Of Research Â
About the Author The author is a 17-‐year old student who made this project for her Library Sciences class. She wrote this book to help middle school students with their research projects/
The of Research ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior written consent of the publisher or a licence.
Table of contents The Definition of Trustworthy
How to evaluate a website
Spotting misleading sites
Free engine sources
-‐Google, Bing, Aol, Yahoo
Databases and Encyclopedias
Library Books and Ebooks
Checking your info (Don’t believe everything you see)
One Last Note
The meaning of trustworthy Similarly to starting the alphabet, we have to start from letter A. In this sense, we’ll start by defining what trustworthy means from two different sources: the dictionary and from the internet. Dictionary: -Able to be relief on as honest or truthful Internet: -worthy of confidence; specifically : being or deriving from a source worthy of belief or consideration for evidentiary purposes -deserving of trust or confidence; dependable; reliable: The treasurer was not entirely trustworthy. To determine if the website is trustworthy we use the C.A.R.E.S criteria Advice: Try to find your own definition of trustworthy; this will help you evaluate websites faster and easily.
Evaluating A Website How do we know who to trust? The C.A.R.E.S criteria help us evaluate a website. There are five basic criteria you can apply: 1.) Current or Cross-checked, 2.) Authoritative, 3.) Reliable, 4.) Ease of Use, and 5.) Support for research question.
urrent or cross-checked
This means that updated information and the facts on the website matches information found in “expert” sources. Make sure the website matches information found in “expert” sources. Information related to history need not have been published in the last year, but information related to science and health should be current, not from 4 years ago. Health information should be no more than 6 months to one year old.
Individuals who authored the information should be clearly identified on the webpage and his/her credentials should be clearly specified. Check the “about” page or home page for links.
Information is not based on one favorable point of view that is the information is not bias.
ase of Use
Information should be easy to use, where the layout and features are clearly visible and easy to navigate, and search limiters are found to help narrow search items.
upport for research question
The source supports your research topic/question. Here are some videos to help you evaluate websites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrXNCj9n6e4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYV3ZmThuls http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta1RMXVOig0 Advice: Never use a source from an anonymous author. Even if a person has a Dr. degree, look for information such as a brief biography that specifies where the individual went to university. Always look at the domain name to check whether a website is trustworthy or not. (More information is found on 5). One a webpage, look for a date in which the website was last updated. (*Hint* Look at the bottom of the site)
Misleading and Untrustworthy sites How to point out a spoof, hacked, malicious site, non-informative site? Using the C.A.R.E.S. criteria can be used in these situations.
Spoof sites These sites are just for fun and are meant in jest/humor, but many may look real. Here is an example of a spoof site: http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/ Malicious sites The sites that aim to discredit someone or an organization in a particular vicious way for the purpose of disseminating misinformation Hacked sites The websites that copy the exact look and form of the real web site and look authentic but are false! Tip: Uncovering a hacked site: -cross-check information from other websites. Also look for a page describing who authored the web page. The real web page provides contact information about actual members. Misinformation sites Websites that twist the truth by leaving out important facts and information Tip: Always use more than one source and cross-check information with other sites.
