains • Clearly states the author or organization behind the information on the site • Information is current
  12. 12. . gov - government sites • Library of Congress • National Archives • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum • National Park Services Carries The Authority from Agencies Of The U.S. Government
  13. 13. Ultimate .gov Search Search the entire .gov domain at USA.gov!
  14. 14. .gov offers trusted sites for all your studies • Center for Disease Control (CDC) • National Child Care Information Center (NCCIC) • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) • Arctic Research Commission (ARC) • National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) • National Institutes of Health (NIH) • Library of Congress (LOC)
  15. 15. .edu – academic sites • Cornell University • Smithsonian Institutes • Pennsylvania State University Associated With The Authority Of Various Academic Institutions
  16. 16. .edu trusted sited for all your studies • Oncolink (University of Pennsylvania) • The Perseus Project (Tufts University) • eHistory (Ohio State University) • Chronic Disease Management (University of California , Davis) • HIVInsite – (University of California, San Francisco)
  17. 17. .org for organizations Use professional organizational sites for news and information. Carries The Authority From Various Professional Organizations
  18. 18. .orgs for all your studies Here are some examples. • American Psychological Association • American Association of Critical-Care Nurses • Society of Biblical Literature • National Association for Bilingual Education • Oncology Nursing Society
  19. 19. Not every .org site is what it seems. This site warns about the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO). The site looks serious. DHMO is also known as H20 or water.
  20. 20. The .coms Use commercial sites for news and information. Here are some examples. • Chronicle of Higher Education • CNN • MSNBC • Medscape • Science Daily Carries the Authority of the For-Profit Sector
  21. 21. Remember commercial sites are in business to make money.
  22. 22. Use reference and consumer oriented information to gather ideas and keywords. Use the ideas and keywords to formulate a research topic. Then search for the scholarly information you’ll need to support your research. A road map to begin.
  23. 23. Next we’ll look more closely at the scholarly resources you’ll need to build your research paper.