Celia Brinkerhoff, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Copyright Year: 2019
Publisher: Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Conditions of Use
There is no index or glossary provided with this text. It is however marketed as a tutorial with 4 modules and the topics for each module are listed in the table of contents. This work does cover mostly everything a student would need to begin the... read more
There is no index or glossary provided with this text. It is however marketed as a tutorial with 4 modules and the topics for each module are listed in the table of contents. This work does cover mostly everything a student would need to begin the research process and help them in understanding the process for developing a good research question. There are some additions I would add, specifically where to look in journal articles that can help them formulate a new research question and providing support for their own search for possible sources. Overall, this is a very good book.
The tutorial provides good information and covers everything I would have with my students and more on how to search for quality research. It also explains how to avoid bias in research. The only issue I have is that not all of the links provided in the text are working links, but that can be adjusted by providing new/different links or maybe not needed at all.
The content used for this work is relevant and does not contain any dated information. All of the information provided will remain useful for years to come. However, this text was written for Canadian students, using a search engine I am not familiar with. I would need to provide my students that information and explain the names of the search engines our library system uses. This is not a huge issue, since the key information is how to use the search engine and that would remain the same.
This text does not use research language in the formal sense and does not need any extra explanation of terminology. It is also quite readable, and this makes it particularly useful for a wide range of students, and for use in both undergraduate and graduate level courses.
The framework provided is good and goes through the steps which can help the students understand that developing a research question is a process that can be circular in nature. It does not introduce terminology that is specific to a typical research methods course and that is a good thing because it could be overwhelming. The text does what it says it will and that focus is consistent throughout the text.
There are four modules presented in this text, with each one specific to the process in developing a good research question. These modules can also be easily broken up with specific page ranges used for assigned readings. Also, this is a short book and at 108 pages, broken up in four parts makes this book an easy read for students.
The author did a good job of organizing the text both between and within the four modules. There is a logical layout, from thinking about a research topic and narrowing it down to finding and utilizing reputable sources. They also included a breakdown on how to do searches from a library database, and even though this comes from an author in Canada, it is still applicable, but you do need to let students know that although the process is the same, the names of the search engines are not.
This text is free of any significant errors, and I did not see any minor errors as well in formatting/presentation. The only issue I did find is that some of the links did not work anymore, but there were many more that did.
This text is well written with no grammatical errors present.
From my perspective as a critical criminologist, there is no bias present in this text, and it is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.
Overall, this is a very good book and I do plan to use it in all of my classes where I am assigning a research paper. This book is well put together and offers a great resource for any discipline/course that asks students to conduct research for assignments. Some note to students can be added based on professor's own experiences as well as notes about links (whether working or not), and the different names associated with our library’s search engines (different than in the text). However, these are minor nuisances and do not distract from the overall usefulness of the text. I am looking forward to seeing what my students think.
One of the modules features how to select sources, which I think is very useful for an introduction course. read more
One of the modules features how to select sources, which I think is very useful for an introduction course.
This book is error-free.
The topics in this book flow well toward doing research, but it is specific to using particular library databases, which may not be applicable in your context.
This book is accessible.
This book leads one through the process of doing research on a variety of levels.
Excellent remix that developed the original book into modules.
The organization of the original book into modules offers a user friendly way to apply the book.
Each module has a clear objective and is easy to navigate.
no grammar errors.
This book uses current, relevant issues as examples in the selection process.
This book is an excellent remix. I plan to use it in my introduction to research class.
The book outlines and properly sequences the content in an order ideal for learning research. read more
The book outlines and properly sequences the content in an order ideal for learning research.
No issues were observed or discovered during the reading. All content was accurate, and all links were functional.
The author provides multiple examples of current databases and methods to search for resources for research.
The writing is clear and written very well. The author speaks professionally and with authority yet is relatable and understanding.
Many tips are available throughout the reading, serving as methods to condense the idea being taught. Each section begins with an estimated amount of time required to finish the reading, which is informational for the reader.
All reading a concise and does not overstay its welcome. The author is to the point but is never lacking in information.
Each section includes activities that are beneficial for the reader. The exercises are shot but impactful. Each chapter ends with a takeaway or summary of what was taught.
The book is very easy to navigate, and the flow of text to images and videos is easy to manage and understand.
No grammatical issues were observed for this review.
