Understanding & Evaluating Sources
- Get Started
- Evaluating Sources
- Different Types of Sources
- Recognizing Bias
Types of Sources - Some Useful Tools
- Anatomy of a Scholarly Article Check out the typical components of a scholarly journal article (from North Carolina State University Libraries).
- Types of sources - Quick Reference Chart There are key differences between scholarly, popular and professional publications. For a side-by-side comparison check out our Quick Reference chart (from University of British Colombia Libraries).
Types of Sources - Videos
- Different Types of Sources From Cal State University Northridge Library
Types of Sources
These are sources that you are likely to encounter when doing academic research.
Questions? Ask us !
Scholarly publications (Journals)
A scholarly publication contains articles written by experts in a particular field. The primary audience of these articles is other experts. These articles generally report on original research or case studies. Many of these publications are "peer reviewed" or "refereed". This means that scholars in the same field review the research and findings before the article is published. Articles in scholarly publications, in most cases:
are written by and for faculty, researchers, or other experts in a field
use scholarly or technical language
include a full bibliography of sources cited in the article
are often peer reviewed (refereed)
To see the typical components of a scholarly journal article check out the Anatomy of a Scholarly Article page from North Carolina State University Libraries.
Popular sources (News and Magazines)
There are many occasions on which reading articles from popular sources can help to introduce you to a topic and introduce you to how that topic is being discussed in society. Articles in popular sources, in most cases:
are written by journalists or professional writers for a general audience
written in a language that is easy to understand by the general public
rarely have a bibliography - rather, they are fact-checked through the editorial process of the publication they appear in
don't assume prior knowledge of a subject area - for this reason, they are often very helpful to read if you don't know a lot about your subject area yet
may contain an argument, opinion, or analysis of an issue
Trade publications are generally for practitioners. They are focused on a specific field but are not intended to be "scholarly". Rather, they communicated the news and trends in that field. Articles in trade publications, in most cases:
are written by practitioners in a field (nurses, teachers, social workers, etc)
use the language (and jargon) of the field
Books / Book Chapters
Many academic books will be edited by an expert or group of experts. Often, books are a good source for a thorough investigation of a topic. Unlike a scholarly article, which will usually focus on the results of one research project, a book is likely to include an overview of research or issues related to its topic.
Conference proceedings are compilations of papers, research, and information presented at conferences. Proceedings are sometimes peer-reviewed and are often the first publication of research that later appears in a scholarly publication (see above!). Proceedings are more commonly encountered (via databases and other searching) in science and engineering fields that in the arts and humanities.
The Government Printing Office (GPO) disseminates information issued by all three branches of the government to federal depository libraries (including NMSU). Additionally, the many departments of the government publish reports, data, statistics, white papers, consumer information, transcripts of hearings, and more. Some of the information published by government offices is technical and scientific. Other information is meant for the general public.
Theses & Dissertations
Theses and dissertations are the result of an individual student's research while in a graduate program. They are written under the guidance and review of an academic committee but are not considered "peer-reviewed" or "refereed" publications.
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- Last Updated: Nov 10, 2023 11:35 AM
- URL: https://nmsu.libguides.com/sources
Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research
Cheryl Lowry, Ohio State University
Copyright Year: 2016
Publisher: Ohio State University Libraries
Conditions of use.
Learn more about reviews.
Reviewed by Elbert Davis, Assistant Professor, Marshall University on 10/24/21
The author does an incredible job in explaining the research process, from choosing a research question to how to search for sources (and citing those sources), and more. There are relevant self-check quizzes throughout the book to check for... read more
Comprehensiveness rating: 5 see less
The author does an incredible job in explaining the research process, from choosing a research question to how to search for sources (and citing those sources), and more. There are relevant self-check quizzes throughout the book to check for understanding, along with other supplemental resources. As the book was published through The Ohio State University, some of the sources are only available to OSU students, but the author makes it clear when this is the case.
Content Accuracy rating: 5
The author did an excellent job with the accuracy of the book, Two specific examples that stood out: taking care to mention that Wikipedia is a great as a starting point, but not as an endpoint for research. Lowry also clearly explained that educational use did not automatically mean fair use, which seems to be an issue with students and faculty alike.
Relevance/Longevity rating: 5
The book should remain relevant in years to come, as academic research seems to follow the same basic pattern. The only issue would be if The Ohio State University changes the links used in the book, although I expect these to be easy to update. The book would still be able to be used without the supplemental links though.
Clarity rating: 5
The book seems to be targeting an introductory audience. Lowry does a great job of breaking down the jargon of academic research into plain English for the beginning researcher.
Consistency rating: 5
I thought the author used approprate terminology for a student learning about academic research.
Modularity rating: 5
The book is designed into specific chapters for the different aspects of choosing a source. While there are specific sections devoted to The Ohio State University library, I would not expect to have any trouble assigning the other chapters in my courses.
Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 5
The author started at the beginning, with how to design a research question before going into choosing a source, which gave good background knowledge.
Interface rating: 5
The contents of the book were clean and crisp. No distortions were noted. Navigation from the table of contents was easy.
Grammatical Errors rating: 5
No grammatical errors were noted.
Cultural Relevance rating: 5
Nothing offensive was in the book.
I have a difficult time in getting beginning graduate student to understand the different types of sources and fair use. I think using most chapters of this book would help a great deal in that comprehension.
Reviewed by Kelly LeFave, Instructor, Portland Community College on 6/15/21
This student friendly overview of academic research, including a strong focus on information literacy, covers many of the salient points that college level writing and writing for research classes curricula contain, making it a strong choice as a... read more
Comprehensiveness rating: 4 see less
This student friendly overview of academic research, including a strong focus on information literacy, covers many of the salient points that college level writing and writing for research classes curricula contain, making it a strong choice as a comprehensive and useful overview. Chapters include enough depth of coverage to make the leap from information to practice for students; self-directed activities are provided to check knowledge, work through concept applications, and offer more specifics. The book provides an easy-to-navigate Table of Contents, but an Index and Glossary do not seem to be available.
Content Accuracy rating: 4
Some errors appear that a thorough proofread would catch. Some resources may need to be updated since information practices and modes change so quickly; some references and links direct students to OSU information that would not apply to all readers.
Relevance/Longevity rating: 4
The book’s topic – academic research – necessarily demands constant updating given our fast-changing digital landscape and the shifting paradigms we are witnessing for locating and evaluating information in our times. Resources can become obsolete fairly quickly in this environment. The book’s content is largely up-to-date, though a thorough review of linked resources, perhaps annually, would be beneficial. For instance, a video on RSS mentioned a Google feature that looks to be no longer available, though finding alternatives proves simple when searched online. The book’s organization makes updating or replacing linked resources easy, so keeping the content relevant would be straightforward with regular review.
Content is presented in a style engaging for students, using the “you” pronoun address to walk readers through a thinking process that applies and links ideas to practice; this effective approach is used for many of the book’s concepts. The writing strikes a good stylistic balance between engaging the student reader and informing/challenging that same reader by modeling research brainstorming or methods. The style seems appropriate for college level readers and college level curricula. The topic of academic research does include some technical terms at times, but the book’s approach is to define and explain such terms a part of its content.
Stylistically and organizationally, the content is consistent and easy-to-follow. A user begins to anticipate knowledge check activities or “try it out” activities at particular points in each section. The knowledge check quizzes, which are simplified multiple choice questions, seem at odds with the highly contextualized concept explanations in much of the book’s prose; perhaps a different approach to knowledge check quizzing, which as an element can be helpful, would work better.
Modularity rating: 4
Headings and subheadings follow a logical organization and are easy to navigate in the book. Some sections do refer to—and link to—other book sections, but most would work as stand-alone modules. An instructor or course designer could pick and choose sections and adapt them for their own purposes. As a whole, the book remains self-referential to the context of a specific university, which limits the easy adaptation of the book, and perhaps even sections, for faculty and course designers at other educational institutions.
The book’s organization is easy to navigate and coheres with the overall focus on presenting academic research and information literacy in a way that invites students toward a practical and fuller understanding. Topic order makes sense and is organized via headings and subheadings well.
Overall, no significant navigation issues or interface distractions.
A few errors that look like typos remain in the book. Otherwise, grammatical errors are not an issue for readability.
Cultural Relevance rating: 4
A more nuanced and inclusive awareness of cultural relevance and diversity is worth considering for the book. The choice of some example topics, such as school shootings, might be distracting or traumatic for some student populations, while adding more examples that showcase interests or topics related to non-dominant cultural ideas would widen the sense of inclusivity throughout the book. Choices might be contingent on the demographics of the Ohio State University population, but more awareness of this aspect of the book might also make it more appealing as a resource for others to adapt
Reviewed by Nell McCabe, Associate Professor, Berkshire Community College on 6/15/21
This text is very-student friendly and covers all aspects of writing a student research paper, including steps that students frequently overlook such as the value of preliminary research and the different ways to incorporate different kinds of... read more
This text is very-student friendly and covers all aspects of writing a student research paper, including steps that students frequently overlook such as the value of preliminary research and the different ways to incorporate different kinds of information in a paper.
This text provides a well-balanced, research-driven approach to guiding students through the process of writing an academic research paper. Spelling mistakes, flaw grammar and usage, and factual errors are few and far between (as in I didn't find any during the course of this review).
Kinds of sources and the means of evaluating them are broad enough to be long-lasting, but the examples and other supporting details are timely and relevant.
This text uses student-friendly language and avoids jargon and other symptoms of academia run amok, while still maintaining high standards and expectations for students. Connections between the different stages of conducting research and developing an argument are well laid out and clear.
Terms associated with locating, evaluating, and incorporating a range of different kinds of sources are clear and consistent throughout the text.
The chapters do stand alone and I could image someone using bits and pieces or leaving out bits and pieces, but since the text is primarily focused on supporting the needs of a college research throughout the research process, it is hard to image much need for separating it into discrete modules. You could certainly rearrange the order of the chapters too if that worked better for your approach to teaching student research.
The flow of one chapter into the next is well-integrated and smooth. The order of the chapters
I had no issues with the interface; everything worked as expected.
Cultural Relevance rating: 3
The book does not go out of its way to make obviously inclusive examples. Increasing the cultural perspectives represented in the examples would enhance the overall value of this text.
Reviewed by Darci Adolf, Director of Library & Media Services, Oregon Coast Community College on 6/11/21
I found "Choosing and Using Sources" to be quite comprehensive and included the major areas that I cover in my LIB 101 Research skills class. In my class I like to cover each area of Eisenberg's Big6 Research model: Task definition, information... read more
I found "Choosing and Using Sources" to be quite comprehensive and included the major areas that I cover in my LIB 101 Research skills class. In my class I like to cover each area of Eisenberg's Big6 Research model: Task definition, information seeking strategies, location and access, use of information, synthesis, and evaluation. I was pleased to find the subject of synthesis covered under the writing chapter-- many research textbooks leave this out. I did not find anything that talked about Evaluation of the process and product. Also, I would've liked to have seen social justice and equity issues in information publishing and access addressed as a chapter or portion of a chapter. The textbook has a great Table of Contents, but no index.
This textbook seems to contain accurate and error-free content. I spot-checked most of the chapters and didn't find anything I didn't believe to be true, and links weren't broken. Because this book is mostly factual in nature, there aren't areas where an author's opinion was used over facts, and opinions seem to be be appropriate and unbiased. For example, the author remarks on the use of blogs in research: "Blogs – Frequently updated websites that do not necessarily require extensive technical skills and can be published by virtually anyone for no cost to themselves other than the time they devote to content creation." This is a wide-held belief among librarians.
The content appeared to be up-to-date throughout the book. The area that might change the quickest is the types of sources, Chapter 2 in the book. They did a good job including an overview of all of the major source types and should stay relevant for a good period of time. Because they've listed these source types in a single chapter, updates to the text should be fairly straight forward and easy to do without disturbing much of the rest of the book.
Clarity rating: 4
The text was clear to me, a seasoned librarian. But I think there were terms used throughout the textbook that might not be familiar to a student first starting out in library research. So I would add some clarification around some of the language if I were using this textbook for a lower-level class. For example: There are several types of specialized databases listed including: Bibliographic, Full-text, Multimedia, etc. Many first year students wouldn't know those terms, or others such as "circulation, World-cat, discharge, InterLibrary Loan" and so forth.
The text was consistent throughout in terms of terminology and the overall frame. As I mentioned previously, some of the terms might need to be defined for the first-year student, either in-text or in a separate glossary. The framework is well-done, with clear chapters and sections--it was definitely written by those who teach research at the college level.
The textbook has 13 chapters that are again sub-divided into six or more sub-topics. This makes it very easy for an instructor to pick and choose which topics to cover. The thirteen broader subjects makes it easy to use the entire textbook for a term-- or just choose the pieces you want to use. For example, I would use the "Ethical Use and Citing Sources" chapter if I were doing a one-shot in a classroom, but might choose to use most of the chapters for an online class.
The structure was easy to follow. If I were setting it up myself, I'd probably combine the chapters on Ethical Use of Sources (Ethical Use and Citing Sources, Why Cite Sources, and Challenges in Citing Sources) with the chapter on "How to Cite Sources," but it's easier to have them separate and combine them for a class than to have a big block of text that would make it difficult to work through.
The textbook online version was done in Wordpress, and was easy to view and navigate. There were several other choices for students, including a PDF that could be viewed off line. There were charts, graphs, and links throughout that added to the content, but not so much as to be distracting. Any visuals were simple and enough white space was left as to not overwhelm, with colors that were contrasting visually.
I spot-checked throughout the text in each chapter and did not find any grammatical errors.
The textbook seemed to be inclusive of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
Ohio State University has included a lot of links to their own pages, handouts, and resources that would need to be changed or omitted by a new user. For example, they have a handout from the OSU Writing Center, and they link to the OSU World Cat platform. These would need to be changed by the adopter.
Reviewed by Kaia Henrickson, Assistant Professor of Library & Information Science, Information Literacy Librarian, University of Alaska, Southeast on 11/4/20, updated 12/16/20
This text does a good job highlighting the steps in the research process, from formulating a strong research question, to finding and evaluating sources, to incorporating ideas from research into writing, and finally, to citing and using sources... read more
This text does a good job highlighting the steps in the research process, from formulating a strong research question, to finding and evaluating sources, to incorporating ideas from research into writing, and finally, to citing and using sources properly. Each chapter can stand on its own as useful content for a research-based course, or the entire text could be used to walk students through the entire research and writing process. Based on tutorials created for Ohio State University Libraries, some sections, like Chapter 5 on search tools as well as some of the activities, are fairly specific to OSU. Still, much of the text and many of the activities are applicable to all student researchers. This would be a great base text for someone who wanted to remix and add in information from their own university library and student service supports to replace the OSU-focused sections.
The material is accurate overall.
Text content, as well as videos and activities, are fairly current. Sections are small, so making updates should be fairly easy.
While the text is generally clear, there are sections that are a bit cumbersome or wordy. The Evaluating Sources section, especially, seems overly complicated.
References and links to other helpful sections within the text are appropriate and useful. Key concepts and ideas are repeated and built upon as the text progresses.
Each chapter is divided into manageable sections, and there are few sections which require a lot of scrolling. Those that are longer are broken up by subheadings. Embedded video content, visuals, and boxes are used to break up the text for easier reading and more visual appeal.
The text clearly progresses through the steps in the research and writing process from start to finish, but it can also be accessed by section if a particular subtopic is all that is needed. Each chapter stands on its own, as well as being integrated into the whole.
Interface rating: 3
The web version of the text has no paragraph indents or lines of space between paragraphs, which makes it a bit difficult to read, especially when there are longer blocks of text. There are many videos included that only have automatically-created closed captions (and a few with no closed captions available at all). A few of the graphics are blurry, but most visual and audiovisual content is clear and easy to read. With some of the linked activities, it is unclear what to do when you have selected an incorrect answer, and there is not much feedback for students who answer questions incorrectly.
Grammatical Errors rating: 4
There are a few typos and other minor issues here and there in the text. Some of the linked activities have more significant errors.
The text is not culturally insensitive, but it also doesn't present much in the way of diversity in examples or ideas. In addition, there is a noticeable amount content that is focused on Ohio State University resources and students, and this may not be relevant for readers from other universities.
Reviewed by Marybeth Beller, Associate Professor, Marshall University on 3/13/20
The book provides a thorough review of the research process; that said, a professor will have to add discipline-specific information and requirements, such as expected citation practices and research methods. read more
The book provides a thorough review of the research process; that said, a professor will have to add discipline-specific information and requirements, such as expected citation practices and research methods.
I found no errors in the text.
I will use this book for my undergraduate research course as it gives a very good introduction to research, from narrowing the topic to turning questions into hypotheses.
The book is very clear and provides graphs, links and videos for the reader to have additional information as needed.
Each chapter is organized similarly to the others and is written in the same easy-to-follow, technical-free language. It removes any inhibitions a reader might have.
Each chapter section has its own heading and link. The entire book could be assigned or sections of the book could be just as easily assigned. A drop-down table of contents menu allows the reader to move freely between topics.
This guide is beautifully organized for the beginning researcher but can easily be followed through the table of contents for students needed refreshers on particular elements of research.
I found no interface issues at all in navigating the book.
There were no grammatical errors in the text.
I believe the book would be welcomed by a diverse group of people. There is no insensitive language or use of poor examples in the book.
I really enjoyed the organization of the book and that the author takes the time to include links to additional information as well as videos for students who want to spend more time with a particular concept.
Reviewed by Racheal Rothrock, Assistant Professor, Miami University on 2/28/20
The text is comprehensive in its covering of topics related to choosing and using sources, though it does not go into great depth for each topic. Rather this text provides a broad overview around the topic of sources. This text seems to be written... read more
The text is comprehensive in its covering of topics related to choosing and using sources, though it does not go into great depth for each topic. Rather this text provides a broad overview around the topic of sources. This text seems to be written for an upper-level, undergraduate student audience. No glossary is provided.
This information is presented in an unbiased way that informs on the topic rather than presenting a strong bias or slant toward a particular type of source (though, there is cultural bias—see review comments in “cultural” section). The text does provide details on what approaches might be more helpful in certain situations. This provides a balance of usefulness for students trying to determine which sources to use, while also not assigning value to some sources over others or create a hierarchy.
Relevance/Longevity rating: 3
The text demonstrates a current understanding around the topic of sources, taking into account the shift away from paper and toward digital sources. While overall this text should be useful for several years, there are some areas that may require updating (e.g. links, OSU policies or statements, specifics about various citation styles, software options available, copyright laws, etc.). Throughout the text, the authors do depend on examples that are specific to OSU (e.g. a section on “WorldCat@OSU”), and this might provide less useful for non-OSU students.
The text is written with simple language and explanations are given for more technical terminology (e.g. peer-reviewed, quantitative, qualitative, etc.).
Little specialized terminology is used throughout the text, however, the language and terminology used is consistent throughout. The format, structure, and approach the authors use, is also consistent throughout the text and forms a cohesive narrative.
The text is broken up by main topics and then within each topic, subtopics are provided to support the main topic. The length of each subtopic is fairly brief and examples are provided throughout with graphical separation for clarity. While the topics and subtopics support each other, each subtopic could be assigned individually and would maintain usefulness.
Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 4
Overall, the organization is logical and clear. There are a few topics that might be shifted in their order, but this is not a critical need. For instance, moving the information about copyright closer to the section on ethical use of sources might make sense, but does not overly disrupt the general flow of the text.
There are no significant issues. A fixed bar at the bottom of the screen allows for navigation to pages directly preceding and proceeding the current page and a clickable contents button at the top right side of the page allows further navigation between sections. Overall, visuals do not appear to be distorted, however, many of the visuals are quite large, taking up the majority of the screen, and could be reduced in size without losing effectiveness. Additionally, on pages 9 and 11, a graphic is presented that contains text that is too small to read. While it is not necessary to read the text in the visual in order to understand the lesson of the section, because it is provided, it would be reasonable to make this large enough to be legible.
The text seems to be free of any major grammatical errors.
This text is written from an academic, western cultural perspective that is relevant to the particular topic and audience (i.e. “A guide to academic research”), but does not take into other ontological or epistemological scholarly perspectives (e.g. testimonios or oral histories as significant sources). The visuals and examples do privilege the U.S. and mainstream cultures, such as through a photo of a White woman using her Mac computer in a library, a photo of a football team, an illustration with the U.S. flag in it, an example question of “How has NASA helped America,” an example opinion of “George Clooney is the sexiest actor alive,” etc. The text is not overtly insensitive or offensive, but it also does not appear to take up or address non-dominant perspectives and cultures in any substantive way.
Reviewed by Audrey Besch, Temporary Faculty , East Tennessee State University on 10/31/19
This text is very comprehensive! From choosing sources to the final research project, this book does a wonderful job of providing all the steps. read more
This text is very comprehensive! From choosing sources to the final research project, this book does a wonderful job of providing all the steps.
Information is accurate for the purposes of writing research and using sources.
Up-to-date and relevant, this text does a good job of outlining various types of sources that can be used and the appropriate ways in which to use them.
Very easy to read content that would be great for students, especially those who are just starting the academic writing process for research.
The text remained consistent in it's use of terminology and framework.
Text has an appropriate use of subheadings and includes activity sections that focus on concepts. Material was broken into easy to grasp ways that didn't seem too lengthy.
Content is well organized and in a logical format for the content provided.
Book did not have any navigation issues and all images were appropriately used for content.
To the extent of my knowledge, there were no grammatical errors in this text.
There were no culturally insensitive issues or offensive language in this text that I could find.
Reviewed by Kris Frykman, Community Faculty, Minnesota State University System on 10/18/19
Comprehensive overview, with examples, to punctuate learning. read more
Comprehensive overview, with examples, to punctuate learning.
Clear, accurate process in showcasing academic research.
Appropriate book for researchers of all levels.
Chapter follow-up questions and videos are included to further enhance clarity.
Terminology and examples are included to further make the content accessible for the reader.
The book is divided in sections so that students can study and apply one concept at a time.
Content is clearly organized.
Charts, diagrams, examples, and videos are highlighted to exemplify key contents.
No discernable grammatical errors.
Appropriately culturally sensitive.
Reviewed by TyRee Jenks, Research Librarian & Library Instruction Coordinator, Montana State University - Billings on 7/31/19
The text is very comprehensive and covers all the necessary aspects of information literacy and student research. There is no index or glossary included, but terms are well explained within the text. The extensive coverage of topics, like types... read more
The text is very comprehensive and covers all the necessary aspects of information literacy and student research. There is no index or glossary included, but terms are well explained within the text. The extensive coverage of topics, like types of sources and copyright, was thorough while not being so in-depth as to bore students. The activities, quizzes, and short videos reinforce the concepts covered in the chapters and add interest, however some quizzes would benefit from additional explanation as to why answers are right or wrong.
The content of the text seems to be accurate. Very minor spelling errors and a copy/paste duplicate. No apparent bias.
Content is up to date and relevant for students while being broad enough to be useful for a longer period of time. Updating information would be easy. The text contains a lot of hyperlinks that an instructor would need to stay on top of to keep the links current. In some cases the links were to very reliable sources that will remain stable for a long time (i.e. Purdue OWL) while others are more transient (i.e. YouTube videos).
In general the text is clear, including good explanations of terms and concepts. It contains very little jargon and the prose is accessible. In “The Details Are Tricky” section, the finer points of primary, secondary, or tertiary information could be confusing to students who are trying to comprehend the basics. The author’s inclusion of informative tables with sample responses as well as the blank template for students to use was helpful.
There is consistent use of terminology and layout throughout the text.
The book has good modularity, excellent graphics, and the text and/or activities can easily be used at the point of need in an information literacy class or one that is discipline specific. Chapters can be used individually or rearranged as needed.
Overall the organizational flow worked well, however the chapters on copyright and fair use might make more sense when grouped with the chapters on the ethical use of sources and how to cite sources.
The EPUB and web versions of the text are easy to navigate with a clickable table of contents and left/right arrow navigation at the bottom of each page. Other than some images that could be resized, the formatting lent itself to consistency throughout the text giving students a uniform experience. In some cases the URL links were just written text instead of hyperlinked which was a little inconsistent. Pleasant graphics added value, explained concepts, balanced out the text, and added visual interest. The inclusion of links that lead out to further explanations of concepts (i.e. the peer review process or how to read a scholarly article) are a nice addition.
There are no major grammatical errors that would be distracting to the reader.
The text is applicable to students in all disciplines, and there are no concerns about cultural relevance or insensitivity. The text is heavily OSU centric (i.e. referencing the OSU code of conduct and requiring students to log in to OSU resources for some activities and examples) and requires effort on the part of instructors at other institutions to make the necessary changes making the content applicable at their institution.
With modifications this text could be incorporated into a three credit information literacy course for undergraduates or into other disciplines. The fair use and copyright sections could be useful to instructors as well as students. Could easily integrate with the ACRL Framework. There is some great general information on writing and making an argument that are applicable across disciplines.
Reviewed by Eric Bradley, Research and Instruction Librarian, Goshen College on 5/31/19
The focus of the book is on published sources for college level research and writing. In this area it is comprehensive. It does not address other areas of academic research. read more
The focus of the book is on published sources for college level research and writing. In this area it is comprehensive. It does not address other areas of academic research.
The content is accurate, error-free, and politically neutral. The last piece makes this a excellent source in the current United States political climate.
Content reflects the current realities of the information landscape. Several of the chapters use up-to-date wording that may need to be updated more frequently, but the excellent modularity of the text allows for accommodation.
The book is straight forward and uses contemporary language of the information and academic landscapes.
The text follows a consistent framework throughout the book.
The text is divided in a way to teach across a course. While the text builds upon itself, many of the chapters stand alone well. I have skipped several chapters of the text and it has not caused any disruption with students.
Excellent organization. The text guides the reader step by step through the research process.
Interface rating: 4
The overall interface is strong. The images and charts are excellent, although the use of branded logos in some of the images may become dated.
No grammatical errors noted.
The text is focused on academic research practices for a North American context. While not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way, it does not take into consideration research practices of other cultures.
I use this text as a replacement of Booth et al.’s Craft of Research. Beside the benefits of being a open textbook, this text provides a more relevant guide to finding sources in the current academic environment.
Reviewed by Kathleen Murphy, Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Music Thearpy, Loyola University-New Orleans on 4/30/19
This book includes all relevant information to help students choose appropriate sources for an academic research paper. It clearly defines different types of sources that can be used, and the difference between primary and secondary sources. It... read more
This book includes all relevant information to help students choose appropriate sources for an academic research paper. It clearly defines different types of sources that can be used, and the difference between primary and secondary sources. It gives an overview of how to search various databases, and defines and describes boolean operators. The chapter on ethical uses of sources clearly defines plagiarism and how and when to cite so as to avoid plagiarizing. The chapter on copyright is an excellent addition; that information is not common in many texts related to academic writing. Each chapter contains extra activities students can work on independently to help with understanding and application of the material covered.
Overall, I found the book to be accurate. I did find one error in Chapter 7. In the section titled "Challenges in Citing Sources" the entry labeled "Running out of Time" was repeated. In regards to bias--I did not find the content to be biased; however, the majority of links where students could go to get extra information were connected to Ohio State University. The one notable exception were the links to the Perdue Online Writing Lab.
