St. Michael's 

Information Literacy: Researching Electronically -
Fall 2001

Copyright 2000  Steven Burks
Content at this web site may be used for educational purposes  only.  
Otherwise, All Rights Reserved











OCT 15

OCT 22

OCT 29


NOV 12

NOV 19

NOV 26


DEC 10

St. Michael's Library: SMC Indexes, Full text databases, Online Catalog, ILL, Subject Guide

Last Update - 01/16/02 03:57:56 PM



GED / GSA 579 
Time: 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Classroom: St. Ed's 211
Tuesday Evenings
Instructor: Steven Burks
My Background
Reference/Instruction Librarian
   - LIS Web Site Developer
Office: Library 210 Campus Phone: 654-2354
Email:   Office Hours: By appointment or during my reference desk shifts. I work some Tuesday evenings from 6-10 p.m. and some weekends.
Class Calendar: UPDATED WEEKLY
Other Links:  Past Class Projects, Class Favorites
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Course Goals and Objectives
Students will become proficient as online researchers and evaluators of electronic information. Strategies for the effective use of search engines, subject specific sites, interactive media, Usenet Newsgroups, and Listservs are featured for Internet information resources. Search methods and understanding database design and system delivery are covered for multimedia CD-ROMs, electronic indexes, and full-text databases. Methods of organization and dissemination of electronic information are covered in web site design, email and personal software agents/profilers.

The content and usefulness of electronic information will be critically evaluated throughout the course, including the citing of electronic sources. The issues of copyright, privacy, and censorship in an electronic environment will be examined as it relates to each student's area of study.

Course Delivery/Assignments
GED 579 / GSA 579 is structured to deliver online search skills to students through group and individual assignments, class lectures and demonstrations, assigned readings, computer labs, and cooperative learning.  Students will teach components of the course through computer demonstrations.


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1. Major Project - Online Annotated Bibliography (45% of grade)
Students will create a subject specific Web Site based on research of chosen topic. Each site included in the bibliography will include an annotation (with both descriptive and evaluative elements) of the source, and links to the site. (Print sources may also be included in these bibliographies).   Past Class Projects
   DUE : Dec 3

2. Database Demonstration (20% of grade)
Students will demonstrate a database, CD-ROM, or WWW information tool to the class. The demonstration will include written documentation on the use of the information tool and a homework assignment designed to guide your classmates in the use of the tool.
   DUE: Assigned throughout semester

3. Midterm Quiz (10% of grade)
   Take Home: Given out OCT 1 , DUE: OCT 15, @ 5:30 p.m. 

4. Participation in Virtual Class Room(5% of grade)
   DUE: See Nov 19 under Class Calendar

5. Class Citizenship (20% of grade)
Students will be given many opportunities to show their participation and networking of research skills in class --  Contributions to class discussions and panels, knowledge of readings, assignments, helping fellow classmates with computer applications and research, and contributions to the GED/GSA 579 Class Internet Recommendations

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Required Texts:
The Internet Searcher's Guide to Searching and Researching on the Internet and World Wide Web (ISG for short)  By Ernest C. Ackermann & Karen Hartman  2nd Ed.  Second Edition.

Microsoft FrontPage 2000 At a Glance  by Stephen L. Nelson

Required Software:
FrontPage 2000.  May be purchased at the SMC Bookstore for a reduced rate.
Click on Link above for more information. 
 Note-FrontPage 2000 is available from all the computer labs on campus.  You may use these computers instead of purchasing the software for home use.  OR  You may host your Online Annotated Bibliography on a school web site using another http editor such as Netscape or DreamWeaver.

Other readings will come from online sources:  Web sites, electronic journals, etc


Sept 3   Overview - Information Literacy

Question of the Day: How should one go about finding Newspaper articles in a library?  Find a newspaper article published within the past 12 months by one of the 5 major newspapers that dismisses the notion that everyone should drink eight glasses of water a day.  Answer: 

Click Assignment: : :
Reading: "Fuzzy Logic" by Martin Gardner from the book, Weird water & fuzzy logic : more notes of a fringe watcher  (hand-out in class)
Read: "Dictionaries" from Introduction to Reference Work by William Katz (hand-out in class) or 


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SEPT 10 - Searching Library Catalogs - - Techniques
Question of the Day: Without going to the SMC Library shelves, use the SMC  Online Catalog to determine what books are before and after the following title: Internet Power Searching: the Advanced Manual ?

