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A Guide to Accessing Scholarly Resources Locating Information for American Politics Public Policy Paper Scholarly vs. Non-Scholarly Journals Review the comparative criteria to help you determine if a journal
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A Guide to Accessing Scholarly Resources Locating Information for American Politics Public Policy Paper Scholarly vs. Non-Scholarly Journals Review the comparative criteria to help you determine if a journal and/or journal article is of a scholarly nature. Purpose Author Publisher Publication Acceptance Appearance Scholarly journal article To share with other scholars the results of primary research and experiments. A respected scholar or researcher in the field; an expert in the topic; authors names are always noted. A professional association; a university or known scholarly publisher. Experts (peers) in the field review each article submission before publication acceptance. Very basic layout, usually black text on white paper; tables or charts to illustrate research components; advertising is at a minimum and is subject-related. Non-scholarly journal article To entertain or inform in a broad, general sense. A journalist or feature writer; authors names not always noted. A commercial publisher. Writers are often employed by the magazine or publisher; acceptance is based largely on the topic s consumer appeal. Often printed on glossy paper with colored text or headlines; usually has accompanying photographs and many advertisements. References Always cited and expected. Very uncommon; may contain vague referrals. Examples American Journal of Political Science, Scientific American Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, Time Adapted from Valparaiso University s Moellering Library Web site. Primary vs. Secondary Sources These are the two main types of resources used in research. Primary Source Definition An original, first-hand document; it has not been previously published, interpreted or translated. Examples Original published research Government documents Historical records Works of art and literature (poetry, drama, novels, music, art, etc.) Correspondence, diaries and other personal papers Autobiographies Transcripts of interviews and proceedings Photographs Secondary Source Interprets and analyzes primary sources, information is once-removed. Secondary sources are often based on primary sources. Reviews of the literature of a certain field Textbooks, encyclopedias, etc. Reviews of plays, films, etc. Literary criticism Editorials Research papers Pathfinder: C. Williams Green 1 Short List of Best Strategies to Find Information on Your Topic 1. P.A.I.S. FirstSearch is a gateway to several databases. P.A.I.S. (Public Affairs Information Service database) will be most useful for public policy paper. It is an index to materials including articles, books, conference proceedings, and government documents about public affairs, from 1972 to present. $ Cost to the Library is $.62 every time you hit the search button when searching the P.A.I.S. database. 1. Select P.A.I.S. in the box next to Jump to Advance Search. 2. By selecting Advance Search, you can combine several terms or impose limits. 3. Enter search terms, and select the corresponding field (eg. Keyword or Author ). Example: Searching P.A.I.S. with prostitution in the first box and sex and law in the second box yields 37 records. Scan results and note: HTML full-text Cole Library owns this item or print either the citations or the full-text of articles. The truncation device for First Search is the asterisk. 2. Social Sciences Abstracts Silver Platter provides access to 14 databases that cover all academic disciplines. Social Sciences Abstracts will be most useful for this paper. It is a database that indexes and abstracts articles from English Language periodicals published in the United States and elsewhere. Coverage includes a wide range of interdisciplinary fields. 1. Select Social Sciences Abstracts by checking its box. 2. Enter the terms you would like to search, and click Start search Example: prostitution yields 398 citations. 3. To combine search terms with the first search, click Return to Search and enter the second term(s) you would like to search. Then click Return to Search and put a check mark next to the search terms you would like to combine. Then click Combine Checked to retrieve the overlap between these two searches. Example: prostitution yields 398 citations, and legaliz* yields 359 citations. Once combined, the overlap between these two searches yields 12 citations. In order to display the articles in journals that Cole Library owns, click on the Change display button, then select the Sort option, then select LHM: Local Holdings Message to bring those records to the top of the list. Be sure to adjust the number of records to be greater than your search results. The truncation device for Silver Platter is the asterisk. 3. Cole Online Cole Online is the catalog for Cole Library. You may search for books, videos, CD s, journals, etc. that are located at Cole Library. You can access it at the Library s home page at Pathfinder: C. Williams Green 2 1. Click Local Catalog 2. Enter keyword that specifically characterizes your search. Example: Enter prostitution in the Find this box, and then in the Find Results In box select Subject Headings Starting With These Words. 3. Click Search. This will yield a record of all the books in Cole Library that fall under the subject heading prostitution. 4. To see a record, click on the title. 5. On the list you can mark titles, then save and print them or them to yourself. 6. Books are located on either the Second Floor Book Stacks or in the First Floor Browsing Room. Read the record to see location. 7. Truncation device for Cole Online is the question mark. Hint: You cannot search for individual journal articles using Cole Online; instead use one of the tools listed. 4. Law Reviews Lexis-Nexis is a database that includes largely full-text resources about current issues and legal topics. Access it at the library s home page: 1. Select the Law Reviews area to search articles from law reviews. Lexis Nexis Academic Universe Legal Research Law Reviews 2. Select between Basic and More Options 3. Enter one or more keywords that specifically represent your topic, for example: legaliz! and prostitution 4. Enter limits (such as source and date) to limit your search. 