So you’re going to cite a website in that paper? If you want to impress your professors with a great bibliography, you need to to evaluate your sources carefully. Watch this short video and read below to learn what you should know about researching using the web.
What qualities should your web source have?
As a scholar-in-training, you are learning to decipher good information from the lousy in order to have an informed understanding of a topic. If you’re going to use a web source for your project, it should have these qualities: Authoritative- the information comes from a qualified source Unbiased- the information is balanced and shows both sides in a non-persuasive manner Current- the information is up-to-date for your particular topic Accurate- the information reported is verifiable and opinions are distinct from fact
Ask yourself these questions to determine if your source is right for your needs:
But what about domains?
Let’s take a look at what common domains mean, and why you might want look beyond where it was registered to determine if the information you’re getting suits your research needs.
Now that you’re equipped to evaluate the website you want to use, you can handle these issues. Know who is posting this information online and why. Make sure you’re getting your information from experts. Provide a balanced view of your topic. And, be sure you’re capable of understanding and synthesizing the information. It takes time to learn this stuff! Be a little skeptical and you’re already on your way.
Still don’t get it? You can always Ask A Librarian for help.
The Oviatt Library has created a video series called Message in a Minute for Faculty to let faculty know about Library resources and services. With seven videos produces thus far, and with more than 3,400 hits to view the videos, many faculty members, as well as other interested viewers of the Library’s YouTube channel, have been able to learn about new and longstanding resources due to this series. To date, the topics of these brief videos include: Course Reserves, Interlibrary Loan, Librarian Help Through Moodle, Searching Cited References, The Place To Be (Library Tour) and one about our new streaming video service, Video Furnace. Our latest Message in a Minute video released talks about the benefits of Library lectures and tells the story of how one student was able to succeed with his research assignment through faculty and Library intervention. Please take a look at this latest video below and feel free to browse the other videos at the Library’s YouTube channel. Tutorials and other interesting and fun clips about the Library and its resources and services can be found there as well.
Even if you’re not a music or CTVA major, Music & Media has something to offer you! With your library card (CSUN ID), you can check out books, scores, DVDs, CDs, and more.
Looking for a place to spread out with your homework? We have open study space and plenty of power strips for to plug in your laptop. Want to take a break and watch Young Adult or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? Take a movie home or watch in one of our carrels.
Spending a lot of time in your car? Why not learn a new language or listen to a book? To find an audiobook, search by keyword or title and limit to Sound Recordings.
Welcome Matadors! The Oviatt Library would like to introduce our new Fall video series Research Therapy. Every couple of weeks we will release a short 2-3 minute instructional video. The purpose of these videos is to provide you with tips and tricks that we think you might find helpful throughout the semester. Some of the topics include: how to find books, evaluating websites, using Google Scholar and citing your sources. The first video in this series is “HowtoFind Books on the Shelf.” We realize that our Library is pretty large and it can be confusing for new users. The focus of this video is how to take the call number of the book and find it on the shelf. For more videos and tutorials please visit our Tutorials and How-to’s page.
We hope you find this video helpful as you navigate through your first couple of weeks of the Fall semester.
Posted onAugust 27, 2012This page was generated by the Oviatt Library|Comments Off
Welcome back Matadors! This school year promises to be an exciting time filled with academic challenges and intellectual growth. During this first week of the fall semester, we at the Library wish you luck in finding all of your classes and in forging meaningful relationships with your peers and your professors throughout the year. We will have additional librarians at the reference desk most of this week, so if you have a question, don’t hesitate to come see us. There will also be an Information Technology table in the Library lobby to help assist you with any of your connectivity issues or questions. But support won’t be limited to the inside of the Library building. We will also have a special Ask Us! Booth on the west side of the Library near Magnolia Walk. Librarians and staff will be there on Monday, August 27 and Tuesday, August 28 from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. to answer your questions about finding specific buildings or classrooms and to provide information about the Library as well. In fact, we will be giving away highlighters, pens, notepads and other school supplies while they last so be sure to stop by, say hello and get your free giveaway items. Happy new school year to all!
Posted onAugust 16, 2012This page was generated by the Oviatt Library|Comments Off
In addition to the many new students who will be descending upon campus in the upcoming days and weeks, more than 50 new faculty members will be joining the CSUN academic community for the 2012-2013 school year. In fact, the campus New Faculty Orientation will be held on August 21 and 22 in the Library’s Jack & Florence Ferman Presentation Room. Coordinated by Faculty Development, a program of the CIELO Center, the two-day orientation will provide faculty not only with basic campus information to help orientate them in their new setting but also provide them with quite a few sessions to support a smooth transition. Faculty attending the event will have the opportunity to meet other new faculty members and CSUN campus leaders. Current technologies utilized on campus and within the classroom will be discussed as well as many opportunities to explore the nuances of connecting with students and faculty. We at the Library are especially excited about the event. Library Subject Specialists will be present and take new faculty members on a tour of the Library. Of course, these are just highlights of the event since so much more will be shared. However, it promises to be two days filled with ideas and support for creating an amazing first year on campus and within the Library. Welcome to all new CSUN faculty!
