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Video Transcripts

The following transcripts are taken from the course videos.

Advanced Information Cluster, Part 0: Overview

Welcome to Advanced Information Sources. The course you’re taking is part of a four-course cluster that includes humanities information, social sciences information, science and technology information, and business information. You may be taking one or two of these courses at once.

Hi! I’m your instructor, Annette Lamb. You may wonder why I’m teaching courses in four very different discipline areas. Like many librarians, I love all the subject areas equally. I recently wrote a book titled Graphic Inquiry for Libraries Unlimited to share my passion for the arts and particularly visual communications. I combined my love for history and literature by co-authoring a book based on my great aunt’s poetry, titled After Glow. In my spare time I enjoy being a naturalist and citizen scientist. I recently received a grant for a local project studying the quality of our dark skies here in rural southern Utah and coordinate an annual starfest. In addition, I’m the president of a publishing and consulting firm so I also have an interest in business. This semester, you’ll have the opportunity to focus on the course of your choice. However, the materials on all four courses will be available, so feel free to explore the resources for all four courses if you wish. These overview videos will apply to all four courses.

Once you’ve taken the beginning courses in your graduate program, it’s time to DIG DEEPER into the information sources available within specific disciplines. You’ll focus on information sources and services related to your area of interest. Each course addresses information needs and behavior patterns of users seeking these types of information. You’ll analyze and evaluate research dealing with information channels, research methods, and library service in their areas of professional interest.

Increasingly, library users expect instant, virtual access to materials. While this course includes both print sources such as reference and trade books and electronic sources including bibliographic databases, government and organization websites, audio and video materials, and ebooks; emphasis is placed on how technology and specifically social media can be used to connect with users and provide high-quality service.

Within each course, documents and formats distinct to particular disciplines will be emphasized such as sheet music in the Humanities, digital photo collections in History, technical reports in the Sciences, and company information in business. Finally, some discussions will cross disciplines such as the use of patents to address questions across disciplines.

The course content can be found at the course website. The navigation bar on the left, shows the course materials such as the syllabus, calendar and course guide. You’ll also find a list of course topics.

Each week you’ll receive an Announcement posted in IUPUI’s Canvas and also sent through email detailing the week’s activities, reviewing upcoming due dates, and debriefing discussions. Follow the course calendar and courseguide to ensure you’re on track.

Each week you’ll begin by watching an overview to the week’s topic.

Next, you’ll read a web page that provides an overview to the week’s topic. These overview pages are the same regardless of which course you’re taking. These pages will ask you to read articles, explore online resources, and practice applying the course content.

Then, you’ll explore an in-depth page focusing on your discipline area of interest. You only need to read the resources associated with the course you’re taking.

Keep in mind that depending on the topic for the week, your discipline may have fewer or more readings than the other courses depending on the type of information sources being investigated.

Finally, you’ll complete activities and projects associated with your course as outline in your CourseGuide. You’ll be using IUPUI’s Canvas system to participate in discussions and share your projects with classmates and your instructor.

Since you’ll be introducing yourself in the discussion area, I’ll go ahead and introduce myself here. Although I’ve taught at IUPUI for more than a decade, I live in the desert mountains of southern Utah. I’m online all day most days, so I’m easy to contact. Just send me an email and I’m happy to answer your questions.

Advanced Information Cluster, Part 1: Starting Points

This week we’ll be talking about starting points.

This week’s materials will introduce you to the disciplines and sub-disciplines you’ll be examining this semester. You’ll also explore library organizations and other professional resources that can be useful in learning more about being a subject-area librarian. While some of you may end up in school and public libraries, others will take positions in academic and special library settings. Regardless of your setting, you’ll be dealing with a wide range of questions from library users. For instance, how do you get a cake to rise correctly when you live at 7500 feet? Our house is more than a mile above sea level. Most cake recipes provide a high altitude adjustment that’s only good to about 5000 feet. A search of Google provides lots of people with the same question, but very few answers. An old-fashioned book has provided the best information resource. It provide adjustments for baking at 3000, 5000, 7000, and 10,000 feet. The key to information sources is picking the best resource for the job. Sometimes it’s a website, but it might also be an electronic database or book.

Whether locating resources online or browsing the physical collection, library users are often overwhelmed by the shear amount of information available. While some library users possess the skills necessary to address their information needs, others require the assistance of a librarian.

The amount of information available in every discipline is immense. It’s important to develop a deeper understanding of the nature of specialized information sources when providing services to the disciplines.

However... in the "real world" Google is king and Wikipedia is queen. Many reference questions can be addressed with a quick Google search or trip to Wikipedia. On the other hand, it's essential to trace back to the original source to ensure accuracy. Sometimes, none of the quick online sources will address the information need. In those cases, it's time for discipline-specific information sources.

Information sources present facts, data, perspectives, and other details about a subject in a usable format that can be applied to answer questions or make decisions. These communications can take many forms including textual, image, audio, and video sharing through paper or electronic formats. The term form is used to describe how this information is arranged or how the work is written. For instance, dictionaries, directories, almanacs, and encyclopedia each have a particular way of arranging information. They may also cross academic disciplines.

Lack of resources is rarely the problem in this digital age. Instead, users are often overwhelmed by the seemingly endless websites and database resources available. In addition, they face the problem of separating accurate, authoritative information from the advertisements, opinions, and just plain junk sites.

