Environment at Tech Library
- Databases are indexes of electronic information. This tab shows you how to access the databases particular to the environment, and all the resources they contain including many scholarly journals online.
- Use the Journals tab for information on finding and retrieving articles from our many online and print journals
- Reference Resources is an excellent place to get started with your research.
- The Books tab helps you find our books, whether specific titles or just a section of the library.
- The Interlibrary Loans tab explains how to use the ILLiad system to borrow books and articles form other libraries.
- Use the Refworks & Citations tab to get help properly citing your sources. RefWorks is citation software that can not only create bibliography pages, but also assist with your in-text citations.
Every source needs to be assessed in some way, to determine if it has what you need and is worth your time and effort.
"If you put garbage in a computer, nothing comes out but garbage. But this garbage, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow ennobled, and none dare criticize it." Anonymous
If you use the Internet for academic research you should pay careful attention to the sites you use. Below you will find tips that will help you evaluate websites and their content. Remember anyone can post anything to the Internet and no one controls its validity or accuracy.
- What is the purpose of the website- is it designed to sell you an idea or a product. Is the information biased, does it lead you to believe one point of view, or train of thought
- Who published the information on the site- it is essential to determine the source of the information published. If their is no author listed or if the author is a corporation or other interest group take care to analyze the information presented to you. If you are not familiar with the author search for them using a search engine
- Who is the audience- Most of the information you will find on the Internet is aimed at a general audience and may not be useful for academic research. If you use a site for academic research you should make sure the information is presented at an academic level. if you find a site you think is suitable for academic research compare its information with a trusted source to make sure it is reliable and accurate. Also, look for documentation of facts on a site-if the author does not document their information this should warn you that the site is unreliable
- When was the site created/last updated-It is important to determine when a site was created or updated. If a site has not been updated in a long period this should raise a red flag to its validity, as with all information the best research is done with the best information available at that time
- References-look to see if other individuals refer to a site you want to use. If other individuals are negative about a site you should seek out your information else where.
Tensen, Bonnie, L. (2007). Research strategies for a digital age. (Second Edition). Boston, MA:Thomson