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Research and Information
Literacy
RUSSELL RODRIGO
Lesson Outline
 Describe strategy for academic research.
 Recognize the difference between primary and
secondary research.
 Understand approaches to online search for
information.
Primary & Secondary Research
Primary research
Materials that originate from the time
and place of the events being
investigated.
• TV, film and video footage from the
time
• recordings of radio broadcasts
• remaining body parts, DNA,
fingerprints, footprints
• artifacts such as tools, pottery,
furniture
• testimonies of witnesses
• the raw data from experiments
• autobiographies
• individual responses to surveys
Secondary researchMaterials written or produced about
the event, usually some time later.
• books, articles, web pages,
documentaries about an event,
person or item
• interviews with people reporting
what they heard from witnesses
• biographies
• magazine articles
• papers and reports using the
of surveys, questionnaires and
experiments
Academic vs. Popular
(Commercial) Sources
Academic Sources
• Authoritative: academic sources identify the qualifications and expertise of the writer.
• Sourced: academic writing is careful to credit the origins of information and ideas,
usually by means of a reference list or bibliography.
• Peer-reviewed: other academics have read the source and checked it for accuracy.
• Objective: academic sources aim to examine a topic fairly. This does not mean that
they never take a side, but that the source does not ignore alternative positions on the
topic.
• Written for academics: academic sources target university lecturers, students, and
professionals interested in the theoretical side of a topic.Popular (Commercial) Sources
• Are often written by journalists or professional writers for a general audience
• Use language easily understood by general readers
• Articles not evaluated by experts in the field but by editors on the staff
• Rarely give full citations for sources
Academic vs. Popular (Commercial)
Sources
Academic Sources
Popular (Commercial) Sources
Academic & Professional Sources
Business
•The Wall Street Journal
•The Economist
•International Journal of Management and Business Studies
•Journal of International Business Studies
Design
•International Journal of Design
•The International Journal of Art, Culture and Design Technologies
•Design Issues
•Design Studies
Psychology
•British Psychological Society
•simplypsychology.org
•American Psychological Association
•plosone.org
Use of General Topic Sources
General topic sources are, in general, less reputable than sources
dedicated to specific topics. It is important that your research comes
from sources which specialize in the topic your are writing about.
Using Google
Using google.com will provide more popular or commercial
results.
Using Google.com
Using Google Scholar
Using scholar.google.com will provide more academic and scientific
results.
Using Google Scholar
ERIC: Education Resources Information
Center
www.eric.ed.gov
ERIC: Education Resources Information
Center
JSTOR
www.jstor.org
JSTOR
Journal abstract: example
An abstract of a journal article summarizes
• the main argument.
• research methods.
• findings and conclusions.
.net
Network
Site
Clues on URL
Use key concepts with the addition
of synonyms that you have
identified as your keywords and
search terms
Combining your search terms using
Boolean operators
Develop your online search plan:
Identifying Keywords
Word Order and Word Choice Matter
search text search result
grass snake a kind of snake
snake grass a kind of grass
snake in the grass
Most pages contain this expression; also finds
pages with grass snake and a few with snake
and snakes in the grass
snake + in + the +
grass
Eliminates pages not containing ‘in’ and ‘the’
somewhere
“snake in the grass”
Most specific and precise. Requires exact phrase
in all pages
Online search examples
Topic popular methods of losing weight
Keywords popular methods losing weight
Synonyms/
Related terms
common ways lose fat
Synonyms/
Related terms
favorite techniques reducing dieting
Topic effect of illegal immigration on the U.S. economy
Keywords illegal immigration U.S. economy
Synonyms/
Related terms
illegal aliens United States economics
Synonyms/
Related terms
undocumented workers America
Online search information
Too much information
• Review your keywords/concepts
• (be more specific)
• Narrowing your search
• (only in title)
• Use limiter
• (specific time period, type of
publication)
Too little information
• Broaden your search term
• (e.g. China to Asia)
• Look for alternative terms
• (use synonyms and related terms)
Common search features
search features
truncation hero* teen*
example
hero, heroic, heroes,
heroine, heroin
teen, teens, teenager,
teenagers
wildcards wom#n behavio#r
example woman and women behaviour or behavior
phrases searching “public speaking”
limiting searches by date, language, format, etc.
Boolean Operator and, or, not
 Enclose two or more words with quotations.
 The computer will search your words in that exact order.
example
“public speaking” = exact phrase
Phrase Searching (narrowing your search)
 AND retrieves only those records that contain all of the search terms.
example
...finds records containing both global and warming
Boolean Operator: AND (narrowing your
search)
Boolean Operator: OR
(expanding your search)
 OR retrieves records that contain any of the search terms.
example
...finds records with either college or university or both in them.
Boolean Operator: NOT
(specifying your search)
 NOT (-) eliminates a search term or group of search terms
example
...finds records for high school but not elementary.
Question your sources
•Question the source of the
informationWho?
•Question the content of the
informationWhat?
•Question the location of the
informationWhere?
•Question the time of the informationWhen?
•Question the use of the informationWhy?
Use of information
Remember
• The resources are the
intellectual property of the
creators of the resources.
Reputable sources
When deciding
whether a text is
worth reading,
consider:
Has it been recommended by a source you trust, such as your
tutor or a reputable journal or review in a quality newspaper?
Is there a clear line or reasoning, with supporting evidence?
Does it include a detailed list of references, or a bibliography,
indicating thorough research?
