This week’s materials concentrate on expanding our learning and resource network. Although Walden University does offer outstanding library resources, as discussed in the PSY8000 course study notes with “over 18,000 full-text e-journals, over 8,200 e-books, research reports, conference proceedings” available and that “over 5 million individual full-text sources are available in the research databases” (Laureate Education, Inc., n.d., p. 1), there are still other resources that may be unavailable through Walden. In fact, as stated in the PSY 8000 course study notes, “no library can supply every potential resource, especially considering the many new and creative research projects that scholars undertake” (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009, p. 1). Therefore, students must necessarily expand their information network to incorporate additional resources such as those described in the study notes including academic, local, and online and public libraries, electronic databases and search engines, as well as utilizing interlibrary loan services and document delivery services (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). Hence, I am providing a few resources that I have found useful in previous research efforts.
Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org) is my first resource, but is not recommended as a citable, scholarly reference source. In fact, APA Style Guide to Electronic References, Sixth Edition specifically states, “in general, academic papers and articles should rely on peer-reviewed and other scholarly work vetted by experts in the field; authors should evaluate crowd-sourced articles such as those in Wikipedia carefully” (American Psychological Association, 2012, Kindle Locations 810-812). However, Wikipedia offers a few advantages in beginning a research project. Research topics are often broad and very general topic searches in a library research database can easily yield hundreds, if not thousands of results. This can be a very time consuming endeavor without some initial direction. Therefore, I often use Wikipedia as a starting point to begin my investigation. Wikipedia typically lists the major categories, theorists, developments, studies, and often supplies useful keywords or terms within a topic of interest, which allows me to quickly discern possible directions for my research within the traditional library databases. Further, Wikipedia also provides links to important related studies, articles, journals, organizations or research sites for additional information. Therefore, although I would not endorse utilizing Wikipedia itself as a scholarly resource, it can be useful in the preliminary stages of information gathering.
AcaWiki (http://acawiki.org/) is a website designed to increase readership of academic peer reviewed research. Scholars are encouraged to share their research summaries, abstracts and literature reviews. The additional information provided by the scholars enhances the ability of search engines to find their research. This is a great website because you may find a research article that would otherwise be buried amidst many others with similar keywords or topics.
Cogprints Search (http://cogprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/perl/search/simple) is an active electronic database consisting of self-archived research in a variety of subject areas, including, but not limited to Anthropology, Biology, Computer Science, Philosophy, Psychology, and many subfields within each broader category. The advantage to this website is that it provides yet another possible database to find information when other search engines and/or library searches have been unsuccessful.
This last resource is simply an additional helpful resource for those continuing to struggle with APA, including myself. In addition to the Walden Writing Center, which has an extensive section on APA Style, and the APA website itself, which has an online free tutorial, another useful site is Purdue Online Writing Lab (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/10/), which also offers guidance in using APA style for citations and references.
American Psychological Association (2012-05-25). APA Style Guide to Electronic References, Sixth Edition (Kindle Locations 810-812). American Psychological Association. Kindle Edition. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com.
Laureate Education, Inc. Introduction to the Walden University library. (2009, January). [Study notes]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/Introduction_to_the_Walden_University_Library.doc
Laureate Education, Inc. Identifying and evaluating online resources. (n.d.). [Study notes]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/Identifying_and_evaluating_online_resources.doc
Laureate Education, Inc. The Walden library and your total information network. (2009, January). [Study notes]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/The_Walden_library_and_your_total_information_network.doc