How many times have you heard that before and you’re saying, “What?  How can they do that?  Right during the best part of the show!”

Well, excuse me, but I’d just like to interrupt your show (or whatever else is going on in your life) to introduce you to a few current sources in the Reference Collection that may make your “research” life a little easier.

We have a lot of books that deal with current issues such as Popular Culture (HM621/.P654/2011); The Middle East Peace Process (DS119.76/.M466/2011); Student Life (LA216/.S783/2011); Cosmetic Surgery (RD119/.C6816/2011); The United Nations (JZ4984.5/.U5355/2011); Deregulation (HD3616/.U47/D425/2011); and War Crimes (K5301/.W3673/2011).

Some current health materials we’ve received include Obesity (RA645/.O23/O22/2011; Sexually Transmitted Diseases (RA644/.V4/S36795/2011); ALA Guide to Medical & Health Sciences Reference (R118.4/.U6/A43/2011); and Mosby’s Diagnostic and Laboratory Test Reference (RB38.2/.P337/2011).

Some other new history references are The Forties in America (E169.12/.F676/2011); American Decades 2000-2009 (E169.12/.A419/2011); and Iran (JZ1480/.A57/I7/2011).

New business materials that are now on our shelves include Tax Reform (HJ2381/.T384/2011); Reforming Wall Street (HB3722/.R427/2011); and Unemployment (HD5724/.U593/2011).

…And other reference books too numerous to mention are just waiting for you to discover them!

I will now return you to your regularly scheduled program.                 J.A.S.

You Mean There’s Something Better Than Wikipedia?? Part 3

Another scholarly source of online reference books is a database called Oxford Reference Online.  It is available on our library website by clicking “Find Books” under the “Research” tab on the right side of the screen.  Next, click “Oxford Reference Online” on the following screen.  Key in a search term to find information on your topic or click “Subjects & Books” which will shows titles of reference books for a variety of subjects.  Like Credo Reference, citation information will be provided at the end of each entry.

 The following subjects and number of books available for that subject are now available in Oxford Reference Online: Art & Architecture (10); Bilingual Dictionaries (18); Biological Sciences (12); Classics (6); Computing (3); Earth & Environmental Sciences (9); Economics & Business (9); Encyclopedias (2); English Dictionaries & Thesauruses (10); English Language Reference (17); Food and Drink (4); History (32); Law (8); Literature (23); Maps & Illustrations (3); Medicine (11); Military History (6); Mythology & Folklore (9); Names & Places (5); Natural History (8); Performing Arts (13); Physical Sciences & Mathematics (9); Politics & Social Sciences (21); Pre-History (5); Quotations (5); Religion & Philosophy (13); and Science (42).

 Oxford Reference Online is updated at least three times a year with new titles or revised editions.  In the last update, 775 entries were updated and 103,900 new entries were added.

 Since Oxford Reference Online and Credo Reference each have their own collection of online reference books, you may want to check both sites for information.  ENJOY!                          J.A.S.

You Mean There’s Something Better Than Wikipedia?? Part 2

I hope that most of you have had the opportunity to use Credo Reference by now.  As you will recall, it is a database of 635 online reference books that has scholarly information.  If you want to use the information in a paper, click APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard format to see how it should be cited.

Since I had mentioned in the last blog entry that this database is continually being updated with new and updated sources, the following titles have just been added:

  • The 2011 Annual Register: World Events 2010
  • Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia
  • The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language
  • Collins English-Greek Dictionary
  • Collins Greek-English Dictionary
  • Cultural Geography: A Critical Dictionary of Key Concepts
  • Dictionary of Trade Policy Terms
  • Eastern Europe: An Introduction to the People, Lands, and Culture
  • Encyclopedia of New Jersey
  • Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History
  • The Environmental Debate: A Documentary History
  • Exemplary Economists: Europe, Asia, and Australasia
  • Exemplary Economists: North America
  • Globalization: Encyclopedia of Trade, Labor, and Politics
  • The Handbook of Political Sociology: States, Civil Societies, and Globalization
  • A History of Feminist Literary Criticism
  • A History of South African Literature
  • Key Concepts in Education
  • Key Concepts in Governance
  • Key Concepts in Nursing
  • Key Concepts in Public Health
  • Key Concepts in Social Research
  • The National Gallery Companion Guide
  • Pocket Guides: Myths & Legends
  • Pocket Guides: Narrative
  • Poverty and the Government in America: A Historical Encyclopedia
  • Slavery in the United States: A Social, Political, and Historical Encyclopedia

