Tag Archives: Research Therapy

Research Therapy: Need help coming up with a topic for your research paper or project?

Our new session of Research Therapy gives you ideas on where to look for topic ideas, how to narrow your topic, as well as a couple of online library resources that are a great place to begin your research. 

Topic Exploration image for video

Concept Mapping

Concept mapping is a great way to expand on a general topic; it also helps you to think about the different aspects of your topic. Here’s a template for a basic concept map. Here’s another concept map when you’re trying to identify the who, what, when, where, why or how of a topic.

As mentioned in the video keep in mind the different angles you could take on a topic:

  • Geographical → where
  • Sociological → who
  • Psychological → why
  • Historical → when

Library Databases

After you pick a general topic it’s a good idea to do some general background resources. Oviatt Library has several different online reference resources such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, biographical resources and more. The databases mentioned in the video are Opposing Viewpoints in Context and Credo Reference.  We also have a list of online reference resources listed under the Find Articles by Subject page, as well as an organized list of our databases by subject.  We also have a general Research Strategies guide to help you along with the research process.

 -Laurie Borchard        laurie.borchard@csun.edu

Please tell us what you think about our Research Therapy videos at our survey. Thank you.

Research Therapy: Women’s Health Resources

The Oviatt Library has partnered with the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health for this special session of Research Therapy. For more information see ‘Cited at the Oviatt’ blog post 3/6/2013.

Surely you’ve been faced with a women’s health question that needs answering—either in your own life or for a project. Of course, you should ask your doctor if you have a particular ailment that needs attention, but sometimes you want to get some preliminary information online that is free of ads and written by trustworthy health care experts. Or maybe you want to write your final paper on the emotional impact of high school bullying on lesbians, but you know Googling “lesbian teenagers” is probably not going to get you the results you need for a school paper.

So where to start? Take a look at Women’s Health Resources—an online portal to women’s health and wellness information and research funded by the National Institutes of Health. This video will give you a tour:

Research Therapy

The information and research found on Women’s Health Resources comes from a number of valuable NIH and NLM collections. Learn more below about three in particular: ClinicalTrials.gov, MedlinePlus, and PubMed.

medicine bottle

At ClinicalTrials.gov, you can see the status of clinical trials as well as data from finished studies.

What is a clinical study?  A clinical study involves research using human volunteers (also called participants) that is intended to add to medical knowledge.  There are two main types of clinical studies: clinical trials and observational studies.  ClinicalTrials.gov includes both interventional and observational studies
http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/about-studies/learn#WhatIs

Image courtesy CDC Public Health Image Library / Amanda Mills

Medline Plus image - Woman

MedlinePlus offers objective up-to-date health information in easy-to-understand language.  Get background information on diseases, conditions, wellness, drugs, treatments, and more.

 Image courtesy CDC Public Health Image Library / Amanda Mills

Graham Stain

Pubmed is a collection of citations from biomedical research in journals, books and more.  Connect to CSUN resources (so you can read the full articles) by accessing Pubmed from the Oviatt Library website.

http://library.csun.edu/xerxes/databases/database/CAL03160
Image courtesy CDC Public Health Image Library / Dr. Libero Ajello

The Oviatt Library also has plenty of women’s health material for your research needs. We offer subject databases and resource guides in both Health Sciences and Gender and Women’s Studies.

If you are using Google or another search engine to find online resources on women’s health, make sure you check out our session of Research Therapy all about website evaluation. You wouldn’t ask just anyone on the street for health information, so don’t accept it from just anywhere on the internet!

Whether it’s for yourself, a research project, or “a friend”, if you need help finding health information or Women’s Health Resources, contact the following librarians:

Lynn Lampert: lynn.lampert@csun.edu

Marcia Henry: marcia.henry@csun.edu

Anna Fidgeon: annaliese.fidgeon@csun.edu

- Anna Fidgeon

Please tell us what you think about our Research Therapy videos at our survey. Thank you.

Research Therapy: You Don’t Have to Come to the Library to Get a Library Book

You know you don’t have to come into the library to get your hands on some books, right? And if you’ve ever checked out a book from the library, only to find it doesn’t have any information you need, you should try looking at Google Books first.

The Oviatt has hundreds of e-books available, straight off of the website. Even if the book you want isn’t available electronically, you can still use Google Books to take a peek at the content. You might save yourself a trip! Watch this video to learn more:

ebooks video image

We want your feedback! What do you think of Research Therapy? What would you like to see in future episodes? Please, fill out our survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/J9QWNY8

- Anna Fidgeon

Please tell us what you think about our Research Therapy videos at our survey. Thank you.

Research Therapy: Citing Your Sources

The sixth installment of Research Therapy gives you a brief overview of why you need to cite, when you should cite and how you should cite.

Do you have a research paper or project coming up and your instructor wants a specific number of sources? Knowing when and how to cite your sources can be a little confusing. The most important thing that you need to know is that you need to cite anything you use that doesn’t originate from you. Not only should you do this when you’re writing a paper or working on a research project, but also when creating a presentation or a website. You should cite tweets, blog posts, images, podcasts, and YouTube videos, basically anything you use that you did not create yourself.

citing image

Citation Styles
Different academic disciplines have different citation styles, it’s important that you know what style your instructor wants you to use. Here’s some examples of the different styles.

citation chart

Citing Special Resources?
Here’s a list of resources and guides for citing less common sources.
Government Documents
Business Resources : a comprehensive guide from Harvard Business School on citing various types of sources, including reports, interviews, and legal cases (just to name a few).
• This guide from Boise State gives examples of citing images, Twitter, Facebook, blog posts, maps, and videos.

