INF 103 Computer Literacy
This papers purpose is to discuss the Benefits of using the Ashford University Library. This resource, available to all Ashford University students, offers students access to reliable scholarly and popular resources to help students find information during research. While the internet is a resource, the Ashford University Library ensures students are obtaining unbiased information on specific topics from reliable sources. While the information is at a student’s finger tips its critical to know how to use the resource in order to obtain the information most relevant quickly and efficiently.
Explain the differences between scholarly resources and popular resources
A scholarly resource is a publication that is written by the experts in a specific field or study with the purpose of sharing research or expertise. These types of resources are vetted through a rigorous peer review process before they are ever published to ensure that they are reliable and authentic. Scholarly resources always site every source used during their research and its intent is to inform the scholarly community on the results of research.
Popular resources are present in a more informal tone and instead of going through the rigorous paneled peer review are instead approved by editorial staff and its intent is to inform or entertain readers on a specific interest. An example of a popular resource would be Time Magazine or National Geographic. Usually the information in this type of resource is also consider a reliable source.
Describe the key things to remember when searching for sources
Ashford University Library is an electronic library. It is setup in the form of databases so that you can find excellent quality information that is from reputable resources and the best part about the library is access to this information is absolutely free. Unlike the internet, when you search the library’s database it lacks the ability to guess what you want so you must be specific in your commands. In order to conduct an effective search, you must figure out what the main idea of your research is. Then you identify key words that are relative to your main idea and those become your search words. Be sure to not use to many words in the search box as it may be difficult for the database to return what you are looking for. To hone your searches even further, use quotation marks around words or phrases to send the database searching for certain words together.
If you still have trouble the Ashford Library has 2 really great tools to help you with your library research. The first is the self serve option where you can access several tutorials to help you navigate through the databases. Once you decide which database you want to use, select that database and within the database you then select the “?” for help. The other option is to take advantage of the Ashford University Librarians via phone or by using the online chat option. This option provides one on one help to any student needing help navigating through the database.
Effective and efficient in finding resources that fit your research needs
Knowing the differences between a scholarly resource and a popular resource will help me figure out what type of resource is required for my research. Understanding that the Ashford University Library subscribes to various databases gives me more insight into how to perform effective and efficient searches. All of the information included in the Ashford Library has been vetted by the librarians so that you will know that you are getting credible information. Because there are several databases it is important to know which one to use. You can search databases by subject and even use the article & More section where you will find brief description of each database so that you are able to determine with database to use to begin your search.
Searching a database requires a bit more finesse than conducting a Google search on the Internet. You need to know which databases to use, how to narrow your search to a main idea complete with keywords to search and which sources to use that will yield relevant and credible information. It’s also important to note that the Ashford University Library is a free resource to students complete with additional support from the Librarians.
Bowles, M. D. (2013). Introduction to digital literacy [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
(n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2018, from http://library.ashford.edu/index.aspx