 Updates of the following titles have just been added and more will appear shortly.  They include:

  • Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History
  • The Hutchinson Chronology of World History
  • Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation

 Whether you’re looking for topics, people, dates, images, definitions, pronunciations, holidays/festivals, conversions, or even a crossword solver, Credo Reference is an excellent resource to use.  It even has “Topic Pages” which can be used as a one-stop shopping center for finding library information.  These pages have background information, journal articles, titles of books, images, videos, and related information for topics, people, places, events, etc.  So, if you haven’t had a chance to use Credo Reference, please take a few minutes to browse this user-friendly resource.  You’ll be glad you did!                                                                                              J.A.S.

You Mean There’s Something Better Than Wikipedia??

 You better believe it!!  Since Wikipedia is open for editing by everyone, it makes this source unauthoritative and unreliable.  Credo Reference, on the other hand, is a database that presently has 635 online reference books that are scholarly.  Even more new and updated resources will be added in the future.

 To find this database, go to the library website and click “Find Books” under the “Research” tab on the right side of the screen.  Next, click “Credo Reference Books” and type in a keyword or keywords to find information on your topic.  Another choice would be to click “Find a Book” which shows titles of reference sources for a variety of subjects.  You could then choose to look for information in one reference book or one subject which has a number of reference sources.

 At the present time, the following subjects are available with the number of reference books that are available for that subject:  Art (23); Business (47); Food & Beverage (6); Bilingual Dictionaries (18); Biographies (45); Dictionaries (10); Encyclopedias (6); Quotations (10); Geography (22); History (70); Language (26); Law (11); Literature (35); Medicine (35); Music (9); Philosophy (23); Psychology (21); Religion (18); Science (60); Social Sciences (121); and Technology (19).

 Try it!  You’ll like it!                                                                                                                J.A.S.

Research – Plagiarism


                                      What is Plagiarism

 All of the following are considered plagiarism: 

  • turning in someone else’s work as your own
  • copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  • failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
  • giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
  • changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
  • copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on “fair use” rules)

Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed, and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source, is usually enough to prevent plagiarism.” MORE Plagiarism FAQs.

SOURCE:  What is Plagiarism? (n.d.) Retrieved Dec. 16,2010, from <>

                                Fort Hays’ policy on Honesty

(From the University catalog)

FHSU Academic Honesty Policy and Procedures


                                   Interactive Tutorial on Plagiarism

 The penalties for plagiarism can range from  a low grade to failing the class or even expulsion from the university.  Learn how to identify and correct such mistakes by using this tutorial:

                                          Interactive Plagiarism Tutorial

Created by librarians at Vaughan Memorial Library at Acadia University. Used by permission.


                                      Who me?  Plagiarize?

You may be plagiarising without realizing it.  Plagiarism isn’t only obvious theft such as buying a paper off the web or copying and pasting entire papers.  Failing to properly cite the source of the words and ideas you use in your paper also constitutes plagiarism. 

Plagiarism is theft of someone’s words or ideas.  “Plagiarism is pretending that an idea is yours when in fact you found it in a source.  You can therefore be guilty of plagiarism even if you thoroughly rewrite the source’s words.  One of the goals of education is to help you work with and credit the ideas of others.  When you use another’s idea, whether from a book, a lecture, a Web page, a friend’s paper, or any other source, and whether you quote the words or restate the idea in your own words, you must give that person credit with a citation.”

Harris, Robert A.  Appendix. The Plagiarism Handbook:  Strategies for Preventing, Detecting, and Dealing with Plagiarism. Pyrczak Publishing:  Los Angeles, California,  2001. 132-133.


Research – Evaluating and Citing your Sources

Evaluating and Citing your Sources

When you search for information, you might find plenty… but is it accurate and reliable? You will have to determine this for yourself, and the CRAAP Test can help. The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to help determine if the information you find is good quality. Your information source may not meet every criterion on this list; different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need. So why guess? Is your source giving you truly credible and useful information, or just a lot of…?!

Currency: The timeliness of the information.

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or too out-of-date for my topic?
  • Are all the links functional or are there dead links?*
Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.

