Watch the video below to learn about peer-review. From the North Carolina State University Libraries, the video gives a short but useful explanation of peer-review.
Peer-review can be a really long process filled with ups and downs. To illustrate this, see our favorite Leonardo DiCaprio meme to the right.
If someone's article is rejected, they will try again after revising it according to the reviewers' suggestions. If it is accepted, they will see their work published in an issue of that journal.
And so will other people who are interested in the same topic.
But how will they find it?
This is where databases come in.
If you think about all the articles or books written by scholars across the country, from every single discipline, you start to see how many items there are to look through. Databases make it easier to find your professors' articles among all the articles every other scholar has written. They make it easier to find what experts have written about a specific topic.
Libraries subscribe to different databases which range from general to subject-specific. For example, if you are a nursing student, CINAHL or Nursing and Allied Health database are going to be best for you and not Business Search Premier. A business or marketing student will want to search that one.
Some databases have newspaper and magazine articles from popular sources, which would not be peer-reviewed but could be helpful when doing your research.
The SHU library homepage has all the information you need to start the library-related portion of your research.
On the homepage, there is something called QuickSearch. This is a powerful search tool that helps you find all the information you need about a topic from all our library's resources. It's kind of like Google in that way, but you are only searching within what the SHU library has access to, mainly from the academic or scholarly world.
The Librarians at the SHU library created this quick video to explain some of the major features of QuickSearch.
Let's go back to your current assignment and the keywords you came up with to use for searching. You can take the keywords and plug them into QuickSearch to see what you get.
You might know what citations are and you are wondering why we're talking about them now---they go at the END of the paper.
Part of researching at the college level means discovering what scholars have already said or done on a certain topic. You are using existing knowledge to (possibly) create new knowledge or at least put your two cents in about a subject. But you can't just take someone else's project, ideas or results without giving credit to them. This is plagiarism, which is a serious offense. (There should be a statement about Academic Integrity in the syllabus of each course you take.)
Yes, your citations go at the end of your paper in the form of a bibliography, works cited, or references page. But, as you are writing you should be citing from your sources throughout your paper. You can't write your paper, and then attach a list of websites, book titles and journal articles without incorporating them all and call it good. Sorry, not sorry. Your professor will notice, btw.
Well, it would make your life a million times easier if you start to keep track of your citations/sources from the beginning of your research project. And thankfully, we now live in a world where there are websites and software that can help you do just this.
For quick citations, you can use Zotero's new tool ZoteroBib. Double-check your citations against one of our Citation Quick Guides to make sure everything looks good.
Zotero is a free citation manager where you can save citation information into your Zotero library directly from your browser. If the full-text is available, Zotero will also save the pdf in your library so you don't have to worry about saving or emailing it to yourself. As you type your paper in Word, you can connect directly to your Zotero library so that you can cite while you write. And as you write, your bibliography or works cited page is automatically generated in your paper too.
(Nerd alert/) Zotero is a really cool citation tool. When collecting your resources online, whether they are websites or online journal articles, Zotero will save ALL the information about them, including a copy of them. There is also a Word plugin that works with Zotero, so that you can type your paper, add citations in the style you want and then automatically generate a bibliography or works cited page. (/Nerd alert).
For more information, see our Zotero guide or talk to a librarian.