Module 2: Researching Information Communities

Researching Information Communities Introduction:

This purpose of Module 2 is threefold:

  • to introduce you to graduate-level research and writing, which will not only help you do the writing assignments for this class, but also with research papers assigned in future courses
  • to familiarize you with some of information sources that LIS scholars and professionals use to locate current, authoritative information in our field
  • to go over the basic rules outlined the APA Publication Manual to help you with the formatting of your final paper and its references

This week’s module introduces you to graduate-level research in the LIS discipline.  In addition to the the Things to Read, Things to Explore, and Things to View below, it broken into two key parts:

Part 1: Identifying Information Sources walks you through the beginning stages of a research project, focusing on the key LIS information sources that you can use to gather articles and other data for your assignments. It also explains how to use the King Library catalog and databases, and discusses the difference between peer-reviewed and professional journals and why it’s important to know the difference between the two.

Part 2: Academic Writing Conventions and APA Style tackles the intricacies of APA style.  This part will also prepare you for future classes since most of your instructors in the MLIS program will expect you to use the APA style manual when formatting your papers.

Please refer back to this module as you write your assignments and paper this semester.

Things to Read:

Click here for Module Two’s readings.

These readings include Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research from Ohio State University Libraries (see note for selected chapters to read), a summary of guidelines on bias-free language written by iSchool professor Michele Villagran, with suggestions on reducing bias in APA academic writing, and  an actual literature review to give you a better sense of how one is organized and written.

(Please read the following chapters in Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research to better understand the requirements of academic research and using sources: 2-Types of Sources 3-Sources and Information Needs 4-Precision Searching 5-Search Tools 6-Evaluating Sources 9-Making an Argument 10-Writing Tips.)

Things to View:

Click here for Module Two’s media resources.

These are two tutorials from academic library websites.  The first is a literature review tutorial from the Writing Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, that provides practical suggestions for how to organize and write a literature review.  The second tutorial is from the Colorado State Universities Libraries.  It’s a simple, but useful, chart that lists and explains the criteria to use when evaluating scholarly journal articles.

Things to Use: APA 7

Click here for resources from the APA 7 manual. These resources include a PDF from APA Chapter 9, web pages devoted to helping you create your reference lists and more! This will be an important resource to return to often in INFO 200.

Things to Explore:

Click here to explore extra resources for Module Two.

This course’s library liaisons have created a website containing links to the research tools and resources that you’ll use for your INFO 200 assignments.  Called the “INFO 200 LibGuide,” this website has links to the databases and other information sources discussed in this module.  It also contains a list of peer-reviewed journals (LIS Publications Wiki).

Contributors to Module 2:

SJSU alum Ann Agee was the SJSU Library’s liaison to the SJSU School of Information 2014 – 2019. Agee helped iSchool students and faculty with reference questions and finding materials to help with their research, primarily via online chats and email. She also creates online orientation tutorials and LibGuides for both students and faculty.

–  Ellen Greenblatt was an INFO 200 instructor for many years and was instrumental in course revisions. She passed away in 2019.

 – This module based on original lectures by Dr. Debbie Hansen.