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EAR 490 — Senior Seminar in Earth Sciences

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Contact Information

Caroline Bordinaro
cbordinaro@csudh.edu
(310)-243-2084
LIB SOUTH 2037J

Navigation

Concepts and questions for beginning research

Glossary

Search Help

Plagiarism and Citing Your Sources

APA Citation Style - Help Guides and Information

Finding Journal Articles

Finding Books in the Library

Finding Quality Websites

Download our LIBRARY GUIDES


Concepts and questions for beginning research

Where to Start?
  • What's your research question?
  • What information do you need to find?
Who cares about the same information? (e.g.: researchers, practitioners, government, etc.)
  • What kind of information do they need?
  • Where would they get it?
Types of information available
  • Books
  • Articles from journals, magazines and newspapers
  • Websites
Creating an Effective Database Search: Click here for more tips, tricks and advice

What is a primary source? What is a secondary source? Click here to find out



Glossary

  • DATABASE: An organized collection of electronic information, such as photographs, addresses, or journal articles.
  • ONLINE JOURNAL INDEX: A database that contains magazine, newspaper and journal articles, e.g: Academic Search Premier. AKA Subscription Database.
  • SCHOLARLY JOURNAL: Also called academic or refereed journal. Articles usually reviewed by experts in the field before publication, published for a research audience, narrow focus, e.g.; Molecular Endocrinology
  • MAGAZINE: Publication of general interest: popular interest and broad subjects (e.g: Psychology Today)
  • SUBJECT HEADINGS : Also called descriptors. Official terms used to classify items in a database.
  • THESAURUS: List and finding aid for official controlled vocabulary terms. Also called Topic Index or Subject List.
  • ABSTRACT: a brief summary of the main content of an article
  • FULL TEXT: the complete article. Click on the FindItCSUDH button to see if the Full Text is available.
  • CITATION: The "metadata" about a book or journal article. It may include the title, the author, the name of the publication, the date, the publisher, the volume and issue number and the page numbers.


Search Help

Creating an effective online search:

  1. Take your research question and circle the "action words"
  2. Think of at least three synonyms for each action word
  3. Use these words in various combination to get a good result (between 15-40 results is optimal)
  4. Combining keywords
    • AND: use to add words to results (volcano AND lahar)
    • OR: use for syonyms or alternate words (pangaea OR gondwanaland)
    • NOT: eliminates any results containing word (emissions NOT smog)

Search Concepts:

  • Phrase searching"" ( "global climate model ")
  • Advanced Search: Use this frequently to determine your search options. This will save you TIME and FRUSTRATION!
  • Find subject headings attached to useful article citations, and redo your search with these controlled vocabulary terms
  • Remember, the more words you use to search or the more limits you place on a search, the fewer results you will get. (How can you get more results?)

More Search Tips:

  • Always use the Print and Save functions embedded within the screen. It is usually not a good idea to use the File-Print or File-Save As functions in the upper left hand corner of the browser.
  • Use the online HELP screens - they really are helpful!
  • If you can't find anything: don't freak out and go to Google! Ask a reference librarian for help.


Plagiarism and Citing Your Sources


What is plagiarism?
- Plagiarism is "The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft." (OED)

In essence, when you quote or paraphrase from somebody else's work without citing it, you are plagiarizing their work. Plagiarism is a serious matter, and could result in a lower or failing grade and even in your expulsion from university. Just rewording your work isn't enough to avoid plagiarism. Since you are still borrowing information heavily from another writer, you still need to include a citation.

But I didn't know! - Ignorance of the law is unfortunately no excuse. You can commit plagiarism without meaning to, and it's just as serious a problem if you do.

How can I avoid it? - You can avoid plagiarism by always citing your sources. Whenever you put a quotation or borrow information heavily from a source, be sure you include a citation in the proper APA style. This will let your professor know you aren't trying to pass the idea off as your own. Taking detailed notes on where you get your information helps a lot with this, since it prevents you from forgetting which is your own work and which is borrowed from others.

