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Chapter 11
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Chapter 11

Research and College Libraries

 

The information Age, the information Explosion, and the Information Society

 

 

During the early stages of American development Agriculture dominated our time.  Most people farmed.  Today, only a tiny fraction of Americans work the land, yet, our markets, silos and granaries are full.

 

During the Industrial age we made things.  We still do, of course, but we have an automated industry so that fewer people can produce more goods.

 

Today we live sin the Information Age.  A name we have coined because it signifies the importance of information in our everyday lives.

 

        Information has overtaken things as the new commodity.

 

        America’s gross national product (GNP) is substantially information based.

 

        There is more information than ever before.  It doubles at an ever shortening interval.  The abundance has not made information easier to get although the abundance creates that illusion.

 

        Most American workers are employed at originating, managing or transferring information.

 

        Information has value, you can determine its benefits in dollars, and you can compute the cost of not having it.

 

        Information literacy is the survival skill for our generation.

 

        The information professionals at your library are the world’s leading authorities on how to find information.

 

 

Most Colleges and Universities describe their three major missions as

 

Teaching

Research

Service

 

While each of these missions is vital, we know that without the ability to find and evaluate information quickly the world would come to a standstill. Information feeds research, and research produces discoveries that improve our quality of life. 

 

Those who decide not to play, or who play poorly, will lack the ability to keep up, to participate, and to succeed in college.

 

“Playing” means more than learning how to operate a computer or visiting the library.  It means learning the basic research and critical thinking skills needed to make sense of the vast amount of information at your fingertips.

 

It should be remembered, however, that

 

IN THIS AGE OF INFORMATION, NOT EVERYTHING WE LOOK UP AND FIND IS RESEARCH

 

 

 LEARNING TO BE INFORMATION LITERATE

(What does this mean?)

 

Here are four things to remember about information:

 

        Know that information (it helps empower people to make good choices)

        Know how and where to fine it (when sick you must know whose help to seek)

        Know how to find and retrieve information (Cultivate relationships with Librarians)

        Learn how to interpret the information you find (while it is important to retrieve information, it is even more important to know what to do with once acquired)

 

Once you locate data, you need determine how the information fits your need?

 

        Is it introductory

        Is it definitional

  • Is it analytical (does it supply data about origins, behavior, differences, etc
  • Is it current or dated (is it someone’s opinion, or is it research documented)
  • Whom are you going to tell about your discovery, and how (will you be presenting it orally, written or both?)

 

 

 

 

RESEARCH AND PRESENTING AN ASSIGNED TOPIC

 

As you prepare to research and present your Paper and Oral presentation there some techniques that you should attempt to master in order to present your findings to the class and for the instructor.

 

Critical is selecting the correct database for your particular subject or topic. Will you best find the information you need in Print or Electronic sources?

 

You have a topic, an inquiry task, and a product to produce.

 

Topic Organization            Inquiry Task             Product

 

Wal Mart                            Introduction             Paper and /oral presentation

KFC                                    History

Home Depot                       Current Trends

MicroSoft                           Problems, if any

Cox                                     Important Aspects

Target                                  to report

Wendy’s                             Conclusions or closing statement

Board of Veterans             

 Appeal                                                                                           

 

As you research your database, decide whether you need to use Scholarly Publications, Popular Magazines or both.  Do know the difference between the two?   Let’s look at both.

 

Scholarly Journals                                             Popular Magazines

 

Long articles                                                         Shorter articles

 

In-dept information on topic                               Broad overview of topic

 

Written by experts in the subject field                Written by journalist or staff

                                                                             Reporters

 

Graphs, tables, or photographs                            Lots of color photos of

To support text                                                     people and events

 

Articles “referred” or reviewed                            Articles evaluate by editor

By peers in field                                                                                            

 

Documented by Works Cited                               No bibliography provided,

Or Reference page                                                but sources credited

 

 

ASK A LIBRARIAN – LIBRARIANS TRIVE ON HELPING YOU

 

In your quest for information, you need to begin by assessing what you already know and explore for a while on your own.  However, you may decide to get some help.  Ask a librarian.  Librarians are information experts who are trained to assist and guide you to the resources you need.

 

ABOUT PLAGIARISM

 

In recent history, s serious candidate for the American presidency was forced to withdraw from the race when opponents discovered he had failed to give proper credit to a source he used in one of his speeches. 

 

Everyone is on guard against idea thievery.  When ideas are put on paper, film, screens, or tape, they become intellectual property.  Using those ideas without permission and/or without saying where you got them, and sometimes without paying for them, can cost you a grade, a course, a degree, maybe even a career.  Plagiarism can mess you up big time.  And it is so easy to avoid.

Just remember:

 

        If you use somebody else’s exact published words, you have to give that person credit.

 

        If you use somebody else’s published ideas, even if you use your words to express his or her ideas, you must give that person credit.

 

 

Using the rational, “I didn’t know” as a defense for plagiarism is not an acceptable excuse.  As a college student, it is paramount that you know what is acceptable and ethical in oral and written research presentations.

 

For the purpose of your written presentation in this class you will be using APA style format, which gives specific instructions for footnotes, references and bibliographies. (I believe there is a handbook on the APA writing style in the library)

 

Remember, the information Literacy skills you learn and employ as a student are the same ones that will serve you well as a successful professional.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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