Textbooks for Students

Badke, William B. 2011. Research strategies: Finding your way through the information fog. New York: IUniverse, Inc.

263 p.
ISBN: 978-1462010196
US $27.30

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Committee Member Review:
Now in its fourth edition, Research Strategies should be required reading for undergraduates. The new edition expands on the online information environment, helping students to become savvier searchers on the Open Web and to make better use of bibliographic citation managers. Written in an engaging conversational style, Badke walks the novice researcher through each stage of the information seeking process – from crafting a good research question and designing a search to selecting and using appropriate resources. Badke manages to gently contextualize the information environment, revealing complexities to the reader without being tedious or tiresome. By alerting students to the “fog,” he is able to make trickier concepts (controlled vocabularies, Boolean searching) more relevant. Instructors will find that Research Strategies is a perfect complement to their teaching as each of the ten chapters is well organized, divided into labeled sections, and ends with thoughtful comprehension questions. Includes appendices.
-- Meagan Lacy, February 2011

Chernow, Barbara A. 2007. Beyond the Internet: Successful research strategies. Lanham, MD: Bernan Press.

156 p.
ISBN: 978-1598881738
US $18.70

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Published Reviews:
Labaree, R.V. 2008. “Review.” CHOICE. 45 (11): 1919.

Ercegovac, Zorana. 2008. Information Literacy: Search strategies, tools & resources for high school students and college freshmen. Columbus, OH: Linworth Pub.

224 p.
ISBN: 978-158683329
US $45

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Published Reviews:
Lay, Suzanne C. 2008. “Review.” Library Media Connection 27: 93.

George, Mary W. 2008. The Elements of Library Research: What every student needs to know. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

216 p.
ISBN: 978-0691138572 (paperback)
US $14.95

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Published Reviews:
Elliott, Julie. 2008. “Review.” Library Journal 133 (20): 171.

Hock, Randolph and Greg R. Notess. 2013 The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook: A guide for the serious searcher. 2nd ed. Medford, NJ: CyberAge Books.

315 p.
ISBN: 978-1937290023
US $15.83

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Published Reviews:
Bellard, Eloise M. 2005. “Review.” Internet Reference Services Quarterly 10 (2): 110-1.   
Janzen, Julie. 2005. “Review.” Medical Reference Services Quarterly 24 (3): 117.
McGettrick, Andrew. 2005. “Review.” Library Review 54 (8): 497-8.   
Tedd, Lucy A. “Review.” Program.  2005.  39 (2): 177-8.   
Westmancoat, J. 2005. “Review.” Reference Reviews 19 (7): 11-12

Reviews refer to earlier editions.

Lanning, Scott. 2012. Concise Guide to Information Literacy. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

99 p.
ISBN: 9781598849493 1598849492

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Published reviews:
Loertscher, David. 2012. “Review.” Teacher Librarian 39 (5): 51.  
McNair, Susan C. 2012. “Review.” Library Media Connection 31 (3): 95.  
Muller, Karen. 2012. “Review.” American Libraries 43 (9/10): 50-51.

Lipson, Charles. 2008. Doing Honest Work in College: How to Prepare Citaions, Avoid Plagiarism, and Achieve Real Academic Success.  2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

260 p.
ISBN: 0-226-48477-8
US $14.00

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Committee Member Review:
Lipson has written a clear, engaging text which effectively conveys the central tenets of academic honesty and the essential details of citation. His primary audience consists of students who have just begun to be exposed to rigorous, formal academic work at the post-secondary level. The first quarter of the text serves as an overview of academic honesty. After defining academic honesty, Lipson suggests study behaviors and habits of mind to help students avoid unintentional plagiarism. He provides a guide to behaviors expected of individuals undertaking various sorts of academic work, such as take-home and in-class exams, science labs, and term papers. Lipson also discusses practices which will ensure proper citation and plagiarism avoidance. A majority of the book serves as a reference to the Chicago/Turabian, MLA, and APA citation styles, as well as CSE, AMA, ACS, and styles used in scholarly writing in physics, mathematics, and law. Logically, the Chicago, MLA, and APA styles receive the most attention, but his coverage of these styles is neither deeper nor clearer than that found in Diana Hacker's A Writer's Reference.

