Evaluating Information Sources - Publish

Evaluating Information Sources - Publish

EVALUATING INFORMATION SOURCES Scott Cowan [email protected] Fay Kennedy [email protected] AGENDA Talk about what sources of information are

available How to evaluate the information How to search for the information LETS TALK RESEARCH. MATCHING AN INFORMATION NEED WITH AN INFORMATION SOURCE: WHAT IS OUT THERE??

SOME SOURCES OF INFORMATION Newspapers/Magazines Dictionaries/Encyclopedias Books Data/Statistics Peer reviewed/Scholarly Journals Websites MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS Examples of Periodicals

and Magazines: Time, Macleans, Nature, Sports Illustrated, The New Yorker, Wired, Rolling Stone Either in print or online Often very current and immediate

Offers a wide range of perspectives Articles are usually short/concise Usually not peerreviewed or scholarly (editors) ENCYCLOPEDIAS/DICTIONARIES Excellent overviews useful for introduction to a

topic/concept Well-organized Wide range of topics Provide further readings Example: Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia WIKIPEDIA GOOD OR EVIL?? Who wrote it? Can report incorrect

information (has a history of reporting wrong deaths/information Can be biased ENCYCLOPEDIAS/DICTIONARIES BOOKS/MONOGRAPHS A scholarly book

or treatise on a single subject, complete in one physical piece, usually written by a specialist in the field. Comprehensive, covers many

aspects of a topic Written by experts, edited by publishers Can take years to research, write, and publish Usually long SAMPLE BOOKS & MONOGRAPHS

SCHOLARLY ARTICLES Can also be called academic Research/review articles written by experts Evaluated by scholars for its content and accuracy Very specialized; articles focus on a specific

aspect of a topic Reviewed by editors and/or subject specialists before being published Sometimes too specific for an overall picture of a particular topic Example: Canadian Journal of Psychology GENERAL WEBSITES Advantages

Disadvantages Immediate and fast Readily searchable Multiple points of view available Vast amounts of information available almost anywhere 24/7

Quality and reliability of information frequently questionable Information can be very general Finding information can be difficult Sites or information can disappear over night

OTHER KINDS OF RESOURCES Government Documents Government Statistics Market information EVALUATING INFORMATION SOURCES What is the source? Is it reliable? Are the links accurate? Believable? Cited? AUTHORITY: Who is the author? Qulaifications? Is it

sponsored by an organization? CONTEXT: Does the content help with my research? Biased? Is it trying to sway you? CURRENCY: When was it written/published? Kept up to day? COVERAGE : Do I understand it? How is it presented? Use of graphics, text, stats? In-depth? ACCURACY:

HOW TO FIND SOURCES Use Leddy Library databases - search by subject or title if you do not know the name of the journal - Browse journals is you know the name of the journal the article is in Use Google Scholar - In Google, type Google Scholar and then click on advanced search

Other Search Engines? ITS ALL ABOUT THE SEARCH TERMS Words are how we find information Different resources use different words Have an arsenal of search terms at your disposal Names

Other Spellings Descriptions Vocabulary Synonyms Dates

Concepts Places SEARCH HINTS AND OR NOT Truncations (*) finds all forms of a word Example: econom* will find economy, economics, economical, etc.

Wild Cards (?, $) Wom?n will find woman, women Behavio?r will also find behaviour Phrase Searches Use with two or more words in an exact order Example: World Series, Civil War FROM QUESTION TO CONCEPTS Is incarcerating male perpetrators of violence against women an effective response to the

problem? Incarceration Key Concepts: Males Violence against women Effective Prison, mass incarceration, prison abolition Men Domestic violence, battery

Prevention, intervention *Finding good information can take patience and thoughtful planning* DEAD ENDS?

Difference resources? Different approach? Reword question? Broaden question? Narrow focus? Different source? Different database?


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