Video Link: https://youtu.be/vvxr5LQHQfE
Mysteries of the Library: Revealed! Reference and Background Resources
>> KIM BURTON:
Welcome everybody again, to mysteries of the library revealed!. This time we are talking about reference and background information.
This is a monthly webinar series would put on with a specific library topic. It is on the third Monday of every month unless it is a holiday which we then postponed to the fourth Monday. It is at 8:30 PM Eastern. We cover many library topics, each one half hour long, and they are intended to give you information in a nice small format, that you need. And we do a wide range of them, so we have them in many different topics. We have two scheduled for the upcoming months. In September, we are doing a webinar on finding dissertations. And October 21, we are doing one on finding online information and evaluating that information.
Tonight we are talking about reference and background information. We will talk about what they are and why you would need them. We will talk about two specific databases we have from SAGE. These contain encyclopedias, videos and other reference materials that will outline the research processes, provide definitions, and let you see the big picture as it relates to conducting research. Then we will talk about a couple other specialized databases we have in the library.
With that, I'm going to change this over and let Andrea present for our next slide.
>> ANDREA LEMIEUX: Great. Everybody should be seeing a slide that says, what is reference information? If you are not seeing that slide, let us know. If you remember back to elementary school or middle or high school, when you had to write a report, I know that I often went directly to the reference section straight to the encyclopedias. Compared to reading an entire on your topic, reference books always tended to have the essential facts and an overview of the topic that I was looking at. It also included a brief history and summary of current events and trends, which was much more helpful than reading through an entire book on that topic.
The Walden library has the same reference materials, and they provide the same function that I just mentioned. The only difference in Walden reference materials is they are not your high school world book encyclopedias, that have the very small entries about one paragraph long. They're much more extensive and they are from scholars written by experts for other academics. They not only give you an overview of a topic, but often provide more extensive information so they can talk about related theories and research methodologies.
Like journal databases that you search looking for journal articles we have specific reference databases that you can search for encyclopedia and handbook articles.
To get some perspective in the difference between the two, let's briefly compare a peer-reviewed article with a reference article. If you look at the first entry listed there, you will see that is a research article. If remember to your courses or other library webinars you may have taken, peer-reviewed articles are focused on just one or two very specific variables related to a particular topic. So they are going to cover the information that was collected related to those variables in a research study.
If we look at the title of the first example, you can see this is going to be an intensely focused article that is just going to give us a small piece of the puzzle having to do with drug use. In this case it happens to be medical marijuana and prescription medication misuse.
If we look at the second citation on the slide, we will see this is coming from a handbook, and the chapter title in the handbook is called, the sociology of drug use. It comes from the encyclopedia of 21st-century sociology. I can tell you because it comes from a handbook at will have a much broader coverage of the topic. And I bet once we look at it, we will find information about maybe some of the theorists having to do with this topic as well as related theories, as well as some other general information regarding drug use, that likely will include things such as legalized drug use, prescription medication.
So let's take a quick look at the article and see what it actually has in it.
This is from our database called cap stage Knowledge. This is the chapter, chapter 42. We can see that it came from the handbook 21st-century sociology. If you scroll down and look, we can see that it talks about the sociology of drug use. Here is the overview. But what is really helpful is it will talk about what early research on this topic looked like.
Hopefully no one gets seasick from all of the scrolling, but that it will talk about specific theorists having to do with research. You can see that it is not a world book of encyclopedia entry. If we printed it would be about 10-20 pages. It is giving us an overview but it is much more brief and concise than reading a 200 page article about the sociology of drug use.
We can see early sociological insights, theories -- than if we scroll down it has more information about current trends and issues. If you are familiar with peer-reviewed articles, you can see there could be a significant difference between peer-reviewed research and information that is in encyclopedias.
So let's talk about why is reference information important then? I think just from the article be looked at, it is not hard to see the benefits of using reference materials because this is all the things they can provide you. They can provide you with the topic generally which is not in peer-reviewed research because it is focusing on one or two specific variables in the research project. It will give you a broader perspective and the topic in general and it can help you understand peer-reviewed research. So to give yourself context for medical marijuana, that encyclopedic article could be very helpful.