Lipson does accomplish his goals with this text--he clarifies the complex, challenging subject matter that he sets out to cover. However, librarians considering this text for possible inclusion as a required purchase for students enrolled in an information literacy course may first want to determine whether their students have already purchased something similar to Hacker's text. Doing Honest Work in College would certainly be appropriate as a "recommended" text on an information literacy or introductory college composition course syllabus. The text might also be valuable as part of an institutional response to students who have already committed one or more acts of academic dishonesty.

--Ben Treat, March 2006

Published Reviews:
Gasman, M. 2008. “Review.” Review of Higher Education 32 (2): 274-275.

This review refers to an earlier edition.

Mann, Thomas. 2005. The Oxford Guide to Library Research. New York: Oxford University Press.

320 p.
ISBN: 9780195189988 (hardcover)
US $35.00

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Published Reviews:
Burton, J.P. 2006. “Review.” CHOICE 43 (8): 1366.

Manuel, Kate. 2006. Information Literacy Course Handbook for Distance and In-class Learners. Pittsburgh, PA: Library Instruction Publications.

ISBN: 0-9772520-0-0 (Student Edition)
US $42.00

ISBN: 978-0977252008
US $55.00

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Published Reviews:
Johnson, Ann M., Jent, Sarah, and Reynolds, Latisha. 2007. “Review.” Reference Services Review 35 (4): 584-640.

Quaratiello, Arlene Rodda. 2011. The College Student's Research Companion. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers.

183 p.
ISBN: 978155570729
US $54.95

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Committee Member Review:
The College Student's Research Companion is aimed at teaching undergraduate students basic library research skills needed for college-level research. Perhaps one of its greatest strengths is that it is ‘user-friendly,’ just as the publisher claims. Unlike the Oxford Guide to Library Research by Mann, students will find the language of the Quaratiello text written in a more easily understood and approachable manner. The only barrier to cash-poor students will be the hefty price tag of $45.00. The first part of the book emphasizes developing essential library research skills. Quaratiello reviews the different types of sources, such as various types of reference sources, and how they will help students in their research. She also has a chapter on how the library is organized, including a discussion of the classification systems. Probably the book’s strongest chapter is the one for searching techniques pertaining to library catalogs and databases. The text is supplemented with numerous screenshots and charts to help convey concepts. The second half of Quaratiello’s work deals with electronic resources, including the Internet. Chapter six is devoted to the most popular types of databases students use, with brief bulleted items summarizing the kinds of information these databases contain. Chapter eight addresses the structure, content, organization, and types of search engines on the Web (all in the span of 20 pages). Although these chapters have been revised from earlier editions, they do not cover these topics as well as some librarians might wish. For those wanting more in-depth coverage of Internet resources, may want to consult a text like Hartman & Ackermann’s Searching and Researching on the Internet & World Wide Web.

--Paul Victor Jr., March 2006

This review refers to an earlier edition.

Published Reviews:
Vaughan, Lauri J. 2011. “Review.” Voice of Youth Advocates 34 (4): 420.

Riedling, Ann Marlow. 2006. Learning to Learn: A Guide to Becoming Information Literate in the 21st Century. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers.

148 p.
ISBN: 1-1555705561
US $40.00

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Published Reviews:
Cain, Amanda. 2003. “Review.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 29 (3): 191.   
Dunford, Helen. 2007. “Review.” Australian Library Journal 56 (2): 201-203.  
Levesque, Carla. 2003. “Review.” Community & Junior College Libraries 11 (4): 76-77.   
Reese, Jean. 2003. “Review.” MultiMedia Schools 10 (2): 38.   
Stumpf, Elizabeth. 2003. “Review.” Library Media Connection 21 (7): 98.  

These reviews refer to an earlier edition.

Solomon, Amy, Terry Taylor, Gwenn Wilson and Naomi Williamson. 2011. 100% Information Literacy success. 2nd ed. Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

256 p.
ISBN: 978-0495913771 (paperback)
US $38.95

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Published Review:
Library Journal.  2007.  132(13): 125. Reviewer: Mary Todd Chesnut

This review refers to an earlier edition.

Staines, Gail M., Mark A. Bonacci, and Katherine Johnson. 2008. Social Sciences Research: Research, Writing, and Presentation Strategies for Students.  Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press.

