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FYS: Pseudoscience?

Library research tips for Professor Hernández Berrones' FYS

Search Strategy: Use Keywords or Subject Headings

When searching for books, think about keywords related to pseudoscience in general, or a specific topic within pseudoscience -- use the list provided for you by Professor Hernández Berrones, or any approved topic of interest to you. 

Search Tip

When you find a good book on your topic in WorldCat, use the "More like this" subject links to find additional books classified under the same heading. Subject headings are standardized tags that describe the content of an item. You can use these tags to find material on the same topic regardless of the words used in the material’s text.

Suggested Databases for Articles

Academic Search Complete is a comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database. Start your research for articles here!  Tip #1: When you view a full record for an article, read the abstract, or summary, to quickly decide if it is useful for your research.  Tip #2: Use the subject links from the full record to find additional articles.

JSTOR is a multi-disciplinary database which provides scholarly, full-text content. While coverage goes all the way back to the 19th century, be aware there is no current content for many journals. 

The core databases in the field of history are America: History and Life, which covers the history of the United States and Canada, and Historical Abstracts, which covers the history of the rest of the world.

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Suggested Database for Primary Sources

JSTOR is a multi-disciplinary database which provides scholarly, full-text content. Coverage goes all the way back to the 19th century, but be aware there is no current content for many journals. 

Evaluating Websites

Use the CRAAP Test to evaluate a website: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose

Pay particular attention to Authority!

Authority: the source of the information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?
  • examples: .com (commercial), .edu (educational), .gov (U.S. government), .org (nonprofit organization), or .net (network)

Pseudoscience Related Websites

Here are a few sites related to pseudoscience for you to explore. Try using the CRAAP test to evaluate them. 

CSI: the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry The mission of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry is to promote scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims.

The Skeptics Society is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization whose mission is to engage leading experts in investigating the paranormal, fringe science, pseudoscience, and extraordinary claims of all kinds, promote critical thinking, and serve as an educational tool for those seeking a sound scientific viewpoint.

The Phrenology Page advocates a positive approach to scientific Phrenology.

Anthroposophical Society in America is a non-sectarian, non-political “association of people who would foster the life of the soul, both in the individual and in human society, on the basis of a true knowledge of the spiritual world.”

OPA: The Organization for Professional Astrology is a non-profit organization that advances the cause of professional astrology by helping students and practicing astrologers get the information, insights, and experiences they need to foster their understanding of astrology, and launch and enhance their astrology practices.

Turabian (Chicago) Citation Style

Research isn't complete until you correctly cite all your sources. Provide a complete citation to credit the authors / creators of sources you used, and to let your paper's reader locate and verify these sources. Professor Hernández Berrones requires you to use Turabian style for this course. 

Turabian Quick Guide covers the basics of Turabian formatting and style. For the most complete information, use the Manual, available in the Research Commons and on Reserve.