Tag Archives: Research Therapy

How to Read Citations

Have you ever stared at a citation and had no idea if it was a book, chapter in a book, article or website? This infographic in our Research Therapy series breaks down citations for you, highlighting the various elements that make up a citation.

How to read a citation

Book Citations 

Elements of a book citation: author, title of book, publisher information, year. and format.

Elements of a chapter in a book citation: author of chapter, title of chapter, title of book, editor of book, publisher information, and page range of chapters.

Book Clues:

  • If the citation has publisher name and location, it’s a book!
  • In MLA citation style the format means the medium of publication.
  • E-books may have a URL, database name, or date of access at the end of the citation.

Article Citations

Elements of magazine and journal article citations: author, title of article, title of publication, volume number, issue number, year of publication, and page numbers.

Elements of a newspaper article: author, title of article, title of publication, date of publication, page number or section.

For articles found in an online library database the only difference in the citation is the addition at the end of the citation of the following; name of the database, format, access date, and sometimes the URL or DOI.

Article Clue:

  • All published articles will have two titles; the title of the article and the title of the journal/magazine/newspaper.
  • In MLA the format for an article in a library database will say “web”, but it’s not a website.
  • Magazines may just have a month of publication instead of a volume and issue number.
  • Depending on the citations style, you may see a URL or DOI for an article in an online database.

Website Citations

The elements of a website citation usually include: author/editor, title of work or page, name of the website, publisher or sponsor of website, title URL, date of publication, format, and access date.

Website Clues:

  • Websites may not provide publication dates.
  • Websites don’t always have authors, they may just list the organization that created the website.
  • Depending on the citation style, you may see the term “retrieved from” followed by a URL.

Things to Remember

  • Every citation style is different, but the elements of what makes up a citation are the same.
  • If you’re unsure of what type of article it is, just Google the name of the publication
  • You can always ask a librarian for help!

– Laurie Borchard

Find Out About Magazines and Journals!

Magazine vs Journal

Magazines vs. Journals

 Popular Sources = magazines and newspaper articles

  • Purpose: Inform and entertain the general reader
  • Authors: journalist or professional writers (usually employees of the publication)
  • Audience: general public
  • Coverage: Broad variety of public interest topics, cross disciplinary.
  • Publisher: Commercial
  • Characteristics:
    • Few or no cited references
    • General summaries of background information
    • Contain advertisements
    • Length of articles are usually brief, 1-5 pages
  • Frequency: Published on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
  • Examples: Time, Newsweek, Vogue, National Geographic, The New Yorker

 Scholarly Sources = journal articles

  • Purpose: To communicate research and scholarly ideas
  • Authors: researchers, scholars, or faculty (usually listed with their institution affiliation)
  • Audience: other scholars, students
  • Coverage: Very narrow and specific topics
  • Publisher: Professional associations, academic institutions, and many commercial publishers.
  • Characteristics:
    • Includes full citations for sources
    • Uses scholarly or technical language
    • Peer reviewed
    • Length of articles are longer, over 5 pages
  • Frequency: Published on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis
  • Examples: Journal of Politics, Sociological Review, Journal of Marriage and Family

 Things to keep in mind:

  • You can find both types of sources using the Oviatt Library’s Databases.
  • Book reviews and editorials found in journals are not considered scholarly articles.
  • Both magazines and journal articles can be good sources for your work.
  • Often a combination of the two will be the most appropriate for undergraduate research.

– Jamie Johnson

Research Therapy: Controversial Topics

Welcome back to another session of Research Therapy. This session is all about researching controversial topics.

Are vaccines safe enough? Should there be more gun control? Does government surveillance conflict with privacy?

As a student, you might be assigned a writing prompt in which you are asked to write about a controversial issue, or a “hot” topic. Once you have chosen a topic, this type of assignment requires you to include outside knowledge in addition to your own interpretation and opinion. Knowledge about your chosen topic can be found almost everywhere, but remember the different types of sources: books, newspapers or magazines, and public information on the Internet. In this tutorial, we introduce three academic databases that can help you find reliable sources for a writing assignment on a controversial issue.

Why does this matter?

As a consumer of information, it serves you to be well aware from where you’re obtaining your news—that is, what sources are you accessing to feed you information. A “hot” topic is controversial because the issue must be socially complicated, must have more than one point of view, and probably stirs debates among people with opposing opinions. Due to the controversy, the media and sources that report on the current events of a social issue have difficulty reporting information that is completely objective—that is, without a subtle bias, political beliefs, or commercial interests. Since it’s almost unrealistic for journalism and the media to report information without some degree of media bias, you should think and reflect about how accurate and fair the sources are presenting you with news. If we measure the objectivity of the source by how accurate and fair that source presents information, then we can learn about the many sides of an issue and its opposing points of view.

