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Distance Learners: Getting Started

This guide outlines library services and resources for distance learners at the Lyman Beecher Brooks Library

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What kind of information do you need?

 

Have problems with time management?

Plan and Stay on Task

 

You have a plan, so what's next?

The Research Process.

 

 

 

 

Evaluating the Resources that You Find

When you encounter any kind of source, consider:

  1. Authority - Who is the author? What is their point of view? 
  2. Purpose - Why was the source created? Who is the intended audience?
  3. Publication & format - Where was it published? In what medium?
  4. Relevance - How is it relevant to your research? What is its scope?
  5. Date of publication - When was it written? Has it been updated?
  6. Documentation - Did they cite their sources? Who did they cite?

 

Where to Start...

For background information, start in Google but DON'T stay there.  Searching in Google Scholar you may get full text articles but sometimes it requires a subscription.   Google Scholar only searches a fraction of the published scholarly literature. 

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The library database, Credo Reference Online, will search several of our databases and catalog simultaneously. Do not use Credo Reference for in-depth research.  Credo is our academic Google!      

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Can't find what you need?

Remember that a topic may be difficult to research if it is too: locally confined, recent or too broad

  • locally confined - Topics this specific may only be covered in local newspapers and not in scholarly articles.

Example: What sources of pollution affect the City of Norfolk water supply?

If the question is about something local, you do have the option below:

  • Check the local newspaper, local websites (especially newspaper and municipal websites, as well as meetup.com and yelp.com for socializing and events).
  • recent - If a topic is too recent, books or journal articles may not be available, but newspaper or magazine articles may. Also, websites related to the topic may or may not be available.
  • broadly interdisciplinary - You could be overwhelmed with superficial information.

Example: How can the environment contribute to the culture, politics and society of the Western United States?