Research Help

Getting one-on-one help; Video tutorials

Get Ready to Research

To Google or not to Google? You've been given an assignment and are told to use the library. Where do you start?

Two key resources as you start are Page 1+ and your Program Research Guide. Check out the videos below to see how they can help.

Need help understanding what peer-review means? Did you know we have lots of resources that you can access any time of day from anywhere? Check out the video on peer review or the video on electronic resources.

Research Guides: What are they for, and what’s in them?

This video explains what research guides are and how they can help.

Transcript

Research Guides: What Are They For and What's In Them?

Research Guides can be a great time-saver, and a way to start off your research with high-quality library and web resources tailored to your specific program.

Research guides are online tools developed by the library to help you do research at Georgian. A list of them is located in the drop-down menu on the right side of the library home page, organized by program name.

The research guide for your program can be a useful starting point for research assignments. Each guide was developed to help you find and explore reliable resources that are specific to your field.

Research guides use tabs to collect and organize different types of resources. They highlight significant resources such as books, videos, academic journals, and research databases for your discipline.

Research guides also offer organized lists of links to web resources. Finding reliable information on the web can be a challenge so the library has done some of the work for you.

Each guide is different, and you may also find links to statistics, professional associations and organizations, government information, and legal information, as well as open access directories, tipsheets, and important news about your field of study.

The library also maintains several special topic research guides covering areas such as standards and codes, career research, and Indigenization, as well as a Makerspace guide to virtual tools that you can find online or download to communicate, create, and inspire.

You can find them listed with the program research guides under the “Topic Guide” type.

Research Guides can make your research process more efficient, and they offer a quick way to find high-quality resources that have been chosen specifically for your program.

What on Earth does "peer-reviewed" mean, anyway?

This video features some key characteristics of scholarly, peer reviewed articles.

View What on Earth does "peer-reviewed" mean on Youtube

Transcript

What on Earth does “peer-reviewed” mean, anyway?

As a Georgian College student you have access to many academic and scholarly journals. The articles published in these journals can be excellent resources for research assignments. Journals can be in a paper format or accessible in electronic databases, such as MultiSearch or Science Direct.

Academic or scholarly journals focus on publishing articles in a specific field of study. These journals are typically published by universities, professional associations, and specialized educational publishers.

Often the title of the publication describes its content. For example, the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking publishes articles discussing social networks, gaming, mobile device use, and related behaviours.

The academic and scholarly articles published in these journals tend to focus on narrow topics. They’re written by experts who are knowledgeable in their specific field and use the technical language of that field. The references provided at the end of these articles can be an excellent source of other resources on the topic.

Scholarly articles are different from other academic articles because they are peer-reviewed. Peer-reviewed means that the article has been submitted to the scholarly journal for review by its panel of experts in the field for accuracy, credibility, and reliability prior to being published. Revisions to the article may be required before it will be accepted for publication. This process ensures that scholarly, peer-reviewed articles are very reliable sources of information.

Examples are original research articles, case studies, and review articles. It’s important to note that not every article published in a scholarly journal is peer reviewed. For example, it may also contain book reviews, editorials, or letters.

Peer review

Source: © Common Craft, 2018.

Transcript

Researching a topic can be difficult when we have to sift through a huge amount of information. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and frustrated when you don’t know what information to trust.


A key skill in research is efficiently separating the trustworthy information from the biased or misleading information. One way to do this is to use articles from peer reviewed journals. To understand why this matters, we have to look at how trustworthy information makes it to the public.


Think about it like this… On one side we have researchers working hard to understand or develop something new, like a drug. On the other side is the public who could benefit from new findings and discoveries. The researchers want their findings to be shared with the public and have a positive impact. To accomplish this, their work must be deemed trustworthy and credible.


The problem is that some research is done poorly and could mislead or harm people. So, we need a way to ensure that the most credible research reaches the public. 
This job is often accomplished by professional or peer reviewed journals that serve as gatekeepers for new research. These journals review and analyze the new information and will only publish findings they find trustworthy and up to their standards.

This process is called Peer Review and a journal’s reputation depends on it. Here’s how it works…



Dimitri and Denise have conducted a study on soil quality that they believe will help farmers. With the study complete, they write an article explaining the study’s goals, methods, findings and recommendations, and submit the paper to the Journal of Soil Quality.


The journal then assembles a panel of experts or “peers” who specializes in soil to read the article, without knowing who wrote it, and investigates the team’s information. It’s this panel of experts who decides if Dimitri and Denise’s article meets or exceeds the standards for publishing in the journal. The peer reviewers may accept the paper and recommend it for publishing, request changes before accepting it, or reject the paper completely. It’s this peer review process that helps ensure only credible information is published in the journal.

Dimitri and Denise’s article was accepted by the panel with minor revisions and published for future reference. Unlike blog posts, books or even newspaper articles, peer reviewed journals use a rigorous process designed to make trustworthiness and credibility the highest priority.


When doing research, keep peer reviewed journals and articles in mind because they’ve done the hard work to establish what research can be trusted and their work can save you valuable time.