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Museum Studies

Museum studies is INTERDISCIPLINARY. There isn't one place to look!

Citation Management

Styles Guides

How Do I Start?

New to IUPUI? Feeling overwhelmed? The IUPUI Libraries and Librarians are here to help!

Suggestions on how to begin:

1. What are your needs?

This means figuring out which librarian is best suited for your project, as well as what the project is. If are doing a simple book search, the reference desk or circulation desk staff may be able to help you. If you need to find many resources to support your research, it's worth making an appointment (or several) with the subject librarian who is skilled in your area.

When meeting with the librarian, keep the following in mind:

  • When is your assignment due?
  • What types of resources are you looking for?
  • What citation style do you need to follow?
  • Are there date limits for your resources?
  • Where have you already searched? And, what did you find?

In addition: Look up your keywords in the indexes to subject encyclopedias. Read articles in these encyclopedias to set the context for your research. Note any relevant items in the bibliographies at the end of the encyclopedia articles. Additional background information may be found in your lecture notes, textbooks, and reserve readings.

2. Get to know the resources.

There are 5 libraries on the IUPUI campus (UL, Dental, Medical, Law, & Herron), and many more in the IU system. Your public library may also have resources, as well as the state library. You will need to have a Jagtag for checking out materials.

Helpful definitions:

  • Stacks: library shelves
  • Library of Congress: cataloging/organization system in most academic libraries by alpha-numeric system (i.e. ZA 3075.B48 2010)
  • Circulation: able to be checked out from the library
  • Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, Academic, or Refereed: work that has been evaluated by peers or scholars for publishing
  • Periodicals: Journals, magazines, or newsletters
  • Monographs: Books
  • Databases: a collection (aggregate) of information by a vendor (i.e. Proquest, Ebsco, or Gale) that contains journals, magazines, newspapers, books, conference papers, and many other formats; usually subject or discipline specific
  • Keyword Search: Records that have the search term anywhere within them. Can be designated by the author in certain publications or databases. High flexibility in combining terms.
  • Subject Search: Records that have the search term in the subject headings part of that record. Lower flexibility in combining terms; limited results.

3. Evaluate what you find.

Answering the following questions will be helpful in your analysis of your resources:

1. Who wrote it?

A.What are the author's credentials--institutional affiliation (where he or she works), educational background, past writings, or experience? Is the book or article written on a topic in the author's area of expertise? You can use the various Who's Who publications for the U.S. and other countries and for specific subjects and the biographical information located in the publication itself to help determine the author's affiliation and credentials.

B. Has your instructor mentioned this author? Have you seen the author's name cited in other sources or bibliographies? Respected authors are cited frequently by other scholars. For this reason, always note those names that appear in many different sources.

C. Is the author associated with a reputable institution or organization? What are the basic values or goals of the organization or institution?

D. What is the date? Is there a later or earlier edition?

2. Content Analysis

A. Scan the table of contents or chapters to find out more about the resource.

B. Who is the intended audience? What type of audience is the author addressing? Is the publication aimed at a specialized or a general audience? Is this source too elementary, too technical, too advanced, or just right for your needs?

C. Objective Reasoning

  1. Is the information covered fact, opinion, or propaganda? It is not always easy to separate fact from opinion. Facts can usually be verified; opinions, though they may be based on factual information, evolve from the interpretation of facts. Skilled writers can make you think their interpretations are facts.
  2. Does the information appear to be valid and well-researched, or is it questionable and unsupported by evidence? Assumptions should be reasonable. Note errors or omissions.
  3. Are the ideas and arguments advanced more or less in line with other works you have read on the same topic? The more radically an author departs from the views of others in the same field, the more carefully and critically you should scrutinize his or her ideas.
  4. Is the author's point of view objective and impartial? Is the language free of emotion-arousing words and bias?

Check the Data and Stats link for more on research (empirical) articles

(Information found on the Cornell University Library Page)