The content is up-to-date and relevant. Choosing and using sources for an academic paper has not changed much. What has changed is how to access and find the sources to choose and use. This book does a nice job of explaining how to find sources--databases, google scholar, and search engines. My only concern is the frequent suggestion to search Wikipedia. As an academic, I find this a little troubling. To the author's credit, they did not that one should not cite Wikipedia or use information from Wikipedia in an academic paper. I am not able to comment on ease of updating information, as that is a technical issue.
The book is written in clear, accessible language, with limited "jargon." At times I found the writing to be too simple, written more for high school students than college students. Definitions are provided for all relevant terms.
The book is internally consistent. It moves through the process of choosing and using sources in a linear fashion. However, to their credit, the authors note that writing an academic research paper is not always a linear process.
Each chapter is broken up into smaller units that cover a topic relevant to the chapter theme. Sections of this book could be assigned as individual assignments based on areas of difficultly students seem to be having. Alternatively, a professor could develop a class session or two around each of the chapters. These book seems to be very versatile; there are links to previous chapters that readers can click on to refresh their memories.
The topics in the text are presented in a logical and clear way. The book moves through each topic associated with choosing and using sources in sequence that most researchers would follow. The table of contents, with main headings and subtopics provide a step-by-step guide to help undergraduate students through the research process.
There are many links in throughout the book that students can click on to get more information or to practice skills. Navigation back to the main text is a little trickier. Sometimes, clicking on the back arrow will get the reader back to the page s/he was studying before clicking on the hyperlink. More often, however, the back arrow will take the reader back to the Table of Contents, or front cover of the book. Not all the links worked when I went through the book
I did not fine any grammatical or mechanical errors. I think the book is well-written and appropriate for high school students. I think the language may be too simplistic for most college students.
I did not come across anything that was culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.
I think this book is an excellent resource for high school students, and maybe college freshman who need help in choosing and using sources for an academic paper. The book is logical, gives an overview of the process and provides excellent examples and extra activities to enhance learning. I think it also could be used as a self-study guide.
Reviewed by Miguel Valderrama, Adjunct Assistant Professor, New York City College of Technology on 4/7/19
This book is a great resource of all steps needed to be taken in an academic research process. The book's index clearly displays a suggested methodology to follow and makes it easier to comeback for the review of previous chapters. In general the... read more
This book is a great resource of all steps needed to be taken in an academic research process. The book's index clearly displays a suggested methodology to follow and makes it easier to comeback for the review of previous chapters. In general the book is easy to read and every time a new world or a particular terminology related to the topic comes up, it is clearly defined and put into context.
This book collects a series of methodologies that have been proven to be efficient when they are put into use during the process of academic research. These techniques are not only presented and described to the readers, they are also actively used in the various examples, pretty much in every chapter in the book. These techniques may not be the only way a person can start and develop a research process but they are certainly a clear and convenient way to do so for beginners. There may be complex terminology entered to the discussion which may slow down the reading process. However, this is effectively addressed by separated easy to access links; This provide more in detail definitions and exercises from a particular section.
This book is a guide that presents many particularities of research methods and techniques that have been used for long time. These methodologies have been proven to be very effective in academic research. This book not only collects many of these techniques but carefully relate them to new searching tools that are part of the communication era we live in nowadays. This was not the case just couple of decades ago. I anticipate long life to the methodologies presented in this text with years or decades before they could become obsolete. Within this context, the searching tools may keep changing but the methodologies that are used here could keep working efficiently; at least as a way to approach to a research process for an undergrad student.
The author uses a clear and easy way to understand the language and terminology that makes part of a research process. Without getting too deep into technical terminology the book marks clearly words that deserve more understanding and usually provides separate links which connects the reader with a deeper explanation. The text doesn't have very large paragraphs all around which to me allows readers to keep a good and dynamic paste. Links to previous discussed topics presents a quick way to review previous content without loosing the paste.
Consistency rating: 4
Through out the entire text it is consistent that at the beginning of every chapter there's a statement related to what the previous set of contents was, also in several parts of the book this first paragraph makes a point about how this relates to what it is about to be presented in that chapter. This is why several words allusive to the subject of research are reuse constantly in different chapters. This makes lots of sense to me as a way to keep the reader's familiarity with these terms which will also ended up increasing retentivity levels in the subject. Since the book is clearly broken down into steps they all seemed to be well placed in order to present a cohesive structure that guides the process of research.
Academic research it is a process that should be flexible by nature in many ways. Even though some parts of the process could be done simultaneously to others, this will definitely not apply to all of them. This book brings up an interesting way to order this process which even though may look rigid at times it tries to make sure that some parts are developed before others in the research. It is presented that way so that there's enough understanding of the bases before there can be any progression or even conclusions. This is mostly reflected in the techniques that are presented, where some of then have as their main job to detonate creative thinking. For example: the importance of the set of questions that are asked at the beginning is that the answers will be used mostly to clarify the end goals of a research.
This text is organized following a clear and efficient way to develop an academic research process. It is well distributed in chapters that are all connected to each other in one or other way. The book is efficient at establishing this connections, specially at the beginning and end of every chapter where there's mentioning of the previous and following topic's main ideas. This helps readers to keep track with the overall content.
This book presents an excellent graphic approach to expose its content. The electronic version has the really nice feature of having the index accessible at any point of the reading process. This text is full of links that are either deeper explanations of a particular topic or a set of exercises that are directly related to what the reader is learning. If the idea was to present the information in a format that doesn't look congested to the eyes and that it is not distracting the reader from the important ideas, the editors made an excellent job. This book can't be easier to read, follow through and understand.
Besides a couple of punctuation spaces here and then I was not able to perceive any major grammatical errors. The book is well written all around. Punctuation is pretty much excellent and its composition keeps the reader in track with the content effectible.
Particularly the topics used as examples were very diverse in therms of gender allusion, cultural backgrounds and specialized fields. Research is a process that apply to all disciplines and the professionals working in them. This makes the research process a particularly broad one. The book makes efforts to present this idea by using numerous examples that connect with different segments of the population at numerous levels.
This books is an excellent tool available to anyone who wishes to start a serious research process in almost any particular professional area or field, even amateur researchers can benefit from its content. The book was written to merge the topic content with a series of exercises, tests and examples using a cohesive testing dynamic that helps to increase retention. This dynamic becomes the most efficient way to understand what it takes to start a professional research. The steps to follow the process are laid out clearly in this guide and the important things that need to be taking in account during the research process are highlighted and deconstructed to obtain a deeper overall understanding by the reader or researcher. The fact that the reader is being quizzed constantly during the entire book generates a stronger connection with the important subjects and a good way to evaluate the reader's understanding in real time as well. Highly recommended to undergrad and graduate students and perhaps even amateur researchers becoming familiar with the process of research as well.
Reviewed by Cindy Gruwell, Professor/Research Librarian, Minnesota State on 1/11/19
Choosing and Using Sources does a very good job of covering the topic of Academic Research. Each chapter focuses on an aspect of the research process and thoroughly covers the content with easy to read text and examples/activities for student... read more
Choosing and Using Sources does a very good job of covering the topic of Academic Research. Each chapter focuses on an aspect of the research process and thoroughly covers the content with easy to read text and examples/activities for student practice. Most importantly first-year students through seniors should find the content informative and presented in a collegial format.
All of the content is accurate and explained in a manner that is easy to grasp. There are some minor typos in some of the activities, but they do not confuse the reader. The text is bias-free and includes interesting examples that students can relate to.
The overall content is highly relevant and will age very well. Updates would definite be easy to handle and manipulate. By breaking down each chapter into a variety of content areas, readers will be able to focus and review areas of concern.
Having read several print and online texts of a similar nature, it was a pleasure to come across a text that is clean, consistent, and concise. Each topic has an appropriate amount of information to get the point across as well as tips that lead the reader to additional information. The presentation is consistent throughout without any bloating often found in print texts.
The authors of the text did an excellent job of producing an online text that is consistent and easy to use. No tricks that make it difficult to navigate or confusing to read.
One aspect of the text that I especially like is the modularity that allows for the use of a particular chapter or page(s). Too often texts have chapters that make readers feel like there is no end in sight. The concise nature of this work blends extremely well with the modularity of the complete text.
What makes this text easy to adapt is the layout from beginning to end. Each chapter and section scaffolds upon the other which will allow students to build their skills in a natural manner. Knowledge attained will easily transfer from one topic to another as they move through the book.
While I believe that the text is excellent and I have adopted it for my class, I do find myself frustrated by not being able to move from one section to another within a chapter without having to go back to the contents list. This surprised me because most books and tutorials have forward and backward links, especially within chapters.
There are a few grammatical (spelling) errors in several of the exercises, however, they do not interfere or confuse the reader.
This is definitely a professional work that has no cultural issues and is an excellent example of a non-biased text.
While looking for an OER text I was delighted to come across this book. The content and flow fit in with my class content extremely well and is an excellent resources for courses in the liberal arts, general research, and library-centric classes.
Reviewed by Kathy Moss, Clinical Professor, University of Missouri on 11/27/18
The hyperlinks and examples include a wide range of topics that include cooking, surgery, architecture and sports. read more
The hyperlinks and examples include a wide range of topics that include cooking, surgery, architecture and sports.
Credit is given to an editor, production and design specialists, as well as several content contributors. No additional information is provided to support inference regarding author credibility.
The open textbook Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research presented material that is relevant to my current issues course, including Background reading, Developing a complex research question, Classifying sources, and Evaluating sources.
The topics are presented clearly, using an engaging conversational style and frequent tips and activities. A reader who has no background in information science may be hampered by some terms used in the book (e.g., blog, podcast, Wikipedia, browser, database, Gawker, Reddit). The book does give intentional attention to the technology-naïve audience with some skills (Control-F) and topics (brief description of LexisNexis Academic, Lantern Online).
Terms and organizational framework are consistent throughout the text.
I plan to assign particular chapters of this text that are most relevant to my course's goals. The consistency of the text's terminology and organization should permit this reading plan with minimal distraction to the reader.
The information is clearly organized with a contents listing, chapter numbers and section headers. This organization facilitates easy access for learners with a specific interest in a single topic.
The author’s frequent use of hyperlinks invites students to explore topics more in-depth.
I note a few minor typographical errors that did not adversely affect my ability to comprehend the text.
The book includes examples of non-Western sources such as the allAfrica news database. Some of the links and examples are only available to individuals who have accounts with The Ohio State University. Though the book includes examples in audio and video formats, it could be improved by giving specific attention to topics related to accessibility.
The book provides the opportunity for readers to apply the topics by analyzing its frequent examples.
Reviewed by Lori Meier, Associate Professor, East Tennessee State University on 11/8/18
This text is exceedingly comprehensive. It addresses all elements of academic research (i.e. choosing questions, exploring and selecting sources, searching strategies, citation issues, copyright) as well as providing abundant links for student... read more
This text is exceedingly comprehensive. It addresses all elements of academic research (i.e. choosing questions, exploring and selecting sources, searching strategies, citation issues, copyright) as well as providing abundant links for student use. It is lacking an index or glossary - although many concepts are defined in the various chapters.
This book is accurate and comprehensive. I would not hesitate to use this resource with undergraduate or graduate students as a beginning primer for research.
The book is relevant and timely in regards to the various resources and tech tools it mentions (Google Scholar, EndNote, Ref Works). Given the subject matter I suspect that this book will have longevity to users.
The text is clear and provides definitions for jargon/technical terminology that is used. It is very comprehensive which might be a bit intimidating for the first time reader, but all elements needed for cogent research are included and therefore necessary. I appreciate the use of student scenarios as a way to step-by-step show the thinking process of choosing research questions.
Very consistent and thorough.
This text would be ideal for use as single chapters in courses where the content is needed. While the content is crafted with Ohio State University students in mind it is still very relevant for use by students and scholars. I am already thinking how I might use this next semester with an undergraduate honor's thesis student - both as modules to be read but also as a reference source.
The book is organized in a logical manner but spends only a brief amount of time about qualitative and quantitative research as peer-reviewed sources and only gives basic definitions for those two terms. I would perhaps suggest an additional section on qual/quant/mixed methods research methodology and perhaps a quick overview of research methods or samples via discipline. Additionally, a mention of the common IRB process for Human Subject Research might be helpful to those students using academic sources that discuss that process. It is a very clear text and this could be added with just a few pages of information that might be beneficial to students.
Navigation links worked well for me. The book is easy to read and the display features are not troublesome to me.
Appropriate and is accessible to a wide audience.
Reviewed by Kathy Lamb, ELL Specialist/ English Instructor, Miami University on 8/2/18
The text covers most areas of academic research, and has a table of contents but no glossary, which is much needed. Topics are clear and concise, transitioning smoothly from general to more specific, such as “What is a Research Question?” to... read more
The text covers most areas of academic research, and has a table of contents but no glossary, which is much needed. Topics are clear and concise, transitioning smoothly from general to more specific, such as “What is a Research Question?” to “Narrowing Topics” and finding “Related Terms”. Perfect for college freshmen.
The content is accurate, error-free and unbiased.
The source is up-to-date and it would be relatively easy to update information.
The text is easily understand and flows in a clear manner. Ideas and topics progress easily and examples are used to offer context.
Ideas build one upon another and academic vocabulary is repeated throughout.
Some parts of the book seem a little “text heavy”, but overall it is well organized with efficient flow. The embedded links in the text connect earlier concepts
One problematic is that there lacks a glossary. The table of contents is very long, but broken down so that one is able to easily reference topics. Chapters are concise enough to be read in a timely manner and effectively used.
For some of the online activities it was confusing to discern which answers were correct or incorrect. And, after clicking on and completing an activity one must go back to the former page in order to navigate further. On the other hand, being able to access other information about the chapter topics via link is a handy tool.
There are no grammatical errors.
This book is culturally relevant and not offensive or insensitive in any way.
Reviewed by Sara Abrahamson, Faculty, Minneosta West Community and Technical College on 8/2/18
This text is very comprehensive. The complete research process is broken down from start to finish. read more
This text is very comprehensive. The complete research process is broken down from start to finish.
Very accurate information.
The content is very relative to today's researchers and does a fine job of detailing types of sources.
Very easy to read with content that is easily understood by even a first-time researcher.
The content was very consistent and easy to follow because if it.
LOVED the easy of reading because of the small, digestible informational pieces!
The flow of the text was perfect, following the research process from beginning to end.
I enjoyed the hyperlinked Activities, however, they did not all work for me.
No grammatical errors found.
Very culturally unbiased.
Excellent text that I wished I had years ago!
Reviewed by Justin Megahan, Librarian / Associate Professor, Fontbonne University on 6/19/18
The text does a good job covering academic research. There is a table of contents, but I feel like a glossary and index would be helpful for this book. read more
The text does a good job covering academic research. There is a table of contents, but I feel like a glossary and index would be helpful for this book.
The content is accurate. I did not notice any errors.
The content is up-to-date. There are many databases and websites referred to in the text so it is important to check those relevant links on occasion. It would be straightforward to update the text as needed.
The text clearly steps the reader through the research process. The process is discussed in detail over the 13 chapters.
The text is consistent.
The book is modular. Chapters can be rearranged without confusion. The Copyright Chapter is a good example of a component that can be used separately as a supplemental reading in another course.
The book is organized logically. The addition of a glossary and index could help navigation.
The book has images, charts, and videos that are useful. There are quick activity questions that tests the students’ knowledge on the current topic. These activities do link out to OSU’s site so it is important to make sure those links continue to stay active.
The text contains no grammatical errors.
This book does not have cultural concerns.
Many links direct the reader to OSU resources that have restricted access. The discussion of OSU resources and tools needs to be modified to fit the reader’s institutional resources. “ACTIVITY: Quantitative vs. Qualitative” has a link that is no longer working.
Reviewed by Jane Theissen, Reference Librarian/Professor, Fontbonne University on 5/21/18
The research process is explained in detail, from how to develop a research question to where and how to research through the application of copyright, fair use and citation styles. read more
The research process is explained in detail, from how to develop a research question to where and how to research through the application of copyright, fair use and citation styles.
The content is accurate and unbiased. Most of the links, which are plentiful and well placed, are either broken or link to resources at OSU's library, which I could not access. Use of this book would require time to correct this.
The content is stable. Other than updating the links, little would need to be done to use this text.
Very clearly written; jargon is appropriately explained. Self-checks allow students to make sure they understand the material.
Each section logically builds on the previous, and tone is consistent throughout.
The text has a great deal of modularity. Each section is listed in the Table of Contents and covers a few pages or less. There is no index. It is easy to find and move to sections quickly. the structure allows one to pull sections out for other courses (which I have done).
The research process is explained step-by-step with appropriate detail and excellent graphics.
Images, charts, and diagrams serve to explain and support the text. Many seem rather large and I found them a bit distracting. Additionally, there are page breaks in strange places, leaving large blocks of white space on pages while the narrative continued on the next page. This was very confusing. It would also be helpful if the links would open in a new window.
It seemed inclusive where applicable.
This text impressed me as appropriate for high school students or college freshmen.
Reviewed by Laura Heinz, Librarian, Texas Tech University on 3/27/18
This book provides beginning student researchers with a clear and complete path to the research process for class assignments and undergraduate research projects. read more
This book provides beginning student researchers with a clear and complete path to the research process for class assignments and undergraduate research projects.
The content is presented is accurate and in an unbiased manner for students to easily grasp the process and concepts.
This book was written in 2016 and may need some minor updates. The material is presented in a logical manner that leads students through the process as they begin their research. Each chapter can be used independently as the instructor fits the chapters into course content.
This book is easily understood by an undergraduate and doesn't require extra readings or content to be understood. It is concise and clear which will be appreciated by the student as they conduct research.
This book is consistent in it's framework which leads the student to each step logically avoiding confusion or frustration.
The chapters can easily be used independently and refer students to other chapters with supporting information.
The book is written to lead students in a logical manner through the research process. The length of the chapters allows a student to easily read the chapter for that step in their research, apply it and refer to it easily.
The book downloads easily onto a laptop or e-reader. The graphics display nicely on either size screen and enhance the text.
No grammatical errors were noticed.
This book is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. Examples used are appropriate.
This book introduces beginning student researchers to the academic research process in a thoughtful and deliberate manner. The books lack of jargon and abbreviations will help international students learn how to better navigate an academic library for research. Instructors in all disciplines should consider this book as an additional textbook for their classes requiring research for assignments, class projects and/or papers.
Reviewed by Hilary Johnson, Learning & Teaching Librarian, The Open University on 3/27/18
The text does not include an index or glossary. However, it covers a complex (and dry) subject in an economical and stimulating fashion. Each reader would learn about the subject from the basic text but the authors have enriched the text by... read more
The text does not include an index or glossary. However, it covers a complex (and dry) subject in an economical and stimulating fashion. Each reader would learn about the subject from the basic text but the authors have enriched the text by embedding audio-visual resources, download-and-keep checklists and formative activities of excellent quality.Chapter 9 'Making an Argument' is particularly strong and complements Chapter 1's analysis of research questions well. It is an excellent resource for undergraduates, post-graduates and beyond, and could also be useful for professionals researching topics to support evidence-based practice protocols.
More tips about applying facets to search results on services like Summon, EDS or Primo would be a useful addiition. I was surprised the authors did not employ language to frame the skill development in the language of 'employability' and life-skills, which might hook readers who are not planning to engage in academic research in the long-term.
The accuracy of the book was excellent, My score would have been 5, except the advice about copyright legislation and fair use is only applicable to students of Ohio State or elsewhere in the USA; so an institution in the Britain, Ireland or Europe would not be able to use or recommend chapters 11 or 12. However, these chapters are well-judged for the intended audience; succinct and comprehensible, where so many guides are too woolly or arcane to be useful to a general readership.
Chapter 1 had a dead link to an audio-visual resource. The explanation of how to use Wikipedia for academic study was nuanced, classic and practical. The explanation of how to use truncation and wildcards were similarly time- (and platform-) proof. There is much current interest in 'fake news' and the manipulation of Facebook and Google algorithms. So it could be timely to add a section on the known issues and some practical strategies to compensate for them.
The authors use excellent, clear English that should be comprehensible to anyone with academic english reading proficiency. My only qualms related to an ambiguous use of the term "poster" (this word has a particular meaning in an academic setting which was not explained) and more extensively around the slightly simplistic and dated language used for the university library catalogue and abstract & indexing databases. One of the activity sheets is structured like a decision-tree and starts with the question "are you working from a database"; with modern resource discovery platforms and other aggregating tools, students may not be able to tell whether they are looking at results from a single database, all the databases from one supplier or multiple databases from a variety of suppliers.
The stylesheet and planning of content is elegant and the quality is consistent throughout the text.
Each chapter is split into useful subsections, with clear formatting to demarcate between topics, tips and activities. The authors have also helpfully embedded hyperlinks to relevant chapters or sections earlier or later in the book.The length of individual subsections is consistent to make reading online easy (balancing scrolling and page turning). However, the length of embedded audio-visual materials varies so a student planning their time might be surprised in places.
The text has a sensible progression of topics, with hyperlinks back and forwards to connect relevant topics. And the final chapter, 'Roles of Research Sources', pulls together the lessons learnt with a useful acronym (BEAM), giving the book a strong ending.
I accessed the text on a variety of browsers, screen sizes and operating systems without any problems with the interface.
I only spotted two minor errors - site instead of cite and White's definition (page 186) without an apostrophe.
Not all the video materials embedded are captioned making them inaccessible to some categories of disabled users.
Reviewed by Lydia Bales, Academic Skills Tutor & Librarian, Staffordshire University on 2/1/18
Considering the book is not overly large, the guide manages to be very through and comprehensive guide to locating sources and using them correctly. It even goes further in giving some great information on making an argument and writing out the... read more
Considering the book is not overly large, the guide manages to be very through and comprehensive guide to locating sources and using them correctly. It even goes further in giving some great information on making an argument and writing out the research. The chapters are in easily digestible chunks covering the process of searching and evaluating resources in a useful and cross-discipline manner. It covers the source search process of research in an easily digestible manner.
The topics are accurate and have been written in a way that they will not date too much. The links and examples of the services provided may need updating to keep them accurate but the nature of the online format makes this easily possible. The Copyright chapter is obviously only applicable to those studying in the US. Having a version of this chapter available discussing copyright law in the UK could be useful any access the course for a different location.
The topics, examples and videos used are relevant and useful and should not date too much. The links and examples of the services provided may need updating to keep them accurate but the nature of the online format makes this easily possible. Some of the examples and links are specific to Ohio State and America and this can limit the relevance for students who do not have the ability to access Ohio State resources or are not based in America. Also the copyright section specfically is obviously only US copyright law limiting it's usefulness for students based in other locations.
The writing style is straightforward and easy to follow. It is sometimes slightly repetitive but overall the information is clearly presented and the vocabulary used is not too advanced. The style is informal and it makes a weighty topic much easier to process. I think it would be useful to have a glossary in the resource for students who maybe have not come across some of the topic specific words before and need them defining.
I was impressed with the consistency considering the work is made up of different author’s contributions. I could not identify different voices within the text, which helped improve the flow of the work. The arrangement of the contents tab is very useful to help navigate to specific sections of chapters as well as the overall chapter.
The layout of the book makes this modular. You can choose which sections to look at in any order and they read clearly and separately well. The other sections are signposted throughout the text and you can link back through to these using the hyperlinks provided. I think the order could be slightly improved by moving the citing and copyright information after the information on argument and writing but because you can choose how to read the book then it is not really an issue. I think it is important to note that if you cannot play the video content or the links in the book are Ohio State Specific the book does lose some of its positive features.
Overall, the structure is straightforward and logical. It flows in a manner that is easy to read and to process. Using the navigation you can work your way through the book in any order you feel is appropriate. As I stated I feel the referencing and copyright information could be in a different place but because you can choose to read this in a different order, it does not really matter.
Having read the online version on both a PC and a tablet I found the interface both easy to use and accessible. The page and chapter length worked well on both platforms and it was easy to access the links and activities contained within the resource. I could not access the videos on the PC due to not having Adobe Flash and it would be useful to have known I would require this to access the resource in its entirety. The video content is a refreshing change to just text and the images used are overall relevant. The videos do not all include a text version and this would be useful for accessibility. A few of them do have this option. Some of the images in the text viewed blurry on my PC and tablet. I am not sure if this was an issue with my own software or an error in the book.
I did not notice any errors during this read through. In some places, the text was a bit repetitive but this not disrupt the flow too drastically.
The examples used are not offensive and are diverse in their range. They have not given examples that define the guide for specific subset of students, which makes it more applicable.
Just for accessibility purposes, I think all the videos need a text version not just some. In addition, the RefWorks program has now been updated and it is called New Refworks with a changed logo and this could be updated in the book along with the guide to setting up Refworks if your institution subscribes. I feel that there are many links that you could not access unless you were an Ohio State user and this could disrupt the flow of the book for some users.
Reviewed by Lori Jacobson, Associate Director, Curriculum Development, William & Mary Writing Resources Center on 2/1/18
The book provides a comprehensive introduction to the use of sources in academic writing. read more
The book provides a comprehensive introduction to the use of sources in academic writing.
The book is a polished, professional and appropriate tool to help students improve their information literacy.
The content is relevant for undergraduate students and their instructors. It focuses primarily on fundamental approaches to finding, evaluating, and deploying sources in order to enter the scholarly conversation. While the authors occasionally mention a specific tool, or insert links to outside sources, these are placed within "Tip" boxes that can easily be updated.
Because this book was created for students at Ohio State University, it is sometimes quite specific about tools or processes that are unique to OSU. Instructors using this book at other institutions may sometimes need to suggest their own's institution's available tools to keep the text relevant for their students.
The book is well-crafted for an undergraduate audience, taking an easy-going, friendly tone and clearly defining key terms and concepts. It is also accessibly structured, making it fairly easy for users to jump between topics, rather than requiring a linear read. Links between related sections are provided wherever it is appropriate.
The book uses a consistent design scheme and structure. Features that appear in each chapter include graphics, tip boxes, examples, activities, and summaries.
Each unit of the text stands on its own and could be easily assigned as an individual reading. Rather than being self-referential, the text will suggest that more information on a related topic can be found in one of the other modules.
The text is organized to flow in roughly the same sequence as a typical research project. Students who are reading the text while working on a project should find individual sections logically presented and relevant. This is clearly not a text designed as background reading; rather it functions best as "just in time" information for students working through the research process.
I found the text quite easy to use in it its online form. It is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and thoughtfully arranged.
I noticed a couple of typos, but no significant grammatical errors.
The examples provided are of broad interest, and most readers will have some familiarity with them. There were no insensitive or offensive comments or examples.
Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research is a practical tool for novice researchers. It asks students to begin the process with a research question, and then provides a step-by-step approach to creating the question. All the other chapters flow from this effective beginning, and should increase students' information literacy by helping them understand types of sources available to researchers, the relationship between sources and information needs, how sources should be evaluated, and how they can be deployed effectively and ethically. Additional chapters on argumentation and copyright round out the book's overall usefulness to students engaged in a research project. This book could be easily paired with a staged research project, and would provide students with the "just-in-time" information they need to successfully complete the assignment.