I can help you guide your research so if you are having difficulties brainstorming or narrowing the topic, again for grinders writing a research paper all look up to dissertation students who know the general area of interest, but do not know quite where they want to focus the research. Encyclopedia and handbook articles can be helpful in that sense.
And they can be indispensable and quickly identifying theories and methodologies related to that topic.
Let's talk about the specific databases that we use to research reference material. I am going to hop over to the library website. When we are at the library website, this is a general rule of thumb I think you'll find helpful when you are navigating -- is when you are looking to do something in the library and you don't find an obvious link or button on the homepage. Another good place to go to is start your research up here on the top menu. This will get you to just about every other type of information we have in the library.
If you click on, start your research, and you look at, search by type -- if you scroll down all the different types of materials we have you will see a link for encyclopedias handbooks and dictionaries. So if we click there, you will see our list of encyclopedias and handbooks, databases, and the two that we will focus on tonight in particular are SAGE Knowledge and cap stage research methods. Cap stage acknowledges for general encyclopedias and handbooks, so like the article we just looked like.
SAGE research methods are encyclopedias and in books on research methodology. So to get started, let's look at some other examples of things you can find in SAGE Knowledge. The article that we just looked at on drug abuse was from SAGE Knowledge, and so let's try it one other general topic.
For example, you are writing a research paper or your dissertation interest is in special education grade we can simply type in, special education, in the main search box. and we will take a look at what we can find in some of the results list.
Some of the types of results you will see our entire handbooks on the topic.
I wanted to point out a complete handbook -- but we will make do with what we have. So this is an article, a disability studies frame for research approaches and special education. But it is coming from -- we notice a chapter because it's is found in the SAGE handbook of special education. And there are actually two volumes. So we can either look at this particular chapter or we can actually look at the entire book.
Let's say for instance, we wanted to look at the entire book. If we click on it, you will see that it will have the same features as any other book. It will have a table of contents, it will have an index. So you can see that handbooks are going to be arranged by chapters. So they will be much more extensive and have a broader scope than say an encyclopedia entry. And we will look at this. So we can look at the different sections, there will be ones on research, perspectives. I know that they have information about theories as well. So this is what a handbook looks like. You can print, you can search within the handbook, you can use the search index, just like any other book, handbook has the same features.
If you go back to the results list, let's see if we can find an example of an encyclopedia. These are mostly handbooks. Hopefully nobody is getting seasick from the scrolling.
You can see this is a chapter called special education, but it is found in the encyclopedia of school psychology. So if we are to click on the chapter, we can see that it is arranged slightly different. It will have a pretty extensive article, not as extensive as a handbook. It is a little bit shorter. But you can see the table of contents will be entries A to Z, so does not arranged by chapter but you can also search the encyclopedia or use the subject index.
I just wanted to mention that again, these resources can be indispensable for finding theories. So you can look at general theories. If you wanted to look at some social theory and things that can be applied to sociology and to the social and behavioral sciences, you can see there is an entire handbook on social theory, there's an encyclopedia on social theory, and then there are specific articles inside them.
That is general but we can search for something very specific like emotional intelligence. This is a very specific type of theory. It is a very specific there, I should say. You can see, again, this is a chapter in the encyclopedia of industrial and organizational psychology. And you will see these in different types of encyclopedias, they -- or handbooks, they may be focused on education or psychology or maybe even business.
With that being said, I am going to go ahead and turn the presentation over to Kim, so she can talk more about SAGE research methods.
>> KIM BURTON: Thank you Andrea. Are you seeing my screen with the SAGE research methods?
>> ANDREA LEMIEUX: I am, it looks good.
>> KIM BURTON: Now we are going to talk about SAGE research methods online. This is a database that allows researchers to explore different methodology and research concepts. But it is a little more than that. It's not just for finding information on a particular methodology or identify new ones, it can also guide you on ways to integrate your research methods into your capstone projects and how to start your capstone project and work through to the end.
