Getting Started with Your ResearchPresentation Transcript
Getting Started OR Now what do I do? Using Google and the Library InfoGuides
Brainstorming a Topic: Looking for Ideas Think about a topic that interests you. Consider the following idea-starters: My friends and I like to argue about… Someone believes…; however, I believe… I think we should pass a law so that…
Getting Started Google Wikipedia? Library Resources - InfoGuides
Benefits of Google Searching Become more familiar with a topic Pick out search terms that can be used for library searching Find bibliographies Google Scholar, Google Books…
Searching Google More Effectively Limit your results by producer or organization: site: .org .edu .gov Refine searchoptions Find recent websites - “climate change” 2008..2010 Synonyms - ~film-> movies, movie, cinema Advancedsearchlink
Smarter Googling Focus a Google search: site: -- limits results to certain sites or domains american history / american history site:loc.gov libertarian / libertarian site:edu intitle: -- limits results to pages with search terms in the page title rosa parks king / intitle:"rosa parks" intitle:king douglass abolition / intitle:douglassintitle:abolition
Smarter Googling Build from good results: link: -- discover what other sites link to a site historymatters.gmu.edu link:historymatters.gmu.edu related: -- discover other similar sites related:loc.gov related:snopes.com
Googling continued-> Limitations Quotation marks can be used around phrases “climate change” but they might eliminate useful results if too specific barack hussein obama vs. “barack hussein obama” Databases often DO require quotes around phrases. Synonyms ~ work well with one-word searches BUT not with phrase searching like “climate change” Many databases will retrieve similar terms like global warming, greenhouse effect… Other limitations… For more tips, see: http://bit.ly/moregoogle
Limitations Limitations of Google as a research tool Google’s index doesn’t include everything that is online. (e.g., licensed resources) Searches often have overwhelming numbers of results. Databases usually more focused.
Limitations Realities of the Web Most info on the Web is not scholarly Web is constantly in flux, being edited and indexed; inaccurate to think of Google info as a static “snapshot” of the Web
Google Instant Released Sept. 8, 2010 Revises results as you type More info: Introducing Google Instant (YouTube) Could Reinvent Channel Flipping (wired.com) Is this the best they could come up with? (telegraph.co.uk)
Google Scholar Google’s index of scholarly literature Set Google preferences to get Mason resources (“Find it@GM”) Google Scholar is one way to access resources, not the way. Is the “cited by” information useful?
Google Books Useful in conjunction with library catalog (linked from catalog record) May include book summaries, reviews, table of contents, selected pages, etc. Links to purchase options BUT the library can often provide it for free.
Can you find… Authoritative information about the species of bird called the Baltimore oriole
Can you find… Authoritative information about the species of bird called the Baltimore oriole Baltimore oriole –baseball Baltimore oriole birds –baseball Baltimore oriole +habitat Baltimore oriole +plumage etc.
Can you find… Reputable academic discussions (essays, articles, etc.) about Lady Gaga
Can you find… Reputable academic discussions (essays, articles, etc.) about Lady Gaga "lady gaga" site:edu link:ladygaga.comsite:edu
Can you find… Information about George Mason (the man); limited to only .edu or .org sites, not .com sites
Can you find… Information about George Mason (the man); limited to only using .edu or .org sites, not .com sites george mason site:edusite:org (“george mason” site:edu) OR (“george mason” site:org) “george mason” site:edu|site:org
Can you find… You’re building a model of an 18th-century sailing ship. What is thefore topmast studding sailand where does it go?
Can you find… You’re building a model of an 18th-century sailing ship. What is thefore topmast studding sailand where does it go? sailboat diagram
Connecting Your Search Terms Google & Research Databases offer this type of searching. Databases may present this option in differently.
In-class Activity Directions: Pre-selected search terms will be written on small pieces of paper Students will be divided into groups Each group will search Google using the chosen search terms Students will be instructed to share their findings with the class and note the following items: Number of search results/hits Scholarly resources (e.g. resources written by subject experts) Resources not appropriate for academic research Other useful information for researching topic (e.g. bibliographies, links, additional search terms) Students will take notes on the handout given to them by the librarians Primary objective is to get students to start evaluating search results and judging the appropriateness for academic research.
In-class Activity Selected Search Terms: Human computer interaction Video games and violence Climate change and public health Cancer and diet Elder abuse Sports injury and prevention Impressionism and art
Library Website http://library.gmu.edu
InfoGuides Starting point for ideas By subject/discipline Reliable sources evaluated by librarians Variety of sources: books, articles, images, DVDs, primary sources Resources you only have access while students at Mason
Other Library Resources Ask-a-Librarian Library Catalog to locate book, e-books, DVDs, government documents Research Databases Articles (some fulltext) Video clips Images Etc. Research Databases by Subject
Library Assignment #2 Purpose of this assignment: Start thinking about your information sources and their appropriateness for academic research. Imagine that you are writing a research paper on a historical figure from your readings (examples: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks). Then answer the following question in 200-250 words. Search Google for information on your figure. Look at the first page of your Google results. What did you find? Are they academic sites? Commercial, etc.? Would these sources be helpful in writing a scholarly, academic research paper? Why or why not?