Guest Lecturer: Robert Bouchard-Hall,  - Associate Director for Bibliographic Service - SMC Library

Web site organized by Dewey Decimal Classification 
Bublink (

  • Subject Headings/Descriptors

Controlled Vocabulary: LCSH - Library of Congress Subject Headings, ERIC Thesaurus, PsycINO

Click Assignment:  -- Searching the Online Catalog
Reading: ISG Textbook Chapter 8, and pages 145-151
Read: "Making the Systems Work" from An Introduction to Information Research by Carla List.  (hand-out in class)
Read: Chapter 6 "Indexing and Abstracting Services: Subject and Newspaper" from Introduction to Reference Work (hand-out in class)

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SEPT 17 -     Search Library Catalogs/Indexes
Question of the Day:
You are trying to develop a calendar for your office.  You want to spice this calendar up with interesting events that fall on certain dates.  Find a source on the Internet that would be useful for finding this information.
----A good print sources is "Chases' Calendar of Annual Events" located at SMC Library REF GT4803 .C48 or "The Book of Days"   Links to Internet Sources.

Question of the Day: SMC Library carries "electronic books" purchased through Net.library.  Go to the SMC Online Catalog and look up the title: "Using Microsoft FrontPage 2000" by Dennis Jones to see an example of a Net.library book.


  • Subject Headings/Descriptors

Books - Controlled Vocabulary: LCSH - Library of Congress Subject Headings, 
Indexes - ERIC Thesaurus, Thesaurus of Psycological Index Terms (PsycINO),  MESH - Medical Subject Headings -  Medline, 
(see handout "Class II - Classification Schemes, Searching Online Catalog"  page 5 for over-view of Controlled Vocabulary)

The Scout Report Archives Web site using Library of Congress Subject Heading for Web Sites:  to organize Internet sources.

Web site organized by Dewey Decimal Classification 
Bublink (


WorldCat M (through OCLC FirstSearch). The world's most comprehensive bibliography, with 42 million bibliographic records representing 400 languages and covering information from 4,000 years of knowledge, and holdings information from the world's libraries.



  • Ingenta 
    The world's largest website for the search and delivery of research articles, offers you access to article summaries from over 20,000 publications linked to the full text of over 4,500 titles. Full text access is set by each of our 140 publisher partners, but typically individual subscribers, or individuals within institutions that subscribe, can access the full text of their publications for free. Non-subscribers can, for the majority of articles, pay-per-view choosing from electronic, fax or Ariel delivery

Assignment: ProQuest Research Libraries
Also, look over the Database Demonstrations link.  Start thinking over which database or search engine you will consider for your demonstration.
Reading: ISG Textbook - Chapters 4, 5, 6

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SEPT 24 - Internet Directories, Search Engines and "Invisible or "Deep" Web
Question of the Day:  How Big is the Internet?  answer
Question of the Day:  How big is the "Invisible" or "Deep Web?"  anwer
Question of the Day:  What is a search engine?  answer

Assignment: Search Engine Evaluation Part I
Assignment: Subscribe to the email Monthly Newsletter - Search Engine Watch by going to (look for FREE NEWSLETTER at the bottom of page)
ALSO, Choose database for your Database Demonstrations Give me a general idea what you will research for the Online Annotated Bibliography that you will publish on your web site.

Readings: From Search Engine Watch: Numbers, Numbers, -- But What Do They Mean?
Read: "Finding it All on the Web: Search Tools and Strategies" by Laura Cohen from the journal Choice (hand out in class)
Read: Chapter 2 from your ISG textbook

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Enjoy the holiday

*** OCT 8 - NO CLASS ::  Holiday !!!


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OCT 15 - Web page design /  Take-Home Midterm Due Today, @ 5:15 pm
Question of the Day: Midterm Bonus Points

Assignment: Annotations & Background Page

Reading: "How Users Read on the Web" @
Read: "Web Design for Information Problem-Solving: Maximizing Value for Users" from Computers in Libraries, May 1997. (hand-out in class)

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OCT 22 -   Workshop I - Using Frontpage / Designing your web project
Question of the Day: According to the advertising network company, Second Wind @   what does the typical homepage cost for a business?   How does this compare to typical radio advertising costs?
Question of the Day: Where can I find Public Domain or "free" use of images on the web?
Answer: Public Domain (Free) Images
Public Domain (Free) and Non-Public Domain Music

I will be working all tuesday evenings for the rest of the semester 6-10 pm
(One exception - the week of Oct 22nd - I work thursday evening)