Reviewed by Kristin Green, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Penn State Worthington Scranton on 2/1/18
The aspects of academic research that are prudent to cover within the first year of any undergraduate student's general education are all covered within this textbook. From an introduction to the ethics of source use to crafting basic Boolean... read more
The aspects of academic research that are prudent to cover within the first year of any undergraduate student's general education are all covered within this textbook. From an introduction to the ethics of source use to crafting basic Boolean search strings, all facets of entering scholarly discourse are addressed in brief chapters that feel modern and accessible. While instructors may wish to supplement or replace some of the exercise sets in the text with their own assessments, the content of the text provides ample coverage if selected to serve as a primary textbook for a foundational information literacy course.
The book is accurate in addressing the current state of the information landscape as encountered in the realm of academic research, as well as the legalities of copyright and fair use.
All content within this book is current and the content within chapters sections are written in a style that today's undergraduate students will be able to learn easily from. Many of the concepts, processes, and principles that are covered in the text have an inherent longevity that will prolong the relevance of this text past its initial publication date. However some chapter sections, tutorials, and videos are institution-specific reducing the overall relevancy of using the entire text at other locations.
The text is written in a clear and concise style that current students will find very accessible. The authors consciously defined any technical terminology or jargon as it was introduced throughout the chapters. Furthermore, the technical concepts that were more complex to define are often accompanied by visuals to help convey what is being defined.
The terminology and format of the book, along with the linked exercise sets and visualizations, provide a solid consistency that will helps students focus on learning the content rather than being bogged down with understanding the textbook format.
Instructors could easily parse different chapters of this book to use for modular instruction, especially in "one-shot" or other limited instructional scenarios. Some of the chapters are a bit self-referential which may generate a minor degree of confusion if used out of the holistic context.
Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 3
While there is a logical flow to most of the chapters, some seem a little out of place such as the "Making an Argument" chapter. I would have preferred a division of chapters into sections, where the writing-related chapters were separated from the source-related chapters. I also think the chapters that covered Copyright, Fair Use, ethical source use, and citations would have a stronger flow if organized together in their own section.
The ability to navigate through the book from the table of contents page is a great feature for students, especially when the instructor is choosing to assign only particular chapters or work through some of the chapters in a different sequence. The linked exercise sets are also easy to navigate through, allowing students to focusing on applying learned concepts rather than learning new interfaces. However, throughout my review some of the linked external content would not open for me and links to external materials always have the possibility of changing which may result in future inaccessibility
No grammatical errors were detected when reviewing this book.
This book is not offensive nor culturally insensitive in any manner.
For any instructor looking for an open textbook to orient undergraduate students to the basics of the academic research and writing processes while simultaneously providing context of contemporary issues surrounding these scholarly activities, this is a comprehensive and accessible choice!
Reviewed by Anne Behler, Information Literacy Librarian & Instruction Coordinator, The Pennsylvania State University on 2/1/18
This text offers a comprehensive breakdown of the academic research process, with special effort made to demystify jargon that may present itself in either the classroom or library environment. Beginning with establishing a research question and... read more
This text offers a comprehensive breakdown of the academic research process, with special effort made to demystify jargon that may present itself in either the classroom or library environment. Beginning with establishing a research question and carrying through to integrating and citing sources, the text includes practical tools for students to use in their own research, as well as links to supplemental information. If anything, the text errs on the side of providing too much information, such that a novice researcher may feel overloaded.
The text offers an accurate articulation of the research process, and avoids bias by covering a wide variety of potential information sources, including the use of web search engines other than Google.
Because the information landscape is constantly shifting, the text will require fairly frequent review. This is particularly important when it comes to how web sources are addressed. For example, the book does not address fake news and/or dealing with problematic web resources, and it glosses over use of social media as an information source. However, the concepts related to the research process itself change very little, and the information presented about them has staying power.
The text is written in accessible language, and works to address uses of jargon that are typical within the academic environment by providing explanations for what professors typically want when they request a particular item in the research process. This is an effective way to establish relevance with students, as well as clarify academic expectations.
The language within the text is consistent and accessible, with helpful insertions of definitions and/or links to explanatory supplementary information online.
The text's sections are clearly and logically labeled, and could very easily be plugged into a course in part or whole.
The order of topics in the text follow the research assignment process, from point of assignment decoding through to writing and source citation. Given the audience for the text and its intended purpose, this makes great sense.
The text contains links to many outside web sources that may provide helpful supplemental information for the reader; however many of these links were found to be dead. Comprehensive review of all links is highly recommended. In addition, I recommend continuing review of available videos related to the topics, as many selected are either rudimentary or contain dated material.
The writing and grammatical quality of this text are of the highest quality.
The text is culturally relevant and inclusive in its examples.
As stated, this book holds great utility and relevance, but requires updating for links to external web resources. It will also need to be adapted to keep up with the changing landscape of information sources themselves.
Reviewed by Craig Larson, Librarian, North Hennepin Community College on 2/1/18
The book is very comprehensive, sometimes almost too much so (sections on copyright seem to be more detailed than the average college student would need or perhaps be interested in; the section on the lifecycle of information, while interesting,... read more
The book is very comprehensive, sometimes almost too much so (sections on copyright seem to be more detailed than the average college student would need or perhaps be interested in; the section on the lifecycle of information, while interesting, also is a bit questionable as to its overall relevance). Instructors who choose this book for a one- or two-credit information literacy course will have much more material at their hands than they can reasonably cover in a semester. This book would make a good companion volume to just about any course involving research.
The content is accurate and unbiased. As an example, I was interested to find that the author actually recommends that students use Wikipedia, at least in the very early stages of research, to get an overall picture of their topic. So many college instructors, regardless of the subject, seem to have a strong aversion to Wikipedia. Here, the author actually goes into some detail on how using the references in an entry can lead the researcher to additional sources he/she might not find through other means. Some of the activities are a bit misleading or written in such a way that there could be more than one right answer, which isn't necessarily an error, but could be tightened up a bit.
The content is largely relevant and up-to-date, though I was a bit surprised to not find a section addressing "fake news," which has become such a watchword over the past year. I was also a bit surprised that, although the author has a section talking about which "neighborhood" certain types of information "hangs out," there wasn't a discussion of different domain names, such as ".edu," ".org," and ".com" and what they indicate to readers. Also hampering the book's relevance somewhat is an overabundance of examples and activities that require an Ohio State student ID to log-in. Many of these would have to be re-worked or re-written for the book to be useful at other schools.
In large part, the book is clearly written and new ideas are clearly explained. The writer does a pretty good job of avoiding jargon and technical terminology or where it can't be avoided, of providing examples and clear definitions of terms. Some of the activities aren't so clearly written that there is one obviously correct answer. Also, some of the scoring of activities isn't clear enough to indicate to the user what was wrong and why it was wrong or even the correct answer that should have been chosen. Not every concept is adequately explained or thoroughly developed (for instance, the crucial process of moving from an initial reading to a research question could use further clarification and development). Another area that could use further discussion and development would be how to use databases.
The book is largely consistent, though there are occasions where the consistency falls through. For example, most of the accompanying activities will open in a new window, but not all. There were several occasions where this reader closed out an activity window and closed out the entire book as well. This is an area that someone really should take a look at, as it can be confusing and irritating for the user. Also, the fact that many of the book's activities require an Ohio State student ID effectively locks out users from other institutions.
The book is largely modular, with sections that can easily be broken apart and assigned at different points in the course. There is a very useful table of contents, broken down by subject into smaller pieces that can easily be accessed. As mentioned previously, the book is very comprehensive, almost too much so at times, so having this table of contents is very helpful.
The book is fairly-well organized, though there are things placed in odd locations that could be touched on earlier or later, as the case may be. For instance, there is a good discussion fairly late in the book about deciding whether to quote, paraphrase, or summarize, which would have been much more useful if it was placed in the section of the book that directly addresses each of those activities. Instead, it is placed in a section on academic integrity (which, again, is very Ohio State-specific, too much so, really). I also question the relevance of a chapter on creating an academic argument, which if it is to be included at all, would seem to make much more sense earlier in the book, when students are learning the basics of research and how to apply it to their writing.
The book is largely free of significant issues, although as mentioned previously, many of the activities require an Ohio State student ID to log-in and use, which makes them useless to students from other institutions. Also, the activities are sometimes difficult to follow--one doesn't know why one answered incorrectly or what the correct answer even is in some instances. And the fact that some activities open a new browser window and some don't can also be confusing. There are a few activities that lead to broken links.
There are the occasional run-on sentences and spelling mistakes in the text. It's almost impossible not to have some issues in this area. However, the infrequent errors don't detract from the book or its overall usefulness, though it might be a good idea for someone to go through the text and try to clear some of these up.
The book does a good job of avoiding being culturally insensitive or offensive. Activities and examples are written in such a way as to be inclusive. Many of the examples link directly to sites that deal with minority themes and issue.
I think, on the whole, this is a very useful book and one that could be put to immediate use in many instances. However, the number of activities and examples that require an Ohio State student ID to access make this less relevant than it could be if the author had striven for more universal examples.
Reviewed by Mairéad Hogan, Lecturer, National University of Ireland, Galway on 2/1/18
This book covers the subject matter in a comprehensive and detailed way. The way in which the material is presented is very suitable for students who have not previously been involved in academic research as it starts at the very beginning and... read more
This book covers the subject matter in a comprehensive and detailed way. The way in which the material is presented is very suitable for students who have not previously been involved in academic research as it starts at the very beginning and assumes no prior knowledge. It has additional features that help to reinforce the material, such as activities and MCQs. These help to reinforce the learning and test the reader’s understanding. Additionally, the examples used are very useful and helpful in gaining understanding of the subject matter.
It goes into the material in depth and not only tells students how to progress their research but also explains clearly why they should be doing it this way. For example, it explains to students how to differentiate between good and bad sources. However, I have one small concern with this aspect. They do not tell students how to differentiate between different standards of peer-reviewed journals. They do mention looking at citation count but state that is not a useful measure for very recent articles. Some discussion on determining the quality of the journal itself would be helpful. For example, looking at citation counts for the journal, rather than the article would be one example, as would looking at rankings.
Overall, I would see this as an excellent reference book to last students through their academic careers.
The material itself is accurate. However, many of the links to additional material either do not work or are inaccessible to those without OSU credentials.
The material is mainly presented in a way that will last. However, many of the links no longer work so these should be checked and alternatives put in on a regular basis. Additionally, there are links to videos that may not be there in the future, although all I clicked on were available. However, the text description of the videos did not work. Many of the activities (MCQ’s etc) have a dated feel about them in terms of layout and interaction. The design of them could do with some updating.
The writing itself is very clear and easy to understand. Diagrams are used to good effect to clarify concepts (e.g. use of Venn diagrams to explain Boolean concepts). However, some of the terminology is not as clearly defined as it could be. While terms are generally explained clearly in the text, it would be nice to have a glossary of terms. Additionally, the MCQs are not always clear as if the reader gets an answer wrong it is not always apparent which is the correct one.
The book is consistent in writing style and interface.
The book is structured in a modular format whereby the reader can dip in and out of different sections, as they need to. Equally, for a student starting out, it is structured in a way that is likely to follow the steps in the same order as the student, making it a good companion to their research projects.
The book was organised in a very natural and sensible way and flowed smoothly from one topic to another. Links were provided to related sections of the book where relevant so that if the reader forgot what was meant by a particular topic, they could easily hop back and forth. The book started at the very beginning with good coverage of developing a research question and then progressed through tools and sources to help with this. The additional activities were all web based, which works fine if you have easy access. However, I was using a kindle with poor broadband so struggled to access it at times. It also felt a bit disruptive leaving the book to do the activities. It’s also not always clear whether links lead to another part of the book or to an external site. The tips are a useful addition. The stand out when flicking through the book and help to reinforce the important points. It is also useful the ways steps are clearly broken down into sub-steps.
I downloaded it to Kindle, and found a number of issues. It struggled to deal with larger fonts, resulting in some text not being visible.. There were also references to “the bottom of the page” but the bottom of the page varies depending on font size. Not all of the activities worked. Some of the activities required OSU credentials to access them, which was frustrating.
There were some minor grammatical and typographical errors but nothing major.
The book is very US centric in its use of examples. For example, there is an American football example and news sources referred to are US based generally. Additionally, copyright discussion is US centric.
Overall, I found this to be an excellent book that will help students in their research projects. I think it is a book that they will use for a number of years as it is has sufficient depth to help at different levels. The one main change I would make would be to broaden OSU references and activities so they are referring to databases in general, for example, rather than simply talking about the OSU one. Much of the material is relevant regardless of institution but a reader unfamiliar with databases would not be aware of this and might skip over some very useful information.
Reviewed by Anthony Patterson, Assistant Professor, North Carolina Central University on 2/1/18
Choosing and Using Sources is an extremely thorough text taking readers through the research process from formulating research questions to fair use and copy right issues. I particularly liked the online examples and resources including quizzes... read more
Choosing and Using Sources is an extremely thorough text taking readers through the research process from formulating research questions to fair use and copy right issues. I particularly liked the online examples and resources including quizzes and videos. The table of contents is thorough but there is not a glossary. While this is a strong text some discussion of theory and how theoretical frameworks are used in academic writing.
While the text could have addressed additional areas, the authors were accurate and detailed. Chapter 8 - How to Cite Sources is well done and accurately takes novel researchers through when they should and should not provide citations.
The authors present how to develop, approach, and conduct sound research in a well thought out format. This text is up-to-date addressing issues like Wikipedia and Google Scholar. While issues around these information sources will change, the way this text is set up, it can easily be updated in the future.
The book is well written, clear, and easy to follow. Jargon such as primary, secondary, and tertiary sources were explained clearly with appropriate examples. This text will be accessible for my students and most others pursuing advanced degrees.
The authors are consistent throughout the text when discussing topics like presenting arguments and the relationship this has with concepts like research questions and the sources researcher select. While consistency is expected is difficult to do especially when writing as a team. More impressively is the consistency of supplemental materials throughout the text.
The book has long chapters and occasionally I had some difficulty knowing where one section ended and another began but overall it is readily divisible. Another important aspect of the text are the supplemental materials like online quizzes and videos which are also clearly align with the sections in the text.
I was skeptical at first when I began reading but the overall organization of this text is good. Even though the text is about writing and sources, a section of theory and incorporating theoretical frameworks would have strengthen the book. However the topics selected flowed well and led potential researchers through a logical process.
A few problems linking to sum supplemental materials but overall I was impressed by the quality of the graphics as well as the links to quizzes and videos that were provided.
I did not come across any grammatical or typographical issues.
I did not see any cultural insensitive examples or information provided. However I also did not see a lot of racial or ethnic diversity in examples throughout this text. Overall, I feel the authors approached the subject matter appropriately.
Reviewed by Rachelle Savitz, Assistant Professor, Clemson University on 2/1/18
The text is quite comprehensive regarding finding, using, and understanding sources. It provides the process of sourcing from start to finish with examples and activities provided throughout to support the reader. Various ways to find sources... read more
The text is quite comprehensive regarding finding, using, and understanding sources. It provides the process of sourcing from start to finish with examples and activities provided throughout to support the reader. Various ways to find sources are described. There is a focus throughout on software and databases for the students at the authors institution and that can be confusing to readers from other institutions. The information provided regarding citing, ethics and copyright, and fair use was informative and would be beneficial to the reader. There were sections throughout that could have been more in depth and more specific. For instance, when going over the various ways to cite sources, additional examples could be provided and the version/edition should be listed. For instance, was the APA citation in APA 6th edition format? Also, make sure to address citing from secondary sources as students do this often and tend to cite what they read even if they read it from another text. The TOC was helpful and allowed ease of understanding what was to be covered in each section. One main complain that I have was regarding the additional information provided to help the reader in writing a paper. This information would be helpful for basic college writing but not for academic writing, thesis or dissertation writing. The sections required for some of these papers are not discussed and the text eludes that the sections provided regarding writing an argumentative piece would be appropriate for all. Also, synthesizing information could be explained a bit more and with more depth. Synthesizing includes more than critiquing and summarizing. All in all, the sourcing information is spectacular and the additional information could be expanded upon.
Accuracy of sourcing was spot on. Some of the additional categories discussed, as mentioned in the first section of this review, could be expanded upon to fully explain that category, if it is to be included in the book. The examples and activities provided were quite good and would be very beneficial for students to apply what they are learning in real-life contexts. Links were provided for extending information. I did not attempt to open every link but making sure they are up-to-date will be important as time goes forward. I also feel that the section on popular texts can be misleading. Stating that the Washington Post is "popular" eludes that it is not reliable or valid. This is not necessarily true as many experts in various fields write sections in "popular" newspapers.
As previously stated, a lot of links go to OSU resources. This could be problematic for any reader that is not at OSU. More information should be provided to support any student in the world as that part would be confusing to many students.
The text is easy to read and follow. All new information is explained and then examples and activities are provided. This is student friendly and allows any reader to quickly follow along and understand what is being stated, especially regarding the sourcing elements. As stated above, there are some sections that could/should be expanded upon for clarity and this might be best for beginning university students but the text was easy to understand in regards to sourcing, citing, and fair use. More information on how to use the sources and sections of papers would be beneficial to all students.
Each chapter seemed to follow a similar structure that followed the TOC.
Modularity rating: 3
Reading the book online provides ability to chunk the text based on assignments and can be read chapter by chapter, entirety or starting at different places. Due to the extensive amount of outside links and examples, this would be quite different if read in paper format. This book truly has to be read online to ensure benefit from all of the additional activities, links, examples, sources, etc. In addition, the many links specific to OSU would not be helpful for other students.
The organization is consistent from chapter to chapter. Information is explained and then examples and activities are provided to further knowledge. This works well for readers that needs examples.
Using a laptop provided no issues. However, when using a smartphone, the pages changed in size and various display features did not load properly or at all.
Very few grammatical errors were noticed.
No cultural issues noticed other than the many OSU references and sources. This could be offensive to other institutions as they will not be able to access many of the links.
Reviewed by Scott Rice, Associate Professor, Appalachian State University on 2/1/18
The book is very comprehensive which sometimes detracted from its usefulness. There were a few units that may be superfluous, but I did appreciate that the author seemed to err on the side of inclusivity, leaving it to other adoptees how much... read more
The book is very comprehensive which sometimes detracted from its usefulness. There were a few units that may be superfluous, but I did appreciate that the author seemed to err on the side of inclusivity, leaving it to other adoptees how much content they might use and repurpose.
The book is error-free and appears to be free of bias.
The book is pitched to an Ohio State University audience, so some of the resources pointed to would not be the same as a potential adopter's institution might select. In addition, the book needs some updating regarding the impact of social media on the information cycle. Social media formats are mentioned, but a fuller treatment of how they fit into the information climate would be a good addition.
The text was clear and easy to read, and provided numerous examples for its points. It also did not rely on jargon in its explanations, which makes it much more accessible.
The text was consistent in its use of terms. I found its tone consistent, as well as the level of explanation for the wide variety of concepts explored.
The organization of the text into units makes it very easy to break the content apart into smaller units and use it for a variety of purposes. I could see using the content for different parts of several courses, as well as incorporating it into e-learning content.
The topics are presented in a logical fashion, following the path that a typical research assignment might take. This will also make it easier to fit within the flow of a course that uses the textbook to teach about the process of academic research.
The interface of the text itself works appropriately, but some of the ancillary quizzes and extra material did not work so well. Many of the graphics did not work as well within the pdf format as they do in the web format.
The textbook was free of grammatical errors and was easy to read.
The text did not appear to be culturally insensitive.
I am exploring the creation of a for-credit information literacy class at my institution and this book is a possible candidate for adoption for the course.
Reviewed by Bryan Gattozzi, Lecturer, General Studies Writing, Bowling Green State University on 2/1/18
I was impressed how the text began helping students understand the benefits of leading a research project by writing research question(s), following with assessment of research methods, and thinking about research writing as an avenue to test a... read more
I was impressed how the text began helping students understand the benefits of leading a research project by writing research question(s), following with assessment of research methods, and thinking about research writing as an avenue to test a hypothesis instead of one simply confirming a previous, and perhaps uninformed, belief.
The book didn't seem to dismiss any possible research method. Instead it provided suggestions of how and when any individual research method may be relevant.
The book was published last academic year and the content included is still relevant, mostly because best-practices in research (and research writing) haven't changed much.
The volume of research methods students can use given the internet's power is ever increasing, yet the book does well to isolate a handful of long standing tenets that academic writers have used for decades while allowing for discussion of web-based writing and multi-modal presentation methods instructors may increasingly require students to use.
Each section is concise, clear, and easy to follow . . . for me.
I assume students will be capable of reading the text, performing quizzes provided, and plotting out a research path to complete their assignment(s).
Then again, as an academic I obsess over these issues. I can see a student yawning while reading this text.
The content isn't especially fun to read yet the information provided in relevant and time-saving if students are willing to relax, read actively, and apply the material to the assignment their instructor has given.
I don't imagine many students would seek the book out and read about research methods, yet an instructor can pair excerpts from the book with specific assignments along a student's research path to help the student retain and apply the helpful suggestions in the book.
The text does well to allow students to name the process they're going through when composing a research question then deciding on what research path fits their question. Students are guided to consider what blend of qualitative / quantitative, primary / secondary / tertiary, or public / professional / scholarly research will fit their research and writing goals.
The book refers back to the same terms throughout and provides students with active learning worksheets to plot a research AND writing plan to complete their work, one they could conceivably follow throughout their academic and professional career.
Each subheading contains, on average, not more than a page of content allowing instructors the ability to easily limit reading assignments from the book to concise, focused sections.
The book is very process-based, and follows the workflow necessary to write a successful academic researched assignment.
The limit of this strategy might be students being overwhelmed with so much discussion of process they'd be paralyzed to inaction.
An instructor, then, would have to be direct in assigning reading materials relevant to a student's immediate research goal.
I like how the text follows the path a student would follow: from narrowing a research question, selecting and reviewing research materials, then choosing how to implement them ethically in writing.
It also details how to process research considerations students may not consider including how to archive research results, to respect copyright law when publishing blog posts or submitting student work to an online repository.
The text contains many online activities, sample research artifacts, and instructional handouts. Some require on Ohio State student authentication. The text is still useful without access to these materials, though an instructor would have to alert students to this issue.
Text was proofread well.
Didn't see any culturally insensitive content.
Reviewed by Jonathan Grunert, Assistant Professor of Library Services: Information Literacy Coordinator, Colorado State University - Pueblo on 2/1/18
This textbook covers the concepts found in the ACRL frameworks in a way that is meaningful and accessible to academic researchers at all levels. It adequately provides a discussion of the complete research process, with clear signposts as to which... read more
This textbook covers the concepts found in the ACRL frameworks in a way that is meaningful and accessible to academic researchers at all levels. It adequately provides a discussion of the complete research process, with clear signposts as to which steps writers might need to revisit to improve their work.
The content appears to be accurate to 2016, with some acknowledgement that finding sources is an activity that has seen many changes in the past few decades, and will likely seem more, and rapidly.
Information discovery and retrieval is a rapidly changing process in a changing field. But much of the content in this textbook—as far as general advice and instruction for finding resources and the ways to use them—remains relevant. As information processes change and as information uses change, I have no doubt that librarians will be at the forefront of maintaining the relevance of a textbook like this one through various edition changes.
This textbook is clear, and accessible to researchers at all levels. Jargon, where present, is well-explained, and the contexts for the various components of the textbook are provided.
The text and frameworks in this book are consistent with ACRL frameworks as well as with the ways librarians tend to talk about finding and using sources. Furthermore, the book consistently uses the same terminologies to clearly explain sometimes difficult practices.
I would be very comfortable using any chapter of this book to teach a component of the academic research process. The chapters are discrete, with well-defined boundaries. The modularity of this textbook helps reinforce the overarching idea in this book: the iterative research process. Students might read the chapters in virtually any order, and come away with a valuable understanding of the research process.
This textbook presents the research process in the way that many students and faculty think about the process—from the perspective of the end goal, and through the organizational structure of an academic paper. But, it also indicates throughout the process places when the researcher needs to revisit an earlier step, to modify the project, or to make the end product more meaningful.
No issues in the interface; nothing distracting from the content.
Some minor punctuation errors, but no grammatical errors that distract from the content.
This textbook comes from an American perspective for ways of searching for, retrieving, and using information, as well as the traditionally American ways of constructing arguments. Though there is not discussion of other cultural ways of arguing academically, this textbook does not dismiss or otherwise denigrate other cultures; nor is it insensitive in any way.
Many examples are university-specific to the libraries at Ohio State University, as should be expected from a textbook such as this. As such, this book will be most helpful to students using the book at OSU. However, instructors using this book need to be aware of this focus, and must prepare to supplement with materials accessible by researchers outside OSU.
Reviewed by Susan Nunamaker, Lecturer, Clemson University on 2/1/18
This textbook is comprehensive. It goes in-depth covering the topics of research questions (specifically how to narrow down topics), types of sources, sources and information needs, precision searching, search tools, evaluating sources, ethical... read more
This textbook is comprehensive. It goes in-depth covering the topics of research questions (specifically how to narrow down topics), types of sources, sources and information needs, precision searching, search tools, evaluating sources, ethical use of sources, how to cite sources, making an argument, writing tips, copyright basics, fair use, and roles of resource sources. The textbook hits all of the topics that I plan to cover in my upcoming classroom-based research course with the exception of techniques for completing and writing a literature review. The textbook touches on the topic through a section on "background reading", but does not go in-depth. Otherwise, the textbook covers every aspect of academic research.
I found no errors or bias issues in my initial first read of the textbook.
The information and techniques provided within this textbook are up-to-date and relevant for academic research. I reviewed several textbooks before choosing this one for my upcoming masters-level classroom-based research course. I chose this book because of its relevance in regard to the practical skills needed in order to complete research assignments within the course, as well as, writing a capstone research paper.
This textbook is clear and exceptionally readable. It is organized by research skills in an order that makes sense to the reader. For example, the book begins with a chapter on choosing one's research question. Verbiage is clear and concise for all levels of academia to be able to effectively utilize this text.
This textbook is consistent in terms of terminology and framework. Each chapter of the textbook builds on the last. The reader is not necessarily expected to have prior knowledge of research before reading chapter one, but should easily be able to have a good frame of reference for academic research by the end of the textbook due to its high-quality framework for scaffolding knowledge with each chapter.
This textbook does a great job of sectioning academic research into small bites for the reader. It was easy for me to create modules from the textbook's chapters, spreading the information within the text over an 8-week course. The modularity of this textbook was a selling point for utilizing the textbook with students.
This is a well-organized textbook. Each chapter builds on prior chapters. Chapters are organized in a logical manner. The first chapter begins with the purpose of research questions and builds content to assist the reader in narrowing down options for research questions. The textbook progresses to assist the reader in building skills as an academic researcher throughout the textbook.
No interface issues were discovered during my initial exposure to the online format. I printed the PDF (because I still love paper) and all display features printed properly. The online navigation is easy to use and pleasing to the eye, as well.
No grammar issues were detected during my initial review of the textbook.
This text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in my opinion.
This is an excellent textbook if you are looking to utilize it to introduce students to the academic research and writing process. Its layout and design and conducive to module-based instruction, and the content is well thought out and beneficial.
Reviewed by Diane Kauppi, Library Faculty, Technical Services & Systems, Ruth A Myers Library at Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College on 2/1/18
The text did a great job of covering the subject and the table of contents were laid out well. The content was well thought out. read more
The text did a great job of covering the subject and the table of contents were laid out well. The content was well thought out.