References are real-world and relatable. The author provides supportive videos which are concise and accessible online. The author provides multiple modes of retrieving information and resources. The author writes from a real-world experience but is not overbearing for students.
This book is excellent for introductory courses to research but is short enough to act as a refresher if necessary.
In summary, the author has an excellent conceptual understanding of research and makes all concepts relate in terms easily understood. The author emphasizes the skills involved in proper research studies but is not overbearing on the reader. The book allows for easy access to research at a multitude of levels.
The book walks students new to research through the process of developing a research topic to finding and evaluating sources. It includes important digital literacy concepts such as “lateral research” and links to outside web sources that provide... read more
The book walks students new to research through the process of developing a research topic to finding and evaluating sources. It includes important digital literacy concepts such as “lateral research” and links to outside web sources that provide more context for such terminology. The book's strength is in its conciseness, practicality, and interactivity for the beginning researcher.
The information provided is accurate and provides a good foundation for future thinking about knowledge production.
The text is written with occasional references to the Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) library and its Summon search tool, which can be distracting if the text is assigned at another institution. However, the information, process, and skills presented in the book are relevant to a wider audience and the distraction does not outweigh the textbook’s benefits.
The writing is lucid, concise, and accessible. Technical language is well explained and accessible to young researchers. Interactive activities are provided for visual, hands-on learners who benefit from seeing actual webpage and library database searches.
The text is internally consistent. Modules follow the same pattern and format.
The content is presented in four parts that are further divided into 34 sections total. Each of the sections are clearly labeled and can be used individually. Students will appreciate that the modules are focused and brief, with a total completion time of 15 minutes each.
The topics and subtopics are well organized and intuitive. Each of the four main sections begin with Key Takeaways and Learning Objectives. Short quizzes at the end of a section are useful and not overly burdensome to the reader. The interactive activities will be especially helpful to students who are new to research.
Readers have the option to use the content box or arrows to navigate through the book. Arrows are more intuitive for me when working within a module, but this is one aspect of the online version that did not work for me. Navigational instructions are provided regularly, but the arrows themselves are placed outside of the frame of the text/page and on the bottom border. It takes me a minute to locate them each time I want to advance to the next page.
I did not see any grammatical errors.
I did not see content that was offensive.
While I found myself wanting a less value-free position on research, the book works very well as a primer on the practical steps for doing research. My students will benefit from it.
The textbook is moderately comprehensive in that it provides a research process that both undergraduate and graduate students need to understand if they are to acquire information literacy skills for lifelong learning. The textbook creates... read more
The textbook is moderately comprehensive in that it provides a research process that both undergraduate and graduate students need to understand if they are to acquire information literacy skills for lifelong learning. The textbook creates awareness that research is a step by step approach rather than diving into searching databases with a topic in mind but no research process to go by with as covered in the text. Doing Research focuses on the ACRL information literacy standards which are integrated into the four modules and that helps students address an objective for their topic. The interactive addition of assignments for all modules creates a follow-up of an understanding of the learning objectives and research process.
Doing Research is a great research process textbook especially for students who are new to research and have no idea that library research is not a "thing", it really exists. This textbook represents the library research concepts and process accurately without bias. The content in this textbook helps students understand that research is not finding a topic and then writing a research paper, but it involves some accurate steps to achieving a good quality of research to write a paper or presentation purposes.
Each module has been developed around one of the core concepts of Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, which was adopted by ACRL in 2016. Although the book has been written specifically for the Kwantlen Polytechnic University library, the 4 modules can be tweaked as per any academic library's resources. Most academic librarians address these modules in their instructions based on the assignment and nature of research. A relevant text book which puts a spin on traditional and modern way of doing research.
The textbook includes language that can easily be understood by college students. All the assignments, videos, images and tables presented in the modules are not too lengthy and therefore concisely and clearly stated. Students in the digital age have a difficult time with navigating, locating and evaluating academic library's' resource homepage, by breaking the guide up in different modules, there is more clarity when it comes to how to conduct research through a multi-step process.
Though some of the images shared such as, "Comparing Google search terms" are blurry and not readable. When librarians are presenting information images need to be visually legible. The author should review and correct these images before publishing.
The content is at par with what any research or instruction librarian would deliver to college students. Some consistency is required in terms of formatting the text equitably with font and size to make it visually appealing as a textbook. There are a couple of blank pages within the textbook that could be removed. The terminology is consistent with the the title of the book and delivers the content on how to follow a research process systematically.