For example it can explain the difference between planning and designing research. It can help you match research design with the appropriate research methods, and it can help distinguish between the different types of data that your research methods can generate.
Let's go ahead and jump out to that database. I will just go through the steps that Andrea just showed you, just to reiterate them for you. If you click on that, start your research, button at the top banner across every Walden website, then search by type, you can click on encyclopedias, handbooks and dictionaries. And here we have the link to SAGE research methods online. So we can search broadly or specifically.
I can type in quantitative.... And hit search to see what they have on quantitative research methods. SAGE will bring back everything that they have for quantitative research. So we have almost 10,000 results. We can now this results, and there are a couple of ways to do this. We can thereby content, we can just a box, we can narrow by reference materials or videos in case you just want a short video to learn something quick about it.
You can also narrow by discipline, so let's say -- let's select all to unselect everything, and then we can click on, business management. It will bring up all the quantitative information that SAGE research methods online has in business.
You can also search for specific research design. Let's say you are interested in cohort studies. I'll put cohort studies in there. It will find everything on cohort studies, but it always defaults back to everything. So it is not narrowed by business discipline or videos, if I had selected that earlier. You can see that it gives us the definition of cohort studies.
In our list, we have the dictionary. That will provide us with some definitions. We have a little green book, which is just showing examples of specific research design and used an actual research. We have a couple of those.
And we have encyclopedias, we have a lot of those research resources that were in SAGE knowledge, and a little bit more.
One of my favorite things about SAGE research methods online is the methods map. The methods map is -- it is a conceptual mapping tool. It shows how methods, terms and concepts commonly found in research are all related. And it helps you find quick links between them, between those different concepts.
It starts off with the definition and a link that would take me back to the search results, cohort studies.
But I can go down here and look at broader terms which is bringing us to longitudinal research. Longitudinal research -- we have a definition here. And then we have related terms that I can click on or go back -- and look at narrower terms. Here we have the cohort studies, but other different types of studies as well.
We can look at census data. So if you wanted to find out information about the census data, I can click on here and it will bring back all the content on census data and then I can use the box on the right to narrow it down more.
You can see that we have some journal entries, project planner entries -- this is a chapter in a book. What I want to talk to know about is the project planner. This is a really cool tool that is in SAGE research methods online but sometimes you get results that contain information from the project planner or you can access it from the main page. Design a research project.
This is basically a tool that goes over every step in a capstone project. You can see that it has it chronologically and you can follow it chronologically if you want but you can come back when you have a question. Say you are at the point of research design. If you click on there, it will bring you with the definition of what you should be doing at this stage. And then it has a bunch of questions that you may be asking yourself as you are going through here. Let's say you're trying to see how social theory help me identify a research method.
It will give you information about that, additional links outside to other resources in the database. Often there will be a video with a transcript. And if we scroll all the way to the bottom, you can see that it has a checklist. So it can help you through deciding and method. So these checklists can be helpful for you if you are stuck at any point in your capstone research project. And this can be any Research Project, Dissertation, Project Study, or Final Project Due for Undergraduate or master’s Level.
Now I want to bring this back over to Andrea and she will show you two other really cool databases that we have in the library.
>> ANDREA LEMIEUX: Two databases: CQ Research has in-depth reports on current events. And then we have Gale, which is geared towards controversial issues. They contain similar -- they have a similar scope of their information is arranged differently. So we will take a look at what those databases look like and the information within them.
If we go back to the library homepage, since we know the name of the two databases, we can go down here to this button, databases A to Z, and select those databases specifically.
If you want to go to CQ researcher we can click on C, and on that. this covers current events. You can see all kinds of subject areas. If we were to click on human rights, you will see different articles listed. So if we were to look at education, we will see topics very current and things you will sing in the news. Diversity issues, early childhood education.
Let's take a look at what one of these reports looks like. They have featured reports and then they also have a list of recently added reports. Let's look at prescription drug costs because as many of us know that has been in the news over the last few years.