I found the accuracy to be good. The content is a good representation of what a student needs to know in order better understanding library research.
The content itself is good & should stand the test of time for the near future. The only exception is that even though it's only one year from the publishing date (2016) many of the links are broken. And I would have preferred a OER text that was geared more generally for application to any institution vs. the inclusion of OSU specific references, links, resources.
For a text written to a 4-year university/college audience the text was good. For a 2-year community college audience some of the terminology would need to be defined.
I found the consistency to be good. It followed through each section with including tips, activities, etc.
I think the modularity was good. And the text could easily be broken down into smaller sections to be used as units by themselves or refresher units. The only issue would be where there are links within a module that link to other modules. Add to this that these links didn't work-- I rec'd errors each time I tried a module link.
The overall organization and flow as great. As stated on p 6 ("... as though you are conducting a research project while reading them [the sections]...") this made my logical side happy.
I like the links to activities for students to practice the skills being taught. The problem though was that many of the links no longer work. Additionally, many of the links are to areas not available to users who are not affiliated with OSU. And as mentioned in another review section, module links to other modules didn't work either.
I found the grammar to be quite good with only a few exceptions or where it was clunky at times.
I thought the text was neutral in this area. Nothing that blatantly jumped out at me.
I appreciated the link to application of research to other areas of our lives outside of academic research. I try to get this point across to students, especially when they are hesitant and resistant to library research. I found the "tips" & "summaries" to be a nice added 'pop' & easy for referring back to later. I liked the bold letters/words for emphasis. And the suggestion to "brush up" on p 31 was a nice touch vs outwardly assuming they don't know. The downloadable templates are a great resource for students. Overall, I found the text to be a good resource.
Reviewed by Kristine Roshau, Instructional Technology Specialist and PT Faculty Librarian, Central Oregon Community College on 8/15/17
This text is extensive! Like the title suggests, it truly is a full guide to academic research, from developing a topic, finding sources, and using them appropriately. It also follows the logical order of the search process, from identifying an... read more
This text is extensive! Like the title suggests, it truly is a full guide to academic research, from developing a topic, finding sources, and using them appropriately. It also follows the logical order of the search process, from identifying an information need, evaluating source quality (and purpose), and how to perform complex searches. It also highlights several common areas where academic research can be performed, from the college library catalog to specialized databases and how to find academic sources on the free web.
The book also covers what to do once sources have been found, including the importance of properly citing sources, ethical use of source material, and how to cite unusual or non-standard source material. It then moves into addressing the writing process: developing an argument and idea, writing tips, and a large section on copyright, fair use, creative commons, and public domain.
The table of contents is very granular, which is helpful. The sections vary in length, but given the overall size of the book (190 pages) having a very specific TOC is useful when returning to the text as a reference source.
I did not find any objectionable or questionable content. The authors have done a good job of selecting examples for each section (often with associated online activities or examples linked out to the web) that are varied and unbiased, but also represent realistic examples of what students might be encountering during their research process. I was really pleased when looking through the section on citing sources - styles can change, but the book is written in such a way as to be comprehensive about the purpose of citing sources, and links out to many helpful web sources, citation tools, etc so the information will remain accurate in the textbook even if the style guides themselves are updated in the future.
The section on copyright is similarly done.
See previous note - it is clear the authors have taken care to include examples that will remain relevant, not evaporate into popular culture, and provide flexibility where the content may be updated or changes (such as copyright law and citation style guides). They do provide a LOT of external links and activities, not all produced by Ohio State. So it's possible that some of their links may break in the future. It does appear that they have made an effort to either link to open sources they control, or which are unlike to change significantly (ie: government websites).
If I were using this text, I would probably modify some of the resource sections (eg: databases) to reflect those that the students at my institution have access to, though the writers do make a point of identifying OSU access-only resources where applicable. I would also update the copyright/plagiarism section to include our college's student handbook blurbs, etc.
The tone is extremely approachable in all of the areas I checked. This is extremely important in academic research where there are a lot of areas of possible legal entanglement, and the authors have done a credible job of breaking down complex concepts into approachable prose and examples.
The textbook is consistent in both writing and structure; however, I do with the table of contents was split into sections in the same way the content is. Page numbers are given though, so that's not really a big deal. There were one or two places where I saw formatting errors, but nothing overly distracting - it did not adversely effect the content.
It is visually appealing and for the most part, easy to navigate. No huge blocks of text, and it also intersperses activities, tips, and examples. The text is also organized in such a way that it can be used as a reference, without needing to be read from start to finish in order to make sense, which is helpful for the researcher who may need to pop in for just pieces of the work.
However, there is a strong presence of external sources (often OSU library webpages) and activities that are linked out of the text. The writing itself is certainly standalone, but the book would lose a lot of its character if it were printed and not viewed digitally. I would have liked a References or bibliographic section that listed some of these resources, but there wasn't one, meaning the user would not be able to search for the resource if the linked text didn't work.
I can see the potential for too many asides for activities to be distracting, but they are generally held to the end of their relevant sections, so it wasn't too overwhelming. The organization follows a logical research process, walking the reader through from beginning to end.
As mentioned before, there are a few places where it looks like images have distorted the intended formatting, pushing items to empty pages, etc. But these instances are rare. A few of the images could be higher resolution, but they were certainly legible (and I was viewing this text at 125% zoom on a larger screen, so my experience is probably not representative of every reader).
It is long though, and I would have loved to be able to jump to sections through anchor bookmarks in the content page - that would be a nice touch.
I also found a few broken links, which is not totally surprising, given the volume of them in this book.
None noticed in this review.
No objectionable content found - the authors have chosen inclusive examples wherever possible, while remaining realistic about subjects students might be researching.
Not all of the links to activities are self-describing (there are no plain URLs, but many of the activity links contain the same 'Open Activity in Web Browser' text, which would be confusing if a user was navigating with a screen reader.
Reviewed by Deborah Finkelstein, Adjunct Professor, George Mason University on 6/20/17
The book is very comprehensive. The authors consistently explain concepts well and provide easy-to-understand examples that are approachable for the undergraduate audience. For example, the authors don’t just say, “narrow down your source,” they... read more
The book is very comprehensive. The authors consistently explain concepts well and provide easy-to-understand examples that are approachable for the undergraduate audience. For example, the authors don’t just say, “narrow down your source,” they go through steps to narrow it down, walking students through the process. (p 9) Very thorough. They also spend a page and a half giving examples of “Regular Question” vs. “Research Question.” (p 13-14) This ensures that students will understand the difference. They also do well with explaining fact vs. option, objective vs. subjective, primary vs. secondary vs. tertiary sources, popular vs. professional vs. scholarly magazines, when to quote vs. paraphrase vs. summarize, and other concepts that are critical to performing research.
The book does not have an index. The table of contents is quite thorough and very useful in understanding the breakdown of the book or locating certain topics.
The book is error-free.
There are many digital examples in the text. As long as authors make updates as technology inevitably changes in the future, the book should remain relevant.
The book has a conversational tone that is connective, trustworthy, and approachable for the undergraduate audience. This makes it easy to read and easy to understand.
The book is very consistent with tone, and terminology.
In the introduction, the book encourages students to “jump around a bit in this guide to meet your needs.” (p 5). The book stays true to this idea. Students could read the book straight through, but it is well-designed for “jumping around.” The sections stand alone, and instructors could easily assign sections in the book out of order. This book could be used as the only textbook in a classroom, or an instructor could use these modules to supplement an existing textbook. Topics are easily found in the book thanks to an excellent table of contents, a clear organizational structure, and a great use of headers.
The book is well-organized and follows a logical structure. Individual topics are also well-organized. The authors break processes into step-by-step, making is easy for students to learn.
Great use of visual aids. For example, there is a chart on how to narrow down research topic (p 9), and a chart on the roles of resources in research (p 179). These items are great for visual learners, and they make the text come alive while emphasizing important concepts.
The book shares links to outside sources. This provides students that would like more information that is beyond the book with resources. It additionally provides students links to activities, such as one that asks them if a source is primary, secondary, or tertiary (p 34). On occasion, it links to outside companies, such as citation management software, news outlets, and social media, making the book a resource. In this way, the book utilizes the medium of a digital book.
The book is free of grammatical errors.
The book is culturally sensitive. The book is designed for Ohio University students. Examples given occasionally apply to Ohio, such as when the authors are providing examples of newspapers, they list two out of six that are from Ohio, including the campus newspaper (p 43) There is also a link to the OSU Libraries’ newspaper database (p 44), and when talking about citation management software, they mention the three that are available at OSU. It’s not a large enough issue that one should not use the book; it’s still easy to understand, but it is a limitation and worth mentioning to students.
I teach a 300-level English class on performing research and writing research papers. I plan to utilize this book next semester due to the excellent organization of modules, the approachable tone, and the great explanations and examples.
Reviewed by Constance Chemay, Head of Public Services, Library Services; Asst. Professor, User Instruction, River Parishes Community College, Gonzales, LA on 6/20/17
The book does an excellent job covering the subject, and even goes beyond what its title suggests, with chapters on writing and formulating an argument. The chapters on copyright and fair use are exceptional. However, it lacks both a glossary and... read more
The book does an excellent job covering the subject, and even goes beyond what its title suggests, with chapters on writing and formulating an argument. The chapters on copyright and fair use are exceptional. However, it lacks both a glossary and an index. Some terms are defined in their appropriate chapters, but not all. Some students, particularly first-year or those who may be enrolled in developmental courses, would benefit greatly from a glossary. The activities, while appropriate for their contexts, are mixed in their effectiveness; some provide good feedback with clarification, but most offer little more than a smiley face for a correct answer or an “x” for a wrong answer with no other feedback.
For the most part, this book is accurate and unbiased, but one area where I noticed discrepancies is the chapter on citing sources. MLA released its 8th edition in April 2016, yet the examples provided are 7th edition. I also noticed errors in the example for APA; only the first word, proper nouns, and those following major punctuation marks are to be capitalized in article titles following APA formating guidelines. Regarding bias, the book is unbiased; however, I disagree with the discussion of news sources regarding mainstream versus non-mainstream (or mainline as used in the text); main-stream media includes "traditional" sources, e.g., television, newspapers, and radio, as opposed to online sources, especially social media. The authors’ inclusion of Fox News, a right-leaning national television news network, a contemporary of CBS, NBC, and ABC, as non-mainline rather than mainline shows bias, in my opinion. It’s difficult to find news from any news source, mainstream or not, right, left or center, that doesn’t have some bias or opinions in its reporting.
This textbook itself is written so that it will be relevant for a long time. However, there are some exceptions. The discussion of citation styles uses examples for MLA that reflect the 7th edition rather than the 8th, which was released in April 2016. The book covers this discrepancy somewhat with its tip regarding choosing a citation style, with its remarks that styles do change and its recommendation to check with one’s instructors. Another issue is the potential for link rot regarding external websites; in fact there are a few dead links in the text and activities already. A couple of online resources mentioned and linked to, IPL2 and the Statistical Abstracts of the US, have been retired for at least a couple of years, which makes me wonder about when the book was actually last reviewed edited.
The book is well-written, easy to read, conversational. Most technical language is defined and used appropriately.
This book is consistent in terms of its terminology and framework.
This book is extremely modular in its organization at the chapter level and within the chapters. It can be easily reordered to meet specific course or instructor needs. It does refer to other sections of the text, but these references are appropriate, emphasizing more in-depth information elsewhere in the book. Sections that are unique to OSU can be replaced/revised to make the text relevant to other institutions as needed.
It is well organized and reflects the processes and stages of research. While the research process is not linear, the topics are presented in a logical manner that guides students through the process. I did note that a couple of sections in chapter 7, on ethical use of sources don’t really seem to fit there, however. The paragraphs on page 118 discussing a lack of understanding of the materials and lack of time might fit better in other chapters.
While the online version works well, the PDF format has issues. Some of the in-text navigation links work (the TOC links) while others found throughout the text don’t, often giving an “error: unknown export format” message. There are also a few dead links in both the online and PDF formats, as well as in some of the online activities. Some links direct users to OSU Libraries’ resources, either their catalog or their licensed databases, but not all such links are clearly identified as such.
Grammatical Errors rating: 3
For the most part, this text is well-written, grammatically; however, it does have a few grammatical/typographical errors, possibly more than one might expect from a text of this length, and assuming that the author is most likely a committee rather than an individual, more eyes reviewing the text should catch such errors. There are also instances of tense inconsistencies, shifting from present to past in the same sentence. Two paragraphs on page 47, under “Finding Data in Articles . . .,” repeat the same four sentences verbatim in different order. This occurs again on page 88. While these are not grammatical errors, they are certainly editorial errors. Most of the online activities have typos, as well, more so than the textbook.
This textbook is not culturally insensitive or offensive.
I do like this book. I think it puts the topic in terms that students can readily use and understand. I'd even recommend the chapters on copyright and fair use to faculty! I do think that it could benefit from the inclusion of a glossary and an index, as well as regular and frequent review, especially in regards to the linked resources. The PDF version definitely needs revisions since it seems that most of the in-text referral links throughout the text don’t work. Since it is tailored to OSU’s library resources, any instruction librarian using the book can substitute content relevant to his/her institution; non-library faculty using the text can consult their own librarians for help with this.
Reviewed by Dawn Kennedy, Ed.S, Health Education, Anoka-Ramsey Community College on 4/11/17
Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research serves as an excellent guide for teaching the research process. It takes the learner through the process of academic research and writing in an easy to understand manner. As an educator... read more
Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research serves as an excellent guide for teaching the research process. It takes the learner through the process of academic research and writing in an easy to understand manner. As an educator in a community college setting, I am working with students who are new to the research process. This text will be useful when working with students to start developing the appropriate process of research writing. The text has neither a back-of-the-book index nor a glossary. It is beneficial that key terms are defined throughout the chapters.
The information presented in the text is accurate at this point in time and unbiased. One concern is that some of The information presented in the text is accurate at this point in time and unbiased. One concern is that some of the links do not work.
Content is up-to-date at this point in time. Most examples and exercises are arranged separately from the main text and can be updated as needed. Some of the content links to the Ohio State University Libraries databases which may not be assessable to students outside that institution.
This text is clearly written, well-illustrated, and user-friendly for the undergraduate audience. It avoids technical jargon and provides definitions where appropriate.
Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research is consistent in terms of terminology and framework.
Regarding the book’s modularity, users of this text can be selective in chapter choice. In this sense the text is useful to instructors and students who wish to focus on a single component and /or use the text as a reference. For a better understanding of the research process in its entirety, reading the text in the order written may prove to be more beneficial.
The text's organization mirrors the research process in a logical, clear manner. Chapters 1-8 lead the reader through the basics of research literacy and research skills; chapters nine and ten explain the process for making an argument and writing tips; Subsequent chapters zero in on copyright and Fair Use information. Key concepts and points are supported with highlights, examples and colorful illustrations.
The text displays generous use of visuals which are clear and free of distortion. The activities provided support the concepts and skills being addressed and are easy to navigate. One concern is the activities which are linked to Ohio State University may not provide access to all, resulting in limited access of information and frustration for the reader.
• The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.
This is a text does an excellent job of explaining the research process in a logical manner. The text uses examples, illustrations, and skill practice to support the learning process. I recommend this text for use in it's entirely for teaching and learning the research process and as a resource for the rest of us.
Reviewed by Scott Miller, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Rogue Community College on 4/11/17
The book is very comprehensive and even goes beyond what might be expected in this kind of textbook. Along with choosing and using sources, the authors include a section on making an argument. Topics are dealt with appropriately and the text... read more
The book is very comprehensive and even goes beyond what might be expected in this kind of textbook. Along with choosing and using sources, the authors include a section on making an argument. Topics are dealt with appropriately and the text employs tests and activities along the way. I found some of the activities were not particularly well designed and sometimes answers to questions were based on assumptions by the authors as to context that in real life may or may not be appropriate. For instance, they claim that the periodical/journal title "Coral Reefs" is a scholarly journal, but judging by the title alone in a real life exercise there is no way to know whether it is scholarly or popular in nature.
There could have been more discussion about context and how it defines whether a sources is primary, secondary or tertiary. '
What the this textbook does not have is any kind of index or glossary, which I found disappointing.
I did not find any instances of inaccuracies in the text. I did find, however, some assumptions in the text that were not always warranted. I took issue with the assumption that mainline news sources are objective (p. 42). It is very clear that news articles are often biased. I think telling students that mainline news sources are objective effectively disarms instead of promotes critical thinking by students doing research.
On page 126 there is a discussion about using quotations where the authors say that all quotes are to be put within quotation marks. This is not true of block quotes in MLA or APA style and they omit any mention of it.
This textbook should retain its relevancy for several years, but it will lose its effectiveness very soon, since many of the dozens and dozens of links in the text will surely break before long. In the short term the links are a great feature, but they do severely limit the longevity of the book. I also found them annoyingly pervasive.
It should also be noted that the MLA citation example on page 122 uses the outdated MLA 7th edition guidelines.
Overall, I thought the book was very clearly written and easy to follow. The one section I struggled reading was the section on sources and information need. It seemed to want much more editing and was often wordy and almost obscure.
I did not notice any lack of consistency in terminology or framework.
This is one the book's strengths. It was clearly organized into topics and subtopics which sometimes could be addressed in an order chosen by an instructor. There were, however, occasional self-references to earlier sections or previously used external sources.
Moving from the simpler aspects of choosing and evaluating sources to the more complex uses of them and how arguments are constructed made good sense.
Interface rating: 2
I found the interface to have significant problems. At least a dozen links would not work from the PDF text when opened in Firefox. I often got the message, "error: unknown export format." The links seemed to work when viewing the text online, however.
The textbook's usefulness outside of Ohio State is severely limited by the frequent use of sources only available through OSU student logins. The textbook was written for OSU students, but it really fails as a textbook for any other institution unless it is significantly modified.
I found a few missing punctuation marks, and only two missing or wrong words in sentences. For a textbook this long, that's very good.
The textbook used interesting and non-offensive examples.
While it's a good textbook for choosing and using information sources it suffers from being too specifically written for OSU students, as well as including an overabundance of links that will reduce its longevity. Not including any kind of index or glossary is also a drawback.
Reviewed by Vanessa Ruccolo, Advanced Instructor of English, Virginia Tech on 2/8/17
Ch. 1 has a great overview of regular versus research questions and the difference between qualitative and quantitative research. Ch. 2 covers primary, secondary, and tertiary sources as well as popular, professional, and scholarly. Ch. 3... read more
Ch. 1 has a great overview of regular versus research questions and the difference between qualitative and quantitative research. Ch. 2 covers primary, secondary, and tertiary sources as well as popular, professional, and scholarly. Ch. 3 includes a source plan (i.e. what do you need the sources for and what is your plan). Ch. 4 gives tips and hints for searching on a library database. Ch. 5 gives different search options, like the library or Google Scholar. Ch. 6 is all about evaluating the sources you find, including clues about sussing out bias and thoroughness, as well as discussing currency of topic. Ch. 7 discusses why you should cite sources. Ch. 8 discusses ways to cite sources. Ch. 9 is looking at argument as dialog and what is necessary in that exchange and a recommended order of components. Ch. 10 covers quoting, paraphrasing,and summarizing and signal phrases. Ch. 11, 12 are copyright and fair use. Ch. 13 covers the roles or research.
I will use Ch. 1 and 2 in my classes, as I think the breakdown of research is useful and clear. Ch. 3 also has useful imbedded tools that will help students plan; Ch. 4 and 5 might be used as references post-library visit. I will also use Ch. 6 and Ch. 10.
I think the information provided for distinguishing scholarly, popular, and professional is helpful and I hope the resources help students understand good, reliable sources a bit better. The same is true for searching for sources, and I think the sections on search engines and evaluation of sources are going to be quite useful.
While the information on copyright, fair use, and why and ways to cite sources is fine, I won't be using these for my English classes as I find them not as helpful or relevant.
I think the book is quite accurate in terms of information provided. They use sources that both I and my students use, so clearly the book is addressing real needs in the classroom. It also makes suggestions that reinforce the concepts our librarians share with the students and instructors, so I find this to be extremely helpful.
The book suggests Purdue OWL, a source I also use; however, I realized this year that OWL was behind in updating some of the MLA citation changes. So that's something maybe for the book authors to note or address when recommending websites.
With that said, I think the book covers key specifics like university library websites, Google Scholar, and search engines, in broad enough terms to keep it relevant. Also, the graphics are simple and not dated, and there is one drawing of the "outernet" that shows what social media, Youtube, etc. would look like in the "real, outer" world. This drawing is the only thing I saw that might be dated soon, but its point is still solid.
Very easy to read, clear terminology and explanation of terms, and lists are also provided to help break up each page's prose, which means the information is presented in a visually clear form as well.
I think the consistency of terminology as well as the scaffolding makes sense on the whole. I didn't seem places where the language changed or seemed to have several writers or definitions.
Perhaps one of the best parts of this book is how each chapter is contained, succinct, includes an activity, but still builds on and with the other chapters. Each chapter is stand-alone and clear and easy to read online, or if you chose to print it. The creators clearly had the online reader in mind, however, and the chapter lengths and fonts are comfortable.
Overall, I like the organization, specifically for chapters 10-6. I would change the order of the final chapters so that Ch. 9 and 10 come before Ch. 7, 8, 11, 12. I would also move Ch. 13 "The Roles of Research" to earlier in the book, perhaps around Ch. 3 or Ch. 6. If I use these materials, I will reorder some of the chapters for my class so that the scaffolding and explanations work a bit more side by side.
Again, comfortable, easy-to-read pages, simple graphics and the charts used are helpful and appropriate. I especially appreciated that the authors didn't use images that showed people or figures that could both date the book and also make students feel talked down to - I hate images like this and refuse to use textbooks that incorporate them, so kudos!
Additional resources are easy to access.
I wish the email option (for sending yourself a page) pulled up a screen in which I could type the email I wanted it sent to. Instead, it pulls up Messenger, which I don't use.
The Table of Contents didn't let me jump to the chapter when I pulled down the menu. Was that just my computer/browser?
Now, I didn't read through as though I was grading (it is winter break, after all!) but nothing jumped off the page. If something had, if there had been a mistake, I would still use the text; if there had been several, I would have considered abandoning it for class. However, the information is still so good I i might have told my students to find the grammar mistakes as part of an assignment just so that I could use the research parts still; however, I didn't not see any.
No, nothing. Perhaps if the authors include more examples for citations they could pull from culturally different sources then, but the material here was so broad in terms of textual sources it was in no way exclusive.
I will be using parts of this book in my English classes. Well done to the authors - a helpful, free supplement.
Reviewed by Dale Jenkins, Advanced Instructor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech) on 2/8/17
Having taught freshmen how to write college research papers for the past 18 years, I gave the text high marks on addressing all of the key elements college students need to engage in academic research. read more
Having taught freshmen how to write college research papers for the past 18 years, I gave the text high marks on addressing all of the key elements college students need to engage in academic research.
The text implements content from a host of sources which is extremely useful, but the grammar needs a few tweaks.
This represents a strong aspect of the text. The writers did a good job of winnowing out unnecessary components of the research process, although my freshmen would not delve into the Fair Use and Copyright chapters.
The book gets outstanding marks on clarity. Students will find this to be a definite strength of the text.
The authors did a good job with consistency. I kept my students in mind as I evaluated this aspect of the text.
Students would find this book extremely accessible in terms of modularity. I don't see them being overwhelmed by the text or high-brow jargon.
I noted a logical progression to all thirteen of the chapters. Students in upper-level classes would find the chapters on Fair Use and Copyright more significant in their academic studies.
The hyperlinks and the interactive elements of the book will be extremely appealing to students as well as being substantive.
The book still needs some work in this regard. Pronouns don't always agree with the antecedents, and I noted several shifts in voice in the text.
The text doesn't have any instances of cultural insensitivity, and I pay close attention to this aspect of textbooks when I peruse them for potential use in my courses.
The hyperlinks, using different types of media, and the chapters on "Why Precision Searching?" and the discussion of plagiarism proved to be well-crafted and accessible for students. I also commend the authors for the lack of jargon that would leave students in its wake.
Reviewed by Jarrod Dunham, Instructor - English Composition, Portland Community College on 2/8/17
A very comprehensive guide to the writing of the research paper. I've taught research writing for several years, and this book covers all the material I'd typically cover in a class. Previously I've not used a textbook in that class, but I'm... read more
A very comprehensive guide to the writing of the research paper. I've taught research writing for several years, and this book covers all the material I'd typically cover in a class. Previously I've not used a textbook in that class, but I'm teaching an online section this term and find that the book offers a very effective substitute for the lectured and activities I'd otherwise be presenting in class.
This text is accurate and up-to-date with the most recent developments and issues in the field.
This text is very much up-to-date. It shows an awareness of changing conventions in academic writing, and emphasizes the latest technological tools for researching and managing citations. It frequently links to outside resources, which could be problematic in the event those resources were removed or relocated, but in practice I never encountered such an issue.
Clarity is one of the book's strengths. It is written in clear, simple, and concise prose, resisting the kind of "academese" that is frequently employed in textbooks and gives students a false impression of what academic writing should look like. I found all of the content very easy to understand, and, although it's intended for slightly more advanced classes, accessible for Freshman writing students.
The text is highly consistent, both in terms of the terminology it employs, its organizational structure, and its systematic incorporation of tips, learning activities, and quizzes.
The book is divided into 13 chapters, each of which addresses particular aspects of research writing and can be employed on its own, or in conjunction with other related chapters. I found that assigning chapters in order was generally perfectly appropriate, although there was no issue with assigning the odd chapter out of order - links to previous or later content are provided where appropriate, so students can easily navigate to other relevant sections of the text.
This text is very nicely organized. It moves from the beginning stages of the pre-writing process - choosing a topic and identifying appropriate guiding questions - through the research to the writing of the paper itself. I found that the organizational structure of the text very closely mirrored the structure I use myself in teaching research writing. As such, adopting this text for the course (and adapting the course to the text) was a delightfully straightforward exercise.
The interface of the text is excellent. It is very easy to navigate, very attractive, and all tools work as intended. Some features are only available to those with Ohio State University log-ins, which yields a handful of frustrating moments, but in general I didn't find this to be a significant issue.
The text is error free and written in a simple, accessible, and engaging style. It's not merely an easy read, but one that effectively models clear and concise academic prose for writing students.
To the extent such issues come into play, the text is inclusive and culturally sensitive. The content of the text is mostly neutral on such issues - they simply tend not to come into play - but I was pleased to find a comprehensive chapter on the ethical use of sources, which introduces an ethical dimension to the research and writing process that many students may not anticipate or otherwise be prepared to navigate.
Overall I was quite pleased with this text. In my online section of Research Paper Writing, I have assigned nine of the thirteen chapters, and am very pleased with the breadth of content covered thereby. With one exception, I've been able to assign those chapters in the order they appear in the book, which simplified the planning process for myself, and offers a structure to the course that will be more readily apparent to my students as well. Late chapters on Copyrights Basics and Fair Use struck me as unnecessary and a little off topic, but it is of course easy to simply not assign those chapters, and since this is not a print book they have no bearing on materials costs.
For an online class like the one I am currently teaching, this is an excellent primary text. Even in a face-to-face class it could prove to be a very useful supplemental text. Normally I resist the use of supplemental texts in face-to-face classes, but since this one is free it is ideal for that purpose: instructors and students can simply rely on it to whatever extent feels useful.