Library collections are rapidly shifting from a print-based to a digital delivery system. As we shift from paper to digital format, another trend has emerged. No longer are scholarly communications restricted to peer-reviewed subscription-based journals. Increasingly, these communications are being shared through open access repositories, websites, and other digital delivery systems.

Information service involves addressing the information needs of users. In many cases, librarians are involved in a reference transaction as part of this information service. This process involves consulting with library users and recommending information sources to address an information need. While these services may take place in person, they may also involve virtual communication such as e-mail, chat, texting, video conferencing, or other technology-mediated interaction. In order to address information needs, a wide range of physical and virtual resources may be used.

A discipline is an academic field that is sometimes, but not always connected with a profession. A discipline includes not only the knowledge associated with the area, but also the connected people, communities, projects, and research. Some sub-disciplines are difficult to pigeonhole into a particular discipline. They may bridge several disciplines. While you may be concentrating on a particular discipline, keep in mind that many areas interact with multiple fields.

A great example of an area that's difficult to pigeonhole is animal studies and the humane treatment of animals. This area contains aspects of philosophy, ethics, law, business, science, and others. Humane Society University provides a subject guide to information dealing with this topic. Notice that many different areas that come together. Also, notice that separate guides are provided for exploration in each area including business, culture, education, government, health, and law. Can you think of other topics that incorporate many different fields of study?

Subject-matter librarians need to establish relationships within their disciplines of interest. Frequent library users and local experts can be useful in helping librarians better understand disciplines. Keep in mind that your professional connections don't need to be local. You can establish contacts through professional organizations. Or, you may follow professional blogs.

Regardless of whether you plan to work in a school, public, academic, or special library setting, there are many commonalities in the skills necessary to meet library user needs. Use resources from the general library organizations as well as discipline area library groups. Seek out professional journals, blogs, social media, and websites associated with your library area of interest.

This course focuses on the identification and use of information sources. Information sources are collections of facts, data, or messages that users can apply to answer questions, solve problems, or make decisions. Today’s libraries are over flowing with information. It’s the job of the librarian to make information access easily available.

As we begin this course, you may wonder why the materials in this course are organized by informational genres such as dictionaries and periodicals. When addressing user inquiries, it’s essential to understand what type of information is needed and what reference or informational genre is most likely to meet this need. Regardless of the discipline, a dictionary is used to locate definitions.

Librarians tend to have a wide range of interests. You don't need to be an expert in everything, but it's useful to have broad experiences and an enthusiasm for learning new things. While many librarians choose to become subject-matter experts based on their undergraduate degrees, this isn't required. Many librarians serve all disciplines without content-area degrees. My degrees and experiences don’t make me an expert in every discipline, but I do have a background in all four course areas.

Be sure to explore both the general section and the readings related to your own discipline. If you’re taking two courses, be sure to read the materials from both sections.

For more information, go to the course website. Have a great week.

Advanced Information Cluster, Part 2: Information Seeking

Let’s talk about information seekers and their behaviors. This week’s assignments include a lot of readings. You’ll be exploring the wide range of library users and their characteristics.

Information seekers come to the library with a wide range of interesting, but often bizarre questions. What’s the origin of the song Tip-Toe Thru the Tulips in my favorite songbook? Or, do the birds on the new postal stamp live in this area? It’s our job to know our library users well enough to expect these types of questions.

A wide range of information seekers use libraries. Each person comes with a unique set of informational interests and skills. It’s important to spend time thinking about both the categories of potential clients as well as the individuals coming with specific information needs.

While existing research about information seeking behaviors is essential to librarians, it’s also important to conduct local research projects. Those working in special libraries will find that mainstream information seeking behavior research may not apply. In these cases, the librarian will want to investigate methodologies for collecting data directly from local library users on discipline-specific topics.

Before jumping into matching information seekers with information sources, librarians need to understand the different types of information seekers, their needs, and their behaviors. Not all information seekers are alike. Race, national origin, religion, age, sex, gender identification, sexual orientation, handicap, marital status, political affiliation, belief, veteran status, and many other factors can impact information needs and information seeking behavior.

Students are one of the most common library users.

While some library users are seeking information they can use in their workplace or school setting, others are looking for information to support a personal interest, hobby, or other leisure activity. While the course will explore advanced resources used by researchers and professionals, it will also examine discipline-specific materials used by the general public.

From retirees who play the stock market to young adults who enjoy building drones, hobbyists can be found across disciplines. A hobbyist is a person who pursues a particular topic in their leisure for pleasure. While some hobbies include building collections or participating in physical activities, others focus on academic pursuits such as archaeology or creative writing. While some hobbyists are novices, others may have substantial knowledge and skills. A professional is a person who engages in activities for compensation, while an amateur is simply seeking personal rewards.

To provide effective information services, librarians must understand information seekers including both their needs, and their behaviors. To do this, librarians need to be observers, listeners, and investigators. As observers, librarians must know who uses and doesn’t use the library. Surveys and circulation statistics can be useful sources of information. It's important to collect data from both face-to-face interactions as well as virtual services such as website use and virtual reference data. Librarians must be listeners during reference interviews and other library interactions.  Focus groups can also be useful. Librarians must know the professional literature. Much research has been conducted into the needs and behaviors of specific types of information seekers. This information can be extremely valuable in anticipating needs and building subject guides.

