Introduction to Information Literacy: Week 6 Books, Bias and Print Periodicals
From Reference to “Regular” • Use the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) to find circulating books • There are two Santa Rosa Junior College Libraries: Plover Library at the Santa Rosa campus and Mahoney Library at the Petaluma campus • Students can borrow books from either library. If a book you want to read is checked in but at another campus, it is possible to have the book sent to JC library of your choice. • The SRJC libraries contain materials and access to information that supports the curriculum of the college; however, students have access to other local libraries.
Sonoma County Libraries • The Sonoma County Library District is a unified, county-wide library system. Branches extend as far north as Cloverdale, south to Petaluma, and west to Sebastopol and east to Sonoma. • No matter which branch of the library system you use regularly, you can have materials sent to you from any other branch in the system. • In addition, the Sonoma County Library participates in resource sharing with many other North Bay area libraries. You may make requests to borrow those materials yourself through the library's "Super Search" program. • The Sonoma County Library also provides access to online databases for its patrons (users). • The Sonoma County Library’s web address is: http://www.sonomalibrary.org
Sonoma State University • The University Library serves the academic program of the Sonoma State University. While the Santa Rosa Junior College is a two-year college serving the needs of students in their first two years of higher education, the University is a four-year institution which also offers master degrees in a wide array of subject areas. • This means that the information needs of SSU students include resources which go into greater depth than those you might find at SRJC. • At the SSU library you will find the same types of information resources as the JC, but you will also find more material (or more in-depth material) on more specific subheadings of various research topics. • Sonoma State University and the Santa Rosa Junior College have reciprocal lending agreements. This means you can borrow books from the SSU Library using your SRJC student ID. • The SSU library’s web page is located at: http://libweb.sonoma.edu/default.html
Assignments for Next Week • Using the Library Catalog (OPAC) worksheet. • Book Source Assignment.
Detecting Bias in Periodical Sources • Bias itself is not inherently “evil.” In fact, the Opinion and Editorial (Op. Ed.) page in newspapers thrive on it. • Bias is not always deliberate. However, the background or attitudes of the writer can influence the news. • Biased reporting is mostly found in news and/or popular periodicals and Internet sources. However, bias can sometimes be observed in scientific or social science research: what is studied or researched may be the result of cultural bias.
Detecting Bias in the News The Center for Media Literacy identifies six ways in which bias can creep into news sources: • Bias through selection and omission. • Bias through placement. • Bias by headline. • Bias by photos, captions, and camera angles. • Bias through use of names and titles. • Bias by choice of words.
Characteristics of Periodical Literature The term periodical refers to publications such as: • Magazines • Journals • Newspapers. Periodicals are usually published relatively frequently and in an ongoing manner year after year. Periodicals typically are soft cover publications with simple bindings.
Periodicals, continued • Periodicals are not limited to print format. Some periodicals are published online, or as digitized information residing in a remote database or in CD-ROM or other optical disc format. • The periodical publishing cycle is very timely, second only to the Internet in speed of publication. • The bulk of published information (either online or print) appears in periodical format. • The content of a periodical article reflects opinions that are the most contemporary treatments of an event or issue. If you are interested in reviewing the evolution of opinion or thought on a particular topic, periodical literature is the best place to look for this change over time. • Periodical literature may also be the only source for information on some topics. Those topics may have been too faddish or too fleeting (in terms of interest to a readership) for those topics to have appeared in book form.
Popular vs. News vs. Trade vs. Scholarly • “Magazine" is a term usually used to refer to popular (or general) periodicals, the periodicals that appeal to broad groups of readers. Articles in popular periodicals tend to be shorter in length and do not usually contain highly specialized or technical language. • News sources can refer to some periodicals and newspapers. Newspapers consist of short articles and are also non-technical in nature. They tend to cover current events and issues. They are excellent "primary information" resources because they provide firsthand reports or accounts of events. • News periodicals such as Time and Newsweek are current event oriented literature in magazine format. • Trade periodicals refer to magazines that are targeted at specific occupational groups and businesses. They contain shorter articles but tend to be aimed at those who share an occupation or business goal in common, and offer insights into trends and thought on particular aspects of commerce and service industries.
Popular vs. News vs. Trade vs. Scholarly • As we discussed in Week 2, Scholarly periodicals are more highly specialized, contain a higher level of technical terms and tend to follow a more complex conversational pattern that recalls earlier treatments of a topic or research area. • The intended audience for the scholarly periodical article is usually a more specific and limited segment of the population. Scholarly articles frequently contain many references and a lengthy bibliography. • Scholarly journals frequently have rigorous submission standards. Articles are usually either peer-reviewed (also know as refereed) and can also be "blind-refereed." • Scholarly periodicals can be divided into three general areas: humanities (such as art, literature or journalism), sciences (medicine, computer and information sciences, agriculture) and social sciences (sociology, anthropology, business).
Finding periodical articles (print and online) • The periodical index is a list of citations that refer to full periodical articles. An article can be indexed by subject headings that describe the article content. Articles are also indexed by author names and broad or specialized subject areas. • The index will always include the full citation for the article, including author(s), article title, the name of periodical in which the article appears, the volume and issue number of the journal, the date and page numbers of the article. • Some indexes include abstracts (brief concise summaries) of the article itself. • Print indexes will contain the article citation and sometimes abstracts, depending upon the index. • An online index may also contain the full text of the periodical article itself. • Indexes can be specific to a single periodical or a group of periodical articles from many different periodicals. These can be arranged by academic areas such as the Humanities, the Sciences, and the Social Sciences. Or, these indexes can be targeted at general populations such as public library users. Other indexes exist which only target medical professionals. • The SRJC libraries carry a variety of print indexes. They are located near the Reference Desk in the Reference Area.
Choosing a Periodical Index • Knowing where to find relevant periodical articles for your research means exploring the resources of the library. • Different institutions (colleges, universities, public libraries) offer different types of indexes and different types of technology for locating information… they should be geared to the library’s users. • At this time, the SRJC OPAC does not contain article citations or full text periodical articles. You need to use an index to find periodical articles. • Choosing which index to use can be a challenge. Ask yourself where the resource you’re considering (database, search engine, print periodical index, etc) will “look” when you do your search. • What materials and/or formats are included? Excluded? • Will the resource you choose lead you to an article citation? Will the full text of the article be there? What is the date range or the index? • You can then search for titles of periodicals on the OPAC or use the blue Periodicals listings book
Step-by-Step Process for searching the Print Periodical Indexes • Choose your search terms; get help from the “Big Red Books” or the OPAC if necessary. • Choose the index that best suits your needs (the Readers’ Guide. AKA the green books you used in High School, the Humanities Index, Biography Index, etc.) • Look for your search terms in the index. Search multiple years if necessary. • Find citations for articles that cover your topic in the index. • Check the blue book that lists SRJC Periodicals and their formats for your source. • Use the green card to request articles from the Periodicals desk in the library. • Note the format: is your source available in microform, bound or paper issues? • Read your source: make copies or take notes if you need to. Don’t forget to note complete citation information!
Assignment for Next Week: • Print periodicals worksheet.