Reviewed by Jennifer Lantrip, Reference Librarian, Umpqua Community College on 2/8/17
This book is an excellent source for guiding undergraduate students through the research process, from understanding the purposes for doing research and writing a research question, to composing a thesis and contributing to a scholarly... read more
This book is an excellent source for guiding undergraduate students through the research process, from understanding the purposes for doing research and writing a research question, to composing a thesis and contributing to a scholarly conversation. Students learn where and how to find relevant sources and how to evaluate and use them ethically. The main text is supplemented with links to useful resources, videos, worksheets, examples, and exercises. These are all high quality sources, making this a comprehensive resource for teaching information literacy and the research process. While no index or glossary is provided, terms are well defined within the text. Links are provided to other sections within the text where terms are further discussed.
The content is error-free, unbiased, and accurate. Ideas and concepts are in accordance with the Association of College and Research Libraries’ “Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education,” with the exception of several small sections that could easily be clarified or adapted.
The opening section of Chapter 3 states that researchers should find sources in order to meet their information needs. However, it states that one information need is “to convince your audience that your answer is correct or, at least, the most reasonable answer.” This should be clarified for students so that they understand that they should start their research with an open mind as opposed to looking for sources which support their predetermined thesis.
The section “The Sources to Meet Needs” in Chapter 3 states that convincing one’s audience is an information need and that students should find sources based upon what their audience would be convinced by. Researchers should not choose their sources based upon what would convince their audience, but rather upon what sources best answer their research question. The most relevant and highest quality sources should not be omitted from the research process because the researcher does not think that his/her audience would be convinced by them. It is part of the researcher’s job to educate and convince his/her audience why the chosen sources and the research are relevant and of high quality.
Chapter 13 mentions briefly, “Putting your sources to work for you in these roles can help you write in a more powerful, persuasive way—to, in fact, win your argument.” It is very important for researchers to make convincing arguments through using quality sources, doing quality research, and presenting the information in an understandable way. Students should understand that the goal of scholarly conversation is not to “win” arguments, but rather to contribute to the world’s shared knowledge. While one argument may hold for a time, it will most likely be refined in some way by future researchers.
The main content of each chapter is current and does not contain terms that will soon be outdated. Specific examples and exercises are arranged separately from the main chapter text and can be updated independently. Some of the content discusses and links to Ohio State University Libraries databases which are unavailable to students at other institutions. While some of this knowledge is transferable, the specific information about these databases is unique to OSU Libraries. It would be useful if this information could be generalized in the main flow of the text so that it would be applicable for students at other institutions.
This text is very readable and easy to understand. Concepts are explained clearly. Exercises and examples are provided to help students grasp each new concept. It is written in a casual tone that appears to make an effort to put its readers at ease while giving solid information about how to complete research and writing assignments successfully.
The terminology used in this book and its framework are consistent. Each chapter, chapter sections, examples, and exercises are organized in a consistent manner throughout the book, making it easy to follow. Students can refer to specific sections of the book or read it straight through. Because links are provided to sections of the book where important terms are defined or discussed further, students can easily jump to relevant sections of the book.
The book is divided into chapters and subsections which lead the reader seamlessly and logically through the research process. The book could easily be assigned to be read linearly, but it would also work well for instructors to assign specific chapters as applicable to the course content.
This book takes students through the research process in logical steps, from choosing and refining research questions, to producing and sharing what they have learned. For students who are unfamiliar with the research process, it would be most useful to read the book linearly as each chapter prepares students for future chapters.
This text is easy to navigate in both the PDF and online versions. Images are clear. There are currently no broken links. The contents in the PDF version could be made clearer by making a greater distinction between the main chapter and chapter section titles.
The text has negligible grammatical errors.
This text is not culturally insensitive or offensive.
I highly recommend this book for teaching information literacy and the research process to undergraduates.
Reviewed by Patricia Akhimie, Asst. Prof of English, Rutgers University-Newark on 2/8/17
This textbook does not include an index or glossary but is full-text searchable, returning a an easy to read and access menu of clickable search results to take readers directly to the desired information. In addition, an expandable Table of... read more
This textbook does not include an index or glossary but is full-text searchable, returning a an easy to read and access menu of clickable search results to take readers directly to the desired information. In addition, an expandable Table of Contents for the book is available as a tab so that readers can view an overview of topics and jump to other sections at any time. This textbook offers a review of research methods that is certainly comprehensive. Instructors will likely find that individual sections, rather than the whole work, are most useful in planning lessons and constructing student assignments in research based and writing intensive courses at the undergraduate level.
This textbook is accurate in its representation of research methods and of the reasoning behind these approaches. In addition, details about citation styles, and search tools, seem error-free. Treatments of the more complex aspects of research, such as constructing an argument, are unbiased and thorough.
The textbook should be useful to students and instructors for some time. It should be noted, however, that research software and citation styles are updated, though infrequently. Thus, the video walkthroughs of particular databases, for example, may be obsolete or misleading after some time.
This textbook is remarkably lucid and approachable for undergraduate readers. Discussions of complex ideas are illustrated with useful graphics that readers and instructors will find particularly helpful. The video walkthroughs are perhaps the most attractive illustrations for instructors. These guides will be appealing and easy to use for students intimidated by large databases and their idiosyncrasies.
The textbook is immanently usable. It is consistent in its tone as well as in its use of terms.
It is clear that this textbook has been designed with modularity in mind. Individual sections will be more useful than others, depending on the type and level of the class. In addition, sections can easily be assigned at different points over the course of a semester. For example, sections might be assigned at intervals that reflect the stages of the development of undergraduate student’s independent research paper. The section on formulating research questions might appear early in the semester, the section on citation styles toward the end.
The organization of the book reflects the stages of research. This means that navigating the textbook will be intuitive.
Navigating this textbook will be intuitive, the Table of Contents tab makes moving between sections very easy.
Readers will find the textbook free of simple typos and errors.
Readers will find the textbook inclusive. Some readers may find that the attempt made in the textbook to speak to research in the humanities, social sciences and sciences has meant that discussions can be vague at times but this is to be expected in a textbook on this topic aimed at a broad range of readers and researchers.
Reviewed by Heather Jerónimo, Assistant Professor, University of Northern Iowa on 2/8/17
This text is a comprehensive review of the various types of sources one might need to complete a research project or paper. The book begins with a clear explanation of how to formulate a research question, while the majority of the chapters focus... read more
This text is a comprehensive review of the various types of sources one might need to complete a research project or paper. The book begins with a clear explanation of how to formulate a research question, while the majority of the chapters focus on finding and evaluating sources. The topics in this text are well-chosen and reflect several aspects of academic writing in which beginning researchers might struggle, such as how to do a precision search, understanding biased versus unbiased sources, and how to decide between quoting or paraphrasing. This book is written at a level that undergraduates should easily be able to comprehend, while the content of the chapters gets increasingly detailed and complex throughout the book. There is no index or glossary at the back of the book, but there is a very complete table of contents at the beginning of the text. Readers might find it useful if the chapter titles in the table of contents were in bold, as the detailed breakdown of sections—while helpful—can be overwhelming when one is looking for the main categories of the book.
The text provides helpful and unbiased examples for how to do research in many different areas. The practice activities relate quite well to the content of the chapters, although some links do not work. One of the strengths of the text is its applicability in a general sense to many different types of research.
In most chapters the information is kept very general, allowing the text to enjoy relative longevity, as the process of how to conduct academic research, cite quotes, etc., likely will not change drastically in the near future. For example, in the section on databases, different types of databases are explained, but the author does not reference many specific databases to which students may or may not have access. With an understanding of the concept, students then are equipped to find the databases that pertain to their field and that are offered by their institutions. There are several references to Ohio State throughout the text that will not be helpful to all readers, but they do not impede the reader’s comprehension of the text.
It is a very readable text, written at a level that makes it easily accessible to undergraduate students. The author has avoided jargon that would be confusing to the readers.
Even though the book gives examples of various types of research and sources, it maintains a high level of consistency throughout.
The chapters are clearly divided in a way that allows the reader the option to skip between chapters or to read the chapters in succession. This text could be put to a variety of uses within the classroom. As an instructor, one could use it as a primary text for a Research Methods or Composition class. One could also suggest that students read only certain sections in a class that was not primarily focused on the writing of research papers but that had a research component. This text is a valuable how-to manual that students can reference throughout their academic journey.
The text has a logical organization and flow. The book transitions from more basic information at the beginning to more specialized knowledge in later chapters, allowing students to gradually become more immersed in the topic. The structure permits students to read the text from cover to cover, or to read only the information and chapters about which they are curious. The activities serve as good checkpoints to assess students’ knowledge and break up longer readings.
The interface of the text is easy to manage and does not distract from the content. The placement and accessibility of the activities provide quick and easy checks to assess whether students have understood the concepts of the chapters. The images support the text and are linked closely to the message.
There are few grammatical errors in this text.
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive. Like many textbooks, it could be more intentional in its inclusion of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds, perhaps in the examples or practice activities.
Reviewed by Dr. William Vann, Information Studies Faculty, Minneapolis Community and Technical College on 12/5/16
While there is neither a back-of-the-book index nor a compiled glossary in this outstanding textbook (key terms are defined, however, throughout the chapters), one cannot deny its comprehensiveness. In fact, this text covers so much ground it is... read more
While there is neither a back-of-the-book index nor a compiled glossary in this outstanding textbook (key terms are defined, however, throughout the chapters), one cannot deny its comprehensiveness. In fact, this text covers so much ground it is unlikely to be used in its entirety for any single college course. Information literacy and research skills courses will find the first eight chapters to be a robust introduction to their subject matter, replete with interactive activities and auto-graded assessments. Composition courses engaged in research-based writing will likely work through the first eight chapters selectively, but then dwell on chapters nine and ten on argument formation and writing. Such courses may also benefit from the excellent chapter thirteen on Joseph Bizup's BEAM method of deploying research sources in scholarly communication. Chapters eleven and twelve on copyright and fair use, respectively, are likely to be used only by advanced undergraduates, faculty, and professional librarians, but they do serve as a handy reference nonetheless.
All of the chapters of this textbook contain authoritative and accurate information, in line with national information literacy standards and sound pedagogical methods for composition and critical thinking. The only section of the text I took issue with was the "Fact or Opinion" part of the second chapter, where the authors try to distinguish between fact, opinion, subjective information, and objective information. The authors' attempt results in claims like "the death penalty is wrong" being rendered as opinions, while claims like "women should stock up on calcium to ensure strong bones" are judged to be subjective information. Facts and objective information are superior, on this way of thinking, because they are the result of research studies, particularly empirical, quantitative ones.
I suspect that this way of drawing the distinction would do little to challenge the naive relativism most undergraduates bring to the classroom. (How many of us, when analyzing a text with beginning undergraduates, have had to entertain the question "Isn't that just the author's opinion though?") A better approach would be to talk about claims that are empirically justified (facts), claims that are justified, but not empirically (value judgments - "x is wrong", prescriptive claims - "women should do x"), and claims that are not adequately justified by any means (opinions). In this way, answering a research question like "Is the death penalty unjust?" is not merely an exercise in subjective opinion-making, but rather an exploration of reasoned argumentation, only some of which may be empirical or based on research studies.
The text is current and will likely be so for some time. Examples, activities, and tips are marked off from the main chapter prose, so will be easy to refresh when necessary.
There is no lack of technical terms in the world of information studies, but this textbook does a fine job of providing definitions where appropriate in each chapter. Concepts and methods are explained in context, and illustrative, easy-to-follow examples adorn each chapter.
The only area of the text that falls a little short on clarity is the interactive activities. These are usually multiple choice or matching questions, but some of the word choice in questions left this reader confused, and in some cases the instructions could have been more explicit.
Being authored by committee, we might expect this textbook to suffer in the consistency category. Yet it does not, thanks again to the fine editing job by Cheryl Lowry. Perhaps the book's provenance as a series of online tutorials put together by librarians and faculty at OSU is partly responsible for this.
As the authors suggest on the first page, the research process isn't always linear. So reading a text modeled on the research process oughtn't to be a straightforward chapter-by-chapter march either. Consequently, faculty and students can comfortably read this text selectively and skip chapters as needed. For the most holistic understanding of the research process, however, it would be sensible to work through at least chapters one through eight in their entirety.
I appreciate how the text's organization mirrors the research process itself. The first chapter takes on research questions, exactly where student researchers need to begin their projects. Subsequent chapters explore types of information sources, how to find and evaluate them, and finally how to deploy them in a well-argued scholarly product. The writing in each chapter is clear and crisp, with important concepts amplified by colorful visualizations.
As mentioned above, the chapters on copyright and fair use which occur near the end of the book feel like a logical interruption to the book's flow, and they might well fit more comfortably as appendices for occasional reference by advanced undergraduates, faculty, and librarians.
The "look and feel" of this textbook is clean and very intuitive to navigate through. The design strikes a pleasing balance between prose, graphics, and special formatting features like the explanatory, grey-background "TIPS" found in each chapter. Subheadings, bulleted and ordered lists, and judicious font choices make the text easy to read in all its online file formats.
One weakness of the interface is that several of the linked activities point to OSU Libraries' resources, thus requiring OSU authentication to be accessed. While it is understandable that the authors wanted to include their libraries' proprietary information sources in the activities - these are the sources their students and faculty will be using in actual practice, after all - this obviously makes this text less of an "open" textbook. Those outside of the OSU community who would like to adopt this textbook will therefore have to come up with their own replacement activities in such cases, or do without.
A few of the links in the text did lead me to a curious OSU server error message: "Error: Unknown export format", but I expect these links will be repaired as they are reported to the authors.
This textbook has clearly been edited with careful eyes by Cheryl Lowry, as grammatical errors are few to none. The grammatical hygiene of the text can probably also be attributed to its collective authorship - over a dozen librarians and faculty of the Ohio State University Libraries developed the content, which was born out of a series of online tutorials.
This textbook is culturally relevant in its use of examples and depictions of college students.
This text is a substantial contribution to the open textbook movement, and its quality easily meets or exceeds anything comparable in the commercial publishing arena. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Kelly McKenna, Assistant Professor, Colorado State University on 12/5/16
The book provides a thorough introduction and how to regarding sources in academic writing. With the exception of the first chapter on writing research questions, the rest of the book is focused on sources, which is relevant for any type of... read more
The book provides a thorough introduction and how to regarding sources in academic writing. With the exception of the first chapter on writing research questions, the rest of the book is focused on sources, which is relevant for any type of academic writing not just research papers. The information is relevant across disciplines and readable to a wide audience. It is clearly written for and geared towards undergraduate students, particularly from Ohio State University. The index is detailed making it easy to locate specific information and includes hyperlinks for clear navigation. A slightly altered index format would make the chapter topics more readily available and accessed. All subjects and chapters are aligned rather than clearly indicating each of the chapters found within the text.
Content throughout the book is accurate and clearly written. There does not appear to bias in reading the material. The book includes numerous resources linked throughout the text, however some are no longer active resulting in error messages.
Due to the significant number of links throughout the book, it is likely updates will be necessary on a consistent basis. These links are extremely beneficial, so ensuring they are accurate and up to date is essential to the content of this book. Much of the book reads as a "how to" regarding sources, so although practices for scholarly writing will likely not become obsolete the sources and technology used to locate the sources will evolve.
The informal tone of the text is engaging and applicable for the intended audience. The writers are aware of their audience, avoiding technical jargon. Also, throughout the book they provide numerous examples, resources, activities, and tips to provide insight and relevancy to students.
The structure of the book is clear and well organized with each chapter providing scaffolding for the next. Although the text is internally consistent regarding terminology there are formatting differences between and within some chapters. Blue boxes throughout the text contain tips, examples, answers, etc. Organization, readability, and consistency could be improved if these were constant throughout the text similar to the presentation of activities in the text.
Sections of the book could be easily assigned and read in isolation. Subsections of material are clearly marked and chapters are presented in organized fashion with clear delineation between segments. The inclusion of numerous activities, examples, resources, and tips improve modularity.
The book is created as a tool for students completing academic writing and follows this course. Topics contained in the book are presented in a clear and logical structure. As mentioned above, with exception of the first chapter, the material is relevant to all undergraduate academic writing, not just research.
The layout and display work well as a PDF or electronic book. Numerous visuals are included throughout and are free of distortion or other distracting or confusing issues. As mentioned above, the index could be improved by clearly articulating the subheadings as within a chapter.
The book contains minimal to no grammatical errors.
The book is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.
Some sections of the book are specific to Ohio State University potentially limiting its relevancy and audience in specific chapters or sections.
Table of Contents
- 1. Research Questions
- 2. Types of Sources
- 3. Sources and Information Needs
- 4. Precision Searching
- 5. Search Tools
- 6. Evaluating Sources
- 7. Ethical Use of Sources
- 8. How to Cite Sources
- 9. Making an Argument
- 10. Writing Tips
- 11. Copyright Basics
- 12. Fair Use
- 13. Roles of Research Sources
- Submit ancillary resource
About the Book
Choosing & Using Sources presents a process for academic research and writing, from formulating your research question to selecting good information and using it effectively in your research assignments. Additional chapters cover understanding types of sources, searching for information, and avoiding plagiarism. Each chapter includes self-quizzes and activities to reinforce core concepts and help you apply them. There are also appendices for quick reference on search tools, copyright basics, and fair use.
What experts are saying about Choosing & Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research :
“…a really fantastic contribution that offers a much needed broadened perspective on the process of research, and is packed to the brim with all kinds of resources and advice on how to effectively use them. The chapter on plagiarism is really excellent, and the chapter on searching for sources is utterly brilliant.”
– Chris Manion, PhD Coordinator of Writing Across the Curriculum at Ohio State University
“… an excellent resource for students, with engaging content, graphics, and examples—very compelling. The coverage of copyright is outstanding.”
– J. Craig Gibson Co-chair of ACRL's Task Force on Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education
About the Contributors
Cheryl Lowry , training and education specialist, Ohio State University Libraries.
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UW-Green Bay Libraries
Types of sources.
- Information Cycle
- Trade Publications
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- Research Help
Ask a Librarian
About this guide.
Information sources are available in a variety of formats each with their own intended audience, purpose, and publication timeline. Identifying these formats can be tricky, especially through websites and databases. This guide will introduce several common formats and provide tips for recognizing different formats when searching in Search@UW and the databases.
The sources listed above are among the most common found when researching, but there are several other types of sources you may come across.
- Example: the Library's Lateral Reading Infographic
- Example: review of Being a Beast from the New York Times
- Example: data about the United States from the World Bank
- Example: newspapers like the Green Bay Press-Gazette typically publish letters to the editor
- Example: Facebook and Twitter are popular examples
- Example: NPR interview with President Obama
- Example: video to Winona LaDuke's speech entitled Grassroots Strategies for Mitigating Climate Change
Refresher: What's a periodical?
A periodical is a newspaper, magazine (popular & trade), or journal published at regular intervals (daily, weekly, monthly, every 6 months, etc.) Here are some examples.
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- Last Updated: Sep 7, 2023 1:56 PM
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Home / Guides / Writing Guides / Paper Types / How to Write a Research Paper
How to Write a Research Paper
Research papers are a requirement for most college courses, so knowing how to write a research paper is important. These in-depth pieces of academic writing can seem pretty daunting, but there’s no need to panic. When broken down into its key components, writing your paper should be a manageable and, dare we say it, enjoyable task.
We’re going to look at the required elements of a paper in detail, and you might also find this webpage to be a useful reference .
- What is a research paper?
- How to start a research paper
- Get clear instructions
- Brainstorm ideas
- Choose a topic
- Outline your outline
- Make friends with your librarian
- Find quality sources
- Understand your topic
- A detailed outline
- Keep it factual
- Finalize your thesis statement
- Think about format
- Cite, cite and cite
- The editing process
- Final checks
What is a Research Paper?
A research paper is more than just an extra long essay or encyclopedic regurgitation of facts and figures. The aim of this task is to combine in-depth study of a particular topic with critical thinking and evaluation by the student—that’s you!
There are two main types of research paper: argumentative and analytical.
Argumentative — takes a stance on a particular topic right from the start, with the aim of persuading the reader of the validity of the argument. These are best suited to topics that are debatable or controversial.
Analytical — takes no firm stance on a topic initially. Instead it asks a question and should come to an answer through the evaluation of source material. As its name suggests, the aim is to analyze the source material and offer a fresh perspective on the results.
If you wish to further your understanding, you can learn more here .
A required word count (think thousands!) can make writing that paper seem like an insurmountable task. Don’t worry! Our step-by-step guide will help you write that killer paper with confidence.
How to Start a Research Paper
Don’t rush ahead. Taking care during the planning and preparation stage will save time and hassle later.
Get Clear Instructions
Your lecturer or professor is your biggest ally—after all, they want you to do well. Make sure you get clear guidance from them on both the required format and preferred topics. In some cases, your tutor will assign a topic, or give you a set list to choose from. Often, however, you’ll be expected to select a suitable topic for yourself.
Having a research paper example to look at can also be useful for first-timers, so ask your tutor to supply you with one.
Brainstorming research paper ideas is the first step to selecting a topic—and there are various methods you can use to brainstorm, including clustering (also known as mind mapping). Think about the research paper topics that interest you, and identify topics you have a strong opinion on.
Choose a Topic
Once you have a list of potential research paper topics, narrow them down by considering your academic strengths and ‘gaps in the market,’ e.g., don’t choose a common topic that’s been written about many times before. While you want your topic to be fresh and interesting, you also need to ensure there’s enough material available for you to work with. Similarly, while you shouldn’t go for easy research paper topics just for the sake of giving yourself less work, you do need to choose a topic that you feel confident you can do justice to.
Outline Your Outline
It might not be possible to form a full research paper outline until you’ve done some information gathering, but you can think about your overall aim; basically what you want to show and how you’re going to show it. Now’s also a good time to consider your thesis statement, although this might change as you delve into your source material deeper.
Researching the Research
Now it’s time to knuckle down and dig out all the information that’s relevant to your topic. Here are some tips.
Make Friends With Your Librarian
While lots of information gathering can be carried out online from anywhere, there’s still a place for old-fashioned study sessions in the library. A good librarian can help you to locate sources quickly and easily, and might even make suggestions that you hadn’t thought of. They’re great at helping you study and research, but probably can’t save you the best desk by the window.
Find Quality Sources
Not all sources are created equal, so make sure that you’re referring to reputable, reliable information. Examples of sources could include books, magazine articles, scholarly articles, reputable websites, databases and journals. Keywords relating to your topic can help you in your search.
As you search, you should begin to compile a list of references. This will make it much easier later when you are ready to build your paper’s bibliography. Keeping clear notes detailing any sources that you use will help you to avoid accidentally plagiarizing someone else’s work or ideas.
Understand Your Topic
Simply regurgitating facts and figures won’t make for an interesting paper. It’s essential that you fully understand your topic so you can come across as an authority on the subject and present your own ideas on it. You should read around your topic as widely as you can, before narrowing your area of interest for your paper, and critically analyzing your findings.
A Detailed Outline
Once you’ve got a firm grip on your subject and the source material available to you, formulate a detailed outline, including your thesis statement and how you are going to support it. The structure of your paper will depend on the subject type—ask a tutor for a research paper outline example if you’re unsure.
If you’ve fully understood your topic and gathered quality source materials, bringing it all together should actually be the easy part!
Keep it Factual
There’s no place for sloppy writing in this kind of academic task, so keep your language simple and clear, and your points critical and succinct. The creative part is finding innovative angles and new insights on the topic to make your paper interesting.
Don’t forget about our verb , preposition , and adverb pages. You may find useful information to help with your writing!
Finalize Your Thesis Statement
You should now be in a position to finalize your thesis statement, showing clearly what your paper will show, answer or prove. This should usually be a one or two sentence statement; however, it’s the core idea of your paper, and every insight that you include should be relevant to it. Remember, a thesis statement is not merely a summary of your findings. It should present an argument or perspective that the rest of your paper aims to support.
Think About Format
The required style of your research paper format will usually depend on your subject area. For example, APA format is normally used for social science subjects, while MLA style is most commonly used for liberal arts and humanities. Still, there are thousands of more styles . Your tutor should be able to give you clear guidance on how to format your paper, how to structure it, and what elements it should include. Make sure that you follow their instruction. If possible, ask to see a sample research paper in the required format.
Cite, Cite and Cite
As all research paper topics invariably involve referring to other people’s work, it’s vital that you know how to properly cite your sources to avoid unintentional plagiarism. Whether you’re paraphrasing (putting someone else’s ideas into your own words) or directly quoting, the original source needs to be referenced. What style of citation formatting you use will depend on the requirements of your instructor, with common styles including APA and MLA format , which consist of in-text citations (short citations within the text, enclosed with parentheses) and a reference/works cited list.
The Editing Process
It’s likely that your paper will go through several drafts before you arrive at the very best version. The editing process is your chance to fix any weak points in your paper before submission. You might find that it needs a better balance of both primary and secondary sources (click through to find more info on the difference), that an adjective could use tweaking, or that you’ve included sources that aren’t relevant or credible. You might even feel that you need to be clearer in your argument, more thorough in your critical analysis, or more balanced in your evaluation.
From a stylistic point of view, you want to ensure that your writing is clear, simple and concise, with no long, rambling sentences or paragraphs. Keeping within the required word count parameters is also important, and another thing to keep in mind is the inclusion of gender-neutral language, to avoid the reinforcement of tired stereotypes.
Don’t forget about our other pages! If you are looking for help with other grammar-related topics, check out our noun , pronoun , and conjunction pages.
Once you’re happy with the depth and balance of the arguments and points presented, you can turn your attention to the finer details, such as formatting, spelling, punctuation, grammar and ensuring that your citations are all present and correct. The EasyBib Plus plagiarism checker is a handy tool for making sure that your sources are all cited. An EasyBib Plus subscription also comes with access to citation tools that can help you create citations in your choice of format.
Also, double-check your deadline date and the submissions guidelines to avoid any last-minute issues. Take a peek at our other grammar pages while you’re at it. We’ve included numerous links on this page, but we also have an interjection page and determiner page.
So you’ve done your final checks and handed in your paper according to the submissions guidelines and preferably before deadline day. Congratulations! If your schedule permits, now would be a great time to take a break from your studies. Maybe plan a fun activity with friends or just take the opportunity to rest and relax. A well-earned break from the books will ensure that you return to class refreshed and ready for your next stage of learning—and the next research paper requirement your tutor sets!
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Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sources
Primary sources, secondary sources, tertiary sources, primary and secondary sources in law.
This work ( Constitution of the United States, page 1), identified by National Archives and Records Administration , is free of known copyright restrictions.
This guide will introduce students to three types of resources or sources of information: primary, secondary, and tertiary.
Definition of a Primary Source:
Primary sources are firsthand documents that provide direct evidence on your topic. The Library of Congress refers to them as the "raw materials of history — original documents and objects which were created at the time under study. They are different from secondary sources, accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience."
A primary source is most often created during the time the events you are studying occurred, such as newspaper articles from the period, correspondence, diplomatic records, original research reports and notes, diaries etc. They may also include items created after the events occurred, but that recount them such as autobiographies and oral histories.
