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How to search and justify scholarly resources?

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The authority and credibility evident in scholarly sources will improve the quality of your paper or research project. Use of scholarly sources is an expected attribute of academic course work.

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How to search and justify scholarly resources?

  1. 1. Zakir Hossain Teacher-Librarian Extended Essay Coordinator March 1, 2018
  2. 2. FACT There are more than 1 billion websites on the World Wide Web!
  3. 3. Finding information: Where to search? Magazines Books Journals Videos Websites Podcasts Newspapers Blogs
  4. 4. Scholarly Sources • Google • Google scholar • University repositories • Organizational repositories • Government repositories • Libraries • Databases Subscribed Open Access
  5. 5. What is a search engine? Super simple: A software system designed to search for information on the World Wide Web. Simple: A Website that locates other Websites that match a word or phrase that you enter. It creates a list of hyperlinked results. Not-so-simple: Search engines are special websites that have indexed billions of pages. It searches this index to find a website that matches the word or phrase that you are seeking. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNHR6IQJGZs
  6. 6. Metasearch Engines A metasearch engine will search many search engines at once. Metasearch means instead of getting results from one search engine, you'll be getting the best combined results from a variety of search engines.
  7. 7. Dogpile Sputtr DuckDuckGo Metasearch
  8. 8. FACT The search engine WILL NOT search the entire web for a match. It only searches its own database of information that it has collected, indexed and stored. SMART RESEARCHERS … ● Use more than one search engine. ● Use a metasearch engine. ● Cross check and compare results.
  9. 9. How to search? Boolean A Boolean search allows you to combine keywords with operators such as AND, NOT and OR to get more relevant results.
  10. 10. AND This narrows the search by instructing the database (or search engine) to only find sources that have both words. OR This broadens the search by instructing the database (or search engine) to find sources that include either word, or both words. NOT This narrows the search by instructing the database (or search engine) to exclude unwanted words.
  11. 11. Usage of Special Syntax  site: allows you to narrow your search by a site or by a top level domain e.g. site:edu  link: returns a list of pages that link to the specified URL. Enter link:www.google.com and you'll get a list of pages that link to the Google home page.  cached: finds a copy of the page that Google indexed even if that page is no longer available at its original URL or has since changed its content completely.  Similar: To find similar information, website or documents.  File type: searches the suffixes or filename extensions "leading economic indicators" file type:ppt  Phrase search/ Exact search: To search an exact term e.g. "religion and politics in Saudi Arabia"
  12. 12. How to search? Exact phrase The use of quotation marks or brackets (parenthesis) around phrases will enable you to search for the exact phrase.
  13. 13. [Mickey Mouse] “Star Wars”
  14. 14. Justify a SCHOLARLY Resource Formula A B C D E Meaning Authority/ Author Bias Content Date Evaluation Questions to ask -Who wrote this? -What organization sponsored this? -What do you know about them? -What can you find out about them? -Can you contact them? -What is the purpose of this site? -Does bias make sense in relation to your argument? -Is the bias obvious? -How can you tell? -Can you use it anyway, and find something with a counter bias? -Is the tone (academic, casual, etc.) appropriate for your project? -Does this content appear elsewhere? -Does it match with what you already know? -Does it link to other sources and vice- versa? -Is the information up to date? -Does the publication date make sense in relation to the information presented? -For this topic, does it matter? -What do you think? -Should you use this site? -Why/ why not? -Do you need any additional resource/informati on to get a balanced picture? Further Strategies Cross check on Wikipedia or Snopes. Do a Google search of the name/ organization /key people listed Look at the “about” tab Read at least 3 related source and cross check to understand the facts/truth.. Try Google link option and see how many pages linked to this page. E.g. link:www.theresearch tl.net Find out the date on the top/bottom of the page/article Compare/contrast at least 3 similar resource/topics. Hoiseth, L. & Hossain, Z. (2018)
  15. 15. Information Evaluation@BE CRITICAL! Don’t just accept any source, choose your sources carefully!
  16. 16. Why use the research databases? Research database Website Author: Professionals and experts in the field. Author: Can be written by anyone, regardless of their expertise or knowledge. Information: Content comes from published works where the facts are checked. Information: Content is not always checked by an expert. Referencing: Sources are easy to cite and all information can be located (i.e. date of publication, consulted works, author credibility). Referencing: Websites do not always include necessary information for citation. Bibliography: Consulted sources and a bibliography are included at the end of the article. Bibliography: Not all websites include links to their sources of information or a bibliography. Organization: The database can help you to narrow your topic and provide links to similar subjects. Organization: The website may not be organized. The search engine may not lead you to the best quality information. Currency: Research databases are updated frequently and enable you to list them by date of publication. Currency: Websites many not indicate when the information was updated.
  17. 17. Popular VS Scholarly resources Such as Time or Reader’s Digest Journal of Int’l Education Articles Often NOT signed by author. ALWAYS signed by the author(s). Audience General public. Targeted audience of scholars or professionals. Authors Authors are generalists, staff writers, or freelance writers. Authors are experts in their fields--scholars and professionals, often university professors. Citations Sources of information NOT fully cited, NO bibliography Sources are always fully cited, bibliography available Format Informal, conversational style to appeal to general readers. The standard format of the field is followed: APA, MLA, Chicago etc. Review Policy Articles selected by an editor. "Peer reviewed:" articles selected by a panel of experts. Publisher To inform or entertain. To keep scholars and professionals abreast of new research findings and
  18. 18. How to find the authenticity of websites?  Use a query containing WHOIS to identify the owner of a particular website. Example: https://www.whois.com/whois/ Find the search box for the registry, and enter [theresearchtl.net].  If you don’t know a company's website, you can search for the company’s name in Google and locate the web address.
  19. 19. Meta-search Engine DogPile DuckDuckGo IxQuick
  20. 20. Advanced search Site search (.edu/.gov/.org) “Phrase search/quotation search” Similar search Link search DOAJ
  21. 21. Today’s agenda…. File search (.doc/ .ppt/.pdf) Similar search Authentic website domains CORE (Open Access Research Papers) Google Scholar
  22. 22. Bona-fide website domains .org = Organisations @WHO, UNESCO, UN, .edu = Education institutions @MIT, Oxford, KSU .gov = US and other governments .mil = Military .au = Australia .ca .sa .bd
  23. 23. Going beyond Google ...
  24. 24.  Consider your source's credibility Ask these questions:  Contributor/Author  Have they written several articles on the topic, and do they have credentials to be an expert in their field?  Can you contact them? Do they have social media profiles?  Publisher/Sponsor  What do you know about the publisher/sponsor? Are they well-respected?  Do they take responsibility for the content? Are they selective about what they publish?  Take a look at their other content. Do they appear credible?  Bias  Does the author or the organization have a bias? Does bias make sense in relation to your argument?  Is the purpose of the content to inform, entertain, or to spread an agenda? Is there commercial intent?  Currency  When was the source published or updated? Is there a date shown?  Does the publication date make sense in relation to the information presented to your argument?  Citations  Is there a bibliography or links to credible sources?  Conversely, have credible sources referenced this source (or author)?  Relevance  Is the content relevant to your thesis statement?  Is the tone (academic, casual, etc.) appropriate for your project?
  25. 25. Questions? Comments? zhossain@kfs.sch.sa www.kfslrc.wordpress.com

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