From smartphones to tablets, people have grown accustomed to the use of technology for all types of information activities. Librarians need to use these technologies to assist information users. We must also be aware of the technology tools that people use outside the library such as Google.

Although information seekers are often able to locate information using tools like Google, they may not be able to deal with information overload. They may have difficulty evaluating and selecting quality information sources to match their needs. This course focuses on that small percentage of the time when users can't find what they need with a quick Google search.

Rather an using broad categories to pigeonhole information users, it can be useful to develop personas to help you visualize library clientele. A persona is a fictional character invented to represent a particular type of user that might use information sources and services in a similar way. User personas may describe the goals and behaviors of a group of users based on real-world traits and characteristics.

These personas can be used to help librarians as they anticipate user needs, develop subject guides, and market materials. Personas are often based on scholarly research or locally collected data about actual users. The result is a 1-2 page description that contains goals, needs, interests, and behaviors of this type of individual.

While your library may have high-quality, well-organized materials, they’re unlikely to be used effectively unless librarians reach out to potential users. As information consultants, librarians must seek ways to attract new clients to their services and at the same time maintain existing customer relationships. To do this, librarians must understand the needs and behaviors of their customers. Then, provide services that address their information needs.

Finally keep in mind that you and your personality really do make a difference. Do your library users like you? Do they think that you empathize with their plight? These may seem like strange questions, but they're important. Getting to know your library users is essential in understanding their needs.

Be sure to explore both the general section and the readings related to your own discipline. If you’re taking two courses, be sure to read the materials from both sections.

For more information, go to the course website. Have a great week.

Advanced Information Cluster, Part 3: Research Guides

Let’s explore research guides.

As a librarian, one of my favorite activities is gathering and evaluating materials. From books and websites to fliers, brochures, and field guides, there are endless information sources to collect. As much as I love collecting materials, it can be time consuming. Why reinvent the wheel? Hundreds of research guides, subject guides, pathfinders and bibliographies are available for most topics. Use these tools to jumpstart your investigation. However, use your knowledge of your local information seekers to customize pathfinders that match the destinations of your library clients. Novices need different information source experts. Children have different needs than adults. Faculty may use different sources than students. Customizing your guides to fit the needs of your users is critical for success.

Once the information need has been established, librarians must develop an effective strategy to attack the question or information need while always keeping in mind the information seeking behavior of their client. In the past decade, many librarians have embraced social media tools such as Delicious for social bookmarking and LibGuides for subject guide production.

Each of the disciplines has their own approach to research. As such, the subject guides and other research materials will each be slightly different depending on the area of emphasis. The same is true of the approaches and processes involved with research.

Librarians provide a wide range of information services to meet the needs of information seekers. Three common reference questions include ready-reference questions, research questions, and bibliographic verification. Reader's advisory is another common activity to assist information seekers.

Evidence-based practice involves applying research results in everyday professional practice. Many professions across disciplines now use the principles of evidence-based practice in bridging theory and practice in their everyday work and research.

Many professional librarians apply evidence-based practice in their work. For instance, rather than choosing the sources you prefer or those you think users need, it's important to consult the library and information research. Or, conduct your own studies.

A wide range of sources exist within disciplines. It can be helpful to develop a guide to help users find the most common materials in their area of interest. These tools may be known as a research guide, topical guide, subject bibliography, or pathfinder depending on the contents and approach.

Pathfinders are useful for all type of library users. They save time and frustration by leading users to quality resources.

Today, a pathfinder includes all the resources that library users might find useful from primary source documents to the email addresses of local community members. It might contain Dewey Decimal or LC numbers to locate materials in the library or URLs to find materials on the Internet. In addition, it could include phone numbers, addresses, and email contacts for experts who might be able to address specific questions related to a topic.

Rather than a list of everything, you'll want to be selective. Choose the best resources to address the needs of your users and goal of your project. Include an introduction, annotated resources, instruction, search strategies and key words, project ideas, and advice.

Pinterest is a social network that allows users to create boards containing content pins that can be shared. Users can follow the boards of their friends.

Subject area librarians at Murray State University Library use Pinterest to provide access to online resources for academic and professional use.

Librarians are often involved in aggregation. This activity involves collecting or gathering resources together and a surface level evaluation of the materials.

Aggregators are often automated tools that provide information based on key words. For instance, Google News provides information based on topics and news sources selected. Google Alerts provides notifications based on keywords. For instance, it can notify you every time your name is used online.

Content Curation goes one step further by organizing the best resources related to a particular topic or theme. Materials are closely examined for accuracy, authenticity, and value before being included in the collection. The resources are then organized, annotated, and presented in a user-friendly way.

New academic fields are increasingly interdisciplinary in nature. This requires librarians to access information sources from across many academic areas. From earthquakes and floods to pandemics and war, disasters cut across disciplines.

In the humanities, there are issues of art preservation, artistic expression, language barriers, ethical issues, and religious concerns.

In the social sciences, there are economic and social issues, psychological impacts, and government laws and regulations. There are also historical aspects of disasters.

In the sciences, there are topics connected to the geosciences, physical sciences, and health sciences.

In business, there are financial considerations, risk management issues, and impacts on small business.

Be sure to explore both the general section and the readings related to your own discipline. If you’re taking two courses, be sure to read the materials from both sections.

For more information, go to the course website. Have a great week.

Advanced Information Cluster, Part 4: Reference Sources

Let’s explore reference sources.

