Archive for the ‘research tips’ Category

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!

The CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics – an authoritative scientific reference

March 2, 2015

The CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics on CHEMnetBASE

Chemistry pic

Mirroring the growth and direction of science for nearly a century, The CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics continues to be the most accessed and respected scientific reference in the world, used by students and Nobel Laureates.

While you can just open Handbook of Chemistry and Physics as a pdf eBook online, it’s also a true database that lets you perform complicated property searches and draw chemical structures.

Take a Tour

Step 1   – Tour Introduction

Step 2   – The Interface

Step 3   – Browsing the Table of Contents

Step 4   – Data and Information Window

Step 5   – Interactive Tables Overview

Step 6   – Filtering Tables

Step 7   – Display/Hide Columns and Rows

Step 8   – Printing Tables, Viewing Chemical Structures & Exporting Data

Step 9   – Search Overview

Step 10 – Available Search Fields

Step 11 – Wildcards & Emailing Search Results

Step 12 – Searching Within a Document

RDC’s CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics can be accessed through One Search in ‘Find Books’ using the Red Deer College Access  link, the Retrieve Catalogue Item link (NEOS catalogue), or by the Red Deer College Access  link in the ‘Detailed Record’. It can also be found on the Article Databases A-Z list through the ‘Find Articles’ link on the RDC Library homepage. As well, this online resource is linked in the Library Subject Guides in related subject areas. Current print editions are also located in Library Reference and Main collection areas.

BONUS!  The CRC Press Periodic Table Online is now FREELY available.

Periodic table

“Google” Faster!

March 10, 2014

Do you use Google? Nodding? Do you use the Site Search trick? No? Well, let us teach you how!

Google allows you to search within a site or a domain. All you need to do is to limit the search using the site: syntax.

What does that mean, exactly? Let us say you are starting your research for a paper you will write on organic produce in Canada. You remember reading something in CBC about organic produce and pesticides, but, you did not copy down the hyperlink for the article.

In this example, you have a few choices. Either you Google organic produce and find about, oh, 52,100,000 results as of March 10th, 2014, or, you add cbc to that search and find about  1,150,000 results – not all of which are actually from

Now, in all fairness, you might be able to find the result you want. However, if you want to search more precisely and efficiently, there is a third option.

Enter the site: !

The site: allows you to search within a site or domain. In this case, we will use the domain
We are looking for an article on organic produce. So, we will search Google using organic produce

And our results? 3,430. Here, you still have many articles to choose from, and all are from Also, at least the top five results are all relevant for this example.

To recap …

To search within a site or domain use word/s site:website

This works for many sites and domains: for example for RDC websites, for Government of Canada websites and for Alberta websites, or specific websites, including Statistics Canada (

For example:

Climate change

Red deer

Remember: there is no space between the site: and the website name.

Enjoy searching more effectively with Google! And, visit us in the RDC Library if you have any further questions!

Wikipedia as a research tool?

February 24, 2014

Your instructors have undoubtedly stressed that Wikipedia is not an academic source, so you can’t cite it as such in your research paper. All that is true—Wikipedia clearly doesn’t pass the CRAAP test as a peer-reviewed, academic research source.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it at all. Wikipedia can be a great starting point for general information as you familiarize yourself with your research topic. There are also many links in most Wikipedia entries that will send you in many other directions to related subjects, experts, and fields of study as you explore your topic and formulate your ideas.

It’s also a great source for different keywords on your topic. Keywords are the words you enter in any search field to get results. To state the obvious, the results you get out of a search are only as good as the keywords you put in. Wikipedia can show you which words and phrases are commonly used in a specific field, and using those terms and keywords when you search will allow you to “speak the language” of that subject and get you better results. For example, a read of the Wikipedia entry for Social Media yields myriad other related terms, like consumer-generated media, social networking, digital media, content marketing, social media activism, online presence management, and many more, that become useful keyword lingo.

So while Wikipedia is most definitely not an academic source it can still be a useful research tool. Try integrating it into your next project. And if you’ve discovered other uses for Wikipedia in your own research, leave a comment and let us know. Happy researching!

Summer Searching Fun from Google

July 26, 2012

Do you sometimes find that looking for pictures using Google’s Image Search can be a little bit overwhelming?

Did you know that you can filter your image search by colour?

In this article, Google Search Educator Tasha Bergson-Michelson shows you how it works, and also gives several examples of when the colour filter can be useful (some academic, some less so…).

Give it a try, and see if this different way of narrowing your search results works for you!

March Resource of the Month

March 14, 2011

Researching?  Having trouble keeping track of your books, articles, & websites?  Try RefWorks!

What IS RefWorks?

A web-based tool that can help you gather and manage your research.

Once your information/citations are in RefWorks, create bibliographies of your sources, in any style, in seconds!

Where IS RefWorks?

In the LibGuides:

  • APA/MLA/Chicago citation tab

From the Library’s Website:

How do I get started?

Now what?

As you find useful sources in our Databases (articles), or using WorldCat (books), export your citations to RefWorks.

  • You can also install RefGrab-It on your computer and send web page information straight to RefWorks.

For more information on RefWorks call us at 403.342.3152, email us at, or visit the Library Information Desk.

The “dirt” on DiRT

February 3, 2009

DiRT stands for Digital Research Tools, an interactive wiki created by Lisa Spiro (director of the Digital Media Center at Rice University) to collect information about tools and resources that can help scholars conduct research more efficiently or creatively.

Whether you need software to help you manage citations, author a multimedia work, or analyze texts, Digital Research Tools will help you find what you’re looking for. The wiki provide a directory of tools organized by research activity, as well as reviews of select tools. The wiki also explores how select tools might be employed most effectively by researchers.

Dig in!

Introducing RefWorks

October 19, 2008

Many of you may be familiar with RefWorks, the online citation and research management tool. At RDC, we have obtained a license to this product, so it is now available to our campus community.

For those new to RefWorks, this is a great tool for managing your research. As you search for materials (articles, books), you can export citations to RefWorks (after creating your personal account). Within your personal account, you can create different folders to manage your various research projects. From those citations, you can create bibliographies in the appropriate format (APA, MLA, etc.).

If you are in one of our article databases, you can save directly to RefWorks (works with almost every database we have). If you want to go directly to your personal RefWorks account, find the link on our find articles page. Or you can bookmark the RefWorks Login Centre – this is also the place where you can access the RefWorks tutorial (look in the upper right-hand corner).

If you have any feedback on this tool, please contact Kristine Plastow, Collections Librarian. via email or phone (403-342-3578).

3 things you need to know

November 1, 2007

This week, we’ve compiled a list of three things you need to know about some of our library resources, to make them work for you. (more…)

PD Session Tommorow: Library Resources You Didn’t Know You Had

May 8, 2007

Over the past few months, RDC Library has added over 30 new article databases to their collection, along with a variety of other resources. Come to this session to hear about these new resources and discuss what they mean for student research (and your own!).

Facilitators: Michelle Edwards Thomson & Kristine Plastow

Date: Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Time: 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.          Room: 1006R (Library Instruction Lab)