Let's click on here and see what is in this report. Again, like reference information it will give us a brief overview and background. It is much briefer than what we were finding in the handbooks. So it is very brief because they have a lot more sections that are standard throughout the reports.
You can look at the current situation on prescription drug costs, so what is actually going on currently. We can look at what the experts on this topic are going to predict the future is going to look like. And I should note that many of these reports -- actually all of them -- are centered around sort of a policy point. So can policymakers make medicines more affordable? So all of these areas are going to be related to that.
That is good to know because once you get to the pro-con section, you are going to read more commentary and editorial, again, from experts in this field good and you can see their qualifications under here. They will both make a pro and con point for whether think policymakers can make medicines more affordable.
Like I had said at the beginning of the presentation, reference materials often have essential facts or timelines. What is great about CQ Researcher, is it gives you a chronology. So if you were looking at drug use, prescription drug costs, early childhood education -- it will give you a chronology that is going to give you a very quick but extensive overview of the topic on a timeline type of format.
Given this and some of the other materials we looked at, it is good to note that often students will go to Wikipedia -- I've done that myself -- to get a general overview of the topic. Because Wikipedia, even though it is not writable in and of itself, it provides an overview of a topic. So I would recommend searching your topic either in the SAGE knowledge or possibly CQ Researcher.
Let’s look at Gale and see the difference in what that looks like as opposed to CQ Researcher. We will go back to the library homepage. Again, databases A to Z, and we click on G for a Gale. This is based on controversial issues. we have it highlighted here, featured reports and we have them by subjects you can select those as well. What is interesting, since they are all current you can see they have topics related to the debate for the next election.
So if we were to look at one of their current issues, if we were to look at racism and explore this topic, you can pick the subject you want to look at here, and it is also the same information as down here, but in a different format. And you can see the information is arranged more by type.
So if you want to look at academic journal articles related to this topic or biographies, they have news and magazines for popular sources as well as viewpoints. If we were to look at viewpoints, this is going to be more experts opinion or outlooks on this particular topic. You can see a lot of these are coming from the Gale viewpoints collection.
If we go back, and we look at academic journals, you will see that you are going to get a lot of research articles and you can see the journals they are coming from: education next, close one, capital in class, Yale Law Journal -- you can go and read the journal articles related to this topic. This gives you a quick overview it is just that the format is different from CQ Researcher.
If you have any questions, with those in the question box. So SAGE knowledge, general encyclopedias, SAGE research methods which is related to methodology, encyclopedias and handbooks, and then we talked about two specialized databases that have more of a focus on current and controversial topics. But again have that same reference information.
I'm going to go ahead and turn this over to Kim so she can close it up and show you how to -- show you where to go for questions. Kim, why don't you take it away.
>> KIM BURTON: Thank you. If you have questions there's a bunch of ways to get your answers. These are links to those places on the library website. I'm just going to go out there and show you how you can access them. From the library website, this banner that goes across every library page, click on the, ask a librarian, link. Here you can ask us a question. We answer emails within 24 hours unless the library is closed for a holiday.
You can chat with us if Is open. Today's date and the time chat is open is always highlighted in yellow. The times are in Eastern time. When chat is alive, the blue button is blue. When it is not life it is great. You can check right now with the reference librarian who is working.
You can call and leave a voicemail and we will respond to the voicemail by email. And if you need more in-depth doctoral research appointment, you can always set up an appointment with one of our librarians.
If you just have a quick question, one of the easiest things to do is to use our quick answers. These are frequently asked questions and if you have a question than someone else probably has answered it before. You can write in here, background information -- and we can see if we find anything on background information. Biographical information, encyclopedias -- of probably should have searched for -- let's search for -- encyclopedia. There we go.
Here are the encyclopedia quick answers. When you click on them and has information for you, pictures, sometimes it will have a short video and links to further information so feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions. I'm going to go and stop the recording.
Thank you everybody for coming, and I will hang out with Andrea if anybody has any questions you want to ask us. Bye Bye!
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