Definition of a Secondary Source:
Secondary Sources are accounts written after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. They are interpretations and evaluations of primary sources. Secondary sources are not evidence, but rather commentary on and discussion of evidence. ¹
¹ Yale University Library, "Primary, secondary & tertiary sources" http://guides.library.yale.edu/content.php?pid=129904&sid=1196376
Definition of a Tertiary Source
A tertiary source presents summaries or condensed versions of materials, usually with references back to the primary and/or secondary sources.
Primary Source in Law:
A statement of the law itself from a governmental entity, such as a court, legislature, executive agency, President or Governor.
Secondary Source in Law:
Materials that discuss, explain, interpret, and analyze what the law is or what it should be.
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- Library Research Strategies
- The research process
- Defining your topic and crafting your research question
- Identifying search terms from your question
- Broaden or narrow your search
- Find background information
- Search across multiple article databases
- Search individual article databases
- When you know in advance which publication you are looking for
- Interlibrary loan
- Search for books and ebooks
- Locating books and ebooks after you search
- Types of sources
- Distinguishing between different types of journal articles
- Components of a scholarly article, and things to consider when reading one
- Critically evaluating articles & other sources
- Literature reviews (opens a new guide) This link opens in a new window
- Annotated bibliographies
- Writing tools
- Citing sources (opens a new guide) This link opens in a new window
- Understanding & Avoiding Plagiarism (opens a new guide) This link opens in a new window
- Primary Sources for Humanities and Social Sciences by UW-Madison
- Research Help: Types of Sources by McQuade Library at Merrimack
- Understand Types of Material by CliffsNotes
Ask a Librarian
Visit a librarian at the Reference Desk on the first floor of Ablah Library or contact a Subject Librarian to make an appointment. See the full schedule of library hours for the main library (Ablah) and for the Chemistry and Music branch libraries. Ablah Library hours are also available on an automated phone line: 316-978-3581.
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Email a librarian with your question.
- Format and delivery method
- Secondary sources
- Primary sources
Graphic developed by Angie Paul, WSU University Libraries. Here is a similar graphic to the one above developed by the University of California, San Diego.
Sources can be defined at least two different ways. When people use the phrase "types of sources" they may be referring to the:
- Format and delivery method of the information source (book, article, movie, blog entry, etc.)
- Level or distance from the original source of information ( tertiary, secondary, or primary )
For an overview of your topic, use tertiary sources:
Tertiary sources provide overviews of topics by compiling, indexing, or organizing primary and secondary sources. These types of sources should be used only for background information and are not usually included in the bibliography of a college-level research paper. They include handbooks, textbooks, subject-specific reference sources, general encyclopedias, and bibliographies.
For in-depth information about your topic, use secondary sources:
Secondary sources are materials that provide analyses or interpretations of primary sources. Typically, the creator of a secondary source does not have first-hand experience with the topic's events or conditions. These sources can include non-fiction books and other monographs, some textbooks, scholarly journal articles, literary criticisms, statistical summaries, trade publications, newspapers, popular magazines, and documentary movies. For further information, click on the tab above.
For first-hand information about your topic, use primary sources:
Primary sources are first-hand accounts that are directly related to a topic. These sources can include diary entries, raw data, interviews (including interviews in documentary movies), music and other sound recordings, blogs, photographs, some scholarly journal articles, newspaper articles, books, or other types of manuscripts. For further information, click on the tab above.
Steve. (2005, Feb. 18). 8-Track. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/voodoozebra/5038201/. Used under the Creative Commons License.
A source may be available in print, or it may be electronic. Titles available in a physical format, such as books, are often also electronically available. Other forms of media, such as YouTube videos, inherently have an electronic format. If a work is available in both a print and digital version, you, the researcher, must decide which method of delivery you prefer or which is most readily available at time of need.
Format can also affect whether a work may be considered a primary source or not. Most books and articles are available either in print or online. Books may be available in paperback, hardback, large print or other types of editions or formats. The format and edition of an information source may affect whether the item is considered to be a primary source (the original source of information or an exact replica) or not.
The Wiley Asia Blog. (2012, Sept. 18). Nutrition Journals. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/wiley-asia-blog/7999133831/. Used under the Creative Commons License.
Most books, articles, and other information sources are considered to be secondary sources. This determination, however, depends on the purpose of your research. If you are writing a research paper about the Civil Rights movement, Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings would be a secondary source because that is not a central theme in this book, although it is peripherally related. If, by contrast, you are writing about racism and sexism in America, this book would be considered a primary source because it is a first-hand account of her experiences with these issues.
Types of secondary sources typically include, but are not limited to, non-fiction books and other monographs, some textbooks, some scholarly journal articles, literary criticisms, statistical summaries, trade publications, newspapers, popular magazines, and documentaries.
While it is not an exact fit, the secondary literature is where you will find most scholarly sources. Generally, a scholarly source is written by an expert in the given field and goes through the peer-reviewed process (see the "What makes an article peer-reviewed vs. scholarly vs. non-scholarly" box on this page).
While articles from academic journals are perhaps the most prominent of scholarly sources, these sources exist in many forms. They may also be books, conference proceedings, or other sources that match scholarly criteria. The other sub-tabs under the Evaluating information section of this guide (which is indeed the section you are currently viewing) offer further guidance on understanding and identifying secondary resources, and comparing them against scholarly criteria to evaluate if they will be of value to your research.
opensource.com. (2010, Mar. 31). Law.gov -- Opening Up Primary Legal Materials. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/4479819262/. Used under the Creative Commons License.
A primary source is an original source of information on a topic, usually created at the time of study. As such, primary sources are usually at least somewhat biased, as they are not subject to the same level of removal from a topic that accompanies secondary or tertiary sources.
Primary resources are discipline-specific . What defines a primary resource varies slightly with each discipline. Examples include:
- Archaeology/Anthropology: An artifact or object that provides evidence of a society, such as clothing, farming tools, household items, and buildings
- Arts and Literature: The original artistic or literary work that forms the basis for a criticism or review, such as feature films, musical compositions, sound recordings, paintings, novels, plays, and poems
- Biology: Research or lab notes, genetic evidence, plant specimens, technical reports, and other reports of original research or discoveries (e.g., conference papers and proceedings, dissertations, scholarly articles)
- Engineering: Design notes, patents, conference proceedings, technical reports, and field surveys
- History: Government documents (e.g., treaty, birth certificate), photographs, store account books, artifacts (such as those listed for archaelogy/anthropology), maps, legal and financial documents, and census records
Examples of primary sources:
News Sources : Newspapers, news blogs, news magazines and similar sources are usually written by professional journalists. News sources are typically not as technical as scholarly articles, and are a good choice when the researcher wants information about events as the event was currently perceived at publication. Newspapers may be found from the 1700's to current issues in the WSU University Libraries. As with other publications, news sources are used as primary sources of information when the researcher is looking for contemporary opinions and/or personal experiences.
Books : Similar to news sources, a book would be a primary source if (among other criteria) it is the original source material for one or more thoughts or opinions, documents original research, or is autobiographical.
Handbooks and Standards : these sources often contain information required for maintaining technical norms and integrity. Engineering, grammar, and many other fields use handbooks and standards to establish required benchmarks. Handbooks and standards are considered to be primary sources when used for this type of information.
Legal Materials : legal materials, including statutes, bills, congressional reports, hearings, court records, case notes, brochures and other documents produced by federal, state and local governments are original sources of information. Some documents, such as court proceedings, also include transcripts of conversations.
Patents : there are many types of patents . Like standards, patents provide information about the specifications of a design, a process, or other product or idea. Although most patents contain images, a textual description accompanies each patent.
Manuscripts : Handwritten or typed notes, journals and diaries, financial ledgers, and other handwritten records can record personal, historical experiences. Although this medium may be digitized as PDF or other image files, the original must be on paper to be defined as a manuscript.
Artifacts : human-made objects, typically of cultural or historical interest, are called artifacts. Artifacts are most often used as primary sources for cultural anthropology or historical research, but tools, technology and other objects may be useful information sources in other fields as well.
Maps : maps are diagrammatic representations of areas of land, sea or sky which usually illustrate spatial arrangement or distribution of something, such as population. These primary sources may still include bias, as with statistics and other sources -- think about what information may have been excluded. The WSU Special Collections offers a rich collection of maps, both in print and online.
Photographs : photographs document historical and contemporary events or relationships, such as the history of an organization or location, and provide evidence of an historical event. WSU Special Collections includes photographs and other images.
Speeches and Interviews : speeches and interviews may be found in audio formats or transcribed.
Musical Recordings : criticisms and reviews of music, musicals, and other performances require reference to the original item being reviewed -- in other words, the primary source material. WSU University Libraries has several streaming media databases , which offer access to different musical recordings online (WSU login required).
Motion Pictures : Similar to musical recordings, criticisms and reviews of films, television shows, and other motion pictures require reference to the original item being reviewed. Documentaries may also be primary sources if interviews, original footage and other first-hand experiences are included. WSU University Libraries has several streaming media databases , which offer access to different musical recordings online (WSU login required).
Blogs and Social Media : these sources are electronic versions of personal opinions and experiences. Writings by specialists, professional journalists, and others considered to be authorities in their field can be credible sources, depending on their specialty and the topic of the writing. If the researcher needs to review opinions and see online dialog among members of a scholarly discipline, blogs and social media can be primary sources.
Research Data and Statistics : numerical information may be represented as raw data sets, or in a statistical summary. WSU University Libraries has access to the SAGE Stats , SAGE Research Methods , and SAGE Research Methods Cases databases, which offer literature and explanations of how to interpret data and statistics (WSU login required).
What makes information peer-reviewed vs. scholarly vs. non-scholarly? Which type of source should I use?
- What makes information peer-reviewed vs. scholarly vs. non-scholarly?
- Which type of source should I use?
There is a nuanced distinction between peer-review and scholarship, which typically doesn't matter when evaluating sources for possible citation in your own work. Peer-review is a process through which editors of a journal have other experts in the field evaluate articles submitted to the journal for possible publication. Different journals have different ways of defining an expert in the field. Scholarly works, by contrast have an editorial process, but this process does not involve expert peer-reviewers. Rather, one or more editors, who are themselves often highly decorated scholars in a field, evaluate submissions for possible publication. This editorial process can be more economically driven than a peer-review process, with a greater emphasis on marketing and selling the published material, but as a general rule this distinction is trivial with regard to evaluating information for possible citation in your own work.
What is perhaps a more salient way of thinking about the peer-review / scholarship distinction is to recognize that while peer-reviewed information is typically highly authoritative, and is generally considered "good" information, the absence of a peer-review process doesn't automatically make information "bad." More specifically, the only thing the absence of a peer-review process means is that information published in this manner is not peer-reviewed. Nothing more. Information that falls into this category is sometimes referred to as "non-scholarly" information -- but again, that doesn't mean this information is somehow necessarily problematic.
Where does that leave you in terms of deciding what type of information to use in producing your own work? That is a highly individual decision that you must make. The Which type of source should I use? tab in this box offers further guidance on answering this question, though it is important to be aware that many WSU instructors will only consider peer-reviewed sources to be acceptable in the coursework you turn in . You can ask your instructor for his or her thoughts on the types of sources s/he will accept in student work.
Image: Martin Grater. (2017, Nov. 1). Deep Thought. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/152721954@N05/24304490568/. Used under the Creative Commons License.
Your topic and research question or thesis statement will guide you on which resources are best. Sources can be defined as primary, secondary and tertiary levels away from an event or original idea. Researchers may want to start with tertiary or secondary source for background information. Learning more about a topic will help most researchers make better use of primary sources.
While articles from scholarly journals are often the most prominent of the sources you will consider incorporating into your coursework, they are not the only sources available to you. Which sources are most appropriate to your research is a direct consequence of they type of research question you decide to address. In other words, while most university-level papers will require you to reference scholarly sources, not all will. A student in an English course writing a paper analyzing Bob Dylan's lyrics, for example, may find an interview with Dylan published in Rolling Stone magazine a useful source to cite alongside other scholarly works of literary criticism.
The WSU University Libraries' What Sources Should I Use? handout, as well as the other sub-tabs under the Evaluating information section of this guide (which is indeed the section you are currently viewing) offer further guidance on understanding and identifying scholarly resources, and comparing them against different criteria to evaluate if they will be of value to your research. How many non-scholarly works (if any) you are at liberty to cite alongside scholarly ones is often a question to ask of your professor. Some may not want you to cite any, whereas others may be ok with some non-scholarly works cited alongside scholarly ones.
Image: Brett Woods. (2006, Jan. 6). Deep Thoughts. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/brettanicus/87653641/. Used under the Creative Commons License.
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Reading sources for your research paper.
Beginning a research paper can be overwhelming unless you know how to set goals for yourself when you read. Think of gathering sources as a triangle where the top are the 5-6 excellent sources:
5-6 excellent sources -read 10-12 good ones-skim 20-30 available sources-find 40 titles in databases-begin with
For a research paper of about 7-10 pages, you should think of gathering 40 titles exactly on your subject from a variety of places (see below). But only 20-30 will be available to you (some will be missing, others dont arrive in time from interlibrary loan, others are misleading and dont relate to your subject at all). When you do find what is available, then skim these sources and make a quick decision: yes or no? Those that look good (that answer your research question) you save. Pitch those that dont address your specific question. Finally, we come to READING. Save your precious time only for those 5-6 BEST sources; those are the ones you want for quotes and paraphrases in your eventual draft.
VARIETY OF SOURCES
Most students need a variety of sourcesnot just books or journal articles or web sites. Think of checking out the following sources for your paper:
books, chapters in books (books are often easier to read than journals)
Internet Web sites
You find these sources through INDEXES, either on the computer or in the library reserve section. An index is a collection of whats been written in a particular area for a particular year. At CSU, you can access these indexes through the library web site using the following steps:
find the CSU web site www.csuohio.edu
go to the libraries page: Michael Schwartz Library ( http://library.csuohio.edu/) Law Library ( https://www.law.csuohio.edu/lawlibrary/ )
click on Indexes and Abstracts
you can search by Title and Subjec t
the most general index is Periodical Abstracts good for quick info but not always scholarly
check a number of databases until your subject comes up easily dont get discouraged no one knows all these databases or how they work, just keep at it for about 1-2 hours.
be VERY VERY selective about the titles you pick aim for 40 on your subject. The databases can bring up thousands of hitsbe very selective.
Once you have a working title list, make another separate trip to the library for the next stepthis stuff can be very tedious and your short term memory tires quickly so its better to make separate trips of only 2 hours maximum.
Now you have to find your sources. If you go into OhioLink, you can check whether CSU owns it or not. If we do, you can find the source yourself in the library. If not, you have 2 choices. If another OhioLink school owns it, make your request through OhioLink. If no school owns it, you have to go through Interlibrary Loan. You find their web site on the main page of the Library web page. In either case, you dont have to leave your chair to order your sources. Just remember: OhioLink will NOT call you to tell you your books have arrived. You have to check the SCHOLAR page under "View Your Own Record" to see the status of your order. It takes about a week for most books to come in through OhioLink; Interlibrary Loan can take longer.
ANNOTATING AND NOTETAKING
For sources youve skimmed, make up annotating cards as follows:
Goleman, Daniel. Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam, 1995. ---looks great for my subject, especially Chap. 9 on marriage
The card has the usual bibliographical information and a quick note to remind yourself about what you wanted to read.
Another set of cardsnotecardscan be used for your quotes and paraphrases. The 2 cardsannotating and notetaking cardsmake writing easier because your cards can be indexed according to subjects. See the example below:
Goleman success in marriage (my subject) 143successful couples "show each other that they are being listened to. Since feeling is often exactly what the aggrieved partner is really after, emotionally an act of empathy is a masterly tension reducer."
Writers often keep 2 sets of cards so they can use their research easily in different projects.
If you have any questions, call the Writing Center at ext. 6981.
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Reference management. Clean and simple.
Types of research papers
There are multiple different types of research papers. It is important to know which type of research paper is required for your assignment, as each type of research paper requires different preparation. Below is a list of the most common types of research papers.
➡️ Read more: What is a research paper?
- Analytical research paper
In an analytical research paper you:
- pose a question
- collect relevant data from other researchers
- analyze their different viewpoints
You focus on the findings and conclusions of other researchers and then make a personal conclusion about the topic. It is important to stay neutral and not show your own negative or positive position on the matter.
- Argumentative or persuasive paper
The argumentative paper presents two sides of a controversial issue in one paper. It is aimed at getting the reader on the side of your point of view.
You should include and cite findings and arguments of different researchers on both sides of the issue, but then favor one side over the other and try to persuade the reader of your side. Your arguments should not be too emotional though, they still need to be supported with logical facts and statistical data.
Tip: Avoid expressing too much emotion in a persuasive paper.
- Definition paper
The definition paper solely describes facts or objective arguments without using any personal emotion or opinion of the author. Its only purpose is to provide information. You should include facts from a variety of sources, but leave those facts unanalyzed.
- Compare and contrast paper
Compare and contrast papers are used to analyze the difference between two:
Make sure to sufficiently describe both sides in the paper, and then move on to comparing and contrasting both thesis and supporting one.
- Cause and effect paper
Cause and effect papers are usually the first types of research papers that high school and college students write. They trace probable or expected results from a specific action and answer the main questions "Why?" and "What?", which reflect effects and causes.
In business and education fields, cause and effect papers will help trace a range of results that could arise from a particular action or situation.
- Interpretative paper
An interpretative paper requires you to use knowledge that you have gained from a particular case study, for example a legal situation in law studies. You need to write the paper based on an established theoretical framework and use valid supporting data to back up your statement and conclusion.
- Experimental research paper
This type of research paper basically describes a particular experiment in detail. It is common in fields like:
Experiments are aimed to explain a certain outcome or phenomenon with certain actions. You need to describe your experiment with supporting data and then analyze it sufficiently.
- Survey research paper
This research paper demands the conduction of a survey that includes asking questions to respondents. The conductor of the survey then collects all the information from the survey and analyzes it to present it in the research paper.
➡️ Ready to start your research paper? Take a look at our guide on how to start a research paper .
- Frequently Asked Questions about the different types of research papers
In an analytical research paper, you pose a question and then collect relevant data from other researchers to analyze their different viewpoints. You focus on the findings and conclusions of other researchers and then make a personal conclusion about the topic.
The definition paper solely describes facts or objective arguments without using any personal emotion or opinion of the author. Its only purpose is to provide information.
Cause and effect papers are usually the first types of research papers that high school and college students are confronted with. The answer questions like "Why?" and "What?", which reflect effects and causes. In business and education fields, cause and effect papers will help trace a range of results that could arise from a particular action or situation.
This type of research paper describes a particular experiment in detail. It is common in fields like biology, chemistry or physics. Experiments are aimed to explain a certain outcome or phenomenon with certain actions.
- Related Articles
Research Paper: A step-by-step guide: 4. Appropriate Sources
- 1. Getting Started
- 2. Topic Ideas
- 3. Thesis Statement & Outline
- 4. Appropriate Sources
- 5. Search Techniques
- 6. Taking Notes & Documenting Sources
- 7. Evaluating Sources
- 8. Citations & Plagiarism
- 9. Writing Your Research Paper
What Source Should You Use?
What type of information do you need.
The type of sources you might need for your research will depend on the type of research you are conducting. Familiarizing yourself with various types of sources will help you with both your current paper and future research. Below you will find a quick overview of common types of resources that will help you navigate how best to choose sources for your research.
Broad categories of information and where you can find them can be broken down into the following areas:
- Background or introductory information - dictionaries or encyclopedias as found in Gale eBooks
- General information - history or overview - try books from the library catalog
- News and current events - newspapers and current periodicals - try NewsBank or the New York Times
- Scholarly information - scholarly journal articles in databases
- Discipline specific information - discipline specific databases
Scholarly resources (sometimes called academic resources) have the following qualities:
- Written by experts with credentials or affiliations (PhD, M.D.)
- Written for other experts - each work is a voice in an ongoing conversation
- Scholarly language - technical, discipline specific vocabulary
- Verifiable and reliable evidence - look for citations
- Peer reviewed - editorial process where other experts review and assess information
Peer review is an important process in scholarly communication. The process of peer review is supposed to ensure that corrections are made to an article before publication, holding the article's content to a higher standard.
Scholarly journals are the main publication format for scholarly research. Most scholarly journals are available for students online and are accessible through library databases. Find out more about library databases below.
Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Resources
Sometimes you will be asked to find resources categorized as primary, secondary, or tertiary resources. For historical research, the library has an excellent guide, Understanding Historical Sources , breaking down these types of resources and where you can find them.
It should be noted that a primary source in the scientific disciplines looks a little different than a primary historical source. Put simply, a primary source in the sciences would be the original research, data, or material that forms the basis for other research. For example, the first time research about a new scientific discovery is published would be the primary source. A paper that analyzes or interprets the original research would be a secondary source. A tertiary source would collect and summarize the information from both the primary and secondary sources.
Choosing a Resource
The library has many way to help you narrow down what source to use for your research.
- Contact a librarian by email at [email protected]
- Get individualized help from a subject librarian
- Check out our list of subject research guides
- Watch a video tutorial on one of our specific databases
Choosing the Best Database for Your Project
You will learn about search techniques in a later step of the research process. But for now you can watch a quick video that will help you determine how to choose the best database for your project .
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- Next: 5. Search Techniques >>
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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts
Genre and the Research Paper
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This handout provides detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources.
Research: What it is.
A research paper is the culmination and final product of an involved process of research, critical thinking, source evaluation, organization, and composition. It is, perhaps, helpful to think of the research paper as a living thing, which grows and changes as the student explores, interprets, and evaluates sources related to a specific topic. Primary and secondary sources are the heart of a research paper, and provide its nourishment; without the support of and interaction with these sources, the research paper would morph into a different genre of writing (e.g., an encyclopedic article). The research paper serves not only to further the field in which it is written, but also to provide the student with an exceptional opportunity to increase her knowledge in that field. It is also possible to identify a research paper by what it is not.
Research: What it is not.
A research paper is not simply an informed summary of a topic by means of primary and secondary sources. It is neither a book report nor an opinion piece nor an expository essay consisting solely of one's interpretation of a text nor an overview of a particular topic. Instead, it is a genre that requires one to spend time investigating and evaluating sources with the intent to offer interpretations of the texts, and not unconscious regurgitations of those sources. The goal of a research paper is not to inform the reader what others have to say about a topic, but to draw on what others have to say about a topic and engage the sources in order to thoughtfully offer a unique perspective on the issue at hand. This is accomplished through two major types of research papers.
Two major types of research papers.
Argumentative research paper:
The argumentative research paper consists of an introduction in which the writer clearly introduces the topic and informs his audience exactly which stance he intends to take; this stance is often identified as the thesis statement . An important goal of the argumentative research paper is persuasion, which means the topic chosen should be debatable or controversial. For example, it would be difficult for a student to successfully argue in favor of the following stance.
Perhaps 25 years ago this topic would have been debatable; however, today, it is assumed that smoking cigarettes is, indeed, harmful to one's health. A better thesis would be the following.
In this sentence, the writer is not challenging the current accepted stance that both firsthand and secondhand cigarette smoke is dangerous; rather, she is positing that the social acceptance of the latter over the former is indicative of a cultural double-standard of sorts. The student would support this thesis throughout her paper by means of both primary and secondary sources, with the intent to persuade her audience that her particular interpretation of the situation is viable.
Analytical research paper:
The analytical research paper often begins with the student asking a question (a.k.a. a research question) on which he has taken no stance. Such a paper is often an exercise in exploration and evaluation. For example, perhaps one is interested in the Old English poem Beowulf . He has read the poem intently and desires to offer a fresh reading of the poem to the academic community. His question may be as follows.
His research may lead him to the following conclusion.
Though his topic may be debatable and controversial, it is not the student's intent to persuade the audience that his ideas are right while those of others are wrong. Instead, his goal is to offer a critical interpretation of primary and secondary sources throughout the paper--sources that should, ultimately, buttress his particular analysis of the topic. The following is an example of what his thesis statement may look like once he has completed his research.
This statement does not negate the traditional readings of Beowulf ; instead, it offers a fresh and detailed reading of the poem that will be supported by the student's research.
It is typically not until the student has begun the writing process that his thesis statement begins to take solid form. In fact, the thesis statement in an analytical paper is often more fluid than the thesis in an argumentative paper. Such is one of the benefits of approaching the topic without a predetermined stance.
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Writing Research Papers
- What Types of References Are Appropriate?
When writing a research paper, there are many different types of sources that you might consider citing. Which are appropriate? Which are less appropriate? Here we discuss the different types of sources that you may wish to use when working on a research paper.
Please note that the following represents a general set of recommended guidelines that is not specific to any class and does not represent department policy. The types of allowable sources may vary by course and instructor.
Highly appropriate: peer-reviewed journal articles
In general, you should primarily cite peer-reviewed journal articles in your research papers. Peer-reviewed journal articles are research papers that have been accepted for publication after having undergone a rigorous editorial review process. During that review process, the article was carefully evaluated by at least one journal editor and a group of reviewers (usually scientists that are experts in the field or topic under investigation). Often the article underwent revisions before it was judged to be satisfactory for publication.
Most articles submitted to high quality journals are not accepted for publication. As such, research that is successfully published in a respected peer-reviewed journal is generally regarded as higher quality than research that is not published or is published elsewhere, such as in a book, magazine, or on a website. However, just because a study was published in a peer-reviewed journal does not mean that it is free from error or that its conclusions are correct. Accordingly, it is important to critically read and carefully evaluate all sources, including peer-reviewed journal articles.
Tips for finding and using peer-reviewed journal articles:
- Many databases, such as PsycINFO, can be set to only search for peer-reviewed journal articles. Other search engines, such as Google Scholar, typically include both peer-reviewed and not peer-reviewed articles in search results, and thus should be used with greater caution.
- Even though a peer-reviewed journal article is, by definition, a source that has been carefully vetted through an editorial process, it should still be critically evaluated by the reader.
Potentially appropriate: books, encyclopedias, and other scholarly works
Another potential source that you might use when writing a research paper is a book, encyclopedia, or an official online source (such as demographic data drawn from a government website). When relying on such sources, it is important to carefully consider its accuracy and trustworthiness. For example, books vary in quality; most have not undergone any form of review process other than basic copyediting. In many cases, a book’s content is little more than the author’s informed or uninformed opinion.
However, there are books that have been edited prior to publication, as is the case with many reputable encyclopedias; also, many books from academic publishers are comprised of multiple chapters, each written by one or more researchers, with the entire volume carefully reviewed by one or more editors. In those cases, the book has undergone a form of peer review, albeit often not as rigorous as that for a peer-reviewed journal article.
Tips for using books, encyclopedias, and other scholarly works:
- When using books, encyclopedias, and other scholarly works (that is, works written or produced by researchers, official agencies, or corporations), it is important to very carefully evaluate the quality of that source.
- If the source is an edited volume (in which case in the editor(s) will be listed on the cover), is published by a reputable source (such as Academic Press, MIT Press, and others), or is written by a major expert in the field (such as a researcher with a track record of peer-reviewed journal articles on the subject), then it is more likely to be trustworthy.
