Research can be daunting, but knowing where to go and how to search can save you time and energy. Start by asking yourself a few questions:
Using the library and finding resources can be confusing and overwhelming at first. This might be especially true if you are an online student! We created two Brightspace tutorials to help you get started with using the library and locating the resources you need to successfully complete your coursework.
Library 101- Whether you need five sources for your paper that’s due tomorrow, or you have five weeks to do your research, knowing how to navigate the library’s resources is key. In this course, we’ll share some tips and tricks on how to improve your research skills for faster and better results. You can do this course in about an hour.
Library 201- for more advanced users. This tutorial contains six lessons to improve your ability to identify, find, evaluate, and use information effectively. Lesson 1: The Nature of Information; Lesson 2: Looking Critically at Information; Lesson 3: Planning Your Research; Lesson 4: Searching Basics and Library Catalogs; Lesson 5: Databases Deep Dive; Lesson 6: Internet Searching. Each lesson is about an hour long. Take your time and dive into this course to level up your research skills.
What's the difference between academic, scholarly, peer-reviewed, and refereed journal articles? While those terms aren't fully interchangeable, they are all very similar. Academic or scholarly journals are published in every academic discipline. Articles in these journals are written by researchers, often experts, in their respective fields of study.
Peer-reviewed or refereed journals also contain articles by researchers and experts but before articles are published, they go through a read/review process. Here's how it works: I send my article to the American Journal of Journals to see if they'll publish it. They contact several people in my field and ask them to review my work and make recommendations to the editors as to whether they should accept or reject my article. Academic or scholarly journals may also be peer-reviewed or refereed journals but they might not so check carefully.