Tuesday, August 19, 2008

open and scholarly

We often hear complaints about the dearth of reputable sources on the web. While it is true that most worthy source materials may still be found in bricks-and-mortar research and community libraries, or locked up in subscription-only online depositories, there are excellent sources readily, and freely, available to our students.

The Directory of Open Access Journals DOAJ should be at the forefront of sources for all research papers you assign, both as source material for references and as outstanding examples of research paper writing. The articles provide excellent lessons in reading comprehension, as well.

Subjects represented by the DOAJ are comprehensive, from the humanities to the sciences, to business and economics. Here's an article from journal Romantic Textualities that I'll definitely add to my reading list for Romantic Era studies, "Remediating Byron: Textual Information Overload During Byron's 1816 Travels":

Cultural insights into the communication phenomenon of textual Information Overload existed during the Romantic period. In 1800, for example, Wordsworth lamented the multifarious transmission and reception of information which, he found, blunted ‘the discriminating powers of the mind’ resulting in the mind becoming unfit for ‘voluntary exertion’ because the (over)saturation of print media precludes one to ‘think long and deeply’.

So we're not the only generation to experience the onslaught of information overload. How's that for relevance?

On the subject of scholarly articles, how do students tell the difference? Here's a video from the library at University of Wisconsin-Madison which spells it out so we can all understand. The video is a keeper; you'll want to show it to your classes and provide the link on your website.

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