I will admit to being a reference junkie. I was one of those children who read World Book Encyclopedia from cover to cover, letter by letter. Even today, I enjoy reference books. It’s amazing how many different reference tools are available. For instance, Children’s Writer’s Word Book helps writers choose the best words for a particular reading level.

Increasingly, reference sources are shifting from paper to digital versions. For instance, we like being able to take our iPad or iPhone along with our bird guides out in nature. We can play the bird songs out in the field and see if we can hear a reply. We can quickly find dozens of photographs of birds to make comparisons. However, we still find that multiple reference sources are the best. One book or apps might have a better description, illustration, or photograph than another.

From dictionaries and encyclopedias to almanacs and atlases, there are endless information sources in each discipline. General reference works cross disciplines and provide a good starting point for research. However, subject-area reference sources provide more focused information within a discipline. Regardless of the reference source, the key is matching the user need with useful information.

Keep in mind that reference sources are increasingly available online through open access and subscription-based databases.

While the electronic interface allows materials to easily be updated, watch copyright dates carefully. Sometimes companies upload reference books with old copyright dates, but assign them a date that reflects when they were uploaded.

This semester we'll be discussing a wide range of creative and critical works. When working with library users, it's important to consider what types of information sources the client is seeking.

Increasingly, reference sources are moving online and can be found as part of databases. Reference databases contain background and general information about topics through providing access to a wide range of reference books and other electronic materials. You’ll find many electronic reference books in subscription reference databases.

ARBAonline (American Reference Books Annual) is comprehensive and authoritative database reviewing print and electronic reference works across disciplines including encyclopedia, dictionaries, handbooks, guidebooks, directories, indexes, almanacs, yearbooks, atlases and more. This subscription-based tool is a valuable resource for locating reference sources. Keep in mind that it doesn't provide access the resources themselves, just a citation, summary, and review. The Guide to Reference from ALA provides a similar service.

Keep in mind that simple questions may be addressed by searching Google or other search engines for an information sources. However, be sure to consider the quality of the reference source located.

Google Images can be very useful in identifying images. Simply drag the image into the Google Images search and it will show where the image can be found on the web and it's best guess at identification. In the example, Google was good at identifying Helen Keller.

Identifying people using Google Images is particularly tricky. If you enter your name, you might find dozens of photographs of other people. If you drag in a photo, you may end up with a reenactor rather than the historical figure. Be sure to go to the website containing to image and verify the image.

Ready reference sources are used to provide quick access to accurate factual information. Categories include almanacs, chronologies, directories, fact sheets, guides, handbooks, and yearbooks. These books often answer who, what, where, when, which, and how questions. Specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias, and many other reference sources provide summarizes of information from a particular discipline. While you may not find in-depth information, you will be able to locate summarizes of specialized articles or books. Use the citations provided in these summarizes to locate the original information source.

Be sure to explore both the general section and the readings related to your own discipline. If you’re taking two courses, be sure to read the materials from both sections.

For more information, go to the course website. Have a great week.

Advanced Information Cluster, Part 5: Books & Ebooks

This week we’ll focus on books and e-books.

Over the past few years I’ve slowly transitioned from paper to electronic books. However, I find that some books like graphic novels, I prefer to read on paper. I do book reviews for Teacher Librarian magazine and find that most of the advanced reader copies are now available to me through electronic form, so I read them on my iPad.

While many new books are being published in electronic form and very old books that are in the public domain are being digitized by groups like Google, the ones in the middle can only be accessed on paper. If you’re looking for a book published between the 1930s and 2000, it’s going to be necessary to find a physical version. For instance, Rainbow View by Anne Snow focused on the local history of Wayne County Utah. Written in 1953, it’s been out of print for decades. The only way to find it is through a library or an online resale site.

Books continue be important tools in library research activities. However the introduction of electronic books have begun to change how people access information.

A book is a published collection of connected pages or screens. It may be written, illustrated, printed, or contain blank sheets. Although it may be made of ink on paper fastened together in a binding, it may a digital representation of pages on a screen.

Today, books are being produced in the electronic book or e-book format as well as on paper. The advantage of this approach is easy access, anytime and anywhere. On the other hand, the logistics of providing access through libraries can be a challenge. Although electronic books are gaining in popularity, print books continue to be used.

Many libraries subscribe to ebook collections. Companies like Overdrive specialize in providing ebooks to libraries. In most cases, both a website and app interface is available for downloading books.

An increasing number of open access book collections are available.

Most librarians maintain free access online catalogs. These are searchable databases of all the items in a particular library. Beyond your own catalog, remember to seek out other library catalogs.

Consider whether or not controlled vocabulary systems might be useful such as Library of Congress subject headings. For instance are you looking for a particular type of book such as a diary? Are you seeking an adaptation or book review? Are there interdisciplinary aspects of your topic you should consider?

With Wikipedia just a click away, do we really need books? Yes!

The level of depth available in a 500 page monograph can't compare to a short Wikipedia article or even the article with the citations and external links. While many everyday questions can be answered using encyclopedia entries, a book is much more effective for scholarly activities that require breadth and depth.

Of course, the currency of information can be a problem in some disciplines. Like peer-reviewed journals, books published through traditional publishing houses can go through a lengthy editing process. Particularly in areas such as science and technology that demand up-to-date information, this can be a problem.

