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Visiting Students CSU-Pueblo Library Information

Information for IB, AP, and STS teachers and students, and community students

Use this page to find tips and recommendations for conducting research.

Search Strategies

Phrase Searching

Place several words within quotes to search those exact words in that exact order.

  • "solar power"
  • "hydrocarbon pollution"

Truncation and Wildcards

Use a symbol (usually * or ?) to search all words that start with entered letters.

  • rob* searches for robotics, robbery, and Robespierre.
  • *oxi* matches terms such as antioxidant, dioxide, oxidative, and paradoxical.
  • wom?n searches for woman, women, and womyn.

Boolean Operators

AND searches for both terms, OR searches for either term, NOT omits a term. Combining these operators with truncated and wildcard search strategies can enrich the results.

  • "solar power" AND "nanocrystal" NOT "chem*"
  • "Na" OR "sodium"
  • "heart" OR "cardi*"

     

Evaluating Websites

Before you use a website as a source, ask yourself:

1. Who created this content?

  • You should be able to identify the individual or organization who authored the content, including their affiliations and credentials.

2. Why did they create this content?

  • Consider their motivation- many websites present opinion as fact or provide misleading information to persuade readers.

3. How did they create this content?

  • A good website is going to list its sources. Whether it's a quote or a statistic, you need to know where the website got it before you can trust it.

If you have any questions about using a website, ask a librarian!

Differentiating Resources for Research

Types of Sources

Primary Literature

  • in the sciences, written by the researcher who conducted the study
  • in the humanities, written as a firsthand account of an event, or a piece of writing being studied

Secondary Literature

  • in the sciences, written by someone reviewing the research of someone else
  • in the humanities, written about other pieces of writing and experiences

Scholarly Literature

  • written by professors or experts, meant for academic consumption
  • (see tab for extended explanation)

Popular Literature

Data Management

The new Research Data Management will address the following things:

  • Federal funding requirements & compliance
  • Writing a data management plan
  • The data lifecycle
  • Data best practices for labs & grad students
  • An overview of useful software/tools

Most importantly, the data management librarian can do one-on-one consulting with researchers to help with all of these things on individual projects. Contact Elizabeth at elizabeth.christian@csupueblo.edu

Navigating Scholarly Writing

Scholarly Articles have many of these elements.

Title

  • often tells the subject matter

Author 

  • someone with listed credentials
  • often a university professor

Abstract 

  • usually only in articles
  • often on the first page, above the body of the article
  • summarizes the article's main points

Literature Review 

  • analysis of other articles on similar topics
  • guide for how the author approached the research

Hypothesis/es 

  • the author's expected outcomes

Method 

  • description of the process for the study
  • explanation of the experiment(s)

Results 

  • statistical analysis

Discussion 

  • summary of the results
  • application of the results to the hypothesis/es
  • suggestion(s) for future research

References/Bibliography

  • list of resources the author used as background information