For more information, see the official CSUDH definition at http://www.csudh.edu/copyright/plagiarism.shtml

How to Cite Your Sources in a Research Paper shows you how to cite books, articles, and web resources in APA, MLA, and Turabian formats. Always check with your professor to find out which citation format is preferred.



APA Citation Style - Help Guides and Information

APA style is the citation and formatting style created and used by the American Psychological Association. This comprehensive guide from the librarians at CSULA will help you use the APA citation style. Click here for our tutorial on citing sources.

Click here for a cheat-sheet on APA citation style.



Finding Journal Articles

These indexes must be accessed through the library home page at library.csudh.edu. Under Articles, E-books, Online Scholarly Resources, you may either browse by subject area or go to your favorite resource using the alphabetical List .

NOTE: These are subscription databases, selected and provided specifically for CSUDH students. To access from home, please see our Remote Patron Access Instructions guide for login instructions.

  • Science Direct: hundreds of earth science articles, all from refereed publications.
  • Academic Search Premier*: includes articles from trade publications, reports, magazines and newsletters, as well as scholarly journals.
  • Springer Link: search for articles in scholarly journals in the earth sciences.
  • Wilson OmniFile*: indexes all types of publications in many disciplines. Includes full text for many articles.
  • Wiley Online Library: articles from refereed science publications
  • Electronic Journals Service from EBSCO: Eletronic Journals collection from EBSCO

These databases are not specifically earth sciences-related, but they are very good for information on business, economics and local and regional studies:

  • Factiva: find local and regional news
  • Lexis/Nexis: Excellent resource for national and international newspapers, magazines, journals, transcripts, etc.
  • ABI/Inform Global*: Global business database. Use for environmental impact and industry articles

*To limit search to peer-reviewed journals only, look for check box next to Peer-Reviewed, Scholarly Journals, or Academic Journals on database search screen (may be in Advanced Search)

BONUS!! Check out the e-book "How to Read A Paper" on various types of research articles and what to look for in them.

Having trouble logging in? Click Here


Finding Books in the Library


Go to TOROFIND: the CSUDH Library Catalog and search on the title, author, subject or keyword. Look not only for that specific call number, but also check out the books in that section.

If you don't see the right item listed, or want more titles, try an on a few keywords (in separate boxes), such as:
  • geography
  • environment
  • mapping.
Add terms like
  • geocaching
  • political
  • climate
If you still don't find the right book, ask a reference librarian.


Finding Quality Websites

These are indexes to quality web sites that have been reviewed by librarians. The sites have been checked for accuracy, timiliness, stabilty, and will generally conform to the standards of academic research. However, please be judicious in the use of websites in general, because anybody can put anything on the web.

  • Infomine (infomine.ucr.edu): A project from the Univeristy of California and other universities, it is a searchable index of websites specifically appropriate for university research. Click on SocSci & Humanities to search their specialized index.
  • Internet Public Library (www.ipl.org): Index of websites reviewed by librarians, geared toward the general public. Choose a topic from the index or use Advanced Search to search for keywords.
  • Global Change Master Directory from NASA: More than 28,000 Earth science data set and service descriptions, which cover subject areas within the Earth and environmental sciences.
  • ArcExplorer Web: ArcExplorer Web is a custom mapping application that lets you view one or multiple map services in your Web browser. You can also save the maps you create and include links to these maps on your Web site.
  • Climate and Land Use Change from U.S.G.S: Physical geography clearinghouse from the U.S. Geological Survey.
  • CIA World Fact Book: Cultural, political and economic information for all countries.
  • Geography Portal: from About.com. Links to information from all specialties and sub-fields.
  • Evaluating Information on the Web: This is a very good checklist from the Pasadena City College Library for judging the quality of not only information on the Internet, but any information you may want to use for an assignment.


Download our LIBRARY GUIDES
  1. Finding journal articles using Academic Search Premier (advanced search/retrieval methods, Interlibrary Loan)
  2. Accessing databases from off campus
  3. What is a Literature Review?
  4. Searching Google (advanced Internet search methods)
  5. or Download ALL FOUR guides with additional information
  6.