Why Scholars Research?Researching is critical for scholars in anydiscipline: it is how intellectual discussion onsubjects are forwarded and how scholars keepupdate on the latest discoveries and theories.Obtaining accurate and insightful research areof the upmost importance for scholars.Inaccuracies and slopping scholarship onlyslow down the scholarly conversation. This iswhy scholars rely on the peer review process.
Peer ReviewPeer reviewed means a scholar’s article, book, orresearch has been sent out by an editor to otherexperts in the field for review before publication.These experts, usually called referees, examinethe research, typically searching for errors andweaknesses, and make recommendations forchanges. There are normally multiple refereesassigned to review each work. Publication inacademia usually takes between six months totwo years as a result.
Location• The library and computer labs are located on the first floor of the Greenville Center• To link to the library online, click the link under Blogroll on the left side of our homepage or click the following link: http://www.parisjc.edu/index.php/pjc2/main/ learning-center
Online Research at PJCSince we will only be using scholarly sourcesfor our research in this class, you will all needto know how to access scholarly databasesthrough the library home page. This willrequire your student ID and your password(date of birth if you have not changed it),which should be the same information youuse to login to campus connect. Follow thelinks circled in red to access the databasesfrom home
Databases There are many databases available on our library webpage, but not all of them will be useful to our class. Here are ones I recommend using for researching in this class: Academic Search Complete, Bloom’s Literary Reference Online, Contemporary Literary Criticism, Contemporary Authors, Dictionary of Literary Biography, Directory of Open Access Journals, Gale Literature Databases, Religion and Philosophy, Scribner Writers, Texas Reference Center, 20th Century Poetry, Twayne’s Author Series, and Literature Resource Center.Green = Best Yellow = Student Friendly White = Okay
Reliable SourcesFinding reliable sources on the web can be difficultand risky. Websites rarely identify where they gettheir information and much of what you find onthe web is more subjective and less informed thanwhat you would find through a library database.However, with that said, there are some uses forweb searches: finding out about scholars, terms,and reading lists; discovering informal sources; andfinding research that might only be housed on auniversity website or scholars homepage.
Starting Research on Unfamiliar TopicsA Google or Yahoo search can help familiarizeyou with a term or theory. If you encounteredthe term reader response theory in class or inan article, Googling the term would likely takeyou to a definition or names of scholars usingreader response theory, like say Stanley Fish.This information could then be used in asearch on a scholarly database.
WikipediaWikipedia seems a tempting resource, butplease remember the information found onWikipedia is not written by experts or peerreviewed; in fact, almost anyone can changeor alter a Wikipedia page on any subject.However, it can be a great tool for gettingstarted on researching, providing names ofscholars, articles, and books for searchingelsewhere
Google ScholarGoogle Scholar is a version of Google specificallydesigned for scholarly research. The sourcesfound from this engine are typically reliable,hailing from university web pages, onlinescholarly presses, or peer reviewed journals. Thedownside to Google Scholar is its limiteddatabase. Since many peer review journals haveexpensive subscriptions and will not allow theirresources to be published online withoutcompensation, Google Scholar has very little incomparison to other scholarly databases.
Student DisclaimerWhat ever approach you decide to use in yourresearch must involve scholarly citation andthe use of reliable resources. Anything that isnot your idea or writing must be cited andformatted correctly in accordance with MLAguidelines (see MLA.org for details) While youcan use Wikipedia and web searches to getstarted, they cannot act as your sources forpresentations and papers.