Monday, August 03, 2015

Don't Believe Every Scientific Study You See

Scholarly research is always "livened up a bit" by adding the latest  news on the topic.

Peer review takes time. By the time a peer reviewed article is published, much more might be happening on that subject.  Adding the latest to your paper shows that you are staying up-to-date on the known information.

But there is a reason peer review takes time.  Sources must be checked out, facts verified, studies scrutinized and compared with others.

Without peer review, the reported findings could be just plain bad science.
Our job is to give a heads-up to the latest in  misleading "research."  Recently, NPR shared a story about a bogus research study that was published in a Pay-to-Publish "open access" journal, complete with a press-release about the "new research," which news outlets picked up on and reported as fact. (This isn't the first time someone has done this to prove that this problem exists. A quick Google Search reveals dozens of examples.)

The NPR program, called On the Media, posted the podcast here.  It should be required listening for any communications student, as well as any student gathering scientific information for a research paper.  Check it out, and if you teach a course, consider it for a PDE requirement.

Is it any wonder the general public constantly moves from one fad diet and miracle cure to another?
We are not the general public.  A student researcher's role is to sift through the mountains of information, find the legitimate and discard the junk.

It isn't always easy.  Using a scholarly database like SocIndex and PsycArticles from EBSCOhost, and being certain that the information you find in an Internet search comes from a reputable journal -- whether open-access or published traditionally-- will provide far more credible results than an open Internet search.

Having confidence that sources are legitimate leaves more of the researcher's time for ensuring that the type of study and the perspective of the study's analysis in well-founded journal articles match the point you are trying to defend in your research.

Thankfully, there is a list of predatory publishers that are known to publish anything for a fee. It probably needs to be updated, but it's a start.  If an article found in an Internet search comes from a journal published by one of these companies, it is not worthy of scholarly attention. It takes a little research to discover the publisher of some open access journals. Click the About link on a journal's the web page and find the information there.

Ask a librarian if you need help with this, or any other aspect of your research.

Hone your Critical Thinking skills by using a chart like this, which is also available with the On The Media podcast:
Click the image to enlarge.

Unfortunately junk "science" gets into the press and fuels important problems like climate change denial and bogus medical trends. Make sure your research is thoroughly on the up -and-up.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

How Important is Your Phone? A Cautionary Tale

I used to say, "If my phone ever falls into the toilet, my life will be total chaos. My calendar is on there." 

Seriously, how ridiculous is that??


So, when my phone broke and I miraculously still had access to the calendar, I quickly transferred everything to Google Calendars, something I was too lazy to do before it was a crisis. 

Speaking of Crisis, a couple of students were in the other night. One was working the PC while the other worked her phone.

Overheard on the phone: She could lock it all down and delete everything from here, but she doesn't want to lose the photos. 

And then, tearfully, at the PC: I can't believe I don't have my cell phone! Why would someone pick up something that doesn't belong to them??!  This drama, over a phone. Is this (potentially) you?

Do you store things that are important to you on your phone?

If you can relate to this, if your phone is so important to you that you would be devastated at its loss, it's time to make some changes.  When you take photos and share them on social media, you no longer need your phone to store them. Better yet, open a Dropbox account or store your pictures and other files on Google Drive.  Now you can access all of it from anywhere, on any device.  Think about it. 

Your phone is here now, but could be gone in an instant! 

Dropped and run over by a trash truck (my husband);  Dropped just from my desk to the floor, face down (that time, with the Calendar Issue); Marinated in a leaky zip lock bag in a kayak (my son).  Cracked beyond use on a rocky trail hike while taking one of those precious photos (um, me again). Or possibly stolen, if you can even believe that.

Seriously, how long has any one of your phones lasted? Have you ever actually made it to the end of a contract?  I know I never did. (I now buy or accept donations off-contract. Used. Cheap.)

Maybe I am just more accident-prone than most, but I no longer keep anything of importance on my mobile phone. If it's truly important, multiple copies (including hard copies) are a good idea. You never know how long that Cloud will be around, either.

Unmodified photos courtesy of the Creative Commons. New Phone ©John Watson and The Eye Phone ©Lee Morley


Friday, June 12, 2015

New HVAC Arrives on Hottest Day of the Year (So Far)

An exciting morning for Logue Library!  Without A/C since the warm weather began, today a crane arrived, removed the old unit and hoisted a new one in its place.  The new HVAC was placed on the roof in two pieces.

The first of two pieces,  in place ...


And then, the second one ...



We took video!


video

Riveting footage, to be sure! (Hey, this is exciting stuff!)

video

All done with walkie-talkies.  The crane operator did not have a visual of the project. Amazing!

And done by 10am!  The Library is working on reduced hours today and tomorrow, and is closed on Sunday due to the extreme heat, but we are hoping to have the A/C running by early next week!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Psychotherapy Training

Logue Library's newest resource adds more to our counseling psychology training video collection.


Through our new subscription to Psychotherapy.net, the library now provides 50 additional training videos that complement the current collection of over 300 through the APA's PsycTherapy series.

Like the APA's PsycTherapy, this collection is organized by your choice of therapeutic approach or expert, as well as by population.  Enter a topic keyword into the search box to search by topic.

Helpful features of this collection include the capability to create video clips and store them, and the ability to download instructors manuals for many of the videos.

Access these Psychotherapy Training collections from the Reference Materials tab of the Psychology subject guide.

As always, we welcome your questions and feedback by emailing us or chatting in using the prompt at the bottom of the screen.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Google Scholar Links to Logue Library Journals

Google Scholar provides more and more open access full text every day, but there are always articles for which a subscription is needed.  If Google knows you are a student here, the search results will include links to our subscriptions.   Here is how to set that up.


To set Google Scholar preferences on an off-campus device:

  1. Go to http://scholar.google.com/
  2. Click the Settings link at the top of the page.
  3. On the left, click library links
  4. Type Chestnut Hill College into the search box
  5. Check the box next to Chestnut Hill College when it appears below the search box 
  6. Click the blue Save button.
Now, go back to http://scholar.google.com/ and start searching!

Monday, February 02, 2015

"Disgusting Slush!"

We've had to deal with some pretty crazy weather lately,  We overheard one frustrated critic complain to friends, "the theme of this winter appears to be 'Disgusting Slush!'" When it's ice and slush, bitter temps and brutal wind, even Winter's die-hard fans are less than satisfied.  It's no fun to play in, and it's hard to know when the college will be opening late, or not opening at all.

So, what to do when classes are cancelled with staff and commuters sent home so that the crews can clear it all away?


Well, the library is open!

We librarians can't be on campus when we are asked to leave, but we have a few very dedicated students who we can count on to keep the lights on so that you have a place to go to research, write and meet with classmates.


Winter is half over. Here's hoping for a classic snow day before Spring!  You know, the kind with beautifully falling snow (and we have the best views!) and the fun of sledding and playing that takes a lot of the stress out of studying and meeting deadlines.  The kind of snow that can be cleared away in a day, and then we're back to work, with snowy slopes waiting for the end of class. That kind! Keep your fingers crossed!

Happy Groundhog Day!  Stay safe.