Information Literacy

Free MLA and APA Citation Workshops

Don’t miss these! Very useful skills for writing papers.

MLA Citations Workshop
When: May 4 at 11am
Where: Library, Classroom 1
Why: This collaboration between the Library and the Speaking & Writing Center offers an interactive, game-based overview of the MLA citation style providing students an understanding of why citation is important, what information is commonly needed for citations, and practice creating citations for the sources most often used.

APA Citations Workshop
When: May 5 at 11am
Where: Library, Classroom 1
Why: This collaboration between the Library and the Speaking & Writing Center offers an interactive, game-based overview of the APA citation style providing students an understanding of why citation is important, what information is commonly needed for citations, and practice creating citations for the sources most often used.

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Tips And Tricks – Get Good information every time!!

The MVCC library is designed to be your information center but there may be times when you can’t make it to campus. When that happens the library’s website is the perfect place to get started on your research.

If you can’t get what you need on our website you might need to use other websites. Anyone can put anything on the internet and sometimes information looks more credible at first glance than it is on closer inspection. Most web content is posted without any form of review for accuracy or reliability, so it is up to you to make sure that the online information you find is credible. Ask yourself, “Is this source credible?” every time you choose a web source. This is especially true of sources with no author or organizational affiliation. You will likely have to navigate to the homepage of the site to judge its credibility.

Some examples of bad sites that look good are: History of the Fisher-Price Airplane, and Coalition to Ban DHMO Dihydrogen Monoxide. Take a look and see if you can figure out what’s wrong with them.

Here are few tips to make sure you get good information. Ask yourself:

Authority – Are the author and sponsor identified? Is the author qualified? Is the sponsor identified and reputable?

Dates – Does the site tell when it was last updated? Is the information current? For many disciplines, the currency of information is vital.

Accuracy – Is the information given reliable & error free?

Bias – What is the site’s objective? Is it designed to sway opinion? Is it advertising something?

Citations – Does the site say where it got its information?

Remember, if you aren’t sure you can always ask a librarian.

Happy Researching!

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Students Who Know Librarians Get Better Grades

Evidence shows that librarians are awesome! Yes, it is true. Recent research shows that students who interact with librarians do better. Shocker!

Here’s a quote from the article:

…students who were introduced to their librarian by a faculty member were much more likely to ask for help and get better research results, he said.

The students surveyed often looked in journals or databases unsuited to their field of study and displayed a poor understanding of how to refine search results.

“Many (but not all) students are not gaining the information literacy skills in college that they will need in their future careers. This isn’t just about doing academic research, but also about being a savvy, reflective, and critical consumers of information,” said Dr Asher, adding that most students were working hard and doing their best in difficult circumstances.

“Students need better conceptual training on how search engines organise and retrieve information. These are really epistemological
questions that I don’t think are being adequately addressed in many student’s academic experiences.” 

Read the entire article here: US study shows Google has changed the way students research – and not for the better, http://theconversation.com/us-study-shows-google-has-changed-the-way-students-research-and-not-for-the-better-3087

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You are being watched, tracked, and tabulated. Do you care?

termsofservice

You are being watched, tracked, and tabulated. Do you care? Maybe you should Check out this online graphic novel by Josh Neufeld and Michael Keller called “Terms of Service.” It is an exploration of our online world where we trade free services for our data. BUT, as a graphic novel (comic) it is easy to read and (even) fun.

 

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Citing Sources Can Save You $7.4 Million

UseRobin-Thicke-Marvin-Gaye-GQ24Feb15-Getty_b_1083x658

When I heard the verdict in the “Blurred Lines” lawsuit, awarding the family of Marvin Gaye $7.4 million, my first thought was didn’t they know better?  A federal jury determined that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams had improperly borrowed from Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit, “Got to Give it Up”.  Thicke or Williams must have learned somewhere along the way that you cannot borrow from the works of others without giving them credit.  Did the idea of plagiarism occur to anyone?

