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Getting Started with Research @ Reed Library: Welcome
The Oxford Guide to Library Research by Thomas MannThis book will answer two basic questions: First, what is the extent of the significant research resources you will miss if you confine your research to sources available on the open Internet? Second, if you are trying to get a reasonably good overview of the literature on a particular topic, rather than just "something quickly" on it, what are several alternative methods?
Librarian Note: It is important to go beyond YouTube, Wikipedia, and Google for your research. While plenty of reputable scientists, scholars, and researchers share their knowledge online, you should follow up with peer-reviewed academic journals to ensure you are getting the most reliable information. That's where Reed Library can help you out -- we provide access to academic and peer-reviewed resources.
Librarian Note: To be clear, many undergraduates have published good science, usually under the supervision of more experienced mentors with advanced degrees. While most journals do not ask whether or not you have a degree, in some fields (e.g., medicine) the author is asked to disclose their educational background -- reviewers may take this into consideration. While academic degrees provide some indication of the mastery of a discipline, it is not a publication requirement in all academic journals. Take Jane Goodall, for example, she made a scientific breakthrough without a college degree.
Librarian Note: This type of research is also referred to as empirical research. Empirical research, or research that is based on observations and measurements of phenomena, often include the components listed in this infographic as well as a discussion section with interpretations and implications of the study, and, very importantly, a list of references.
Librarian Note: Predatory publishers will sometimes charge publication fees to authors without providing the editorial/peer-reviewer services provided by scholarly journals. There are, however, many reputable open access journals that are changing the academic publishing landscape. The Directory of Open Access Journals provides a list of reputable open access journals. Visit Beall's List to learn about potentially predatory publishers.
Librarian Note: This 80% is referring to papers rejected at this stage. Many more are rejected after the peer-review process.
Librarian Note: This is an important point to keep in mind. Just because something was published in a peer-reviewed journal does not mean it is good. It does provide a vetting process, though. Other scholars or researchers might refute or challenge the interpretations or claims in another researcher's work, which allows for some self-correcting in the system. Scholarship is a continuous conversation that occurs over time.