Where to Start
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Where to Start

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Places to begin the research project.

Places to begin the research project.

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Where to Start Where to Start Presentation Transcript

  • Where to Start ? Presented by Mark Puterbaugh Information Services Librarian Eastern University Libraries St. Davids, PA 19087 mputerba@eastern.edu 610-341-1461
  • Starting a research project is easier when you are equipped with the key terms and ideas important to the topic. So where can you start collecting information for your research? Where can I go now?
  • If you feel dismayed beginning a research project, remember this, your friendly neighborhood librarian is there to help you. Stop by the reference desk, call 610-341-1777 or email reference1777@eastern.edu. There are some resources you can use, right now, to start you on your way. They’ll know my name!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. The articles were short and to the point. Not enough substance.
  • 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.
  • 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. They were there!
  • Websites In the early stages of gathering background information, finding authoritative information from the World Wide Web is helpful.
  • 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.
  • Authority What constitutes an authoritative website? • Trusted Domains • Clearly states the author or organization behind the information on the site • Information is current The real deal!
  • . gov - government sites • Library of Congress • National Archives • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum • National Park Services Something for your tax dollars! Carries The Authority from Agencies Of The U.S. Government
  • Ultimate .gov Search Search the entire .gov domain at USA.gov! Even search the NSA!!!
  • .gov for all your studies • Government sites in health and sciences. – 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) So much information!
  • .edu – academic sites • Cornell University • Smithsonian Institutes • Pennsylvania State University Associated With The Authority Of Various Academic Institutions
  • .edu for all your studies Use academic sites for news and information: Here are some examples. – Oncolink (University of Pennsylvania) – The Perseus Project (Tufts University) – eHistory (Ohio State University) – Chronic Disease Management (UC Davis) – HIVInsite – (UC San Francisco) Good stuff on the Web?
  • .org for organizations Use professional organizational sites for news and information. Carries The Authority From Various Professional Organizations
  • .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 Overwhelming!
  • Not every .org site is what it seems. This .org is all wet!
  • 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
  • Remember commercial sites are in business to make money. Cold hard cash!
  • Use reference and consumer oriented information to gather ideas and key terms. Use the ideas and key terms to formulate a research topic. Then search for the scholarly information you’ll need to support your research. A road map to begin. Time to get going!
  • Next we’ll look at the scholarly materials you’ll need to build your research paper more closely. Bye!