Archive for the ‘information literacy’ Category

Peer Review Week

September 10, 2018

Welcome back, and happy September! We’re kicking things off this year by marking Peer Review Week (yes, there is such a thing).

Peer review is an evaluation process where scholarly writing (like journal articles and books) are screened for quality and accuracy before they’re published.  Check out the “What Does ‘Peer Reviewed’ Mean?” section of our How to Research guide for a more detailed explanation.

While peer review is the standard method of evaluation for scholarly writing, it is not without problems.  This year, the chefs at The Scholarly Kitchen (the official blog of the Society for Scholarly Publishing) are exploring way to make the peer review process more diverse (in previous years they and others have looked at issues around transparency in the process and recognition for the work).

Something to think about the next time you use the “peer-reviewed only” limiter in one of our databases…

 

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New Search Engine Options

January 11, 2018

As I was catching up on my reading over Christmas, I came across this Wired article talking about search engines and how they can help you get to the full text of an article.

For a couple of years now we’ve been directing you to check Google Scholar for your article before you order it in through interlibrary loan (though you’re still welcome to order it if it’s not available).  But this article introduced me to a few new options: Microsoft Academic and Semantic Scholar.

Conducting the same search using all three tools yielded some interesting differences in results, and Google Scholar provides by far the most hits, but the other two have some fun features: Microsoft Academic lets you quickly filter by field of study and Semantic Scholar provides a nice graphic of results by year.

Check them out, and see if you like what they can do for you.

 

Questions for Detecting Fake News

April 10, 2017

Fake news continues to be a topic of conversation in the news and in classrooms.  Earlier this year we posted about a study suggesting that the majority of students were not able to detect fake news when they came across it on social media and news websites, and we told you about a tool that lets you visualize how fake news spreads across the internet.

Now NPR has joined in, offering up a list of very practical, easy questions to ask yourself to help you determine whether the information you’re looking at is reliable or not.  Focused very specifically on news media and how it operates, these questions are a nice supplement to the CRAAP test as a tool for evaluating information.  Give them a try!

Playing with Google Trends

February 9, 2017

Did you know that Google has a really cool tool that allows you to visualize trends in searches? Google Trends lets you see what stories, searches, and YouTube videos are trending right now in different areas of the world, and also lets you see how interest in different search terms have played out across time and in different regions.  It’s this tool, for instance, that let’s you compare interest in Paw Patrol versus Dora the Explorer or shows you that “searches for ‘Superb Owl’ spike during the #Superbowl each year.

If you really want to get fancy, you can pair this tool with Google Correlate, which allows you to layer your own data over Google Trends data to see how they relate (check out, for instance, how searches for influenza information correlate with actual US Center for Disease Control-reported instances of the flu).

There’s some really cool potential here.

Visualize the Spread of Fake News

January 12, 2017

A new tool developed by researchers at Indiana University allows you to visualize the spread of fake news across Twitter, and also shows attempts to fact check it.  Hoaxy lets you search for a specific claim and then creates a visual map of shares for that claim or headline over time. The researchers presented the tool, along with some preliminary analysis from it, at the 25th International Conference of the World Wide Web.

Give it a try and see what it shows you about how information, and in this case misinformation, can spread across the web.

Fake News – Can You Recognize It?

November 29, 2016

With all the news surrounding the spread of fake news, it’s hard to avoid the subject. Facebook has been under scrutiny for the spread of fake news on the site, which has prompted a plan to cut down on the amount of fake news the site hosts. It seems that fake news is easy to write and send out to millions of eager readers every day, but are you prepared to spot the real from the fake?

A study recently conducted by Stanford History Education Project provides evidence that not very many of us are able to spot the fake! The study tested students in high schools and universities across the United States and found that a majority of students are not able to detect fake news on social media and news websites.

Think you can do better than the students who were tested? Take a look at the examples provided in the study and see if you get them right!

If you need a refresher on how to evaluate what you’re reading online, take a look at our Research Guide for tips to guide you on your search for reliable information.

Good luck out there and happy reading!

When we say you can cite anything…we mean it!

October 3, 2016

If you’ve ever thought about using a source in your writing, but decided against it because you were unsure how you would cite it, don’t worry!

The Modern Language Association (MLA) recently updated its citation style guide, which has caused quite a stir in the academic community. In order to help demonstrate the changes and how they reflect some of the new types of resources researchers will cite in their work, EasyBib has decided to show us how easy it is to cite Pokemon GO using the new MLA standard. (more…)

Reading @ RDC

March 15, 2016

It’s no surprise that the Library loves books, but did you know that reading can have a positive impact on your health, happiness, and academic success?

Research shows that readers will likely have higher incomes, donate more to charity in both time and money, stay healthier, and be happier than non-readers. Plus, reading reduces stress up to 600% more than playing a video game (take that Call of Duty!), enhances empathy, and improves cognitive abilities. See the research from Canada’s National Reading Campaign here, and check out the infographic below.

The Library wants all RDC staff, students & faculty to enjoy these benefits, so we’ve created a Reading Culture team to help grow a movement of leisure reading at Red Deer College. Our goal is to gather a supply of books to read just for pleasure, create a space where everyone can enjoy them, and develop an atmosphere that supports and promotes reading for fun.

So tell us, what do you want to read? The latest novel from your favourite author? An exciting new memoir? Complete this form, and your suggestions will help us create a collection that will get RDC reading!

reading infographic

 

 

Keeping Up Over the Summer

April 26, 2015

A number of cool tools have come out recently to help you stay up-to-date in your field.  Check them out:

  • BrowZine – a very cool app that allows you to read the journals RDC Library subscribes to on your mobile device. Check out the videos here, or go here to get started on your own device.
  • Sciencescape – a new tool developed by a University of Toronto grad student to help scientists keep up with what’s happening in biomedical research.  Check out the press release for this “Twitter for science” here, or take a tour here.
  • JSTOR Daily – A new online magazine from the people behind the enormous archive of scholarly articles.  Subscribe to weekly feature articles and daily blog posts in the areas of Arts & Cultures, Business & Economics, Politics & History, Science & Environment, and Education & Tech.

If you have any questions about these, or any of the other Current Awareness tools available to you through RDC Library, please contact your School Librarian.

Happy reading!

Strengths and flaws in scientific research

February 8, 2013

American Scientist recently published a fascinating essay about how scientific research is conducted and gets reported, and about how conflicts between the publishing process and the need for replicability studies can affect what we understand about scientific discoveries.  The essay raises some interesting questions about how we evaluate the credibility of scientific information, and also highlights the need to always look for multiple sources of information.

Happy Friday reading…