Student Guide to Research in the Digital Age: How to Locate and Evaluate Information Sources

Student Guide to Research in the Digital Age: How to Locate and Evaluate Information Sources

Student Guide to Research in the Digital Age: How to Locate and Evaluate Information Sources

Student Guide to Research in the Digital Age: How to Locate and Evaluate Information Sources

Synopsis

One of the most perplexing aspects of research today is what to do when there's too much information on a topic. The key, says Leslie Stebbins, is to know how to find the most promising information, evaluate it, and use it effectively. Individual chapters provide a step-by-step introduction to research and critical evaluation and specific types of information resources, as well as guidance on such skills as note-taking and referencing. Students and librarians alike will benefit from these suggestions, strategies and straightforward examples for developing good filtering instincts and management of search results.

Excerpt

A friend of mine who has dangerously high cholesterol levels and is taking six medications recently visited a nutritionist to look into alternative ways of reducing his cholesterol. The nutritionist advised my friend to become a vegetarian immediately, exercise an hour a day, meditate, take up yoga, and eliminate caffeine and sugar from his diet. Overwhelmed with this advice, he immediately proceeded to the grocery store where he purchased two cartons of Haagen-Dazs ice cream.

In some ways a research project can resemble my friend's trip to the nutritionist—so overwhelming that there is a temptation to fall back on a Google search, grab a few items, and begin writing. Unfortunately, using a massive search engine like Google will not provide you with the most scholarly, relevant, and reliable resources on your topic. A research paper is only as good as the quality of the resources upon which it is based.

This book is essential reading for any student embarking on a research assignment. The most challenging aspect of research today is finding too much on a topic and having to choose which information resources are the most important to include in your paper. Student Guide to Research in the Digital Age: How to Locate and Evaluate Information Sources is designed to teach students how to find and evaluate scholarly resources on the web and in print.

Each chapter of this book discusses when to use a particular type of resource, how to find it, and how to evaluate it. Critical evaluation is presented as a component of every stage of research from formulating a research question, choosing tools to search, developing search strategies, and selecting resources. The web is presented as both a complex medium which distributes scholarly electronic journals, ebooks, digitized primary . . .

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