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SiteSeeing @ Fenwick. Basic Research Tips. The Library Lecture!. Library vs. Web Types of Information How to Find Stuff Books Journal Articles Scholarly vs. Popular Learn More! Stump the Librarian! (Topic Talk). Ain’t it the Truth?.

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Basic Research Tips

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The Library Lecture!

  • Library vs. Web

  • Types of Information

  • How to Find Stuff

    • Books

    • Journal Articles Scholarly vs. Popular

  • Learn More!

  • Stump the Librarian! (Topic Talk)

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Ain’t it the Truth?

“What burns me up is that the answer is right here somewhere, staring us in the face.”

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Web World vs. Library World

Web Sources

  • Not reviewed

  • Some information is free (e.g., government)

  • Fugitive information (blogs, message boards, etc.)

  • Not organized

  • Not comprehensive

  • Not necessarily permanent

  • Do-it-Yourself

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Library World vs. Web World

Library Sources

  • Peer Reviewed

  • Paid For; Free to Students

  • Organized

  • Comprehensive

  • Permanent(print, archived)

  • Mason Librarians: Human Search Engines

    • In person

    • By phone

    • By e-mail

    • By appointment

    • Virtual Reference

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What’s the Point?



Check Us Out!

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Information Needs & Choices

If you need current information about university hackers being caught yesterday…

try print newspapers and the Web. Why?

If you need scholarly sources with research about theft of personal information over the Internet…

try periodical databases & indexes, books. Why?

If you need popular sources about scams on the Internet…

try books, magazines, e-zines. Why?

  • You might try:

  • Journals and books Magazines (and perhaps e-zines on the Web)

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Your Topic: Narrow It


Hint: Ask yourself some questions!

  • What do you know about it? What don't you know?

  • What aspects of your topic interest you: historical, sociological, psychological, etc.?

  • What time period do you want to cover?

  • On what geographic region do you want to focus?

  • What kind of information do you need?

    • a brief summary or a lengthy explanation?

    • periodical articles, books, essays, encyclopedia articles?

    • statistics?

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Your Topic: Broaden It

“Are genetically altered soybeans are safe for consumers?”

Hint: Look for parallels and opportunities for broader associations

  • Could you examine other bioengineered foods, in addition to soybeans?

  • Could you think broadly about safety concerns and issues -- what might these be?

  • Who are the key players in this area? Consumer activists? The FDA? Scientists?

  • What other issues are involved in this topic? Such as, how should be foods be labeled?

    Hint: Brainstorm! (and ask a reference librarian!)

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Types of Information Sources

  • Don’t rely too heavily on one source of information

  • Choose a variety of sources

    • find support for your thesis

    • provide different points of view on your topic

  • Look at two basic types of information sources

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  • Check it out: Mason Library Catalog

  • Look for Statistical Abstract

    • Library Locations

    • Call Number

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  • Proquest

  • Expanded Academic

  • Full Text?

Scholarly vs. Popular

- Which is what?

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Learn More!

  • Library Research Classes

  • Help with Research

  • Find a Librarian

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Stump the Librarian!

  • Give a topic

  • Get some tips

  • One Minute Feeback