- For online encyclopedias such as Wikipedia, an instructor may or may not consider that an acceptable source (by default, don’t assume that a non-peer reviewed source will be considered acceptable). It is best to ask the instructor for clarification. 1
Usually inappropriate: magazines, blogs, and websites
Most research papers can be written using only peer-reviewed journal articles as sources. However, for many topics it is possible to find a plethora of sources that have not been peer-reviewed but also discuss the topic. These may include articles in popular magazines or postings in blogs, forums, and other websites. In general, although these sources may be well-written and easy to understand, their scientific value is often not as high as that of peer-reviewed articles. Exceptions include some magazine and newspaper articles that might be cited in a research paper to make a point about public awareness of a given topic, to illustrate beliefs and attitudes about a given topic among journalists, or to refer to a news event that is relevant to a given topic.
Tips for using magazines, blogs, and websites:
- Avoid such references if possible. You should primarily focus on peer-reviewed journal articles as sources for your research paper. High quality research papers typically do not rely on non-academic and not peer-reviewed sources.
- Refer to non-academic, not peer-reviewed sources sparingly, and if you do, be sure to carefully evaluate the accuracy and scientific merit of the source.
- How to Write APA Style Research Papers (a comprehensive guide) [ PDF ]
- Tips for Writing APA Style Research Papers (a brief summary) [ PDF ]
- Writing Research Paper Videos
Databases and Search Engines (may require connection to UCSD network)
- Google Scholar
- PubMed (NIH/NLM)
- Web of Science
UCSD Resources on Finding and Evaluating Sources
- UCSD Library Databases A-Z
- UCSD Library Psychology Research Guide: Start Page
- UCSD Library Psychology Research Guide : Finding Articles
- UCSD Library Psychology Research Guide : Evaluating Sources
- Critically Reading Journal Articles from PSU/ Colby College
- How to Seriously Read a Journal Article from Science Magazine
- How to Read Journal Articles from Harvard University
- How to Read a Scientific Paper Infographic from Elsevier Publishing
- Tips for searching PsycINFO from UC Berkeley Library
- Tips for using PsycINFO effectively from the APA Student Science Council
1 Wikipedia articles vary in quality; the site has a peer review system and the very best articles ( Featured Articles ), which go through a multi-stage review process, rival those in traditional encyclopedias and are considered the highest quality articles on the site.
Prepared by s. c. pan for ucsd psychology, graphic adapted from t-x-generic-apply.svg , a public domain creation by the tango desktop project..
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- Research Paper Structure
- Formatting Research Papers
- Using Databases and Finding References
- Evaluating References and Taking Notes
- Citing References
- Writing a Literature Review
- Writing Process and Revising
- Improving Scientific Writing
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Research Methods | Definitions, Types, Examples
Research methods are specific procedures for collecting and analyzing data. Developing your research methods is an integral part of your research design . When planning your methods, there are two key decisions you will make.
First, decide how you will collect data . Your methods depend on what type of data you need to answer your research question :
- Qualitative vs. quantitative : Will your data take the form of words or numbers?
- Primary vs. secondary : Will you collect original data yourself, or will you use data that has already been collected by someone else?
- Descriptive vs. experimental : Will you take measurements of something as it is, or will you perform an experiment?
Second, decide how you will analyze the data .
- For quantitative data, you can use statistical analysis methods to test relationships between variables.
- For qualitative data, you can use methods such as thematic analysis to interpret patterns and meanings in the data.
Table of contents
Methods for collecting data, examples of data collection methods, methods for analyzing data, examples of data analysis methods, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about research methods.
Data is the information that you collect for the purposes of answering your research question . The type of data you need depends on the aims of your research.
Qualitative vs. quantitative data
Your choice of qualitative or quantitative data collection depends on the type of knowledge you want to develop.
For questions about ideas, experiences and meanings, or to study something that can’t be described numerically, collect qualitative data .
If you want to develop a more mechanistic understanding of a topic, or your research involves hypothesis testing , collect quantitative data .
You can also take a mixed methods approach , where you use both qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Primary vs. secondary research
Primary research is any original data that you collect yourself for the purposes of answering your research question (e.g. through surveys , observations and experiments ). Secondary research is data that has already been collected by other researchers (e.g. in a government census or previous scientific studies).
If you are exploring a novel research question, you’ll probably need to collect primary data . But if you want to synthesize existing knowledge, analyze historical trends, or identify patterns on a large scale, secondary data might be a better choice.
Descriptive vs. experimental data
In descriptive research , you collect data about your study subject without intervening. The validity of your research will depend on your sampling method .
In experimental research , you systematically intervene in a process and measure the outcome. The validity of your research will depend on your experimental design .
To conduct an experiment, you need to be able to vary your independent variable , precisely measure your dependent variable, and control for confounding variables . If it’s practically and ethically possible, this method is the best choice for answering questions about cause and effect.
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Your data analysis methods will depend on the type of data you collect and how you prepare it for analysis.
Data can often be analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. For example, survey responses could be analyzed qualitatively by studying the meanings of responses or quantitatively by studying the frequencies of responses.
Qualitative analysis methods
Qualitative analysis is used to understand words, ideas, and experiences. You can use it to interpret data that was collected:
- From open-ended surveys and interviews , literature reviews , case studies , ethnographies , and other sources that use text rather than numbers.
- Using non-probability sampling methods .
Qualitative analysis tends to be quite flexible and relies on the researcher’s judgement, so you have to reflect carefully on your choices and assumptions and be careful to avoid research bias .
Quantitative analysis methods
Quantitative analysis uses numbers and statistics to understand frequencies, averages and correlations (in descriptive studies) or cause-and-effect relationships (in experiments).
You can use quantitative analysis to interpret data that was collected either:
- During an experiment .
- Using probability sampling methods .
Because the data is collected and analyzed in a statistically valid way, the results of quantitative analysis can be easily standardized and shared among researchers.
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If you want to know more about statistics , methodology , or research bias , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
- Chi square test of independence
- Statistical power
- Descriptive statistics
- Degrees of freedom
- Pearson correlation
- Null hypothesis
- Double-blind study
- Case-control study
- Research ethics
- Data collection
- Hypothesis testing
- Structured interviews
- Hawthorne effect
- Unconscious bias
- Recall bias
- Halo effect
- Self-serving bias
- Information bias
Quantitative research deals with numbers and statistics, while qualitative research deals with words and meanings.
Quantitative methods allow you to systematically measure variables and test hypotheses . Qualitative methods allow you to explore concepts and experiences in more detail.
In mixed methods research , you use both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods to answer your research question .
A sample is a subset of individuals from a larger population . Sampling means selecting the group that you will actually collect data from in your research. For example, if you are researching the opinions of students in your university, you could survey a sample of 100 students.
In statistics, sampling allows you to test a hypothesis about the characteristics of a population.
The research methods you use depend on the type of data you need to answer your research question .
- If you want to measure something or test a hypothesis , use quantitative methods . If you want to explore ideas, thoughts and meanings, use qualitative methods .
- If you want to analyze a large amount of readily-available data, use secondary data. If you want data specific to your purposes with control over how it is generated, collect primary data.
- If you want to establish cause-and-effect relationships between variables , use experimental methods. If you want to understand the characteristics of a research subject, use descriptive methods.
Methodology refers to the overarching strategy and rationale of your research project . It involves studying the methods used in your field and the theories or principles behind them, in order to develop an approach that matches your objectives.
Methods are the specific tools and procedures you use to collect and analyze data (for example, experiments, surveys , and statistical tests ).
In shorter scientific papers, where the aim is to report the findings of a specific study, you might simply describe what you did in a methods section .
In a longer or more complex research project, such as a thesis or dissertation , you will probably include a methodology section , where you explain your approach to answering the research questions and cite relevant sources to support your choice of methods.
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Different Types Of Research Papers
17 Aug 2021
❔What Is A Research Paper?
☝️The Research Paper Includes
✒️Difficulties of Paper Writing
📑Research Papers Types
✍️10 Types of Research Papers
If you are studying in college or university, you must know how to write a research paper because it is an integral part of the curriculum. Typically, while writing these research papers, you will research various phenomena, including technical, scientific, or social, and then organize the collected information. It takes effort to do this kind of work. But with our tips and tricks, you can swiftly curate a research paper for your coursework. Read all the information and struggle no more to write research papers anymore.
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What Is a Research Paper?
A research paper is a piece of scientific research work and related to research. There are many research papers, but the basic parameters of each are similar as they are based on research. Experiments are designed to advance and expand knowledge, test theories, create rules that appear in nature and society, make generalizations, and confirm projects.
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What Does a Research Paper Consist of?
The whole text is based on your opinion piece, experience, and thoughts that you write using the analysis of the topic you knew before and the data you acquired. Students typically dislike these kinds of papers. It involves extensive research, report writing, and data analysis. It's an essential kind of paper since it helps students understand how and where to conduct proper research and gives them valuable skills.
What Makes Research Paper Writing Difficult?
Students who come across this type of academic writing for the first time may need help. The approach is complex because of several difficulties, and most people get stuck at the beginning while selecting appropriate research paper topics . Many students can't write research articles independently and need help writing the work. Fortunately, there is an easy solution for the latter problem, and you can contact any professional agency to " write my research paper " for assistance. For some of you, it might be the best option.
Let's learn about all the different types of research papers.
Main Types of Research Papers
There are a few different kinds of research papers. Each requires a specific method, which you should note as you prepare to write. To better comprehend each form of research paper and the variations among them, we will go through each one with you step-by-step.
- Compare and contrast
- Cause and effect
- Interpretive Essay
A research paper can be a complex and time-consuming task, and many students struggle with it. To make the process easier, one can make use of an academic writing service . Such services can help students to gather reliable sources, structure their paper properly, and ensure that their research paper meets the highest academic standards.
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10 Types of Research Papers - In Detail
Here are ten major types of research papers. Let us read about research paper types in detail, which will help you learn the different formats and help you identify them the next time you see research papers.
Argumentative Research Paper
While writing an argumentative research paper, you should focus on grasping the reader's attention to the arguments relevant to your main issue. You have to support objective statements for your point of view with evidence from primary and secondary sources. Despite appearing straightforward at first glance, it relies on the assignment the teacher gives the class. You must adhere to several standard writing rules for your argumentative paper to have the correct format.
The argumentative paper presents two different viewpoints on a controversial issue in one report. It strives to persuade the viewer to agree with your stance. The author can portray a unique perspective to get the readers to stick to their side of the story.
Analytical Research Paper
The term "analytical research paper" might initially sound confusing, but you won't need to worry once you grasp what this kind of coursework entails. It is not a daunting task to pull off! You can begin working on this paper with a research question and further research the topic.
A research paper that offers an informal study of a particular topic or idea is known as an analytical research paper. For instance, deforestation is your primary subject. Because there are numerous topics to cover, such a theme is excessively broad. Consequently, critical thought and compelling arguments are needed for the analytical paper!
Definition Research Paper
You must present only the most basic, objective arguments and facts in your definition paper, avoiding using your personal opinion. That is the type of content that is most informative. The information in a definition paper comes from various sources, whereas academic papers only present the results of other studies.
In a definition paper, the author's only purpose is to provide information without emotional persuasion or a personal conclusion. There is no space for personal emotion while writing a definition paper. You should sufficiently describe your original research and analysis in the personal conclusion of the paper.
Compare and Contrast Research Paper
Compare and contrast paper is a piece of work used to analyze the distinctions between two viewpoints, subjects, authors, viewpoints, leadership styles, or other criteria. It is a typical assignment for literature, philosophy, and social science. Irrespective of the subject, it typically follows the same format. Also, we can assist with any style of philosophy paper .
In a compare and contrast paper, subjects are typically briefly discussed or defined, and the article primarily concentrates on giving examples of comparison and contrast that support the author's viewpoint. This type of research paper has a thesis statement in the introduction, a body containing a comparison, and a conclusion. Contrast papers generally examine two or three topics. A contrast paper compares multiple points, so deciding on a focus based on the similarities and differences in the issues is imperative.
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Cause and Effect Research Paper
In cause and effect paper compositions, the reader must be able to follow a logical sequence that tracks the anticipated outcomes of an action. This approach applies to both the corporate and academic worlds. The cause-and-effect paper method abstracts the expected results and identifies several potential effects depending on the specific conditions.
Reports Research Paper
The report paper drafts the case for a research situation. These documents comprise a breakdown summary, statistical data, the problem, the primary issue's identification, and recommendations. It is an organized and thorough overview of a few case study issues. You put logical facts and collected data in a short report in research papers.
Interpretive Essay Research Paper
Interpretive or Interpretative paper is typically assigned in social science and literature classes. Students must apply the knowledge they learned from this assignment's specific case study situation. Poems, artwork, studies, psychology, education fields, and business materials are some examples. To compose a text for this interpretive essay, one must draw on established theoretical knowledge and sources to support the thesis and conclusions.
While preparing an interpretative paper, you should use an established theoretical framework and supporting data to support your research. This type of research paper is used to share ideas and options of your finding and other researchers on a specific topic. Once you have an established theoretical framework for your essay, you can write an interpretive paper with the knowledge gained from a particular case study.
Survey Research Paper
While writing a survey research paper, a quantitative method is used for evaluating sources and gathering data from a group of respondents. When people answer questions in a survey, the data is collected for analysis. The researcher must conduct the research, analyze the information, examine the results, and make conclusions in this report. Staying neutral and avoiding taking a side or expressing an opinion is critical.
This type of research paper is frequently used in sociology, business, marketing, law studies, and health care. From its title, it is evident that respondents are questioned or surveyed regarding a particular subject. You can collect relevant data to create a survey paper by conducting surveys. Students learn the subject entirely and identify gaps in the existing information by creating a survey paper.
Experimental Research Paper
An experimental Research Paper is a type of research paper that must collect relevant data from a particular experiment done by researchers. These experiments are conducted to come to a certain outcome. This paper presents valid supporting data and a particular experiment research report. The supporting data can be from experiments done by different researchers. Analyzing all the information and short reports made during investigations makes it easier to come to a certain outcome.
These research papers are often written for sociology, psychology, chemistry, and biology research papers . The researcher should stay neutral and summarize their experiment in this report and provide relevant data and experimental analyses.
Problem-Solution Research Paper
The goal of a problem-solution research paper is to identify solutions to particular issues. The researcher presents the problem, evaluates the facts, and identifies potential answers. Then, it shows how effective those solutions are through examples, specifics, statistical information, etc.
The first step in writing a problem-solution essay is to create an outline. This form of persuasive writing identifies the issue, proposes a set of solutions, further chooses a preferred course of action, and justifies why it is the best course of action to do.
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Above we provided the ten main types of research papers. Also, you may get a brief description of each of them and their different viewpoints. We hope that this information was helpful to you and will make it easier for you to complete your upcoming research projects. Maybe a particular case study, a book report, or future research. These kinds of projects are crucial to your overall academic performance! That could seem like a difficult task, but it is not.
Still, there are many details to consider, and in addition to adhering to the specifications of a specific project type, you must also follow the correct format and structure. Hence, if you still believe it would be difficult for you to complete this assignment independently, we advise contacting a term paper writing service to handle the task for you.
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- A Research Guide
- Research Paper Guide
Different Types of Research Papers
- According to the purpose
- According to the depth of scope
- According to the data type
- According to variables manipulation
- According to the type of inference
- According to the time in which it is carried out
- According to the sources of information
- According to how the data is obtained
- According to design
- Other research paper types
Types of research papers
As a way to make your journey through the research-type paper options a bit easier, let’s divide them by types of work.
According to the purpose:
- Theoretical. Theoretical research type is one of the most popular types of research paper as it has a clear focus. If you have to work with this type, your main objective is to generate all currently available. Even if it has no practical appliance (like in Engineering or design), you must use it anyway. You must collect data and make sure that your target audience understands what your research is about and what theory it follows. Most of such research papers will relate to theories and basic analytical work.
- Applied. This research type stands for something that can be approached scientifically based on practice. The aim here is to generate practical skills. It’s essential in Engineering, Healthcare, and Biology. For such types of papers, one can alternate between technological or scientific types of research, depending on your aims. A technological approach will be fitting if you wish to improve some processes. Now, the scientific research type would include prediction as you work with variables and design things.
According to the depth of scope:
- Exploratory. It is most suitable for research type papers where you have to explore a not-well-known subject. Start with making a hypothesis and developing research. It can be an investigation talking about the role of video games in the development of teenagers.
- Descriptive. This type of research is where you must describe certain characteristics or discuss specifics of some belief or an event. You may not have to research why something has caused these characteristic traits. You must describe and talk about how some things may change IF this or that takes place.
- Explanatory. It’s one of the popular research methods since one has to analyze specific methodologies and help the target audience trace the cause-and-effect relations. It is close to descriptive writing by nature. Still, you must create a research environment since your findings may have to be re-created by others.
- Correlational. This is where you identify the link between two or more variables. You must focus on determining whether certain research variables will be affected and see whether something is systematic regarding these changes (correlational research methodology).
According to the data type:
- Qualitative . It’s used to collect, evaluate, and explain information based on obtained information. It means you have to approach a linguistic-semiotic method to things as you research. You can turn to analysis, interviews, questionnaires, and personal surveys. This is where statistical data helps! You must ask yourself “why” instead of “how.”
- Quantitative. Such types of papers to write belong to one of the most challenging cases because quantitative stands for mathematical (think MATLAB) and computer-based software to check things. It also makes it possible to create a prognosis, which is why this type of research is usually met in engineering.
- Mixed. It’s also possible to use both methodologies if you can support your research type assignment with source information and personal examples. If you are dealing with Psychology or Experimental study, use surveys and aid yourself with AI-based evaluation tools.
According to variables manipulation:
- Experimental. Contrary to its title, you do not have to experiment per se. It’s about the design or replication of things you research. It means you have to re-create specific research conditions to discover what effects are caused by given variables. It’s where you primarily use case studies and sample groups.
- Non-experimental. They often call this research type an observational study. It means that you have to provide analysis in its natural environment. You do not have to intervene in the process but consider turning to descriptive writing. This research may include observation of animals in their natural habitat or the use of the noise effect in the urban environment.
- Quasi-experimental. These types of academic papers are not purely experimental, as you only work with two or three variables. Another aspect of this research is based on randomly chosen variables. It helps to decrease the bias in your study. It also helps to focus on relevant data and allows us to narrow things down.
According to the type of inference:
- Deductive. It means the research is basically fixed since one has to focus on laws and things that can or cannot be. It helps to come to certain conclusions. As you look at the research problem, you use deduction to create your considerations. If you make assumptions and develop reliable evidence, this work method suits you.
- Inductive. It’s one of the flexible methods to think about. The reason why it’s flexible is the way inductive research is generated. You conclude by observing and generalizing while different kinds of research occur. You have to collect data over a period, which makes the process less fixed.
- Hypothetical-deductive approach. You have to make a hypothesis for your research work and use deduction methods to come up with a conclusion. The major difference is that a researcher also takes time to evaluate whether things are correct.
According to the time in which it is carried out:
- Longitudinal. You might know this type of work as diachronic research. Despite the complex name, it focuses on the same issue or an event where a fixed period is taken. It has to track certain changes based on variables. It’s one of the most popular research papers in Healthcare, Nursing, Sociology, Psychology, and Education.
- Cross-sectional. Also known as synchronous research, it is the type of work that approaches cross-sectional design. Here, you have to look at some event or a process at a certain point by taking notes. Thus, research can be used both for sample groups or when working with a case study.
According to the sources of information:
- Primary. Most students are asked to use primary sources. It is exactly why we have a primary research paper method. The data must be collected directly (personal interviews, surveys, questionnaires, a field observation study, etc.) and represent first-hand information. It is perfect for papers in Psychology, Journalism, Healthcare, and subjects where accuracy is vital.
- Secondary. This research type of work is mainly developed with sources that represent secondary references. These include books in print or found online, scientific journals, peer-reviewed documents, etc. If another expert or a student reviews a study, it is related to secondary research; so will your project.
According to how the data is obtained:
- Documentary. As the name suggests, documentary research is based on the secondary references you used. It is a systematic review where you turn to secondary sources related to your subject of study. The most prominent types of research projects in this area are writing a literature review or working with a case study. It is one of the most accessible and clear types of research work.
- Field. It is quite popular research these days as students tend to collect information in the field or at the location where something takes place. Think about researching Fashion Studies where you attend the shows or exploring Environmental Science, where you must observe a phenomenon and take notes.
- Laboratory. The major difference in laboratory research type is working in a strictly-controlled environment where study notes are taken immediately. You must isolate unnecessary variables and use one or two scientific methods. Therefore, such type of research writing is called laboratory research. If your college professor asks for this assignment, consider keeping up with standards and rules.
- Survey. This is where you have to work with the primary information or the use of first-hand data you obtain yourself. It is especially helpful when you work with a group to obtain variables. With this research type, you can also come up with certain conclusions to support your hypothesis and thesis statement.
According to design:
- Fixed. When conducting a fixed research type, narrow things down and focus on temporal aspects. It means you have to discuss how often you will evaluate something, where your research will occur, a sample group, and other fixed variables. Working on fixed types of research reports, creating precise conditions, and follow strict protocols. Such research is related chiefly to lab reports or laboratory works mostly used in Healthcare and/or Law.
- Flexible. Now, the flexible research type will provide you with a process where certain things will change as you take step after step in your research. The examples may include case studies where you have to observe the changes that may take over time. Another example would relate to Anthropology or Geography, where you have to observe a group of people or deal with a cross-cultural analysis. It can also relate to grounded-theory studies, where you should develop theoretical knowledge based on analysis and your thinking.
Other research paper types:
- Argumentative. Also known as a persuasive research type paper, you have to persuade your target audience on your side and a point of view. You have to use at least one piece of evidence (references) to prove your point and support your argument. You must talk about different research opinions and show why your side is correct.
- Analytical. Analytical research papers should always pose a problem and collect relevant information. You can look at another researcher’s works and provide an analysis based on various points of view. The main types of research papers include analysis and must keep the tone analytical and remain neutral without showing your thoughts unless only to guide the reader.
- Definition. This research type requires describing the facts or arguments without using anything based on your opinion or an emotional constituent. You only have to offer information by including facts, yet let your data remain without analysis or bias.
- Action-based. This research type assignment must conduct your work based on a process or a certain action causing things. It can also lead to social processes where a person’s actions have led to something. It can be some research about social movements and/or manufacturing processes.
- Causal. It may relate to cause-and-effect papers where you must focus on the causes. This research type has to address the questions and explore the causes. It can be based on case studies related to business, education, environmental, educational issues, and more.
- Classification. If you have to classify, compare, and contrast things, this method will be helpful. Start with the standards and the rules by setting your classification type immediately. Once you know it, your research paper will go smoothly.
- Comparative. As a rule, this research will deal with comparative work where you take a methodology and compare two sample groups, two individuals, different beliefs, or situations. If you have to compare, discuss your objectives and then create two columns to determine differences and similarities.
What research paper type is most suitable for me?
It will always depend on the research paper objectives you wish to achieve. If you need clarification on the research type you must approach, consult your academic advisor or look closely at your grading rubric. If it says that you must develop an analytical study, it will require posing a specific research question or a problem. The next step would be to collect information on a topic and provide an analysis based on various points of view.
Likewise, if your grading rubric has the word “definition” mentioned, your research type paper must focus on the facts or argumentation. In this case, you should not provide your opinion or talk about what some author thinks. Only the definition of an object or belief is necessary.
As you can see, you only have to find out what your research must achieve. Set the purpose and look at the different types of research and possible methods to approach your problem . Once you know it, look at the research type papers and choose the most fitting option!
- Writing a Research Paper
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- Business tax
- Autumn Statement 2023: Overview of tax legislation and rates (OOTLAR)
- HM Revenue & Customs
Autumn Statement 2023 — Overview of tax legislation and rates (OOTLAR)
Updated 23 November 2023
© Crown copyright 2023
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: [email protected] .
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/autumn-statement-2023-overview-of-tax-legislation-and-rates-ootlar/autumn-statement-2023-overview-of-tax-legislation-and-rates-ootlar
This document sets out the detail of each tax policy measure announced at Autumn Statement 2023 and of previously announced measures that will be included in Autumn Finance Bill 2023. It is intended for tax practitioners and others with an interest in tax policy changes, especially those who will be involved in consultations both on the policy and on draft legislation.
All measures listed below are applicable UK wide unless specified otherwise.
The information in the document is set out as follows:
Chapter 1 contains details of all measures that are included in Autumn Finance Bill 2023.
Chapter 2 contains details of measures which are part of Autumn Statement 2023 but are not in Autumn Finance Bill 2023.
Table 1 lists measures in this document without a corresponding announcement in the Budget report. (TBC)
Annex A provides tables of tax rates and allowances for the tax year 2023 to 2024 and the tax year 2024 to 2025.
Annex B provides a guide to the impact assessments set out in tax information and impact notes.
For an update on previously announced consultations, see the tax policy consultation tracker .
Chapter 1 — Autumn Finance Bill 2023
Personal tax, 1.1 abolition of pensions lifetime allowance.
As announced at Spring Budget 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to complete the work to remove the Lifetime Allowance. The measure will clarify the taxation of lump sums and lump sum death benefits, and the application of protections. It will also clarify the tax treatment for overseas pensions, transitional arrangements, and reporting requirements. The measure will take effect from 6 April 2024.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Abolition of the Lifetime Allowance from 6 April 2024
1.2 Taxation of the pension remedies for Members of Parliament, Members of Senedd and Members of the Legislative Assembly
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation in the Autumn Finance Bill 2023 with supporting regulations to ensure the pensions tax framework applies as intended to redress payments from the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund, the Senedd Pension Scheme and the Assembly Members’ Pension. The changes will take effect from the date of Royal Assent to the Autumn Finance Bill 2023.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information Taxation of Members of Parliament, Members of the Senedd and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland pension reform remedies
1.3 Off-payroll working (IR35): calculation of Pay As You Earn ( PAYE ) liability in cases of non-compliance
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to enable HMRC to reduce the PAYE liability of a deemed employer, where that engagement was incorrectly treated as self-employed for tax purposes. This would account for tax and National Insurance contributions already paid by a worker and their intermediary on payments received from an off-payroll working engagement. Secondary legislation will be laid in due course to set out how it will work. The changes will take effect from 6 April 2024.
A response to the consultation launched in April 2023 has also been published alongside the Statement.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Calculation of PAYE liability in cases of non-compliance with off-payroll working
1.4 Enterprise Management Incentives ( EMI ): extending the time limit to submit a notification of a grant of options
As announced at Spring Budget 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to extend the time limit to notify HMRC of a grant of EMI options from 92 days following the grant to 6 July following the end of the tax year in which the grant was made. The change will apply to EMI options granted on or after 6 April 2024.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Enterprise Management Incentives: Changes to the process to grant options
1.5 Enterprise Investment Scheme ( EIS ) and Venture Capital Trust ( VCT ) extension
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to extend the existing sunset clauses for the EIS and VCT scheme from 6 April 2025 to 6 April 2035. This will continue the availability of Income and Capital Gains Tax reliefs for investors in new shares issued before this date by EIS qualifying companies and VCTs . The changes will take effect in accordance with regulations made by HM Treasury.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Extension of the Enterprise Investment Scheme and Venture Capital Trust Scheme
1.6 Expanding the cash basis
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to expand the income tax cash basis for the self-employed and partnerships. The cash basis is a simplified way of calculating taxable profits for income tax purposes. The changes that will be made are to set the cash basis as the default method for small businesses, and remove the turnover, interest, and loss relief restrictions that currently apply to the cash basis. The changes will take effect from 6 April 2024. Read the ‘Expanding the Cash Basis Summary of Responses’ document for more information.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Expanding the Income Tax cash basis for self-employed individuals and partnerships
1.7 capital allowances: permanent full expensing.