Does it provide clear references to its sources of information,
so that other people could check these? If not, this may not be
a suitable text for use in academic contexts.
Does it use source materials that look reputable, such as
journals and relevant books rather than the popular press?

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Week 5 Research and Information Literacy

  • 2. Lesson Outline  Describe strategy for academic research.  Recognize the difference between primary and secondary research.  Understand approaches to online search for information.
  • 3. Primary & Secondary Research Primary research Materials that originate from the time and place of the events being investigated. • TV, film and video footage from the time • recordings of radio broadcasts • remaining body parts, DNA, fingerprints, footprints • artifacts such as tools, pottery, furniture • testimonies of witnesses • the raw data from experiments • autobiographies • individual responses to surveys Secondary researchMaterials written or produced about the event, usually some time later. • books, articles, web pages, documentaries about an event, person or item • interviews with people reporting what they heard from witnesses • biographies • magazine articles • papers and reports using the of surveys, questionnaires and experiments
  • 4. Academic vs. Popular (Commercial) Sources Academic Sources • Authoritative: academic sources identify the qualifications and expertise of the writer. • Sourced: academic writing is careful to credit the origins of information and ideas, usually by means of a reference list or bibliography. • Peer-reviewed: other academics have read the source and checked it for accuracy. • Objective: academic sources aim to examine a topic fairly. This does not mean that they never take a side, but that the source does not ignore alternative positions on the topic. • Written for academics: academic sources target university lecturers, students, and professionals interested in the theoretical side of a topic.Popular (Commercial) Sources • Are often written by journalists or professional writers for a general audience • Use language easily understood by general readers • Articles not evaluated by experts in the field but by editors on the staff • Rarely give full citations for sources
  • 5. Academic vs. Popular (Commercial) Sources Academic Sources Popular (Commercial) Sources
  • 6. Academic & Professional Sources Business •The Wall Street Journal •The Economist •International Journal of Management and Business Studies •Journal of International Business Studies Design •International Journal of Design •The International Journal of Art, Culture and Design Technologies •Design Issues •Design Studies Psychology •British Psychological Society •simplypsychology.org •American Psychological Association •plosone.org
  • 7. Use of General Topic Sources General topic sources are, in general, less reputable than sources dedicated to specific topics. It is important that your research comes from sources which specialize in the topic your are writing about.
  • 8. Using Google Using google.com will provide more popular or commercial results.
  • 10. Using Google Scholar Using scholar.google.com will provide more academic and scientific results.
  • 12. ERIC: Education Resources Information Center www.eric.ed.gov
  • 13. ERIC: Education Resources Information Center
  • 15. JSTOR
  • 16. Journal abstract: example An abstract of a journal article summarizes • the main argument. • research methods. • findings and conclusions.
  • 18. Use key concepts with the addition of synonyms that you have identified as your keywords and search terms Combining your search terms using Boolean operators Develop your online search plan:
  • 19. Identifying Keywords Word Order and Word Choice Matter search text search result grass snake a kind of snake snake grass a kind of grass snake in the grass Most pages contain this expression; also finds pages with grass snake and a few with snake and snakes in the grass snake + in + the + grass Eliminates pages not containing ‘in’ and ‘the’ somewhere “snake in the grass” Most specific and precise. Requires exact phrase in all pages
  • 20. Online search examples Topic popular methods of losing weight Keywords popular methods losing weight Synonyms/ Related terms common ways lose fat Synonyms/ Related terms favorite techniques reducing dieting Topic effect of illegal immigration on the U.S. economy Keywords illegal immigration U.S. economy Synonyms/ Related terms illegal aliens United States economics Synonyms/ Related terms undocumented workers America
  • 21. Online search information Too much information • Review your keywords/concepts • (be more specific) • Narrowing your search • (only in title) • Use limiter • (specific time period, type of publication) Too little information • Broaden your search term • (e.g. China to Asia) • Look for alternative terms • (use synonyms and related terms)
  • 22. Common search features search features truncation hero* teen* example hero, heroic, heroes, heroine, heroin teen, teens, teenager, teenagers wildcards wom#n behavio#r example woman and women behaviour or behavior phrases searching “public speaking” limiting searches by date, language, format, etc. Boolean Operator and, or, not
  • 23.  Enclose two or more words with quotations.  The computer will search your words in that exact order. example “public speaking” = exact phrase Phrase Searching (narrowing your search)
  • 24.  AND retrieves only those records that contain all of the search terms. example ...finds records containing both global and warming Boolean Operator: AND (narrowing your search)
  • 25. Boolean Operator: OR (expanding your search)  OR retrieves records that contain any of the search terms. example ...finds records with either college or university or both in them.
  • 26. Boolean Operator: NOT (specifying your search)  NOT (-) eliminates a search term or group of search terms example ...finds records for high school but not elementary.
  • 27. Question your sources •Question the source of the informationWho? •Question the content of the informationWhat? •Question the location of the informationWhere? •Question the time of the informationWhen? •Question the use of the informationWhy? Use of information Remember • The resources are the intellectual property of the creators of the resources.
  • 28. Reputable sources When deciding whether a text is worth reading, consider: Has it been recommended by a source you trust, such as your tutor or a reputable journal or review in a quality newspaper? Is there a clear line or reasoning, with supporting evidence? Does it include a detailed list of references, or a bibliography, indicating thorough research? Does it provide clear references to its sources of information, so that other people could check these? If not, this may not be a suitable text for use in academic contexts. Does it use source materials that look reputable, such as journals and relevant books rather than the popular press?