Through hands-on practice and discussion, learn how to find and evaluate scientific information this January in an intersession course called Landscape of Scientific Information. The class will be led by science librarians Susan Payne and Robin Sinn. Register by 12/14 if you’re interested.

So how could an intersession course like this benefit you?  After all, I’ve overheard students comment how proud they are to have never set foot in the library…but that’s just it, the library is much more than just a physical building with a lot of floors below ground! There are journals & books (both online and in print), library guides, and many tools available to discover and organize scientific information.

Finding Scientific Information
There’s a lot of information out there in books, journal articles, conference proceedings, web pages, data sets, newspapers, magazines, even blogs! Searching across them isn’t easy. How do you choose between Catalyst, PubMed, Google Scholar, and other options that are available to you? During this course we’ll talk about how different disciplines have different ways to communicate, find information and publish results. Understanding when and how scientific information gets published and circulated helps you locate that information more quickly.

Evaluating Scientific Information
How can you tell that what you’ve found is reliable and accurate? That’s always been hard and our very-connected world makes it even harder. Here are a few examples of bad information being mistaken for fact.

  • A newspaper thinks a story from the Onion is real reporting.
  • Several media outlets believed a hoax about Google purchasing a particular company.
  • And do you believe the tour guides who claim that MSEL sank three inches when the books were first shelved?

So we’ll give you tools and tips that will let you evaluate resources, identify outliers, and feel confident about the information you use in your coursework and everyday life.

In the meantime, for more help please feel free to contact your librarian or check out the Sheridan Libraries Research Guides where you can find information on a variety of topics including proper citation and evaluating materials found on the Internet.

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