It’s simple.  If you summarize, paraphrase or directly quote from a source – CITE IT!  College students learn this early in their academic careers.  Faculty require students to use a citation style, usually APA or MLA, to recognize and attribute the words, thoughts and ideas of others in research papers.  The Moraine Valley Community College Library offers short classes to help students learn how to cite sources and includes a Citing Sources Guide on its website.

While academic plagiarism and music plagiarism are different, the principle is the same.  Academic plagiarism tarnishes academic reputations and results in penalties that can lead to dismissal.  Music plagiarism is a legal matter usually involving copyright infringement.  It’s about more than borrowing from the work of another, it is about following the streams of revenue and sharing the wealth.

When Thicke and Williams decided to pay homage to Gaye using his work for inspiration, they created one of the most popular songs of 2013.  About 7.4 million copies were sold, generating over $16 million.  Gaye’s estate received nothing.  The court ordered Thicke and Williams to pay copyright damages of $4 million and an additional $3.4 million based on sales.

So, instead of “Blurred Lines” being remembered as the longest running number one single of 2013, Thicke’s biggest hit and a double Grammy nominated song, it will be recalled as the source of one of the largest damage awards for copyright infringement in the music industry and, possibly, changing the way artists create new music.

Let this be a clear lesson, always cite your sources and give credit to the originator(s).  It may save you $7.4 million.  Nothing blurred about that!

To hear the comparison click here.

To hear a CNN commentary click here.

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Believing CRAZY Stuff and Ignoring Science

Why do people ignore scientists? New research (see video below) is showing that the general public and scientists do not see key issues in the same way. The people doing the research and ingrained in the actual creation of knowledge have solid understandings on issues but the public does not follow. Understanding why this exists is an issue of information literacy that involves personal belief, understandings of science, the media, and the impact of technology.

PBS Newshour: Why we pick and choose which science to believe
Description: Climate change, vaccines, genetically modified foods — those topics are ripe for debate and disbelief among people of every political persuasion who aren’t convinced by scientific evidence. What accounts for the rift between scientists and the public? Gwen Ifill talks to Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post and Cary Funk of the Pew Research Center about whether the divide is here to stay.

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Spotting Fake Reviews & Bad Info on the Web

It’s easy to write online reviews. Real ones & fake ones. Write reviews of restaurants, films, books, no problem. But there are more series issues with reviews of services such as How about reviews of doctors or health services. Evaluating sources is part of information literacy (which is part of MVCC’s general education outcomes). Our librarians work with students and faculty in the classroom as part of their research.

I thought that this piece from the Newshour really hits on some interesting information literacy lessons. How do we decide whom to trust?

PBS Newshour: Spotting the fakes among the five-star reviews
Description: Online reviews of businesses, from your corner coffee shop to your airport cab ride, are now ubiquitous. But fraudulent consumer reviews are also on the rise. Special correspondent Jackie Judd meets a fake review writer, as well as the people who are working to crackdown on reviewers for hire.

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The Science of GHOSTS! (Because Science w/ Kyle Hill)

Ghosts tell us more about how our brain works than they tell us about the afterlife or the soul. The beliefs we hold present an interesting information literacy problem. Beliefs help us filter out world. We ignore some information and emphasizes other information based on beliefs about how things work.

This video touches on how ghosts work.

The Science of GHOSTS! (Because Science w/ Kyle Hill)

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Digital Slavery or Digital Freedom: Radical Views of Our Digital Future

PeoplesPlatform

How will technology change how we live in and work? A huge debate is raging about our digital future. Our library has books by two of the leading voices in this debate. Both of these are more radical voices. They are:

You are not a gadget: a manifesto by Jaron Lanier

The people’s platform : taking back power and culture in the digital age by Astra Taylor

Here’s a radio interview with Astra Taylor:

Spark from CBS Radio: The People’s Platform

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