Getting Started With Research

21st Century Learning

Research Defined

Merriam-Webster defines research as:

-careful study that is done to find and report new knowledge about something

-the activity of getting information about a subject

The Big 6 Research Model

The Big 6

The Big 6 Video


1. Task Definition

1.1 Define the information problem

1.2 Identify information needed

2. Information Seeking Strategies

2.1 Determine all possible sources

2.2 Select the best sources

3. Location and Access

3.1 Locate sources (intellectually and physically)

3.2 Find information within sources

4. Use of Information

4.1 Engage (e.g., read, hear, view, touch)

4.2 Extract relevant information

5. Synthesis

5.1 Organize from multiple sources

5.2 Present the information

6. Evaluation

6.1 Judge the product (effectiveness)

6.2 Judge the process (efficiency)

Additional Databases

NC LIVE must have a NC public library card to access (OCS SEA cards count!)

DOAJ Directory of Open Access Journals

IPL Internet Public Library

ECHO Exploring Cultural Heritage Online

NC PEDIA Online Encyclopedia

PLOL Public Library Of Law

US Census Bureau Nation's People & Economy

Website Evaluation

Evaluating Web Pages Requires Two Actions:

• be suspicious

• think critically about every page you find


1. Look at the URL:

Is this a personal page or site?

What type of domain is it? †(.com †.org/net †.edu †.gov/mil/us† other?)

Is the domain appropriate for the content?

Does the published by entity make sense?

Does the published by entity correspond to the name of the site?

Check out this explanation of the parts of a URL and how Facebook was involved in a URL debacle! https://doepud.co.uk/blog.php/anatomy-of-a-url


2. Scan the perimeter of page, looking for answers to these questions:

Who wrote the page?

What email or name is listed?

Is there a site published date? Is the site published date current?

What are the subject credentials of the publishing entity?


3. Look for these indicators of quality:

Are the sources of the published information well documented?

Is the published information complete? If 2nd-hand information, is it not altered or forged?

Are there links to more resources? Do they work?

Are multiple viewpoints represented? Is the site biased?


4. What do others say? Opinions of it?

Who links to it? Many or few? Hint: In Google search: link:url

Is the page rated well in a directory? http://about.com

Look up the author in Google.

Does it all add up?

Why was the page put on the Web? (To inform with facts, data; To explain; To persuade; To sell; To entice; To share/disclose; Other)

Is the published information possibly ironic? is the site a satire or parody?


BOTTOM LINE: Is the web page as good as (or better than) what you could find in journal articles or other published literature that is not on the free, general web?


Additional Information on Evaluating Resources

Purdue University Writing Lab

THE POT OF GOLD AT THE END OF THE RESEARCH RAINBOW

Research Methodology Google Sheet


This links to the google sheet for research that Ms. Bradley has created. It includes citation help, links to videos, and a sample sheet (named TEMPLATE) to use for gathering and storing your research.

Erin Bradley, MLIS and research helper

Erin Bradley is a certified media specialist working with amazing colleagues at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough, NC.

Many thanks to Shea Mustian, MLIS at Orange High School (NC), for help with this smore!