Traditionally, browsing played an important role in research activities. Library users may browse books on shelves, then scan the table of contents and indexes of books. With paper books on shelves being replaced by e-books and titles being weeded to reduce shelf space, the act of browsing is slowing being lost. One primary advantage of browsing is the discovery of books that may be overlooked when searching online.

Increasingly, library catalogs and databases are providing interfaces that attempt to replicate the browsing atmosphere. They may provide different ways to display books on the screen including lists and book covers. They may also provide easy access to the table of content of books.

Be sure to explore both the general section and the readings related to your own discipline. If you’re taking two courses, be sure to read the materials from both sections.

For more information, go to the course website. Have a great week.

Advanced Information Cluster, Part 6: Gov’t Documents

Let’s learn about government documents in the disciplines.

After reading the biography The Woman Behind the New Deal, I immersed myself in government documents related to the history of the labor movement in America. It was amazing what I found. I jumped among the topics of women’s studies, political science, labor statistics, and big business spanning dozens of different government agencies.

In 1995, the U.S. Government began an initiative to make government documents available online. As a result, many documents are now available for free through government websites. Most new documents are now digitally born. However when seeking older works, it may still be necessary to locate print copies.

Before jumping into the resources, spend some time thinking about the structure of the United States government. This will help you as you begin seeking information sources for your discipline area of interest. You need to dig deep for humanities areas, but you’ll easily find connections for all the other disciplines.

Note that in 2015, the US Government Printing Office changed its name to the US Government PUBLISHING office. This is the place to begin your exploration of government documents.

Working closely with the GPO, the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies develops websites and apps to help connect information offered by the federal government to citizens. This agency oversees websites including USA.GOV, KIDS.GOV, DATA.GOV and others. These are a great place to locate links to valuable online information sources.

Many of the Federal Depository Libraries along with other libraries have excellent subject guides focused on government resources. Many agencies have their own libraries and provide access to a wide range of publications. For instance, the Pentagon Library provide lists of documents at Pentagon Library: Government Documents

In 2009, the President’s Open Government Directive required government agencies “to implement the principles of transparency, participation, and collection” including publishing government information online. As a result, some new websites were created. Also, Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government has been dramatically updated. This website is intended to inform youth about the federal government and government information.

Regardless of your discipline of interest, the US Government provides information about people that can be useful in a wide range of information projects. Many of the government agencies provide biography sections featuring government employees from those agencies such as the U.S. Department of State: Biographies. For instance, Caroline B. Kennedy is the U.S. Ambassador to Japan.

A patent is a grant of exclusive rights regarding an invention for a limited time. Patents are generally approved by a government agency. In the United States, the governing body is the United States Patent and Trademark Office under the U.S. Department of Commerce. Because patents are specific to the country in which they were granted, it's important to search for patents around the world. Unfortunately, language quickly becomes a barrier in these types of searches particularly when the language is Japanese, Chinese, or Korean. Patents are a type of government document that cuts across disciplines. The patent on the slide was filed by musician and composer Harry Connick, Jr. It involves elements of music, science, and business.

While you can often go directly to the government agency for information, in some cases you may end up using a source created by a non-profit or a subscription-based service that repackage the information. For instance, Social Explorer provide both a free and subscription version of map-based census data.

Government agencies don't think in terms of humanities, social sciences, technology, or business. In many cases, multiple agencies work independently but also together to address important issues that span many disciplines. Disaster preparation is an example. Many times a question of philosophy or social science becomes a question of science and economics.

Be sure to explore both the general section and the readings related to your own discipline. If you’re taking two courses, be sure to read the materials from both sections.

For more information, go to the course website. Have a great week.

Advanced Information Cluster, Part 7: Periodicals & Databases

Let’s explore periodicals, databases, and indexes.

From my LEGO magazine and cooking light to my scientific american and american history magazines, I enjoy a wide range of periodicals. All of these magazines now have digital version too, so I can read on paper or on my iPad.

Of course, I read all the library journals too, but when it comes to fun, I have broad interests. What magazines and journals do you like to read?

Particularly for scholarly activities, periodicals, databases, and indexes are essential information resources. However from business people to retirees, many people enjoy reading magazines and newspapers for pleasure too.

Periodicals including newspapers, magazines, and journals contain current information and represent an important information source across disciplines. Think about the types of periodicals and article types that best match the information need.

Ulrich's Periodical Directory is a database containing every active and ceased periodical. The search tool makes it easy to locate periodicals in every discipline. The search results are presented in a table and indicate whether the publication contains a table of contents, is refereed, is available in an electronic format, is open access, and whether it has been reviewed. It also contains a link to additional information about the publication and it’s availability. If the periodical is available through IUPUI, it also provides a direct link.

Full-text of journals are often found in databases. Organizations responsible for creating databases are known as database producers or content providers. They gather, edit, and organize information. Many of these organizations began as print providers. Reference materials, periodicals, books, and other materials are all found in databases. Aggregators provide access to multiple databases using a single interface.

Indexes are alphabetically lists providing citations to sources on a particular topic. Most indexes have been converted to online databases making searching much easier. Periodical indexes generally provide a citation along with an abstract of the article or item. However, today’s online indexes often contain full texts of articles.

Many periodicals will be found in subscription databases. However increasingly, scholarly works are being published through open access avenues. Open access sources are generally free from copyright and licensing restrictions. These journals are often available online and free of charge. Gold open access journals are peer-reviewed serials that offer free access to full-text articles. Green open access publications are generally published through traditional subscription-based journals first, then republished for permanent public access in an open access repository. Or, users may simply self-published a repository. Increasingly, publications produced with the support of U.S. government funding must be made available through an open access environment.