Posted onAugust 11, 2012This page was generated by the Oviatt Library|Comments Off
The new academic year is quickly approaching and everyone it seems is preparing to welcome our new in-coming freshmen in particular. The Oviatt also has many special activities planned for new students within the next several weeks. As in past years, the Library is grateful to be included in the Office of Student Development’s coordinated Service Fair. We’ll have a strong presence at these promotional booths this year as well. Our librarians will be on hand at a dozen of these events to answer questions and distribute Library information. Many giveaway items such as pens, notepads and highlighters will be available to new students. We hope this opportunity to meet and interact with us will help to ease the transition from high school to our campus and Library. The Service Fair days, hours and locations vary but many run within the next several weeks between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. inside the Matador Bookstore Complex. Stop by to see us if you have the time and say hi even if you are not a first-time freshman.
Within the upcoming weeks, the Library will also be hosting our annual Ask Us! Booths. During the first two days of the new semester we’ll be situated for several hours each day on the west side of the Library along Magnolia Walk. Library staff and faculty will be on hand to provide directional information to those new to campus. We’ll also answer other campus and Library related questions that can sometimes arise while rushing to navigate a new academic schedule. So look for us there as well!
Posted onAugust 3, 2012This page was generated by the Oviatt Library|Comments Off
The Library suffered two losses within the last two weeks, one deeply personal and the other literary but both impactful in meaningful ways. Peter Prager was a wonderful friend and colleague to many here at the Oviatt. He passed away last week after a recent, serious change in his health. As former Special Assistant to Library Dean Emeritus, Sue Curzon, Peter collaborated with just about everyone in the building during his many years working within the Library. Always collegial and professional, Peter could be counted on for a positive and kind word for those lucky enough to be in his presence. His knack for engaging others in lively conversation always brightened the day. Peter also had a sense of humor that endeared him to many as well. We will miss Peter and his warm and caring demeanor and are grateful for the privilege it has been to share in his professional life. The Oviatt is a better place because Peter was a part of our Library family.
This week also marked the passing of literary giant Gore Vidal. Author of 24 novels, five plays, two memoirs and several volumes of essays Mr. Vidal was known for his acerbic wit and satirical observations. Usually controversial and never conventional, he took great pleasure in being a public figure. But it’s his works that speak best for him. A prolific writer, Mr. Vidal found his greatest success with historical novels, specifically his American Chronicles: Washington, D.C. (1967), Burr (1973), 1876 (1976), Lincoln (1984), Empire (1987), Hollywood (1990) and The Golden Age(2000). However, he was also a master writer of essays with his collection The Second American Revolution which won him the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism in 1982. You may want to take a look at the Oviatt Library’s Gore Vidal Pinterest board which includes an interview, famous quotes and information about his writings.
Posted onJuly 28, 2012This page was generated by the Oviatt Library|Comments Off
It used to be you had to come into the Library if you needed to use a reference book such as an encyclopedia or specialized dictionary for your research. But not anymore. While we still carry a plethora of print reference books and house them readily on our shelves, the Oviatt has amassed an impressive collection of reference e-books which makes finding quick, factual information a snap. With more than 350 titles accessible online, our reliable, library-subscribed reference e-books (Wikipedia step aside) can be accessed from anywhere. Take a moment and visualize yourself doing academic research at the beach thank you very much. Check out our Research Strategies Reference Sources page and discover the wide range of encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories, handbooks and almanacs that are available electronically. These reference e-titles can be searched by subject, title or by browsing more than a dozen of our Most Frequently Used Electronic Reference Books. Within these online books you will find encyclopedias in the disciplines of art, philosophy, literature and law just to name a few. Of course, there are also many general information based reference sources and even an entire page that links to government reference data. Who knew that finding government reference sources and statistics on a myriad of topics could be orchestrated from one Library reference webpage? So while we’d really love to see you here in person at the Library whenever possible, we’d also like to invite you to take advantage of our many reference e-books and other reliable online information the next time you have a reference research need.
Posted onJuly 19, 2012This page was generated by the Oviatt Library|Comments Off
Select to watch Mummies: Perfect Study Specimens
You may not mind paying $12 at your local movie theater to see that latest flick but did you know you can log in to Oviatt Library resources and watch a film for free and learn something new at the same time? Our Films on Demandmultidisciplinary streaming video service provides CSUN students, staff and faculty with access to more than 5,000 digital and educational titles. The beauty of the service is that the films within this database collection can be watched from any computer with your CSUN User ID and Password. Some faculty members have embedded Films on Demand movie links into course pages on Moodle to provide easy access for their students. But the collection can also be accessed from Databases A-Z on the Library’s homepage.
Films can be as short as 10 minutes to an hour long. One faculty member reported being “thrilled” with the selection of titles the database carries within her discipline. She found one video that was even more poignant than the film she had been showing regularly to her classes. The subjects covered are varied but are within a wide-range of disciplines that include anthropology, health & medicine and music & dance just to name a few. Overall, the collection carries films in the areas of humanities, education and the sciences. A Special Collections section within the database also provides access to films from a variety of well-known series such as the American Experience, Frontline and Tedtalks. The videos can be watched in their entirety or segment by segment which is handy if you only want to find or watch a particular part of a film.