The Free Engine Sources There are 4 major Free Engine Sources: Google, Bing, Aol and Yahoo. Although a LOT of information can be found of these major engine sources, it means that a lot are non-‐trustworthy. Google, the most powerful of the four arranges the sources by the amount of times the keywords show up in a website. There are other ways to quickly access credible web sites. The best sources of the Free Web WebPath Express • This is found on Lambrick’s Library Webpage. • It is a subscription service that helps students find the best internet sources on a variety of curriculum-‐related topics. • You retrieve fewer results that further more sorted by grade levels (intro-‐advanced). Subject Directories • There are human-‐selected web sites associated with a particular subject area. An example of a subject directory: http://www.about.com/
Google Advanced • You can sort domain names-‐limiting sites to .edu or .gov sites • You can also sort videos by source to narrow search results to these sources Domain Names • Always look at the domain name of a website, it can tell you a lot about the credibility of the content • “.com” domains mean commercial websites, meaning they’ll approach you from a certain point of view • “.org” means organization, and concentrates on their own point of view • “.edu” means educational; trustworthy because it is made for students • “.gov” means government; this is also trustworthy because it contains information from the government • It is always wise to verify the domain name before consulting information from the website
The Famous Wikipedia What is Wikipedia and where does it come from? Wikipedia is a special type of website that allows a number of people to contribute to the content. The word means “Quick” in Hawaiin and – that on a basic level, the wiki is quick way for information to be posted and reached. Facts about Wikipedia • The Founders are Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger • It was created on January 15, 2001 • There are more than 200 languages and 100s or 1000s of contributors around the world • There are more than 200,000 registered user • A core group of 1000-‐2000 people are responsible for 73% of edits • According to Aaron Swartz, about 5 of 400 edits-‐or 1% of the edits Benefits of Wikipedia • People from all around the world can share what they know on the topic of discussion Cons of Wikipedia • The authors are anonymous and the quality and accuracy of the information is not questioned in book 7
sources. They have gone through editing and peer review to ensure the information is not faulted. • Controversial topics-‐ bias content • Info influx because it is always changing Conclusion Is Wikipedia trustworthy? Wikipedia is a place of discussion, meaning of the personal opinion on a topic will likely influence someone else. Wikipedia has insufficient references and warns about new articles until they are reviewed. Wikipedia should not be used for research papers. Although the site has improved its status, it is still a site based on personal opinions where anyone can come in and change the facts. When using Wikipedia always cross-‐check the information with other websites.
YouTube: The World’s largest video sharing website What is YouTube? YouTube is a video sharing website on which users can upload and share videos. Facts about YouTube • Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim created YouTube in 2005 • The company uses Adobe Flash Video and HTML5 technology to display a variety of user-‐generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging and short original videos. • Feature of YouTube include: playback, uploading and quality and codecs, 3D videos, content accessibility, platform, localization. Pros • • • •
Using YouTube is easy It will show most videos The service is clean and clear It is has variety of videos, infomercials, how to videos and much more 9
You can stay up to date with the new videos at YouTube Expressing your creativity through YouTube is a major benefit Getting to know people through YouTube is great You can get a good deal of information to many people in a short amount of time • Ease of Use • No need for tons of equipment, computer, video equipment, microphone and editing software • • • •
Cons • This is public, so anyone can see the videos you post • Anyone for the most part can post a video • There is violence and animal abuse on some of the videos on the site • There are explicit videos • There could be issues of privacy invasion • There could be copyright infringement issues. Conclusion YouTube goes would be a semi-‐credible source. Although the site promotes lots of good information, the same applies for bad information. In occasion that your teacher allows you to use YouTube, it should not be used for research topics.
Blogs What is a blog? A blog is a website on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information on a regular basis. Pros • Offers real reading material from real writers • Reflects current topics • Offers access to the cultures of the countries where language is spoken • Writing for real readership may motivate learners to edit and rewrite their work Cons • The level of writing is often not a good model for language learners to read • Texts are not graded to readers’ levels • Most blog-‐types cannot be corrected by teacher, thus bad writing habits may be developed • Some people may not have the right mindset • Pointless or narcissistic facts • Bias facts = one way conversation 11
Conclusion Blogs are simply for enjoyment. They allow you to share information with other people all around the world. Although blogs allow for long-‐ distance connections, they should not be used for research projects. The content of the material is based on opinions of other people. In research papers you need a blank point of view, kind of like looking for knowledge all over the place.
Databases and Encyclopedias Why use them? • Giant warehouse of information: thousands of articles in one location • Mix of popular resources (magazines, newspapers) and scholarly resources (journals, books, peer-‐reviewed studies) • Hidden from Google and other search engines • Current information • Free resource • Searches are more efficient and effective • You can use advanced search and limiters • You can save articles: folders, e-‐mail and to a computer The Usefulness of Encyclopedias • There are different types of encyclopedias: • General encyclopedias cover a wide range of knowledge at a very basic level. They are useful for basic fact checking • Subject encyclopedias provide in-‐depth scholarly coverage of a single subject area.
