Getting Started with Your Research
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Getting Started with Your Research

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  • Highlight pros and cons Do not need to read individual points as students will have access to PPT through Infoguide
  • SLIDE hidden because of possible time constraints & not everyone wants to address Wikipedia—it’s up to you Will be included in extended PPT version posted on Honors College Infoguide
  • See above
  • Try example search in Google using search techniques above or other techniques you find useful during instruction or reference.DEMONSTRATE with live search in GoogleChoose a search example you think would work well.Emphasize points you think are important when searching Google (e.g. Boolean searching, ways to refine your search, retrieve relevant results)
  • More advanced Google searching operators. Add these to a search to focus a search on particular pages.For each, compare the two searches that are separated by the slash. Instructor might demonstrate, or might split the class in half and have one half search one way and the other half search the other way.site:Allows search in a particular domain such as gmu.edu or loc.gov … also allows limiting to particular domain ranges, such as .edu sites.Example 1: 330 million hits vs. 21,000 hitsExample 2: helpful when researching topics for which there is a lot of non-academic info on the Webintitle:Searches page titles rather than entire pages. The logic is that if a term appears in the title, the page is likely to be relevant to that term. A page titled “Digital Photography” is more likely to be about digital photography than a page titled “Bob’s Photo Shoot.” Use with caution – easy to accidentally eliminate relevant information; titles do not always reflect page content accurately.
  • link:Shows what other pages link to a page. The logic is that the more pages there are that link to Page X, the more likely it is that Page X contains useful or relevant information. Also, when you find a useful page, seeing what links to it is a way to discover more pages on the same topic. Example is a site from CHNM at GMU.related:Finds pages that are considered similar by Google. Example of snopes.com returns truthorfiction.com, urban legends page at about.com, factcheck,org, etc.bit.ly link at bottom goes to Google Help page
  • Possible search technique to elaborate on
  • Also, not only does the Web constantly evolve, but Google’s search functionality evolves too! Google THIS WEEK released a new version of its search called Google Instant.
  • Also, not only does the Web constantly evolve, but Google’s search functionality evolves too! Google THIS WEEK released a new version of its search called Google Instant.
  • Also, not only does the Web constantly evolve, but Google’s search functionality evolves too! Google THIS WEEK released a new version of its search called Google Instant.No need to go into detail about it, but it illustrates the constantly changing world of information… to be a smart user/researcher you have to be agile and not get too tied to one particular search tool. A good researcher has a variety of tools in his or her toolbox, and can switch from one tool to another as needed. Google’s aim is fewer keystrokes; anticipating more searches via mobile devices? Via TV remotes? What will the future of Web searching look like?More info: Youtube video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElubRNRIUg4Wired - http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/09/google-instant-tv/Telegraph.co.uk - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/7991057/Google-Instant-the-technology-anti-climax-of-the-decade.html
  • Go into Google preferences and search for George Mason in the Library Links section – this activates the linkages between Google Scholar and Mason databases. The “Find it@GM” link is subject to authentication/proxy – you’ll have to log in if using this from off campus.Google Scholar is a side door to the house… another way into the library DBs.“Cited by” is one measure of item’s usefulness
  • Another tool in the toolbox. Using Google Books (examine a sample catalog record) as a supplement info source to help evaluate possible research materials.
  • Results are likely to include pages related to the baseball team unless otherwise specified.
  • Basic results are likely to be non-academic.
  • Basic results are likely to be non-academic.First example is okay, but also includes pages from college newspapersSecond example finds pages at .edu sites that contain a link to Gaga’s website.
  • The first example produces zero results – why? (default AND; there are no pages that are .edu AND .org)Examples 2 and 3 employ OR in different ways.
  • Searching for the terms as text may not be as efficient as searching for sailboat diagram.
  • Searching for the terms as text may not be as efficient as searching for sailboat diagram.
  • SLIDE hidden because of time constraints. Time limitations may prevent in-depth discussion of Boolean searching during class. For more information on Boolean searching see additional PPT marked Boolean Searching Examples from OLLI L814 Library Research on the Wiki. More detailed PPT to be posted on HNRS 110 InfoGuides section Also idea of connecting search terms/Boolean searching will be addressed in the following Library Catalog library session
  • Mention how during the research process you can start in Google to get background information, search term ideas BUT then take that information to the library to find books & articles…Note: High quality websites will take you to library resources (bibliographies, etc.)SuggestInfoguides as starting point for researchShow example of infoguide (Honors College & subject-based infoguide like art, psychology, literature)
  • Highlight pros and cons Do not need to read individual points as students will have access to PPT through InfoguideNot every resource every published—We have a lot but not everything—We’re more selective!
  • Please spend time highlighting the Infoguides onlineHonors College Infoguide as course guideDiscipline-based infoguide like Psychology, Art, History, etc.
  • Highlight other aspects of the library website:-Links to other library resources catalog and databases finding books, articles, etc.-Ask-a-Library features (IM, liaisons, etc.)-Think of as brief intro to library website

Getting Started with Your Research Getting Started with Your Research Presentation 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
  • Google
  • Wikipedia
  • 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
  • Library InfoGuides
  • 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?