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to make temporary full expensing permanent.
Introduced at Spring Budget 2023, temporary full expensing allows companies incurring qualifying expenditure on the provision of new plant and machinery on or after 1 April 2023 but before 1 April 2026 to claim:
- a 100% first-year allowance for main rate expenditure — known as full expensing
- a 50% first-year allowance for special rate expenditure
The expiry date of 1 April 2026 will be removed in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to give effect to permanent full expensing. The government will also launch a technical consultation on wider changes to further simplify the UK’s capital allowances legislation.
Expenditure on plant and machinery for leasing remains excluded from full expensing. The government will publish a technical consultation on draft legislation in due course to help it consider any potential extension to include plant and machinery for leasing, which is subject to future decision.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Capital allowances — permanent full expensing
1.8 Research and Development ( R&D ) tax reliefs: merger of current small or medium enterprise ( SME ) and R&D Expenditure Credit ( RDEC ) scheme
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023,the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to merge the current RDEC and R&D SME schemes for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April 2024. This will simplify and improve the system.
The rate offered under the merged scheme will be implemented at the current RDEC rate of 20%.
The notional tax rate applied to loss-makers in the merged scheme will be the small profit rate of 19%, rather than the 25% main rate currently set in the RDEC .
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Research & Development ( R&D ) tax relief reforms
1.9 Research and Development ( R&D ) tax reliefs: enhanced support for R&D intensive small or medium enterprises ( SMEs )
As announced at Spring Budget 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to implement the enhanced support for R&D intensive SMEs , providing a higher rate of payable tax credit for eligible SMEs . Loss-making companies claiming the existing SME tax relief will be eligible for a higher payable credit rate of 14.5% if they meet the definition for R&D intensity.
The intensity threshold required to qualify for this enhanced support will be reduced from 40% to 30% from 1 April 2024. A one-year grace period will also be introduced, enabling a company which has claimed successfully but which fails to meet the intensity threshold, for example due to a one-off shock, to continue to claim for the following period provided it meets the other conditions for the relief.
1.10 Research and Development ( R&D ) tax reliefs: restricting nominations and assignments
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to remove the use of nominations for R&D tax credit payments (subject to limited exceptions). This will stop payments being made to third parties, with payments now going directly to claimants. The government will also legislate to prevent any new assignment (whether equitable or statutory) of R&D tax credits. HMRC will withhold payment until it is able to make payment directly to the claimant company. The change on nominations will take effect for all claims to payable R&D tax credits made on or after 1 April 2024. The restriction on new assignments will apply in relation to assignments made on or after 22 November 2023.
1.11 Reform of audio-visual creative tax reliefs
As announced at Spring Budget 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to reform the film, TV and video games tax reliefs to refundable expenditure credits — an Audio-Visual Expenditure Credit ( AVEC ) for film and TV programmes, and a Video Games Expenditure Credit ( VGEC ) for video games. Under the Audio-Visual Expenditure Credit, animated film and TV and children’s TV programmes will be eligible or a rate of 39%. The credits will be available from 1 January 2024.
The definition of a ‘documentary’ for the purpose of AVEC will be amended to align with guidance used by the British Film Institute.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Reform of film, TV and video games tax reliefs to expenditure credits
1.12 Administrative changes to the creative industry tax reliefs
As announced at Spring Budget 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 for minor administrative changes to the creative industry tax reliefs. This includes rules for connected party transactions and for additional information to be shared with HMRC by companies when they claim relief. The government will also legislate technical clarifications to the cultural tax reliefs for theatre, orchestras and museums and galleries.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Creative industry tax reliefs: administrative changes
1.13 Pillar 2: multinational top-up tax and domestic top-up tax amendments
Further to the publication of draft legislation on 18 July and 27 September 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to amend the Multinational Top-up Tax and Domestic Top-up Tax which were introduced in Spring Finance Bill 2023.
These taxes are the UK’s adoption of Pillar 2, an international agreement to help tackle profit shifting and aggressive tax planning by multinationals. The amendments reflect recent internationally agreed guidance and clarify areas identified from stakeholder consultation. They will take effect for accounting periods beginning on or after 31 December 2023.
Draft legislation for some of the amendments was published for consultation on 18 July and 27 September 2023. Minor changes have been made reflecting responses received
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Multinational top-up tax and domestic top-up tax amendments
1.14 Real Estate Investment Trusts ( REITs )
Further to the publication of draft legislation on 18 July 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to make amendments to the rules for Real Estate Investment Trusts ( REITs ) to enhance the competitiveness of the regime. The changes will generally take effect from the date of Royal Assent to Autumn Finance Bill 2023, with the exception of two of the amendments which will be treated as always having had effect and an amendment which will apply for accounting periods ending on or after 1 April 2023.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Amendments to the Real Estate Investment Trust regime
1.15 Stamp Duty and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax: widening access to the Growth Market Exemption
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to extend the Growth Market Exemption, a relief from Stamp Duty and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax, to include smaller, innovative growth markets. The change will allow Financial Conduct Authority regulated multilateral trading facilities ( MTFs ), that are operated by investment firms, to access the exemption. MTFs will apply through the usual HMRC application and approval process. It will also legislate to increase the company market capitalisation cap condition within the growth market exemption from £170m to £450m.
These changes will take effect from 1 January 2024.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Growth Market Exemption for Stamp Duty and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax
1.16 Stamp Duty and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax: removal of the 1.5% charge on issues and certain related transfers
As announced on 14 September 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to ensure that the existing 0% charges under Stamp Duty and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax on issues (and certain related transfers) of securities onto foreign markets, will remain in place and be brought permanently into UK law following the changes in the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 taking effect. The legislation will also preserve the 0% charge on issues of bearer instruments. Draft legislation was published for technical consultation on 14 September. The changes will take effect from 1 January 2024.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Stamp Taxes on Shares: Removal of 1.5% charge on issues and certain related transfers
1.17 Tonnage Tax: extension to ship management and capital allowance leasing limits
As announced at Spring Budget 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to permit third party ship management companies to join the Tonnage Tax regime. At present, only ship operators, defined as vessel owners or charterers, may elect into the regime. The government will also bring forward legislation to raise the limit on capital allowances to £200 million for lessors of ships into the regime in line with inflation and the cost of ships. These measures will take effect from 1 April 2024.
The tax information and impact notes for this measure provides more information: Tonnage tax elections to include third party ship managers and Increasing the capital allowance limits for leasing into tonnage tax
1.18 Post Office compensation schemes, Corporate Entities
The government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to ensure that compensation recipients of the Post Office schemes (Horizon Shortfall Scheme, Group Litigation Order, Suspension Remuneration Review and Post Office Process Review Scheme), who are structured as a corporate entity, will be taxed in a similar way to individual recipients.
Furthermore, any top up payment received to account for a tax liability will not be subject to tax at either the corporate or individual level. The changes will be retrospective to the date at which the compensation payments were received.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Tax exemption for corporate recipients of compensation payments made under the Post Office compensation schemes: Group Litigation Order, Horizon Shortfall Scheme, Suspension Remuneration Review or Post Office Process Review Scheme
1.19 tobacco duty rates.
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to:
- increase the duty rates for all tobacco products by the tobacco duty escalator of 2% above inflation (based on the Retail Price Index ( RPI ))
- increase the rate for hand-rolling tobacco by an additional 10% above the escalator, to 12% above RPI inflation
The changes will take effect from 6pm on 22 November 2023. The rates are set out in Annex A.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Changes to tobacco duty rates from 22 November 2023
1.20 Aggregates Levy Rate for 2024 to 2025
As announced at Spring Budget 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to increase the rate of Aggregates Levy in line with Retail Price Index ( RPI ).
The change will take effect from 1 April 2024 as set out in Annex A.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Changes to the Aggregates Levy rate from 1 April 2024
1.21 Landfill Tax: rates for 2024 to 2025
As announced at Spring Budget 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to increase the standard and lower rates of Landfill Tax in line with Retail Price Index ( RPI ), rounded up to the nearest 5 pence. The changes will take effect on and after 1 April 2024, as set out in Annex A.
Landfill Tax was devolved to the Scottish Parliament in April 2015 and to the Welsh Assembly in April 2018.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Landfill Tax rates for 2024 to 2025
1.22 Plastic Packaging Tax rate
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation in the Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to increase the rate of Plastic Packaging Tax in line with the Consumer Price Index ( CPI ). The change will take effect from 1 April 2024. The rate is set out in Annex A.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Changes to Plastic Packaging Tax rates from 1 April 2024
1.23 Air Passenger Duty rates for 2024 to 2025
As announced at Spring Budget 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to increase Air Passenger Duty ( APD ) rates (rounded to the nearest pound) for 2024 to 2025 in line with the Retail Price Index ( RPI ) as forecast at Spring Budget 2023. These changes will take effect from 1 April 2024. The APD rates are set out in Annex A.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Changes to Air Passenger Duty rates from 1 April 2024
1.24 Rebate on heavy oil and certain bioblends used for heating
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to make a minor technical amendment to restrictions on the use of certain rebated heavy oils and bioblends. With the exception of those that use kerosene, this measure permits machines and appliances to use rebated heavy oil (other than gas oil) or bioblends that do not contain gas oil, for commercial heating. This measure will take effect from the date of Royal Assent to Autumn Finance Bill 2023.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Fuel Duty for heavy oil and bioblends for heating
1.25 Vehicle Excise Duty ( VED ) and Heavy Goods Vehicle ( HGV ) levy uprating
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to increase VED rates for cars, vans and motorcycles in line with the Retail Price Index ( RPI ) from 1 April 2024. To continue to support the haulage sector, the rates for VED for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) will be maintained at 2023 to 2024 levels, with effect from 1 April 2024.
As announced at Spring Budget 2023, the government introduced a new reformed HGV levy from August 2023. To further support the haulage sector, with effect from 1 April 2024 HGV levy rates will be frozen at 2023 to 2024 levels for 2024 to 2025.
VED rates are set out in Annex A.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Vehicle Excise Duty rates for cars, vans and motorcycles from 1 April 2024
1.26 Vehicle Excise Duty exemption for Ukrainian vehicles
As announced on 18 July 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to exempt Ukrainian nationals in the UK under the Family, Sponsor and Extension Ukrainian visa schemes from the requirement to register and tax their Ukrainian-plated and registered vehicles in the UK for a period of 36 months.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Exemption for Vehicle Excise Duty for Ukrainian vehicles
1.27 Interpretation of VAT and excise law
The government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to clarify how VAT and excise law should be interpreted in the light of changes made by the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 ( REUL Act). This was announced and draft legislation published for technical consultation on 20 October 2023.
The measure confirms that, in relation to VAT and excise law, in line with the REUL Act, it will no longer be possible for any part of any UK Act of Parliament or domestic subordinate legislation to be quashed or disapplied on the basis that it was incompatible with EU law. It also ensures that UK VAT and excise legislation continues to be interpreted as Parliament intended, drawing on rights and principles that currently apply in interpreting UK law.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Interpretation of VAT and excise legislation
Tax administration and other measures
1.28 tougher consequences for promoters of tax avoidance.
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation in the Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to introduce:
- a criminal offence for promoters of tax avoidance who continue to promote avoidance schemes after receiving a Stop Notice requiring them to stop promoting schemes described in that notice
- a new power enabling HMRC to bring disqualification action against directors of companies involved in promoting tax avoidance, including those who control or exercise influence over a company
These changes will take effect from Royal Assent to Autumn Finance Bill 2023.
The tax information and impact note for these measures provides more information: Dealing with promoters of tax avoidance
1.29 Doubling maximum sentences for tax fraud
As announced at Spring Budget 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to double the maximum sentences for the most egregious forms of tax fraud from 7 to 14 years. These changes will take effect from the date of Royal Assent to Autumn Finance Bill 2023.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Increasing the maximum prison term for tax fraud
1.30 Construction Industry Scheme ( CIS ) reform: reforms to the Gross Payment Status test
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation in the Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to add compliance with VAT obligations to the Construction Industry Scheme Gross Payment Status compliance test. The changes will also expand HMRC’s powers to remove Gross Payment Status immediately in cases of serious non-compliance involving VAT, Income Tax Self-Assessment, Corporation Tax Self-Assessment and PAYE . Regulations will be laid to set out exceptions to VAT compliance obligations and to remove the majority of payments made by landlords to tenants from the scope of the Scheme. All legislation will come into force from 6 April 2024.
The summary of responses to the consultation was also published at Autumn Statement 2023.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Construction Industry Scheme reform from 6 April 2024
1.31 Improving the data HMRC collects from its customers
As announced on 27 April 2023, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to require employers, company directors, and the self-employed to provide new or improved data to HMRC to enable better outcomes for citizens and businesses. Through PAYE reporting, employers will be required to provide data on employee hours paid, and through Self Assessment returns taxpayers will be required to provide dividend income and the percentage share from shareholders in owner-managed businesses separately to other dividend income, and, for trading businesses, the start and end dates of self-employment. Following further technical consultation, regulations will be laid spring 2024, with changes taking effect from the tax year 2025 to 2026.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Change to data HMRC collects from customers
1.32 Making Tax Digital: volunteers and penalties
As announced at Autumn Statement 23, the government will introduce legislation in Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to ensure that taxpayers who volunteer to join Making Tax Digital ( MTD ) from April 2024 are subject to the government’s new, fairer penalty regime for late filing of tax returns and late payment of tax. These changes, which will apply new penalties to annual obligations only, will take effect from 6 April 2024.
The tax information and impact note for this measure provides more information: Penalty Reform for Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self Assessment volunteers
Chapter 2 — Measures announced at Autumn Statement 2023 but not in the Autumn Finance Bill 2023
This chapter contains details of other tax measures announced at Autumn Statement 2023 but are not in Autumn Finance Bill 2023. This includes consultations and measures that will be legislated by secondary legislation and future Finance Bills.
2.1 National Insurance contributions ( NICs ) rates
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation to reduce the main rate of primary Class 1 National Insurance contributions by 2 percentage points from 12% to 10% from 6 January 2024. For the self-employed the main rate of Class 4 National Insurance contributions will be reduced by 1 percentage point from 9% to 8% from 6 April 2024.
From 6 April 2024, self-employed people with profits above £12,570 will no longer be required to pay Class 2, but will continue to receive access to contributory benefits including the state pension. Those with profits between £6,725 and £12,570 will continue to get access to contributory benefits including the state pension through a National Insurance credit without paying National Insurance contributions as they do currently. Those with profits under £6,725 who choose to pay Class 2 voluntarily to get access to contributory benefits including the state pension will continue to be able to do so.
Technical specifications for payroll software companies will be published in due course.
2.2 National Insurance contributions ( NICs ) rates and thresholds
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will freeze the Lower Earnings Limit ( LEL ) and the Small Profits Threshold ( SPT ) at 2023 to 2024 levels in 2024 to 2025.
For those paying voluntarily, the government will also freeze Class 2 and Class 3 National Insurance contribution rates at their 2023 to 2024 levels in 2024 to 2025. The main Class 2 rate will remain at £3.45 per week, and the Class 3 rate will remain at £17.45 per week. This will not affect existing arrangements for payments of voluntary Class 2 or Class 3 National Insurance contributions connected with previous tax years.
In line with previous announcements at Autumn Statement 2022, most National Insurance limits and thresholds will be maintained at 2023 to 2024 levels, until the 2027 to 2028 tax year. Details can be found within Annex A.
2.3 Extension of National Insurance contributions ( NICs ) relief for hiring veterans
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government is extending the employer National Insurance contributions relief for employers hiring qualifying veterans for a further year from April 2024 until April 2025. This means that businesses will continue to pay no employer National Insurance contributions up to annual earnings of £50,270 for the first year of a qualifying veteran’s employment in a civilian role. The government will extend the relief through secondary affirmative legislation ahead of April 2024.
2.4 Van benefit charge and the car and van fuel benefit charges for 2024 to 2025
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government announced that the van benefit charge and the car and van fuel benefit charges will be maintained at 2023 to 2024 levels for 2024 to 2025.
The flat-rate van benefit charge will remain at £3,960. The multiplier for the car fuel benefit will remain at £27,800. The flat-rate van fuel benefit charge will remain at £757.
2.5 Individual Savings Account ( ISA ) annual subscription limit
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the adult ISA annual subscription limit for 2024 to 2025 will remain unchanged at £20,000.
2.6 Child Trust Funds annual subscription limit
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the annual subscription limit for Child Trust Funds for 2024 to 2025 will remain unchanged at £9,000.
2.7 Junior ISA annual subscription limit
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the annual subscription limit for Junior ISAs for 2024 to 2025 will remain unchanged at £9,000.
2.8 Lifetime ISA annual subscription limit
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the annual subscription limit for Lifetime ISAs for 2024 to 2025 will remain unchanged at £4,000.
2.9 Help to Save reform
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government is reforming the Help to Save scheme. The new design will be published in due course, alongside the launch of a consultation on the most effective way to deliver it.
2.10 ISA : digitise the ISA reporting system
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will make changes to ISAs to simplify the scheme and widen the scope of investments that can be included in ISAs .
To simplify the scheme the government will:
- allow multiple subscriptions in each year to ISAs of the same type, from 6 April 2024
- remove the requirement to make a fresh ISA application where an existing ISA account has received no subscription in the previous tax year, from 6 April 2024
- allow partial transfers of current year ISA subscriptions between providers, from 6 April 2024
- harmonise the account opening age for any adult ISAs to 18, from 6 April 2024
- digitise the ISA reporting system to enable the development of digital tools to support investors
To widen the scope of investments the government will:
- allow Long-Term Asset Funds to be permitted investments in the Innovative Finance ISA , from 6 April 2024
- allow open-ended property funds with extended notice periods to be permitted investments in the Innovative Finance ISA , from 6 April 2024
- engage with the finance industry on allowing certain fractional shares contracts to become permitted ISA investments
For those measures that take effect from 6 April 2024 a statutory instrument will follow early next year.
Over the next few months, HMRC will establish stakeholder forums and communication channels for ISA managers and relevant trade bodies to ensure the pace and sequencing of the move to a digital system reflects the needs of ISA providers and investors, as well as the requirement to upgrade HMRC’s own infrastructure.
2.11 Pension Schemes Relief at Source ( RAS )
A draft enabling clause to support the digitalisation of Relief at Source ( RAS ) pensions tax administration was published in July 2023. Recent discussions with industry have confirmed that a solution for digitising RAS , that could be delivered for April 2025, would not meet the needs of the largest schemes. Furthermore, the deferral of digitisation of RAS will assist industry’s concerns on their capacity to deliver an ambitious programme of government reform. Therefore, the digitisation of RAS will not be operative until April 2027 at the earliest, and there will be no enabling clause in the Autumn Finance Bill 2023.
2.12 Surplus extraction arrangements for defined benefit pension scheme
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce secondary legislation to reduce the free-standing tax charge which applies to authorised surplus payments to sponsoring employers of a registered pension scheme from 35% to 25%. This measure will take effect from 6 April 2024.
2.13 Announcement of future guidance changes to tax relief for self-employed
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, HMRC will clarify guidance to businesses on what training costs can be deductible for tax purposes. This will ensure that businesses can be confident that updating existing skills or maintaining pace with technological advances or changes in industry practices, are allowable costs when calculating the taxable profits of a business.
2.14 Compensation Schemes — Post Office Limited
The government will introduce legislation to exempt top-up payments made under the Suspension Remuneration Review ( SRR ) scheme and payments yet to be made under both SRR and the Post Office Process Review Scheme from Income Tax, National Insurance contributions and Capital Gains Tax. The exemptions will be provided through further statutory instruments. Exemptions for corporate recipients are being legislated for separately.
This builds from 6 July 2023, where the government introduced two statutory instruments to exempt top-up payments made under the Horizon Shortfall Scheme, created in response to the Horizon failures, from Income Tax, National Insurance contributions and Capital Gains Tax.
2.15 Pillar 2: Undertaxed Profits Rule ( UTPR )
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation in a future Finance Bill to amend the multinational top-up tax to introduce the Undertaxed Profits Rule ( UTPR ). This is the backstop rule in Pillar 2, an international agreement to help tackle profit shifting and aggressive tax planning by multinationals.
Draft legislation was published for consultation on 18 July 2023.
The UTPR will take effect for accounting periods beginning on or after 31 December 2024.
2.16 Repeal of Offshore Receipts in respect of Intangible Property ( ORIP )
As announced in Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation to repeal the Offshore Receipts in respect of Intangible Property ( ORIP ) rules in 2024.
The repeal will take effect for income arising from 31 December 2024 alongside the introduction of the Pillar 2 Undertaxed Profits Rule, which will more comprehensively discourage the multinational tax-planning arrangements that ORIP sought to counter.
2.17 Electricity Generator Levy: new investment exemption
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation in an upcoming Finance Bill to provide for an exemption from the Electricity Generator Levy for receipts from new electricity generating stations. New electricity generating stations will include new standalone stations and substantial expansions and repowering of existing stations. This measure will take effect for revenues from new electricity generating stations where the substantive decision to invest is taken on or after 22 November 2023.
2.18 Energy Profits Levy ( EPL ): Energy Security Investment Mechanism ( ESIM )
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government has published a Summary of Responses and Technical Note on the ESIM following the discussion note published in July 2023. The technical note provides detail on how the ESIM will apply, and how the EPL will cease if triggered by oil and gas prices returning to historically normal levels for a sustained period. The government will introduce legislation to give effect to the ESIM in due course.
2.19 Oil and gas taxation: treatment of payments into decommissioning funds for Carbon Capture Usage and Storage ( CCUS ) purposes
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation in a future Finance Bill to provide tax relief for payments by oil and gas companies into decommissioning funds where this relates to the repurposing of assets within the oil and gas corporation tax ring fence for use in CCUS activities. Additionally, the government will introduce legislation to remove corresponding asset value payments for those assets from the charge to the Energy Profits Levy.
2.20 Freeport tax reliefs sunset date extension
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will extend the sunset date for the Freeport tax reliefs to 30 September 2031 for Freeports in England. In each Freeport, the extension will be conditional on agreement of delivery plans and will be legislated once those delivery plans are agreed. For Freeports in Scotland and Wales the reliefs will be extended from five to ten years, subject to agreement with the devolved administrations.
The current sunset date for the Stamp Duty Land Tax ( SDLT ) relief, enhanced structures and buildings allowances and enhanced capital allowances for plant and machinery is 30 September 2026. The secondary Class 1 National Insurance contributions relief is currently available on the earnings of eligible new employees starting by 5 April 2026 only. The National Insurance contributions relief will continue to apply for 36 months per employee within the extended ten-year window.
2.21 Investment Zones tax reliefs sunset date extension
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will extend the Investment Zones tax reliefs from five to ten years. This extension is subject to the ongoing co-design of proposals and agreement of delivery plans with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and HM Treasury and will be legislated in 2024. The UK government will work in partnership with the Scottish and Welsh governments with the intention of delivering an extension to the Investment Zones programme in Scotland and Wales.
2.22 Call for evidence on further support for visual effects
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government has published a call for evidence on recent trends in the visual effects industry. The call for evidence will run until the 3 January 2024.
The government will follow the call for evidence with a consultation on the design of additional tax relief for visual effects expenditure, which the government intends to implement from April 2025.
2.23 Alcohol duty rates
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government is freezing the rates of alcohol duty until 1 August 2024 and delaying its annual uprating decision announcement on uprating to Spring Budget 2024 to give businesses time to adapt to the duty system introduced on 1 August 2023.
2.24 The tax treatment of remote gambling
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will shortly publish a consultation on proposals to bring remote gambling (meaning gambling offered over the internet, telephone, TV and radio) into a single tax, rather than taxing it through a three tax structure as at present.
2.25 Gaming duty
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the Gross Gaming Yield bandings used to determine the rate of gaming duty will be frozen from 1 April 2024.
2.26 Aggregates Levy rate for 2025 to 2026
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation in a future Finance Bill to increase the rate of Aggregates Levy in line with the Retail Price Index ( RPI ). The change will take effect from 1 April 2025. The rate is set out in Annex A.
2.27 Carbon Price support rates
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will continue the freeze of Carbon Price Support ( CPS ) rates of Climate Change Levy ( CCL ) and Fuel Duty to maintain a cost of £18 per tonne of carbon dioxide in Great Britain in 2025 to 2026. No legislation is required to implement the freeze. The CPS rates of CCL and Fuel Duty are set out in Annex A.
2.28 Climate Change Levy rate
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will freeze the main and reduced rates of Climate Change Levy ( CCL ) from 1 April 2025. No legislation is required to implement the freeze. The main and reduced rates of CCL from 1 April 2025 are set out in Annex A.
2.29 Future of the Climate Change Agreement scheme
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, a new six-year Climate Change Agreement ( CCA ) scheme will be introduced. The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) have published a consultation on the detail of the new scheme. Legislation will be prepared during 2024. The new CCA scheme will give access to reduced rates of Climate Change Levy from 1 July 2027 to 31 March 2033 for energy intensive firms that meet energy efficiency or emissions reduction targets agreed with the Environment Agency.
2.30 Emissions Trading Scheme ( ETS ) net zero cap
As set out by the UK ETS Authority in July 2023, will reduce the number of ETS permits available for purchase from government by 45% between 2023 and 2027. It will also extend the scheme to cover emissions from domestic maritime and energy from waste in 2026 and 2028 respectively. This change has been enacted by amending the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Auctioning Regulations 2021 through an enabling power under the Finance Act 2020.
2.31 Women’s sanitary products
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation to extend the scope of the current VAT zero rate relief on women’s sanitary products to include reusable period underwear. Currently, reusable period underwear is standard rated for VAT. The changes will take effect from 1 January 2024.
2.32 Reforms to the VAT energy-saving materials relief
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will introduce legislation to expand the VAT relief available on the installation of energy-saving materials by extending the relief to additional technologies, such as water-source heat pumps, and bringing buildings used solely for a relevant charitable purpose within scope. These reforms will be implemented from February 2024. Full details on these reforms will be published in a summary of responses document shortly.
2.33 VAT Treatment of private hire vehicle operator
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will consult in early 2024 on the implications of the High Court’s ruling in Uber Britannia Ltd vs Sefton MBC.
2.34 Simplifying Making Tax Digital ( MTD ) for Income Tax Self Assessment
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the government will make design changes to Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self Assessment, simplifying and improving the system for taxpayers and their representatives. The government will:
- simplify the requirements for all taxpayers providing quarterly updates and for taxpayers with more complex affairs, such as landlords with jointly-owned property
- remove the requirement to provide an End of Period Statement
- exempt some taxpayers, including those without a National Insurance number, from MTD
- enable taxpayers using MTD to be represented by more than one tax agent
Draft regulations will be published for technical consultation later in 2023.
2.35 Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings ( ATED )
As announced at Autumn Statement 2023, the ATED annual charges will rise by 6.7% from 1 April 2024 in line with the September 2023 Consumer Price Index. The 2024 to 2025 charges are set out in Annex A.
Table 1: Measures in this document without a corresponding announcement in the Budget report
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