From reviews of feature films to critical analysis of literary works, some journals contain only reviews or have review sections. Each discipline has its own areas of criticism connected to the creative and critical works produced. In the arts, criticism may focus on works of visual art, movies, or other creative works. In the social sciences including business, reviews often evaluate the quality of a written work such as an article or book. In science and technology, reviews are critical as part of evidence-based practice. This is particularly true in the health professions. Researchers and practitioners may be looking for studies that are well-reviewed to select a medical course of action.

A newspaper is a serial publication generally issued daily or weekly. Increasingly, people are reading newspapers online. A wide range of library users read newspapers including professionals from across disciplines. It may contain general information or content specific to a subject area. From religious history and medical history to historical advertisements, historical newspapers are used in the study of history across disciplines. Many subscription databases provide access to newspapers.

Be sure to explore both the general section and the readings related to your own discipline. If you’re taking two courses, be sure to read the materials from both sections.

For more information, go to the course website. Have a great week.

Advanced Information Cluster, Part 8: Bibliographies & Bibliometics

Let’s talk about bibliographies and bibliometrics.

Over the years, I’ve written books, book chapters, and hundreds of professional articles. It’s fun to see how many people have cited my work. It makes all that effort worthwhile. It’s the librarian’s job to explore the connections among information sources in order to help library users address their information needs.

In academia, referencing plays an important role in all aspects of research. Referencing involves showing where an author got their information or ideas. Researchers are careful to cite the sources that they use. Scholars generally follow one of the citation styles when creating a citation. Most disciplines use one of about a dozen styles. Many people use electronic tools to generate citations.

A bibliography is a list of written works. They are commonly used as a list of cited references in an article or a collection of suggested readings. Bibliographic resources provide access to lists of materials organized by author, title, or subject. These tools are useful in location and verification of works. They may be comprehensive or selective… general or subject specific. With online catalogs available for local collections and sources such as WorldCat accessible for the holdings of most libraries, printed bibliographies have all but disappeared. Instead, librarians and scholar make use of bibliographical databases.

In some cases, librarians are called upon to assist users in the development of bibliographies. Or, use bibliographies as a way to share resources. Although many different techniques can be used to generate these works, it’s a good idea to begin with the basics. The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) has developed guidelines for the preparation of bibliographies. Although general in nature, these guidelines should be the starting point for your work.

Subject-matter librarians spend much of their time working with scholars on an activity known as "citation chasing". There are two approaches to citation chasing: forward and backward.

Forward citation chasing involves seeking out sources that cite an article. The frequency with which an article is cited is one indicator of its importance in the field.

Backward citation chasing involves locating sources cited within an article. Most scholarly articles contain a bibliography or reference section. Scholars use this citation list to locate articles that provided background information or essential ideas to the article.

Citation Linker is a tool offered by many libraries. It's designed to help you find a journal article, book, dissertation, or patent from a citation. Just enter the information about the citation such as the title, author, and journal. This is an article I wrote on the history of school libraries for Knowledge Quest.

Then, the system will show you if the library provides access to the item. It’s available through both EBSCO and ProQuest.

When conducting research, many scholars are interested in how published research on a particular topic is interrelated. They may use bibliometrics including citation analysis to identify patterns in citations in articles, books, and other publications. In academic and special libraries, citation analysis is an important practice to gather data about what information sources students, faculty, and researchers are using.

In school and public libraries, list checking is a more popular activity than citation analysis. List checking, also known as the checklist method, involves matching the collections' holdings against bibliographies, core collections, awards lists, and recommendation lists. Librarians may also check their recent acquisitions against those at other similar libraries to see if they're getting the same new books and other sources. The goal of list checking is to make certain that the library's collection includes titles that meet a level of excellence and also address the needs of users.

Citation indexes help users trace an idea from the original scholar to those that cited the original work. Researchers use this approach to determine how a concept evolves and what researchers were influenced by others. A citation index is a bibliographic database that allows users to identify which documents cite earlier documents. Automated citation indexing has made citation analysis research much easier by allowing millions of citations to be analyzed instantly.

While most scholars use citation analysis to help them locate quality works and identify patterns in their research area, there are many other uses for this approach. Some faculty use this data as support in their tenure and promotion documents. Others use it to identify expert reviewers or as justification for grant funding. However, it's important to remember that this type of analysis isn't perfect. The automated citation indexing tools are still evolving and the techniques used to conduct research haven't been standardized. There's also debate about what types of documents should be included. For instance, are grey literature and e-resources being represented?

Many librarians use citation analysis as a way to examine how the library collection is being used. The most common approach is to analyze the work of faculty and students to see what they're citing in their work. There's not just one way to do a citation analysis. The key is finding an approach that's useful for your library type and your discipline.

Be sure to explore both the general section and the readings related to your own discipline. If you’re taking two courses, be sure to read the materials from both sections.

For more information, go to the course website. Have a great week.

Advanced Information Cluster, Part 9: Grey Literature

Let’s learn about grey literature.

Beyond books, periodicals, and the other common works traditionally found in a library, there are lots of other documents that contain valuable information. These materials become increasingly important as scholars dive deeper into the research. I’m holding archeological studies, research papers, and technical reports related to areas where I live. Many of these materials were informally published decades ago and can only be found by scouring resale websites and special collections at libraries. They’re known as grey literature.