106 p.
ISBN: 9780810856653
US $40.00

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Committee Member Review:
This slim volume offering step-by-step advice geared to the first and second year college student is written by faculty with extensive community college teaching experience. The emphasis is upon the related processes of library research and writing, not on social science research methods themselves. Chapters are short, focusing on pragmatic guidance with helpful examples and address choosing a research question, reformulating a research question into a database/index search statement, and database search basics (Boolean operators, limits, and truncation). All examples are generic, without reference to specific database content or vendor interfaces. Internet search engines are mentioned briefly. Chapters on outlining, note taking, APA citation style, and paper presentation conclude the step-by-step portion of the book. Appendices provide examples of student research questions, a sample paper to illustrate the topics in each chapter, worksheets for the steps represented in each chapter, and blank citation forms to assist users with collecting complete citation information from each source used.

--Anne Zald, March 2004

Stebbins, Leslie F. 2006. Student Guide to Research in the Digital Age: How to Locate and Evaluate Information Sources. Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited.

202 p.
ISBN: 1-59158-099-4
US $45.00

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Committee Member Review:
Stebbins’ book is one of several recent releases to take on the challenge of doing research in an information environment so overly full that, as she says, one is tempted “to fall back on a Google search, grab a few items, and begin writing.” To combat both the frustration of information overload and the ever-present “good enough” mindset of the Google user, Stebbins lays out a methodical approach to research clearly aimed at today’s undergraduates. The “Seven Steps of Research” she covers in the opening chapter will be very familiar to librarians and many faculty members. These “Steps” include various aspects of the research process: defining a research question, asking for help, developing a research strategy, searching for and locating sources, reading critically, understanding scholarly communication processes, and citing and critically evaluating sources. Following a broad introduction, the book chapters are devoted to in-depth discussions of specific types of research (such as biographical and legal research) as well as specific categories of sources (such as books/e-books, scholarly and popular articles, primary sources, and federal documents). The final chapter covers citing sources, including sub-sections of plagiarism and specific citation styles. The guide is certainly useful and thorough, but at times it seems more suited for librarians and library students than for a “typical” undergraduate audience. The information is timely but there is no stylistic or other hook likely to make this inviting reading for students. Stebbins offers a solid, practical approach to research in the age of information glut, but her delivery could be better aimed to capture the interest of her intended readership.

--Susanna Cowan March 2006

Published Reviews:
Burton, Donna L. 2008. “Review.” Government Information Quarterly 25 (3): 558-561.
Lear, Bernadette A. 2007. “Review.” Reference & User Services Quarterly 46 (3): 107-108.
Loertscher, D. 2006. “Review.” Teacher Librarian 33 (5): 48-49. 

Tensen, Bonnie L.  2013. Research Strategies for a Digital Age. Boston, Mass: Thomson Wadsworth.

311 p.
ISBN: 9780840028822
US $56.95

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Published Reviews:
Anonymous. 2013. “Review.” Reference and Research Book News 2 (Jun).

Toronto Public Library. 2012. The Research Virtuoso: How to Find Anything You Need to Know. Toronto: Annick Press.

122 p.
ISBN: 9781554513949

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Published Reviews:
Junyk, Myra. 2012. “Review.” CM: Canadian Review of Materials 18 (36): 16.
O’Brien, Sandra. 2012. “Review.” Canadian Children's Book News 35 (2): 22-23.
Thibodeaux, Annette. 2013. “Review.” Library Media Connection 31 (5): 91.

Watts, Margit Misangyi. 2006. College: We Make the Road by Walking. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

310 p.
ISBN: 0131196324
US $39.00

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Committee Member Review:
Watts taught an innovative first-year program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The intent of her curriculum and this book is to get students to explore why they are going to college and their motivations for learning. Each chapter contains a section called “Travel Essentials,” which discusses some aspect of information literacy. Topics of these sections include the difference between subjective and objective, ways of knowing (experience, observation, and authority), and scholarly discourse. There is great variety within each chapter, and they are formatted in an engaging way. She includes personal stories from her experiences teaching, stories from students, and stories from people out in the work world who talk about how college, learning, and information literacy help them now. Essays such as Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” Malcolm X’s “Saved” and a speech given at Yale are inspiring reads on the value of learning. The book is intended to be interactive, and includes plenty of space for students to journal in response to questions and to work on assignments. The assignments are creative, including such things as art projects and creating a museum exhibit. Chapter nine, on research, is the most focused on library skills, as it discusses research methodology, locating and evaluating sources, credibility, review of literature, and plagiarism. It includes exercises such as researching the credibility of authors in various fields. The other chapters are not as focused on information literacy, but they do include aspects related to it. This would be a fun book for someone who would like a more creative approach to teaching a first-year studies class.

--Rebecca Miller, April 2006

This review refers to an earlier edition. 


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