How to find INFORMATION for your assignments Information Age = Information Overload? “How do I sort through it all to find what I need?!” This is where the Library comes in… The Library can provide the quality of information you need for your assignments! We’re here to help! See us at the Information Desk if you need any assistance in the Library! 474-3450 ext. 4221 [email protected] “But how do I find information in the Library?” First step... Make sure you understand your assignment! Take the time to carefully read it over. What is it you are expected to do? If something isn’t clear to you, ask your instructor. Choose a topic… Pick something you’re interested in. Make your topic specific. Do some background reading. Look up unfamiliar terms. Background Reading • Reference books • Your course textbook • Check the Catalogue for other books related to your topic www.eclibrary.ca This is where you begin when looking for Library sources of information. To find reference books you can use online… www.eclibrary.ca → E-Resources Select Reference… Read the descriptions to help you choose which reference source to use. Next decide what kinds of information you need… Books? Journal articles? Newspapers? Statistics & data? Maps? Government documents? Websites? Finding books and articles... Think of the main concepts of your topic… Sample topic: What are the effects of global warming on weather? The main concepts are: global warming weather Keywords Global warming and weather are called keywords. They are what you use to search for books and articles. Finding Books… www.eclibrary.ca → Catalogue First choose how to search… If you want books about a particular topic, it is easiest to start with a Keyword Search. Search using single words or short phrases... You can narrow a search by adding another keyword… Join multiple search terms with “and”. Click on More Information to see if the item is available. Note the Call Number and Location to help you find the book. Call Numbers… ...act as a book’s address on the shelves. ...are a combination of letters and numbers. ... are read line by line. QC 981.8 .C5 F446 2006 If the item is an E-Book… Click on the link icon to access the book online. Find Course Reserves… My Account User ID = student number PIN = birthdate (mmddyy) Finding Articles... Most of the Library’s journals, magazines and newspapers are available electronically through databases that the Library subscribes to. Journals, magazines and newspapers in paper or microform formats are kept in the Periodicals Collection at the back of the Library. What’s the difference between a journal and a magazine? Journal Articles • • • • • • • • • Scholarly Written by subject experts Report on original research Specific audience Usually > 5 pages Abstracts References Usually no pictures No advertisements Magazine Articles • General-interest • Written by reporters, feature editors • Meant to entertain • Wide audience • Usually < 5 pages • No abstracts or references • Glossy, with pictures • Advertisements You can search the Library databases for articles on a topic. The advantage? You can search several publications at once! www.eclibrary.ca → E-Resources Select a subject or a type of resource to access databases... General databases provide articles on a variety of subjects. Other databases are subject-specific. Designing Your Search Use single words or short phrases that best represent the main ideas of your topic. Join 2 or more search terms with “and”. Searching for articles in Academic Search Premier… If you get too many articles, you need to narrow your search. Adding another search term… ...results in fewer, more relevant results. Clicking on a subject heading adds it to your search… You can select Academic Journals This will limit your results to these publications only. To find out more about an article, hold your cursor over the article preview icon To get the article citation, click on the title… To get the full article… Look for a full text link… Or click on Off-Campus Access to E-Resources Nipissing students: Username = WebAdvisor ID Password = WebAdvisor password Canadore students: Username = student number Password = birthdate (mmddyy) To see if the Library has the journal, magazine or newspaper you need... Enter the title of the publication... Journals by Title indicates the dates and formats of publications held by the Library. Evaluating your information… ...is an essential step in any kind of research! No matter where your information comes from, you need to look at it critically to decide if it is suitable for your assignment. Ask yourself a few questions... Is the author qualified to write on the topic? Is the information current? Is it accurate? Is the article unbiased? Is it relevant to your assignment? Make sure you keep track of all the sources you use for information… You will need to acknowledge all your sources in a list of references. Not doing so constitutes plagiarism which is a serious academic offense. Need help in the Library? Please come to the Information Desk if you need any assistance in the Library! Or contact us at: 474-3450 ext. 4221 or [email protected] Questions?