Dissertations are another example of grey literature. My dissertation is nearly 30 years old and collecting dust in the library. However, the Iowa State digital repository has brought it back to life electronically. It will never be on the best-seller list, but at least it’s no longer hidden in the dusty stacks.

Most library users think of reference sources, books, and periodicals as their main "go to" information sources for library research. However, many important research findings are published first and only as technical notes, conference proceedings, electronic communications, projects reports, and other lesser-known works. Traditional finding aids may not be effective in locating and accessing these materials. These types of documents are known as "grey literature" or "gray literature".

Although Google is getting better at identifying grey documents, these information sources continue to be part of the "hidden web" or "deep web". In other words, they're not easy to find. They often lie deep inside web servers without metadata or other descriptions important for identification by web crawlers.

Grey literature includes materials not formally published through traditional commercial publishing channels. Commercial literature is sometimes referred to as “white literature”. Institutions of higher education are major producers of grey literature. From online course materials to dissertations, universities churn out endless content across disciplines.

Grey literature can provide useful information on a topic. Because it doesn't go through traditional publication channels, it can be shared very quickly. Grey literature often summarizes and communicates ideas in ways that are different from other documents. Many of the documents are concise, so these sources can convey complex information in simple terms, quickly. Many companies and agencies produce grey literature such as brochures and pamphlets for public distribution, so these works are a good gauge of public interests.

Besides the ability to identify additional information on a topic, grey literature provides the opportunity to locate materials with alternative perspectives and lesser known specializations. These types of information sources can also be used to battle against publication bias. In other words, publishers tend to select high-impact studies with positive results for publication. This means that many excellent studies go unnoticed by the mainstream. Non-traditional publishing outlets provide an opportunity for this research to be read.

On the other hand, it's important to remember that many pieces of grey literature have not been peer reviewed. As such, it's essential that scholars carefully review the sources themselves. In addition, it can be difficult to locate studies of interest. Unlike subscription databases that provide well-indexed materials, some open access tools have limited search capabilities.

Interest in grey literature has gone hand-in-hand with the recent open access movement. Many librarians and subject matter researchers began to realize that a huge untapped resource needed to be made widely available. Rather than going to publishers, many librarians and scholars worked together to develop their own databases and institutional repositories to house these important data collections. The government has also gotten on board to promote open access to documents.

In the past, it was often difficult to access dissertations, theses, reports, and other types of print materials. However, universities, government agencies, and other organizations are increasingly digitizing these materials and making them available online. The search is on for more documents that can be shared.

Look for grey literature in the following locations:

Discipline-specific Subscription Databases.

Open-Access Databases.

 Institutional Repositories

Organization Websites.

Let's explore the many types of documents in the category of grey literatures. From conference papers and posters to conference programs and proceedings, products of conferences are an important source of information for researchers. They often contain the latest information on a topic and may be the only place that an unpublished work can be located.

From syllabi and calendars to course guides and tutorials, many course materials are not formally published. Many of these materials reside on university web-servers. While some are behind firewalls, others are open access. Use of content management systems such as Blackboard and Canvas has increased online availability of course materials.

Some universities such as MIT have embraced the open courseware concept.

From voting patterns to animal populations, statistical information is critical across disciplines. Keep in mind that most scholars will want the original source of data rather than a source that simply converted the data into a chart or graphic. Statistical sources provide rankings, ratings, and raw data on a wide range of topics.

Regardless of your discipline, it’s important to be familiar with key concepts related to data and statistics.

Gathering data and statistics is a time-consuming and often expensive process. Governments around the world collect public data as well as global organizations such as the United Nations. In addition, private data is gathered by businesses, nonprofits, and other types of organizations for a variety of purposes. This information may or may not be available to the public.

Theses and dissertations are often produced by graduate students as part of their master's or doctoral studies. These works are often used by others in research. The structure of a thesis is similar around the world regardless of discipline. Increasingly, Electronic Thesis and Dissertations are being produced, archived, and circulated. Today, many of these are digitally-born. In other words, they begin as electronic documents and may not even be available in a print format. Older documents are slowly being added.

Since early times, scholars have written essays detailing an individual's perspective on a topic. Essays may include criticism, manifestos, arguments, observations, reflections, and many other types of communications. While some essays are published through journals, books, and other formal channels, many others are informally shared as printed documents or web pages.

A treatise is similar in content to an essay, but generally provides more depth. These longer documents are intended to provide the results of investigations, observations, or insights into a subject.

A wide range of papers fall into the grey literature category.

Green papers are a tentative government report of policy proposals for discussion and debate. Although it's the first step toward legislation, it provides no commitment to action. These papers often lead to white papers.

White papers are an authoritative document focusing on a complex issue. This concise paper is a guide to an organization's stand or philosophy on a particular matter.

Working papers are a document still in draft form used to elicit feedback prior to submission.

When you think of a journal article or report, the final product comes to mind. However in many cases, multiple versions of a document are available. Many of these are considered grey literature because they aren't the final, published version.

Off-prints are reproductions of an article, chapter, or an excerpt from a paper from a larger publication.

Pre-prints are a version of a document that hasn't been published in a journal. These manuscripts are often in the process of being peer reviewed and are used to receive early feedback from peers.

