Category Archives: Class notes

Class notes and homework 11/30/10

Several of you asked today about using images in your documentation project and presentation. Remember that you are required to use at least 4 images. Searching from the Creative Commons website is a great way to find images for your projects. Remember that you must cite your sources for images as well as text.

Go to and uncheck the “commercial purposes” box to search Flickr and Google Images. You can also search for audio and video from this page.


For Thursday, please do the two readings listed on the syllabus (Edge, Robinson) and bring at least 1 question about the reading to class. We will use these questions to frame our class discussion — please write the question down (I will collect them).

Prof Smale

Class notes 11/23/10

Here are the notes I wrote on the board today about your final research paper. Please remember that it’s due next Tuesday, November 30th. I’m looking forward to reading your papers!

Have a good Thanksgiving!
Prof Smale

Class notes 11/18/10

Today we discussed documentation of processes or products, and you demonstrated the documentation sources you found for your homework.

We also discussed your research paper draft, and some issues that appeared frequently in your drafts.

More details are available in today’s slides.

Also, here’s the formatting example for your final research paper that I handed out in class today.

There’s no reading or homework this weekend other than revising your paper. Your final paper is due on November 30th! Detailed guidelines are available on the Assignments page.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
Have a good weekend,
Prof Smale

Class notes 11/16/10

Today we spent part of the class peer reviewing the research paper drafts, and part working on citations.

A few citation guidelines:

1. When in doubt, CITE!

2. Most important parts of a citation:

If it’s an article:
– Journal/magazine/newspaper title
– Volume
– Pages

(Badke, p. 156)

3. Remember, you are citing your sources to document your research process. Anyone interested in reading your original sources must be able to find them, so be sure to include enough information so someone can find your original sources from your citations.

Class notes 11/11/10

Today we started discussing documentation, which we’ll be focusing on for the next 3 classes.

We began with a definition from the Oxford English Dictionary (search for documentation, also the verb to document). The OED is a historical dictionary and as such it documents the history of the words it includes, as well as defining them.

Next we moved onto the Hauptman reading, which poses the question Why Do We Document?

– Acknowledgment
– Attribution
– Tracing
– Validation
– Protection against accusations of misconduct
– Tangential substantive commentary

(Hauptman, 2008, 7)

We discussed and looked at examples of each.

Ultimately, documentation and citation:

– Acknowledge participation in the scholarly conversation
– Illuminate and preserve process/practice/research path

And are important to:
– academic work
– all kinds of professional work

We also discussed the article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about link rot: a term that describes the increasing numbers of dead links in citations from scholarly books, articles and other information sources that refer to the internet. A great example of this is the Badke chapter that discusses specialized search engines: you’ll remember that when we discussed those sites in class we discovered that many had already disappeared.

The Chronicle article mentions the Internet Archive, which is one resource you can use to try and find old internet resources. We also discussed the Wayback Machine as a way to view old versions of websites. I tried to show you the City Tech Library’s old website, but kept running into an error. If you’d like to try it yourself, visit the Internet Archive at and enter in the library’s URL:

Class notes 11/9/10

Here’s the powerpoint from class today, in case you’d like to review it for strategies for writing your research paper: LIB1201_1109.

Also, here’s the Avoiding Plagiarism handout that I passed out in class today:

Here are the websites we discussed in class today:

Citation Machine ( You can use this website to help format your References list in APA style. Also, remember that many of the library databases allow you to email citations and articles to yourself, so you can cut and paste them into your References list.

Writing Summaries ( A guide to writing summaries from Columbia University. Remember that summaries are recommended over paraphrasing for your research paper.

Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing ( The Purdue Online Writing Lab’s guide.

Omit Needless Words ( This advice from the classic writing guide is almost 100 years old and still relevant. Writing in a formal, academic style doesn’t have to mean using complex terms. Try to write as clearly and simply as you can, and don’t forget to proofread your work (reading your paper aloud may be helpful).

We also looked at two sample papers written using APA Style, to get a feel for what APA style looks and sounds like:
Sample Paper #1:
Sample Paper #2:

Class notes 11/2/10

Here are the websites we looked at in class today:

Google to Redirect China Users to Uncensored Site
Article from the New York Times earlier this year on the decision by Google to shutter its Chinese site and redirect users to the Hong Kong version for Chinese-language searching. What are your thoughts on this, especially given what we read in the Grimmelmann article about Google’s history of censorship of its Chinese site?

Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories
Here’s an example of a news story that has captured the popular consciousness despite being untrue, an example of the power of media hype (which Fister discusses).

Editor quits after journal accepts bogus science article
Sometimes the peer review process fails — this article from The Guardian (a British newspaper) describes a computer-generated article that was accepted for publication in a scholarly journal.

When big pharma pays a publisher to publish a fake journal…
Blog post about the revelation that scholarly publishing company Elsevier had created a fake publication that appeared to be a peer-reviewed journal but was in reality a collection of articles favorably reviewing drugs from the pharmacy company Merck.

Class notes 10/28

Article Databases Advice
(Badke p. 93-94)

– Stay calm
– Stay focused
– Read the directions
– Plan your strategy
– Ask for help if you need it

Strategies for Article Databases

– Have your keywords and subject headings ready

– Choose a database: general or subject-specific?

– Use your advanced strategies: Boolean, truncation (*), quotation marks

– Use the database limiters to narrow your results

InterLibrary Loan for Students

The Library now offers InterLibrary Loan (ILL) for Students. If you are interested in an article that is not available in full text in our databases, click the Find It button to see if it’s available in another database we own. If not, you can request a copy using ILL.

To use ILL you’ll need to create an account, which takes a few minutes. Link through the Find It window or you can create an account on the Library’s website by clicking Student Services –> InterLibrary Loan –> signup. Or go directly to the sign up page:

If you have any questions about ILL, please ask me!

Class notes 10/14 and 10/19

If you’d like to refer back to our class discussions on the research process, here are the powerpoint notes:

Thu 10/14: LIB1201_1014

Tue 10/19: LIB1201_1019

Also, here’s a link to, the online tool we used for creating concept maps in class on 10/14: It’s a great tool for brainstorming, too, which might be helpful as we begin to create search strategies.

And speaking of search strategies, here’s the information search worksheet we used in class on 10/19: LIB1201_infoworksheet