5. The truncation device for Lexis-Nexis is the exclamation point. You can either or print the results. If you want to send full-text articles to yourself, send them individually; if you want to send yourself the list of citations, mark the ones you want and send. For guidance citing sources in Academic Universe, to Help, then Citing references, then Citing References in LEXIS -Nexis Academic Universe. For guidance citing sources in Congressional Universe, in each sub-category, scroll down past the initial search query boxes for specific instructions and examples regarding how to cite information gathered from that particular sub-category. Contact Information: Corey Williams Green Consulting Librarian for the Social Sciences Cole Library, #308 x4256 Pathfinder: C. Williams Green 3 8 February 2001 A Guide to Evaluating Internet Resources Locating & Evaluating Internet Resources for American Politics Public Policy Paper Evaluation Criteria for Internet Resources: The following questions will assist you in judging web sites. Questions to ask yourself Authority Is the author and the author s affiliation clearly indicated? Is there contact information for the author? Is the publisher (or publishing source) reputable? Accuracy Do editors check the information? Is appropriate documentation provided when the author refers to another s work? Is the page error-free? Objectivity Is the purpose of the site clearly stated? Does the author make use of emotional appeals instead of logical arguments as a means to sway the opinion of the audience? Is sponsorship acknowledged? Currency Is the publication date (date created) clearly stated? Is the page revised regularly, with the date posted? Are all links active? Coverage What is the purpose of the page? Is the scope clearly stated? To what depth does this page purport to delve into the topic? Does it claim to be what it is not? Who is the audience for the page? Experts or novices? Quick Guide to Domain Definitions Evaluating the domain name in the address of an Internet site can help you determine its source. Domain.com = commercial.edu = educational.gov = governmental.mil = military.org = organization.net = network Country Abbreviations Example:.nz=New Zealand Type of Organization The commercial domain name has recently been expanded to indicate different types of business. Profit is the primary driving force behind the interests of the organization. The educational domain is for organizations connected to education in some way, such as elementary and high schools, colleges and universities, research institutes and museums. The governmental domain is used by U.S. non-military government organizations, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The military domain is for U.S. military-related government organizations, such as the U.S. Navy. The organization domain is for non-profit organizations that do not fit the above categories. Advocacy of a particular issue or viewpoint is often the primary purpose of pages from organizations. The network domain is for personal pages. Country domains are assigned for countries other than the U.S. (Note: The abbreviation is taken from the country s native language; for example, Germany s abbreviation is.de. /~ Although this is not a domain name, it is an indication of an account under a domain name. For example, web pages of students at educational institutions are indicated by the school s address followed by a tilde and the student s name. Pathfinder: C. Williams Green 1 8 February 2001 Annotated Guide to Useful Internet Sites for the Public Policy Paper THOMAS This site provides up-to-date legislative information on the internet. It includes three general categories: Legislation, the Congressional Record, and Committee Information. The FAQ section makes this potentially intimidating site quite navigable. This is the site for accessing Congressional documents. GOVBOT Developed by the CIIR (The Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval), this site allows you to search U.S. Government and military web sites without searching the whole Internet. Perusing the Query Help page will assist users in constructing relevant and fruitful queries. Web sites similar to GOVBOT, that allow you to search for U.S. Government information without searching the whole Internet, include FedWorld (http://www.fedworld.gov/gpo.htm) and USGovSearch (http://usgovsearch.northernlight.com/publibaccess/). Federal Web Locator The Federal Web Locator is a service provided by the Center for Information Law and Policy and is intended to be the one-stop shopping point for Federal Government information on the World Wide Web. It is intended to be a comprehensive source to Federal Government information, but it seems to be strongest in agency and sub-agency information, arranged hierarchically. It also lists all known Federal Government Web servers. FindLaw This is the site for searching law-related Web sites without searching the entire Internet. With a subject directory resembling Yahoo!, FindLaw is a guide that helps users browse more than 25,000 legal sites, search for case law (including U.S. Supreme Court decisions back to 1893), and legal news. FedStats FedStats links to statistical tables from over 70 U.S. Federal Government agencies. It includes an A to Z index that provides direct access to detailed data listings in 275 categories. Keyword search capability enables users to search Web sites linked to FedStats. The site also includes an on-line version of the most frequently requested tables from the Statistical Abstract of the United States. The Regional Statistics component offers data that is broken down into geographic areas frequently at state or county levels. Statistical Resources on the Web This site is an index to statistical web sites and individual statistical publications arranged by subject category from the University of Michigan Documents Center. Examples of statistical information covered include demographic, economic, education, political, and sociological from a wide variety of sources. It is particularly useful for comparative and international data. For additional politics-related web sites see the Politics Department s Internet Resources for Government, Politics & Law site at Pathfinder: C. Williams Green 2
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