  • Does the information relate to my topic or answer my question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too simple or advanced) for my needs?
  • Did I look at a variety of sources before deciding to use this one?
  • Would I be comfortable using this source for my college research paper?
Authority: The source of the information.

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are the author’s credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author’s credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • What are the author’s qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? Examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net*
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the information.

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed by anyone else?
  • Can I verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem biased? Or is it free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, typographical, or other errors?
Purpose: The reason the information exists.

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
*criteria specifically for evaluating Web site information***adapted from:  Evaluating information – Applying the CRAAP test, 10/24/2007. Reference & Instruction, Meriam Library ReSEARCH Station, Meriam Library, California State University, Chico, CA. 17 Mar 2008. <>   Prepared for University Library lobby display, Evaluating information from the World Wide Web, March 2008. ***


                                                Citing your sources:

As you compile your sources, make sure you have full bibliographic information on each one .  This includes: 

1)  Book:  Author(s), Title, Place of publication, Publisher, copyright date, and pages for your quotes

2) Journal:  Author(s), Article title, Journal title, Volume, Issue, Date, Year and Pages

There are several style manuals that you can use, but you will need to consult your professor and to the appropriate one for your discipline.  The library has the most used ones at the Reference Desk (APA Handbook, MLA Handbook, Turabian Manual for Writers, Chicago Manual of Style, and the ACS Style Guide). 

There are several university websites that have online examples of how to cite your sources.  Below are a few good ones:

Purdue Online Writing Lab “OWL”

Northwest Missouri State University

Univ. of Wisconsin – Madison Writing Center

One thing to note is that when you are doing research in the library’s online databases, there may be a link on “how to cite your article”.  This will give you an example for a specific style manual, BUT you should always verify the source in your style manual, as sometimes the example is wrong.


Lyin’ Around Waitin’ For a Good Book?

Take a proactive stance instead and use Forsyth Library’s online catalog to help you find the books you really need.  Click on “Find Books” on the library’s homepage and then “Forsyth Library Catalog.”  Key in your topic and click “Search.”

For example, if you’re looking for some new or fairly current reference books for psychology, world politics, Asian-American literature, or study guides, you might find these titles:

The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
Ref BF31/.E52

One of the most desirable resources for psychology, The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology, has been recently received.  It has articles on DSM disorders, treatment methods, commonly used tests, scales, and assessment methods, statistical methods and issues, as well as biographical entries.

Other new psychological resources received include Campbell’s Psychiatric Dictionary; Handbook of Psychological Assessment; Mental Health Disorders Sourcebook; The Professional Counselor’s Desk Reference; Encyclopedia of Addictions; The Encyclopedia of Positive Psychology: and Encyclopedia of Counseling: Changes and Challenges for Counseling in the 21st Century.

Europa World Year Book: 2010
Ref JN1/.E85

This new 2 volume set provides detailed country surveys with statistical, analytical, and directory information for over 250 countries and territories.  The statistical section is particularly valuable and has the most up-to-date figures from official national, regional, and international statistical offices and agencies on agriculture, industry, finance, trade, health and welfare, etc.  International and regional organizations are also listed.

Other sets in the Reference Collection that have background information about countries include The Statesman’s Yearbook and Countries of the World.

Encyclopedia of Asian-American Literature
Ref PS153/.A84/037

Specialists of Asian-American literature have written entries about important Asian-American authors in this current reference book.  A brief synopsis and critical analysis are also provided for their major works.

A number of other useful works in the Reference Collection provides criticisms of writers’ works.  Some of the well-known titles include Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Contemporary Literary Criticism, Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Poetry Criticism, and Short Story Criticism.  Criticism for children’s literature can also be found in Children’s Literature Review and Something About the Author.

Peterson’s Master the GRE
Ref LB2367.4/.P48

Are you planning on taking the GRE this semester?  If so, we have a fairly current study guide in the Reference Collection.  Study guides are also available at the Reserve Desk or in the Reference Collection for several other standardized tests given on campus such as the ACT, SAT, PPST, LSAT, CLEP, DAT, GMAT, MCAT, OAT, and TOEFL.

Remember, if you’re not finding the book or article that you need in our library, please utilize our Interlibrary Loan Department.  They will be glad to order materials for you from other libraries.–J.A.S.