Types of Information Sources


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What types of sources will I need for my assignment?

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Types of Information Sources

  1. 1. What Types of Sources Do I Need for My Assignment? Books? Online Journal Articles? Websites?
  2. 2. Different types of sources play distinct but complementary roles in the research process. When you are just starting, it is important to search for background information so you learn key facts, people, dates and any specialized vocabulary associated with your topic.
  3. 3. What Are Reference Sources? A source (print or online) that contains many shorter entries and is designed to be browsed rather than read from beginning to end. Examples: Encyclopedias (both general and subject-specific) dictionaries, handbooks. The best way to find background information is to use reference sources.
  4. 4. Print reference books – in the reference section of the Sinclair Library (these books cannot be checked out and must be used in the library). Where can I find reference sources?
  5. 5. Online reference databases – The best are Credo Reference and Gale Virtual Reference Library, which include thousands of searchable online encyclopedias and dictionaries. Where can I find reference sources?
  6. 6. Even a website like Wikipedia is an online reference source, but since anyone can edit you should be careful with the information you find. It can be great for a general overview of a topic, but try to cross-reference specific facts with a higher-quality library resource. Where can I find reference sources?
  7. 7. Reference sources are a great place to start and will save you time in the long run, but for a research project you will also need to cite other sources like books and articles.
  8. 8. Books, for one, are a type of source that tends to get skipped. Why would I choose to use a book when I can easily find a much shorter article?
  9. 9. But books have some important advantages • Books typically give more context and history of your topic, making them easier to understand. • Books are usually broader or more comprehensive in scope than articles, making them more relevant and applicable to your own research. • All the information you need might be in just one chapter, which you can read relatively quickly.
  10. 10. Where Can I Find Books? To find a book in the Sinclair Library, you need to know where to look. 1. Check the Sinclair Library catalog, then look under Status to make sure it is AVAILABLE and not checked out. 2. Verify the Location of the book. 3. Write down the Call Number because that tells you where on the shelf it is located. Let’s take a closer look at this call number
  11. 11. 331.1 W271i Always read call numbers from left to right. Each hundred stands for a different broad subject area. In this case, the 300s are the social sciences.
  12. 12. Within the social science section (300-399), the 330s are economics, and 331.1 is an even more detailed subject area (labor force and market). 331.1 W271i
  13. 13. If you get to the shelf and there are lots of books with that exact first number, move to the second part and go alphabetically with the first letter (W), then the next number if necessary (271). This part refers to the book’s author 331.1 W271i
  14. 14. There it is! That wasn’t so bad
  15. 15. The best part of the call number system is that since books are organized by subject, you can quickly find others like them on the same shelf. So if you identify one promising book for your paper, go find it and you will likely have several more.
  16. 16. And don’t forget OhioLINK, which lets you borrow books from nearly any college or university in the state. If the book you need is not in the Sinclair Library Catalog you can easily re-do your search in the OhioLINK catalog.
  17. 17. • At Sinclair, we’ve reached the point where we have more electronic books than print books. • eBooks can be found in LibSearch or the Sinclair Library Catalog and are all 100% free to be used either on or off-campus. What About eBooks?
  18. 18. Depending on where you are searching, the language will be slightly different, but look for words like “full-text” or “connect to resource.”
  19. 19. Most eBooks are read within a web browser, but we have some that you check out virtually and download to your computer or device. Popular collections include EBSCO eBooks, Safari Books Online and The Ohio Digital Library (these are the ones you “check out”).
  20. 20. Now that we’ve covered books, what about articles?
  21. 21. Articles are published in information sources called periodicals, of which there are several common types: • Scholarly journals • Trade magazines • Popular magazines What’s the difference?
  22. 22. Comparison of Periodicals
  23. 23. Articles, especially scholarly articles, are usually much more focused and specific than books, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on your topic.
  24. 24. The library has subscriptions to over 300 periodicals in print, usually keeping the past five years. But the vast majority of our articles are in electronic form through the library website. Where can I find articles?
  25. 25. Where can I find online articles? Use LibSearch to search for keywords related to your topic or even the title of a specific article (searching here will return more than just articles).
  26. 26. Where can I find online articles? Or find a LibGuide for your class or subject to see recommended article databases in your discipline.
  27. 27. If you are checking to see if we have a particular periodical title, use the Sinclair Library Catalog:
  28. 28. Or use our A to Z List of e-Journals for details on which years, volumes and issues we have online:
  29. 29. Other commonly used sources • Newspapers - both in print and online through many of our databases. • Websites – some are credible, such as a governmental organization; others are not, such as a personal blog post. We’ll talk more about evaluating information in a future lesson.
  30. 30. • Primary sources – this does not mean one particular format (like a book or journal) but rather any document or object that was written or created during the time period being studied. Examples: Diaries, speeches, letters, interviews, official records, creative works or even artifacts. Other commonly used sources
  31. 31. Finally, in addition to thinking about the source formats you need (reference sources, books, journals, magazines, etc.) give some thought to what specific evidence you need to write your paper. What do you need to prove to the reader? Facts? Trends? A cause and effect? What information will allow you to do that?
  32. 32. Next Steps: Look over the resources in the “further activities” section to the right and take the Quiz below it. Also, please leave any comments or questions you have below this presentation.
  33. 33. Credits Title slide - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Narrative_Books_on_Library_Shelf.JPG Slide 3 - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:G%C3%B6ttingen-SUB- Encyclopedia.Americana.JPG Key Takeaway: To write a good paper you will usually need to use a variety of information sources, and the library provides books, periodicals (journal articles, magazines, newspapers) and reference sources (topic overviews from encyclopedias and dictionaries) in both print and electronic forms. Search across all types of resources with LibSearch, try an article database, or use the Sinclair Library Catalog and the OhioLINK catalog to find books.