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This web page is intended to help you with your CMPT 105W assignments. Also refer to the research guides for Computing Science and Engineering Science for general information. Start early so you can get the information and assistance you need.
Evaluating Information: the SIFT method
Identify words for your search:
What words will you use to search for information? On your essay question, what are the most important concepts? What are other terms that you could use for them?
- Related terms for liability: torts, legal issues, product liability, law, legislation, rights
- Related terms for World Wide Web: internet, computer networks, WWW
- Related terms for Crypto Art: blockchains, computer art, art collecting, Non-fungible tokens, NFTs
You should begin your research by looking for background information on your topic. This information is often found in reference books (e.g., encyclopedias, handbooks).
The reference books that are useful to you will really depend on your topic. Here are some online reference books that might include background information on your topic:
- Gale Virtual Reference Library (a large collection of reference books in many subject areas, including science and technology)
- AccessScience: encyclopedia covering all major scientific disciplines
- Sage Knowledge (collection of many encyclopedias related to the social sciences)
- Encyclopedia of science, technology, and ethics (4 volumes) [online and print]
- Ethical and Social Issues in the Information Age
- Encyclopedia of New Media [online and print]
Books and book chapters--especially their introductions--can be very useful as background sources.
Use the default search on the Library home page ("Library Search") Books will appear in the middle column.
Tip on using Subject Headings: Check a book's subject headings (listed under Details) in the catalogue record that can be used to find books about your topic. For example, the book Electronic Monitoring in the Workplace: Controversies and Solutions includes: Electronic monitoring in the workplace; Privacy, Right of; and Supervision of employees. When you click on any subject heading, you can find more books about the same topic.
Oxford Very Short Introductions provides readers with a quick and accessible entry point to a wide range of subject areas -- including science, history, philosophy, sociology, and more
You may also wish to narrow your search to our technical e-book collections, such as:
- Synthesis Digital Library of Engineering and Computer Science: short-ish e-books that provide overviews of CS topics such as algorigthms, data mining, quantum computing, etc.
- Knovel: Highly technical e-book collection
- SpringerLink: Publisher platform that includes books, handbooks, encyclopedias, and more
Statista Statistics portal that integrates statistics from thousands of sources, on topics related to business, media, public policy, health and others.
Data & statistics information (SFU Library guide) Selected resources are drawn from national agencies, intergovernmental organizations and other official sources of statistics.
Grey literature (SFU Library guide) Information grey literature sources, which often collect and publish statistics
Canadian Points of View. A database of essays that present multiple sides of a current issue.
Newspaper opinion columns (See Current Events)
The Conversation.ca: "an independent source of news and views, from the academic and research community, delivered direct to the public."
"Reversals in psychology" blog post: Psychology results that have been irreplicable. Includes research on the Stanford prison experiment, Milgram experiment, screen time and wellbeing, etc.
Retraction Watch: blog and database that tracks retractions in the scientific literature
Selected databases for journal articles. See SFU Library's Database page for a full list of SFU databases by discipline.
- Library Search: Left hand column occasionally provides useful resources. Good place to start (but be prepared to search databases as well to increase your chances of finding relevant articles.
- Academic Search Premier: Multidisciplinary database articles from a wide range of academic journals and popular magazines. Broad coverage
- PsychInfo: Premier database for psychology research
- EI Compendex : Covers the core literature of engineering
- ACM Digital Library: Conference proceedings and reports from the Association of Computing Machinery
- IEEE Xplore :A database of worldwide literature in electronics and electrical engineering, computers and control, physics and information technology.
- Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science: A collection of over 1000 online volumes from this core series in computing science.
- Google Scholar: Search engine that includes scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research.
Popular vs. scholarly publications
It is important for you to understand the differences in the type of publications you will encounter. Often popular science magazines will summarize recent reports from the primary scholarly literature for the general public. Scholarly publications report on new research or ideas and are used for scholarly communication. Each of these types of publications can be found in print and on the web.
See SFU Library's What is a Scholarly Journal? guide to help you distinguish between popular and scholarly sources.
For a more detailed overview of the peer review process, see the Library's What is a peer-reviewed journal FAQ.
When citing sources, you will need to use a citation style. For your informative paper, you will be using IEEE style, and for your persuasive paper, you will be using APA style.
It is always important to cite your sources. Citing your sources allows you to give credit to the original researchers, to point your reader(s) to where you found information, and to show that you know how to correctly cite sources.
IEEE style guides:
APA style guides:
- APA style guide (SFU Library)
If the document you are trying to cite is not included in either of these APA guides, you should consult the latest edition of the APA Publication Manual.