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Unformatted text preview: Resources for Effective Research
i.e., How Do I Search the Internet and Not Waste Time? Research Usually Starts with a Question
s How does an internal combustion engine How work? work? What are some current methods to What convert solar energy into electricity? convert Are nanotubes toxic to cells? s s Textbooks
A comprehensive, peer-reviewed comprehensive, discussion of facts and established knowledge on a topic, usually in an easyknowledge to-follow format. s Example questions: x What is an adult male’s normal heart What rate? rate? x How is an amplifier designed?
s Review Articles
A peer-reviewed digest of existing research peer-reviewed studies on a particular topic or focus area studies x More detailed and narrow than book x Pseudo-lay audience s Example questions: x What are the recent innovations in wind What turbine blades? x What are alternate ways to synthesize What naphthalene? naphthalene? s Textbooks and reviews good place to “start.”
s Original Research Articles/ Primary Literature
A paper that details a particular study with a paper defined, hypothesis-driven goal. defined, x Usually answers a very specific question x Very detailed s Adheres to a general format: x Abstract, Introduction, Materials & Abstract, Methods, Results, Discussion Methods,
s Original Research Articles = Primary Literature
Focus on abstract, results and discussion. x Tables and graphs usually important. s Reading the abstract is not sufficient. s Don’t “start” research with primary literature. s Example questions: x How does transforming growth factor How (TGF) affect osteoblasts? (TGF) x How does cadmium affect fish How reproduction? reproduction?
s Peer Review
s Provides quality control over both science Provides and presentation in published works and
x Not fool proof x Used by all scientific journals and most grant Used giving institutions and foundations giving
s Does not apply to most things found online! Inappropriate Resources
Google, Wikipedia, other search engines s Not acceptable sources for technical or Not scientific literature searches. scientific
x Might be a place to start. Pages linked from Google are not peerreviewed. s Statement on the limits of Wikipedia
x “It is in the nature of an ever-changing work like Wikipedia that, while some It articles are of the highest quality of scholarship, others are admittedly complete rubbish. We are fully aware of this…. It is not a primary complete We source. .... Also, as some articles may contain errors, please do not source. some please use Wikipedia to make critical decisions.” use Search Techniques
s Use Fondren Library
x http://library.rice.edu/ Choose: ONESEARCH s Choose: Collections, Science & Engineering Choose: Collections, Indexes & Databases Collections, s Choose: Research, Indexes & Databases, Choose: Engineering Listing, Compendex Engineering
s Other Resources
s Individual help
x Dr. Saterbak or Benny x Choose: Library Services, Get Help-Ask a Choose: Librarian Librarian
s s Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
x Choose: Library Services, Interlibrary Loan PubMed www.pubmed.org PubMed www.pubmed.org Keeping Track of References
Always keep track of your sources! s Write down enough information to find Write again. again. s If you make photocopies, keep a record of If where it came from. where
s s Suggestion: Keep a bound notebook. Plagiarism
s s Plagiarism won’t be tolerated. Group members have to be vigilant about Group records of sources/citations. records See Rice Honor Code for specific examples See of what constitutes plagiarism. of s References in Written Papers
Be neat, be consistent. s Provide enough information that the Provide source can be easily located: source x Author, journal, volume, page number, Author, etc. etc. x If using a web resource, provide a date If and save a copy and
s Research Usually Starts with a Question
s How does an internal combustion engine How work? work?
x TEXTBOOK s What are some current methods to convert What solar energy into electricity? solar
x REVIEW ARTICLE LITERATURE s Are nanotubes toxic to cells?
x PRIMARY Final Notes
The website where you find a paper is not the The paper. paper. s Try to use Goggle and other non-peerreviewed sources ONLY for basic reviewed background information. background s Use textbooks and review articles to gather Use most of “real” information. Use primary literature for specific details. literature s Ask for help.
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This note was uploaded on 03/11/2010 for the course ENGI 150 taught by Professor Annsaterbak during the Fall '08 term at Rice.
- Fall '08