My Own Research, Background Information:
Library research will provide several sources of information of value. Books are still a wonderful source of information. It
generally takes longer for new information to find acceptance into the field and into the books of the field. However, good
solid information on our understanding of the natural world presented in books, may be new to you. Books help create a
fundamental understanding of your research area and provide a wide view of our understanding of the natural world. There
are also a standardized protocol books, which are very useful.
Libraries have always been storage areas
for information; the first place to locate background
information. Libraries of the past consisted of huge volumes of
information mainly in the form of books, periodicals and at times microfiche.
The researcher collecting information could only use a card catalog and indexes like the Reader’s Guide to Periodicals as guides to
locate information. Much of the researcher’s time was spent pouring through the card catalog, writing location numbers for books that might
contain useful information, and the searching the rows of stacks often resulting in finding that the book or magazine
had already been checked out. This process was time consuming.
the explosion of the information age, it became apparent that the former view of libraries had to change. Card catalogs have
been replaced with computer terminals. The researcher is no longer confined to the walls of the library. The Internet and CD-ROM
technology have made it possible to store much more information and in greater depth than ever thought possible as
well as provide immediate access to sources throughout the world.
Techniques of using the library as a
tool have to be adjusted to the new technology, but are
basically the same. At times in the past, the researcher
looked to a librarian as a source of assistance when the catalog
and guides were not useful. Librarians were seen as
someone who knew every bit of the library and was a source for
locating information. Today, with so
much information available, it is impossible
for the librarian to know where all of the information is
located. The role of the librarian is now of assistance in
search techniques as well as in the use of the technology.
In the past, researchers often found vital information in a book
located near the one originally sought. Good researchers
looked at surrounding shelves for information because
libraries organized books by discipline. With the explosion of information, research techniques and questions have become more global in nature. The
researcher now is able to focus the search on the research question, not just the area of discipline of the question.
Even though this new technology brings new search techniques and more access, researchers still need the skills for locating
information using card catalogs and other guides are still necessary.
Internet searches are also valuable but remember, always evaluate the
source of the information and determine how reliable that source is for information. There are several internet search
engines that do metasearches (using several search engines at once). They are not necessarily better at finding
specific information than individual search engines but they cast a very wide "net" . One of these metasearch
engines is called Profusion. The trick to finding information using any search engines is to try several terms related to your
research questions, and to try combination of terms. Here are some links to some search engines on the Internet.
Additional information on research sources and writing a Background Information section.
Another source of information to review is the collection of material that other KanCRN participants have found and
posted for you here. KanCRN is a community of people working together and those working in this area before you have left
"tracks" for you to follow. If you find additional information that will help others following you, post it on-line using the form
below. It is important to help the KanCRN community build this valuable resource to our research community. A community
is only sustainable if members contribute as much as they use! Click on a link to read the information
that others have found or type in new information below.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION IDEAS (READ, SUBMIT, AND COMMENT)
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