As we celebrate Google‘s 20th birthday today, let’s take a look at how Google has impacted research in the library. Google is a tool that has some really great benefits, but also some drawbacks. It does a really great job of using natural language in its search, allowing users to type in common phrases without having to think about keyword combinations. Google Scholar allows anyone to search through quality academic journals, do extensive forward and backward citation searching and even access the full text of articles unavailable in the library. Most importantly, Google has given millions of students and faculty instant access to knowledge and information that could have taken hours of working with a Reference librarian in a library. This access gives students more time to search for and read their sources and produce better research.
But… it still has flaws to consider. As good as the spoken language search has become, Google is still keyword-based, which puts the onus on the searcher to find and use the best keywords. Also, Google’s PageRank tool emphasizes websites that contain a high number of links, or that are linked to a high number of times, over those with less, which can rank pages with poor quality or inaccurate information higher above better quality pages. Google Scholar, for all the access it provides, most results are not full text and contains many non-refereed, non-academic sources mixed in the results. And while Google provides instant access to millions of pages of information, it leaves it up to YOU, the searcher, to determine what is of value and what is not.
Google has given us so much, but has also made it more important than ever that we can evaluate the sources we find, especially for scholarly research.
It is up to you to Google wisely.
– Brendan Johnson
For the last 3 years, Dr. Weidner has been working on a project that examines the prevalence and nature of living wage policies in American higher education (The Living Wage Policy Study)
Browse his blog to get a sense of this fascinating project that is relevant to all those working in higher education. As part of the Library Speaker Series, he will give a presentation on this research.
Please join us for what we expect to be a relevant and informative presentation.
Tuesday, September 25th
Post Learning Commons 2nd Floor
Wachterhauser Seminar Room
Light refreshments will be served. Hope to see you there!
WHEN: February 23rd 2:00 PM
WHERE: Wachterhauser Seminar Room,
2nd Floor Post Learning Commons
WHO: All are invited. Please plan to join us for what we expect to be a lively discussion.
Light refreshments will be served.
WHEN: Wednesday, January 25th 2:00 – 3:00 PM
WHERE: Wachterhauser Seminar Room,
2nd Floor Post Learning Commons
WHO: All are invited! We hope you can join us for what we expect to be a lively and timely discussion.
Light refreshments will be served.
Hello everyone; I’m back for part two of my blog post! I hope that you enjoyed the previous post about using the library resources when conducting research for a marketing project at Saint Joseph’s.
Some would argue that conducting research is the boring part of a project (I am, on occasion, one of those people). However, me and my group-mates conducted research for a good reason because we then had to create a video on Millennials to share the information that we found. In the video, we discussed the demographics, geographics, and behavioral patterns of Millennials among other things. Once again, the library played a big role in helping us complete our project on time!
Me and my group members are all very busy Saint Joseph’s students. Some of us play varsity sports, some play club sports, and some participate in clubs. To make things even more hectic, we all live in different places on campus. Needless to say, finding a time where we could all get together and work on our project was difficult. However, by using the library, we were able to complete our project early and submit it after fall break.
Me and my group used the library as a meeting place to work on our project; all of us could get to it easily and there was plenty of space for use to spread our books on the table and get to work. We worked in both the old side (at the big
tables on the second floor) of the library and the new side (once again, at the tables on the second floor) of the library when we met to discuss our project. Both times we met we originally planned to meet on the first floor PLC. However, we could never get a table here because they are in high demand.
Individually, I also came to the library to use the computers on the first floor. I was able to stop in the library in between classes to work on the project or add in some last minute details. Luckily, my group used Google Docs;
this made it very easy for all of us to work together even if we were not on campus. Working at the library made it much easier for my group to complete our project because we were all able to work together on the project at the same time and place. Using the library resources made it easier for us to complete our project more efficiently. Without the library, our project would have been much more difficult!
