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Technology 4638: Expanding your Results

Following the Trail of Research

How to multiply your good results:

Serendipity:  Browse call numbers: if you find a good book listed on your topic, be sure to browse around that location for other books on the same subject. Notice also that the call numbers are also hyperlinked for items in our catalog. Use these to virtually browse the shelves at all three universities at the same time. 

Subject headings:
Think about subject headings as the heading (leading, or main) subject of any document or item you find in the library. Most items in our catalog and in our databases have these 'heading subjects' found for you by a librarian and are included in each item's record. You can make use of these subject headings by running subject searches with them or simply by clicking on them to browse other items with the same 'heading subject'

Pearl Growing:"  Once you have found a valuable article or book, look at the references: these are the sources your author thought the most important for his or her own research. These are often a gold mine of good sources you can find here in the library.  Don't know how to check if we those books/journals in our collection? Take a look at these two tutorials to get the process down pat: If you have a 'known' item, or if you have a citation and Finding Articles' Full-text Using Find@ASU

Be a Text Detective: Mine the titles, descriptions, keywords, and chapter headings of your best resources to find new words/terminology to use in your search. Remember Concept Mapping as a tool to expand your ideas too.

Evaluating Sources

Deciding if a source is authoritative enough to base your research on is easier than you think. Just consider these 5 criteria. For details, check out out tutorial on Evaluating Resources

Currency: When was the information published or updated? Is there more recent information available on your topic?
Relevance Who is the intended audience? How in-depth is the information? Is the information overly basic or highly specialized? Is the information appropriate for your research?
Authority Can you find information about the author from sources? Is the author a self-proclaimed expert or enthusiast? What are the author's or publisher's credentials?
Accuracy Is the information well written? Is the information verifiable elsewhere? Are the sources of information documented?
Purpose Is the information biased or prejudiced? Is the information designed to entertain, disseminate scholarly information, or sell something? Is the information presented complete? For internet sources, how is the site funded?

Librarian Contact

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Xiaorong Shao

Room 138, Belk Library
(828) 262-7714