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Social Ecology 195W - Field Study - Winter 2021 (Garde Section): Conducting Research

Evaluating Information

Establishing relevancy is the goal in conducting research. 

Write from an outline

Consider answering the following questions that define the CRAAP Test:

              Currency - determine difference between being timely & current; has information been revised or updated; are links functional

              Relevance - who is intended audience or reader; is information at appropriate level; is it objective; are you comfortable citing this source

              Authority - about the sourcing of the information - who is the author, publisher, source, sponsor?  What are the author;s credentials, qualifications or organizational affiliations?  Does the URL or eMail address reveal anything about the author or sources - such as .com, .edu, gov, org, net

              Accuracy - about reliability, correctness of the content - can it be verified?  Unbiased, supported with evidence?  Has information been reviewed or refereed?  Do you detect any errors?

              Purpose - the reason the information exists - is it fact, opinion, propaganda.  Any political, ideological, cultural, religious, instituional or personal biases?

Finding Books & Book Chapters

There are databases or websites that contain eBook titles or packages by specific subject or theme.  Some of them are issued by a specific publisher and the downside is that they only reflect the output from that publisher; others are agnostic and reflect publishing output from multiple publishing sources but do not include everything. 

Use Library Search for UCI's holdings - can search by subject heading (LCSH) for the most relevant content; by title at the source level - title of the book, NOT the chapter; or by keyword in which case you would retrieve the most content - but perhaps not the most relevant.  Restrict to books & eBooks or to Online/Internet Resources.

Some eBook packages include:

CRCnetBASE - a large collection of Science and related books published by the CRC Press and now part of the Taylor & Francis Group. There are many titles in different subject areas - specifically searching STM subjects

Knovel - a very large database of books in engineering, chemistry and materials science including many reference works published by a variety of publishers.  UCI does not have all the subject sections.

Safari Tech Books Online - collection of eBooks by O'Reilly

Springer Books and Series - large collection of science and engineering books published by global publisher Springer with imprint dates from 2008 forward.

National Academies Press - Output of the National Academies of Science & Engineering of commissioned research reports and books.

Elsevier / ScienceDirect

The UC did not renew its subscription to the Elsevier Journal package for 2019 going forward .  This dictates that content from those journals be requested via ILL. Also selective content for which the UC does not have perpetual access must be requested.  Delivery is free &  fast but not immediate and requires planning for access for current content from journals such as Lancet, Lancet Oncology, Cancer Letters, Cancer Epidemiology, Gene and hundreds of others.  Check ScienceDirect for access or use the Request function in databases to order articles, or find alternative sources.  When searching pay special attention to the publisher.  To request articles from 2019+, go to ScienceDirect, click on "Get Access", then on "SFX Context Sensitive Linking" and then on "InterLibrary Loan Request" and enter the 16 digit number on the lower left hand corner of your UCI Photo ID (if you do not have that you should contact by eMail using your UCI eMail address and ask how you can obtain a bar code). Complete form with your eMail address and you will be sent a pdf of the article very shortly at no cost to you.  Be selective and mindful of how much you order.


Wiley / IEEE Books - Available from the IEEE Xplore platform on topics ranging from bioengineering, communication, networking, robotics, signal processing, materials, electromagnetics, general topics, etc.

Finding Articles / Using Databases

Journal articles are easiest found using a database - examples of such databases include the following and most have UCeLinks that take you directly to the article that is matched with UCI Library holdings - make sure that you connect to the VPN if working from off-campus:

Statistical Resources

It is important to have the right demographics and census numbers to support your statements.  These sources will provide that: