Friday, January 11, 2008

BTR820 Lecture 2: January 11th, 2008

Re-description of the course.

Need to prove a thesis, small topic w/ strong opinion.

Sources Goals of American Library Association
What we need sources for are:
  • Data can be combined with original research to produce new information.
  • identify the purpose and audience of resources
  • differentiate between primary and secondary sources
  • make decisions on broadening the information seeking process beyond local resources.
Eg. A topic
Beta testing cusomters (ie Google Mail)
Thesis Topics:
  1. Using beta testing on paying customers is not cost effective
  2. Using paying customers for beta testing can lead to consumer backlash
  3. Using customers for beta testing can be profitable under certain circumstances.
Which thesis of topic is best? Adam thinks the third because it is more specific, the first two are too generic.

Where to begin with sources
We are looking for a mix of Primary and Secondary Sources. (primary is research you do yourself, secondary is data you get from someone elses work)

Poor info include 'grey' tertiary popular or commercial research (not peer reviewed). Poor info is what you normally read (popular press). Newspapers are not good sources for most things, because the 'data' has been digested already (there are exceptions).

Primary : Number gathering, experiment, observation
Secondary: reported by another person, analyzed by another person

Primary is not better than secondary, secondary is not better than primary, we need some other method of judging the data that we see.

Avoid relying on encyclopedias, textbooks, and cheap books (because these sources are "older" and not as advanced/cutting edge as good whitepapers need to be)

Note: Wikipedia is biased, and though cutting edge isn't as reliable.

What is the academic press
Written by PHd for people with PHds... peer reviewed.
1 Journals like: (very expensive)
  • Nature
  • British Computer Society
  • AI
  • The computer Journal
As a rule : The less it costs, the less its worth.

2 Trade Press:
Written for and by professionals, sometimes quite scholarly, sometimes very popular
  • IEEE Magazine
  • HR Magazine
3 Popular Press:
  • Scientific American
  • Wired
  • Business Week
  • Business 2.0
  • Macworld
  • ZDNet
  • PC World
Popular Press
- for Joes
- - speedy reading, not accuracy
- - littler reward for insight
- - more rework for access and scoops

Trade Press
- for Pros
- - Accuracy and timeliness
- - some reward for insight
- - some reward for access and scoops

We will want to use the Steacie Library & Scott Library & Toronto Reference Library @ Yonge/Bloor.

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