In this lecture, we will learn some tips about using the Internet for research.
For a long time, I resisted doing this workshop, preferring that students have the experience of going into the library and looking up books and journal articles on the actual shelves.
But as librarians got more and more tech-savvy, they made just about everything accessible on the web themselves. That's a great thing, but it also makes things a bit confusing for students - how do you distinguish between a library source and any other source?
Journal is a term meaning a peer-reviewed academic magazine of sorts. A journal is usually published by professors at a university 2-4 times a year.
Well, first of all, you can trust the library. We have a whole staff of librarians who are trained to find excellent research material - everything in the library has been carefully evaluated to be quality research material. By quality, I mean mostly peer-reviewed.
Peer-reviewed means just what it says - before an author's book or article is published in a psychology journal, for example, other psychologists (peers) have to read it and agree that the article meets basic academic standards. So when you read an article in American Psychology, you know that a significant body of professors agree that the article is well-done and worthwhile. They don't necessarily agree with the interpretation or conclusions, but they agree that it's a well-founded argument.
On the other hand, when you do a google search and find an article at http://joespsychology.com, what do you know about it? Nothing! That's the key difference - Internet/web articles can be written and posted by anyone. Some of them are very good, and some of them are garbage. They may be written by a retired librarian, or they may be written by the proverbial crazy man in an attic somewhere.
So surfing the net to research your paper is a very dicey proposition - and this lecture will give you some specific tips on how to surf better, wiser, and faster....