News In the 21st century, you can always turn on a channel and hear what’s happening around the world. It’s a great way to learn about our planet and the things that are happening. What have been some of the top news in your recent week? It’s always good to know what’s happening around you. I know sometimes news can be boring, but bear with it and you’ll find out some shocking things and might even gather some info for your research paper! Why trust the News? The News is one of the only sources that we can get information globally. It lets us know what is happening and what to watch out for. The News backs up their stories with a lot of facts, and with these facts you can easily write your research paper with the why, what, where, who, when and how. They are a trustworthy source with continuous updated information. There aren’t just printed copies, but also digital and electronic. What are some networks?
CNN, CBC, BBC, FOX News, A Channel, CHECK News and so on. Times Colonist, Saanich News, Globe and Mail…
Library Books and Ebooks Library books and e-‐books are a great source of information. With the help of a staff librarian, you’ll be able to find the information you need for your research paper. The library is filled with books from generalities to history and biographies. Be sure to ask for help to a librarian if you need to find something. School Library Websites One of the greatest places to search for information is to look on school library websites. Staff librarians purchase new research items each year for students to use. In Lambrick Park’s library website, there are several helpful tools for a research paper. There are databases, encyclopedias, Webpath Express, e-‐ books, magazines and news articles available for the students’ use. It’s one of the greatest treasures of the school and for the students. When doing a research paper, one place you should always go is to the library and check out the material. If you don’t have the patience to look for a book, go to a librarian and ask or go to your school’s online catalogue to look up the book. Just don’t forget to bring it back!
Checking Your Info: Don’t Believe Everything You See Checking everything is a very important value. Even a trusted friend`s email can have a faulted fact in it. Don`t believe everything you see or hear. Here is one example: Myth: Spinach makes you strong-‐like Popeye the Sailor man! The myth comes from the fact that spinach is high in iron-‐but wait… spinach is actually not very high in iron. Believe or not, this part of the myth comes from a handwriting error in 1870 when a Doctor Wolf accidently put a decimal point in the wrong place and made it look like Spinach had 10 times more iron than it really has. Now to the strong part of the myth: in order to get muscle strength, you need to exercise and do weight training-‐eating spinach won’t make you strong on its own-‐it will only give you energy you need to survive your workout.
The Continuum: Credible Sources of Information Here is a chart/continuum for research sources for school. To the not so credible sources to your best bet! Not at all credible -‐Wikipedia for school project
Somewhat credible Highly Credible -‐Blogs -‐Websites with the -‐Websites with the domain “.edu” and domain “.com” “.gov” -‐Websites with the -‐Google Scholar for domain “.org” for school science project biographical -‐Databases and information Encyclopedias -‐Snopes.coms -‐Library books and EBooks -‐CBC News (website) -‐CNN -‐Webpath Express -‐Subject Directories
One Last Note Knowledge has been bee pursued differently through history by different individuals. Individuals from pre-‐history to modern times might describe knowledge as “new technologies” that assist technology. Knowledge has had a long journey. Ancient civilizations were only available by “learned men” (philosophers, men of science…) and were transmitted orally through stories, single manuscripts, art and music. The first millennium (1500 A.D.) knowledge was controlled by the Catholic Church and monasteries and was transmitted orally, art, music and manuscripts. 16th to 18th century, knowledge was controlled by learned men of science and were transmitted though books of fiction and non-‐fiction. 19th century, knowledge was controlled by learned men of science and math, philosophers, writers, and the wealthy elite. They were transmitted by daily newspapers and books. 20th century, knowledge was controlled by learned men of science and math, teachers of all degrees and was transmitted by newspapers, telephone, books, films, radio, telegraph, television, textbooks. Today, in the 21st century, knowledge is controlled by everyone and is transmitted by IPods, blackberries, the ipad, e-‐readers and all technologies. There is no control with the amount of knowledge poured in, so be careful and be sure to use the C.A.R.E.S. criteria to check all your research material.