I work Sat Oct 27 12-4pm, 
Sunday Oct 28 2-8pm
Sunday Nov 4 2-8pm

* It is suggested you make an appointment in case my schedule changes

Assignment:  Keep working on your "Annotated Bibliographies" and Database Demonstrations.  If you have had success with your personalweb acct today- send me the URL of your web page with the background notes.
Reading: Atlantic Monthly article on copyright, "Who Will Own Your Next Good Idea?" @ (Parts 1, 2, 3)
Read: Look over    and    [sites sent from Lee Shafer]

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OCT 29 - FrontPage II / Citation Styles
Question of the Day: Where can I find Public Domain or "free" use of images on the web?
Answer: Public Domain (Free) Images
Public Domain (Free) and Non-Public Domain Music

Question of the Day: Find a definition of Public Domain

Database Demo: Medline/Medline Plus [Kara / Andre]

- NoodleBib: MLA Menu Driven Citation Guide

-  List of other citation guides 

Plagiarism and the Web

Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers

Assignment: At this point you should have a well developed Background Page.  If you haven't done so, please send via Email the URL where your Background Page resides.  Or send as text if you don't have a "live" URL.  By next week you should have an organizational scheme for your Web project and some annotated sources.
Reading: Chapter 12, from ISG textbook - "Email Discussion Group Archives and Usenet Newsgroup Archives"  (NOTE: was bought  by 
Reading: "The Economy of Ideas: A Framework for rethinking patents and copyrights in the Digital Age" by John Perry Barlow

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NOV 5 Email Discussion Lists and Newsgroups
Question of the Day - I'd like to use an "expert" to answer my question on Astronomy.  Where can I find a site to pose my question?
Answer: see

Question of the Day - I heard an interesting radio program on copyright on All Things Considered last Friday.  Where can one go to get transcripts of radio and televisions shows.  Answer 

Database Demo: Lexis - Nexis [Tina & Bethany]
Database Demo: ERIC  [Jim & Becky]

Assignment: Subscribe to a Email Discussion List, and "follow" a Newsgroup for a week.  Email me the name of the Email List and the Newgroup you are following with a short description.
Read: 10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained @
Read:  Catch up on your reading.  Go back to the readings covering copyright that you might have missed.  You need to understand these reading for the online discussion part of the virtual classroom.

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NOV 12 - Distance Education

Question of the Day:
What are the elements of a copyright notice?  How do you insert the symbol?
Click for Answer

Question of the Day:  When does Disney's right to the image of Mickey Mouse revert to public domain? hint Lexis-Nexis newspaper articles could answer this, but also other sources

Database Demo: Google [Cliff & Darlene]

Assignment & Readings: Go to the Virtual Class Room below.  Make sure you have read the posted Readings, Copyright Basics / Tutorial, and the Online Discussion topics

NEXT WEEK - I will be available next week for FrontPage help from 4 pm to 6 pm.  Please let me know if anyone wants to take advantage of this.  Once I get a head count--I'll let you know where we will meet.

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Enter by clicking the link above. 
Starts NOV 12 to NOV 26

No attended class.  We will "virtually" have a class that will cover Copyright in an Asynchronous mode.

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NOV 26 - Work on Your Web Projects

Question of the Day: 

Database Demo: AskJeeves  [Dennis & Michael]
Database Demo: Northern Lights [Karen]

Assignment: Your Online Annotated Bibliographies are DUE next week DEC 3
You will each have a chance to show your Web site and discuss its attributes in a relaxed setting.
- Does your web site have a copyright notice? Answer
- Does your web site have a time stamp of last update?

Readings: "Information Literacy as a Liberal Art" from the March/April 1996 Educom Review

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DEC 3- Online Annotated Bibliography Due Today
Question of the Day: Where does one go to have their web site evaluated/checked for - live links, loading time etc?    Click Answer

Question of the Day:  How much does it cost to submit your web page to Yahoo if you are a commercial web site?  Click Answer

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DEC 10 - Last Class - Discuss/Display Web projects
Question of the Day: How do I find the "archive" of defunct web pages?  answer

  • Discuss/Display Web projects
  • Class Evaluations
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Link to Class Projects - Fall 2001

Link to Class Projects - SPRING 2001

LINK to Past Class Annotated Bibliographies  - Fall 2000

LINK to Past Class Annotated Bibliographies - Spring 2000

LINK to Past Class Annotated Bibliographies - Fall 1999

* Class Favorites (URLs) - Spring 2001

Class Favorites (URLs) - Fall 2000

Class Favorites (URLs) - Spring 2000




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