As a marketing student at Saint Joseph’s, I was extremely excited to finally work on my very first marketing project as a college student. The assignment on market segmentation intrigued me, and I was eager to begin making the best project I could manage. However my group quickly discovered that brainstorming ideas and finding quality information that would be representative of these ideas are two totally different things. Thankfully, I soon realized that me and my group members weren’t alone in this; we had the library! The library has helped us tremendously when it came to completing our project. Thus, I wanted to share my experience by blogging about it. This post is one of two, and the second post will be posted shortly after this one.
Starting our research:
The first thing we had to do for our project was create an annotated bibliography in APA format. Therefore, we had to do research and find information on our assigned segment. Even though I did my research from the comfort of my dorm, I was still able to use library resources. When I searched for ‘Millennials’ on Google Scholar, I was (pleasantly) surprised to discover that I could access many of the search results through the library. In Google Scholar, if SJU has a full-text version of a source, the SJU link will appear next to the search result link. [Instructions and video for Google Scholar]
I also found the library databases to be very helpful in finding scholarly research. My group relied heavily on the information we found on our segment from EbscoHost. The library has multiple databases from EBSCO to choose from. For this project, my group chose to use Academic Search Premier and Business Source Complete to find information. In particular, I like the fact that you can customize your search on EbscoHost by using multiple keywords. For instance, to find information on how Millennials behave, I searched for keywords “Millennials” and “habits.” Moreover, EbscoHost allows you to narrow your search results to help you find the most accurate and up-to-date information. You can narrow down searches by dates, topics, and what type of format you would like the article to be in (pdf, HTML full-text, etc.).
Like other college students, I am accustomed to using MLA format to cite all my sources. However, in many business classes at Saint Joseph’s, APA format is required. Therefore, I turned to the library for help with my citations. I was able to receive help when creating an annotated bibliography for this project. To get help, I simply went to the “research help” section at the front desk on the old side of the library. There, I found several librarians and research librarians who were very helpful (and friendly). Many individuals at the library are willing to help students properly cite their information (in fact, these (over-excited) individuals encourage students to ask for help with citations). I now have a better understanding of how to cite in APA format because of the help I received in the library.
Without the use of the library resources, me and my group would have had an extremely hard time finding appropriate articles and information on our segment. In addition to the information we found from quality websites, we heavily relied on the library for our research, and using the library tools helped us to find all the necessary information we needed to create a high-quality project!
Stay tuned for part 2 of this post to find out how we used library resources to make a video for our project!
Academic Passes at NYTimes.com brings you free, full access to news, multimedia, and archival content of The New York Times anywhere, any time!
Using your SJU student email account, you may claim a pass for free content. Each pass provides you with 24 consecutive hours of free access to The New York Times. For additional access, simply claim another pass. It’s that simple.
Questions? Please visit Academic Passes at NYTimes.com.
- EBSCO‘s familiar interface (i.e., Academic Search Premier or Business Source Elite)
- Easy off-campus access to full text with the FindIt!@SJU button
- Better and more relevant search results
- Improved MLA formatted citations
- Topic exploration and Interdisciplinary research
- Easy article location (even without a full citation)
Two other prominent interdisciplinary resources were also updated over Break.
For more information and video tutorials:
Have you ever gone from one library database to the next in search for the perfect resource, and wished that the library could offer you a single interface to search all those resources, all at once? Well, now we do offer such an interface! The library recently unveiled a new tool that allows you to search across numerous library resources all at once: One Search. While not all databases are searchable in the One Search system, there are enough to get you started doing research on just about any topic. We will be publishing search interfaces in One Search for each individual subject on the Research by Subject page in the next few months, so stay tuned! In the meantime, try out our Multisubject search, linked from the library’s homepage, or search across a particular subject’s One search interface by going to the One Search homepage. Check out what databases are included in the system, and read up on the One Search FAQ’s for more information.
Best of luck with your research projects, and be sure and let us know what you think of the new system!