Okay, everyone, it’s time to admit it: we ALL (librarians included!) use the internet to find information on a regular basis. Google, Wikipedia, and even Twitter have become seemingly indispensible sources for anything and everything. I mean, where else are you going to quickly find out that answer to a crossword puzzle, why there is a protest going on across the street, the hours for your favorite coffee shop, or even why Olympic long jumpers are allowed so many attempts?
But the question remains: with so much information out there, how do we know what to trust? Where can we go to get valid information? A recent article (and I’ll be the first to admit that there are getting to be so many of these published that I’m starting to question even their validity) published this chart about the perceptions of trust-worthiness that most of us have about various kinds of websites out there.
But, as we all know, perception is not always reality (as the new Bourne Legacy movie forces us to consider). And this whole dilemma makes the prospect of gearing up for research paper season again all the more daunting, doesn’t it?
But, ladies and gents, guess what?! It doesn’t have to be! This is where your friendly UST librarian comes into play. We are all more than happy to help you figure out if that “perfect” source you found online happens to be as good as you really think it is. Heck, we even have a whole section of our website geared towards helping you figure it out yourselves if you’d like (in librarian-ese, this whole topic is called “information literacy”).
Check it out, and feel more comfortable in your search. You can even brag to your friends that you are positively “search-savvy!” (and if that isn’t cool, I don’t know what is!)
Just in time for the fall, a whole new approach to doing library research. UST Libraries is now offering Summon – a new discovery tool that allows you to search many (but not all) library resources the same way you search the free web. Think of it as a Google-like approach to the libraries’ resources.
Summon is a rich, bibliographic searching tool that retrieves content from most, but not all, of the library resources. Your results will return such varied media as:
If the item isn’t available in full-text in Summon, it links you to the full-text (or tells you where the paper copy is on the shelves) through the Get it button.
It works by indexing content from thousands of publishers. Then it retrieves results from publishers with whom we have agreements. Summon doesn’t index content from all publishers, nor do we have agreements with all publishers. So in many cases you’ll still want to use subject-specific databases to find more info. But when you don’t know where to start, Summon is a good place.
Here’s an example of beginning my research on water as a human right.
Your results are retrieved in ranked order. If your keyword shows up in the title of the article, it ranks highest. The ranking order continues with abstract, metadata, and finally full-text. The full-text is available by clicking on the title and you can save records to export to email or Refworks. Like Google, you’ll get many, many results because Summon indexes articles, books, and book chapters, as well as library catalog records. However, don’t get overwhelmed, there are several excellent limiting options.
Give it a try – go on, you know you want to. I’m curious to know what you think about Summon so please feel free to comment.
Click for the rest!
Most web users know and use Google. According to comScore, a market research firm that tracks search statistics, Google captured 65.4 per cent of the US online search market in January. That’s two-thirds of the 15.2 billion searches run in the US in January.
Other interesting bits: Its global market share is estimated to be 86 per cent. Its IPO price in August 2004 was $85; yesterday it closed at $541. And there’s more! It’s the #1 website in the world. It processes 20 petabytes a day, or something like 1330 times the information currently held in the Library of Congress.
Want to see these figures and more? Click the image for the rest of the Google Facts and Figures infographic, from Pingdom.