Reprints are documents that have already been published and are being printed again or are appearing in a digital version. Reprints have been republished. For example, electronic databases are digital reprints.

Whether working on an internal organization project or addressing the requirements of a grant, project documents can be useful in research.

A report is a document that provides relevant information to a specific audience. While the audience may be the general public, reports can also be used internal to an organization.

From blogs and electronic discussions to email, millions of ephemeral electronic messages are shared every day. These communications can be valuable to researchers.

Standards exist in almost every discipline. Library users may seek information about whether there are standards in a particular area and whether they comply with the standards. Organizations and associations create standards related to their profession.

Governments are often responsible for creating and monitoring standards.

Many other unpublished works fit into the category of grey materials such as unpublished manuscripts, newsletters, patents, technical notes, field notes, product catalogs, presentation materials, correspondence, and laboratory notes.

Institutional repositories are collections intended to preserve intellectual property of a particular institution or university. For instance, IUPUIScholarWorks Repository is a digital service that collects, preserves, and distributes digital material.

When seeking out institutional repositories, open access collections, and other sources for grey literature, begin with some search tools specifically designed to access these types of information sources.

Be sure to explore both the general section and the readings related to your own discipline.

For more information, go to the course website. Have a great week.

Advanced Information Cluster, Part 10: Archives, Libraries & Museums

Let’s explore information sources through archives, libraries, and museums.

William Preston was my 4th Grandfather. I’ve been working with a transcription of his diary. He participated in the 1775 invasion of Canada during the revolutionary war. His commander was Benedict Arnold. I’ve read all the books and journal articles I can find. I even wrote to the national archives to get his military records, so it’s time to dig deeper. I’ve been able to find some grey literature, but it’s time to expend my search beyond library resources and into archives, museums, and specialized digital collections.

Libraries, archives, and museums may all house creative and informational sources with relevance to discipline-specific inquiries. When asked about the difference between libraries and archives, representatives from the Library of Congress and National Archives declared, "in 10 words or less, it’s what we’ve got and how we got it.” Learn about the differences at the course website.

Beyond your own library, other libraries and their collections may be useful sources of information. For instance, there are over 1100 federal libraries listed on the Federal Library Directory.

Both physical and digital archives may play an important role in assisting library users identify information. Archives fall into one of the three categories including government archives, in-house archives, and collecting archives.

Many subscription-based sources are available for locating archival materials.

Museum collections can be useful in many disciplines. Increasingly, visitors can make use of virtual exhibits. There are more than a dozen museum types. Many museum house archives and libraries.

Be sure to explore both the general section and the readings related to your own discipline. If you’re taking two courses, be sure to read the materials from both sections.

For more information, go to the course website. Have a great week.

Advanced Information Cluster, Part 11: Technology Resources

Let’s explore technology resources.

Although I enjoy listening to iTunes, there’s nothing better than hearing a Beatle’s album or a 45 on my old record player. Librarians need to be comfortable with both old and new technologies.

Keep in mind that today’s library may circulate tablets, GPS devices, weather measurement equipment, and sky quality monitors. These are all tools we use as part of a citizen science project monitoring the dark sky quality where we live. We’re just a few miles from Capitol Reef National Park. They were recently named a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park! These pieces of technology are all important data gathering tools. The data is uploaded to a global, collaborative website that’s collecting data from around the world. Others can then make use of the information. Think about how your library can shift from simply using information to also being collaborators and creators. For instance, many institutional repositories begin with just a few, locally produced scholarly communications collected by dedicated librarians.

From images, audio, and video to mobile apps, a growing number of information sources are found in non-print formats. These resources can be engaging and interactive, however they can also be difficult to locate and access.

When searching for information, much of what librarians access focuses on materials in a text form. However, in many disciplines non-text information such as images, audio, and video is more useful than text sources. Non-textual documents present distinct problems for librarians. It’s difficult to search a work of music or locate a photograph. Tools like Google Images have made searching visuals easier. The use of tagging in social networks like Flickr and Pinterest help users locate images. Pandora and other music services help users locate similar works. However we’re still a long way from searching videos for key ideas or locating specific ideas within a silent film. Fortunately, research is underway to make visual and auditory indexing realistic.

A mobile app is computer software designed to run on handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Apps are shared through application distribution platforms run by the operating system of the particular device. For example, the Apple iTunes website is used to download apps for the iOS system. The GooglePlay website is used to download apps for the Android system.

Mobile apps are a popular way to share content. Mobile websites aren't apps in the sense that special software is downloaded. Instead, they're simply a version of a website designed to be viewable on a mobile device. One advantage of apps over websites is that the content must be concise. Those overwhelmed with information overload will find apps to be much more usable information sources. From virtual tours to performance reports, many different types of apps are produced by the government.

Many library user questions may call for the use of online tools.

From children to seniors, people use a wide range of social media tools. Many of these are also useful information sources.

A wide range of images can be used as information sources.

From famous speeches and animal sounds to music, audio can be an important information source.

You no longer need subscription databases and academic library resources to have access to video. Many websites provide excellent resources for free.

Most of this course has focused on specific types of information and information sources that contain that information. Website resources are tough to categorize. From corporate websites to nonprofit pages, web-based resources can be extremely useful in identifying information.

Be sure to explore both the general section and the readings related to your own discipline. If you’re taking two courses, be sure to read the materials from both sections.

For more information, go to the course website. Have a great week.


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