How do we distinguish between objective and unreliable sources?

Just because a news source is opinionated or espouses a possible agenda—like a political leaning or corporate backing—that does not mean it is unreliable. But sources that show multiple views and allow rebuttals to their own stated opinions are more likely to provide a well-rounded examination of current events and social issues. As a researcher, you should try to find those type of sources—so that even if you’re writing about your interpretation of an issue, your viewpoint will present opinions that are well supported and aware of all the other points of view.

Links to databases featured in videos:

Opposing Viewpoints in Context
Gale Virtual Reference Library
CQ Researcher

 -Mario Macias

Research Therapy: Digital Library Resources

If I got a nickel every time a student asks me at the reference desk for a “book or article” on their topic, I would have a lot of cents. But the warm, happy feeling I get when I show a student a useful resource he or she didn’t know we had is priceless.

Library databases contain so much more than scholarly articles that you can use to complement your research or for building your own knowledge: documentaries, speeches, streaming music, photography, decades-old newspapers, your professors’ professional work, the list goes on and on.

This session of Research Therapy will introduce you to just a few of the databases that contain resources that you may not think about when you think “research”:

In addition to the databases in the video, here is a list of other resources (free websites and library databases) you can use to build your Digital Library:

Digital Library Resources
Name Images Video eBooks Audio Ephemera
Internet Archive X X X X X
ScholarWorks X X X X X
Project Gutenberg X X X X
American Memory Project X X X X
Berg Fashion Library X X X
NBC Learn in Higher Ed X X X
Calisphere X X
Oviatt Library Digital Collections X X
Biography Index Past and Present X X
Great Speeches Video Series X
Films on Demand X
Theatre in Video X
Environmental Studies in Video X
LGBT Studies in Video X
Naxos Music Library X
Ebrary Academic Complete X
Safari Tech Books Online X
eBook Collection X

Wayback Machine

You know how websites change all the time? If only there was a way to see what the page looked like five years ago…

THERE IS!

The WayBack Machine on the Internet Archive has been capturing websites since the nineties. And these aren’t just screenshots, many of the links still work so you can click around like it’s 1999.

Wayback Machine screenshot

ScholarWorks

Did you just take a class that blew your mind and want to learn more from your professor?
Do you want to see what academic research looks like?
Are you considering grad school and want to know what a thesis looks like?

Check out ScholarWorks, CSUN’s institutional repository, where you can search by type of work, author, and department:

ScholarWorks screenshot

 

Need help building and organizing your digital bookshelf? Take a look at the Research Therapy session on Using Reference Managers to learn more about organizing your digital library.

And remember, you can Ask A Librarian about much more than books and articles. Let us know if you need help!

– Anna Fidgeon

Research Therapy: Let the Library Help during Finals Week

Finals Are You Stressed ComicHow the Library Can Help ComicThere’s no need to worry, the Oviatt Library can help! The Oviatt is open extended hours beginning December 4 to help you prepare for Finals week. We know that none of you would wait until the last minute to do your research, but just in case you did and you’re struggling, you can get help from a Librarian 24/7. Come see a librarian at the reference desk in the Learning Commons. During finals week from Monday to Thursday there will be a librarian at the desk from 8am to 9pm, Friday from 8am to 4:45pm, Saturday from 12pm to 4:45pm and on Sunday from 12pm to 5pm. You can also contact us online, via chat or email as well as text messaging, check out our Ask a Librarian page. You can also get help online with our subject and course guides, including a guide for Citing Your Sources.

The Learning Resource Center is located on the 3rd floor of the library in the East wing; they offer tutoring, help with paper writing and citations. Check out their webpage for more information and hours. You’ll want to make sure to call ASAP to make an appointment.

If you just need a place to study, don’t forget that you can reserve group and individual study rooms in the library. You can reserve these rooms in advance online, using our online booking system.

In case you need a break we have special events happening during Finals week. We’ll be handing out pillows all week along with special events like: arts & crafts, board games, a graffiti board and therapy dogs. Check out the flyer for dates and times of these events.

For more suggestions on how to de-stress, check out our Pinterest page for tips on relaxation, motivational memes and cute photos of animals.

Just remember to keep calm and carry on and if you can’t do that, then scream, dance, or shake it out!!! http://youtu.be/WbN0nX61rIs

-Laurie Borchard