Need More Help?
For additional help on creating citations using various styles check out Oviatt Library’s Citing Your Sources guide. For a quick how-to on creating an annotated bibliography, check out session three of the Research Therapy video series.
Still confused, about plagiarism? Check out this online tutorial created by UCLA students.

-Laurie Borchard

laurie.borchard@csun.edu

Please tell us what you think about our Research Therapy videos at our survey. Thank you.

Research Therapy: What is a Scholarly Article?

Have you ever wondered exactly what is a scholarly article? And how can you tell if an article you’ve found is scholarly? Watch the following short video and read the information below to answer these questions and more!

Why Can’t I Find Scholarly Sources on My Topic?
If you’re having trouble finding scholarly sources on your topic, you may be running into one of these problems:
Not enough time has passed: it takes time to conduct research, write the scholarly article, and then get it published. If your topic concerns an event that happened recently (in the last year for example), there may not be anything scholarly published on it yet. The Fix: find scholarly articles on broader themes related to your topic. For example, if you wanted to write about the 2012 presidential election, you could find scholarly articles on past presidential elections dealing with aspects that relate to the current election.
Need to try another database: you may be looking in a database that doesn’t have many scholarly articles, or it may not have many articles from the subject area your topic falls in. The Fix: try using a subject-specific database or one of the other resources in the Finding Scholarly Articles section below.
The topic hasn’t been researched: since scholarly articles are the results of research being done by professors and other experts in the field, there may not be scholarly articles on your topic if someone hasn’t yet undertaken the research, found an angle of interest to the field, or found a measurable way to test it. The Fix: find scholarly articles on broader themes related to your topic. For example, if you need a scholarly article for your speech on how to tie a tie, you probably won’t find scholarly articles explaining how to tie a tie, but you may find articles on how men’s neckwear has evolved through history.
Can Books be Scholarly?
Usually when we talk about scholarly sources, we’re talking about scholarly articles. However, books can be scholarly as well. One factor to look at for books is the publisher. Books from university presses (such as University of California Press or Harvard University Press) are more likely to be scholarly, but you should also check that there are references cited in the text and listed at the end and that the language of the book is scholarly.
Is It Peer-Reviewed?
Many scholarly articles are peer-reviewed, which is when the journal’s editor has other researchers in the field review the article before it is published. They evaluate the content and procedures used and recommend whether the article should be published as is, revised, or rejected. Peer-reviewed journals are also known as refereed journals.
To check if the article is peer-reviewed, you can
• Check the About or Focus/Scope section of the journal’s webpage. Many journals will say if they are peer-reviewed on these pages.
• Look the journal up in Ulrich’s to see if it is peer-reviewed. For more information on how to do this, watch the Is This Journal Peer Reviewed? tutorial.
Finding Scholarly Articles
To find scholarly articles, try:
JSTOR or Project Muse, which consist entirely of articles from scholarly journals. JSTOR covers most disciplines while Project Muse focuses on humanities, arts, and social sciences.
• Selecting the Scholarly or Peer Reviewed check box available in many general and subject-specific databases, such as General OneFile or PsycInfo.
• Using Google Scholar instead of Google. You can set up Google Scholar so you can access CSUN resources from off campus.

- Danielle Skaggs

Please tell us what you think about our Research Therapy videos at our survey. Thank you.

Research Therapy: Be a Search Boss

We admit it. Searching a library catalog or database is not always as straightforward as Google. And sometimes, searching Google is frustrating because you get so many questionable results. So how can you find that really great article for your paper? This video will show you some tactics to help get you on your way to being a Super Searcher!

I’m finding too much! I can’t find enough!
If you are overloaded or underloaded with search results, you might want to rethink your search strategy by brainstorming broader or narrower concepts. For example, if your topic for a 5-page paper is gay rights, do you think you could cover everything ever about gay rights in so few pages? If so, you should give me some writing lessons.

searchstrategy image gay marriage
Most likely, with a topic as broad as gay rights, you probably want to focus on something a little more narrow under the umbrella of gay rights, such as gay marriage. If you still feel like there’s still too much on your topic to cover, you might focus in even more. For example, you could specifically look at Prop 8.

Question your assignment
One way to think about your topic is to form it into a question you can answer with your research. This can also help you focus your topic. Here are some examples:

searchstrategy image ask yourself

It might seem frustrating when you have to keep adjusting your search, but that’s exactly what research is, it’s re-searching until you find what you’re looking for. If you feel really stuck, be sure to Ask A Librarian for help.

- Anna Fidgeon

annaliese.fidgeon@csun.edu

Please tell us what you think about our Research Therapy videos at our survey. Thank you.

Research Therapy Takes on the Annotated Bibliography

It’s that time of the semester – papers and other types of research are being assigned. Today we explore a research assignment you might not be familiar with: the annotated bibliography.

Annotations – More Information
Need a little more guidance on what to include in your annotation? The following table provides examples of descriptive and evaluative information you can include in your annotation. You can include both types of information in your annotation.

annotated bib chart

The Oviatt Library also has full sample annotated bibliographies (MLA or APA) and citation guides (MLA or APA) available to help you. We also carry the Chicago Manual of Style Online.

-Danielle Skaggs

Please tell us what you think about our Research Therapy videos at our survey. Thank you.

Welcome Back to Research Therapy!

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:

authoritativepic
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.
Domainimage
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.

- Anna Fidgeon

annaliese.fidgeon@csun.edu

 Please tell us what you think about our Research Therapy videos at our survey. Thank you.

Introducing New Video Series: Research Therapy

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 “How to Find 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.

How to Find a Book on the Shelf

-Laurie Borchard

laurie.borchard@csun.edu

 Please tell us what you think about our Research Therapy videos at our survey. Thank you.