Doing Research presents the modules for the research process in order for students to effectively conduct and understand the research process to complete a particular assignment. These modules can be used individually depending on the need for the assignment . Also each module is not too long that a student get lost and deter from completing it.
Doing Research has definitely been organized as to how a research process ought to be conducted from a librarian's perspective. Research in itself is organization and the research process in this textbook gives an organization structure by way of the modules, to achieve a quality standard assignment or presentation if followed step by step. Every module has an ACRL Information literacy standard embedded with learning objectives that enforces students and faculty to understand the reason for teaching a certain module.
The "Comparing Google search terms" image and others are not clear but very blurry, so all images will have to have better resolutions. The textbook is available if four different formats: eBook, PDF, XML and Online. All hyperlinks for videos and activities work well and it is great that the author has included navigational instructions for all parts in the module.
There are no grammatical errors within the textbook.
The text pertains to all students and faculty of diverse backgrounds. Research is inclusive of all races, ethnicities and backgrounds. It may be done differently in various parts of the world and so having an open textbook on research makes it available culturally to all who can learn the right way of doing research.
I think that this open textbook is great resource for librarians, faculty and students in middle and high schools and of course colleges and universities. It does need to be formatted before finally being published. There is a lot of free white area with no text, images or anything. The interactive activities make the modules fun and appealing.
Doing Research is a concise yet comprehensive tutorial that will help undergraduate and graduate students choose a research topic, develop a research question, search for sources, and evaluate sources. read more
Doing Research is a concise yet comprehensive tutorial that will help undergraduate and graduate students choose a research topic, develop a research question, search for sources, and evaluate sources.
The tutorial, developed by Kwantlen Polytechnic University librarian Celia Binkerhoff, provides accurate, error-free, and unbiased information.
The tutorial, published in 2019, is relevant, applicable to all disciplines, and useful to students in the United States and Canada.
The tutorial is easy to understand, free of jargon and technical terms, and designed to be completed in a short period of time.
The tutorial consists of four modules that are set up the same way, beginning with Key Takeaway and Learning Objectives.
The tutorial has 34 lessons that are divided among four modules, a design that makes it easy to pick and choose which topics to explore.
The tutorial is very well organized and easy to navigate. A drop-down box provides a list of content, from which students can choose a topic to explore.
The tutorial consists of text, diagrams, tables, videos, and activities for the students to perform. The information is spaced far enough apart that students will not become confused or distracted.
While reading the text, I did not notice any grammatical errors.
While reading the text, I did not notice any material that might be offensive to a diverse student body.
Doing Research: A Student’s Guide to Finding & Using the Best Sources (2019) is a tutorial developed by Celia Binkerhoff, a librarian at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, located in the metro Vancouver area near the U.S. border. The information in this tutorial is adapted from Choosing and Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research, developed by Ohio State University Libraries.
The tutorial consists of four modules, each module designed to take approximately 15 minutes to complete. At the beginning of each module, students will find Key Takeaway--a statement about the main topic covered in the module—and Learning Objectives—a list of key concepts covered in the module.
The tutorial consists of text, tables, diagrams, videos, and activities to help students learn about choosing a research topic, developing a research question, locating sources, and evaluating sources.
Doing Research is a concise yet thorough guide that will help undergraduate and graduate students develop a strategy for planning and executing research projects.
Reviewed by Carol L. Chester, adjunct English instructor, Worcester State University, Worcester, Massachusetts, May 27, 2021.
This book is designed to be a quick overview of the research process rather than a comprehensive dive into all aspects of qualitative and quantitative research. The book is presented in a series of 34 learning modules, each designed to take... read more
This book is designed to be a quick overview of the research process rather than a comprehensive dive into all aspects of qualitative and quantitative research. The book is presented in a series of 34 learning modules, each designed to take approximately 15 minutes, according to the author. Many of the modules have interactive activities, videos, or checks for understanding.
This is a useful guide for a student new to conducting library research. "Doing Research" accurately presents library research concepts to students and does so without any obvious bias.
This book is based on the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, which was adopted by ACRL in 2016. The short modules are designed in such a way that if the ACRL Framework is modified in the future, individual modules can be revised without changing the overall structure of the book. The book is written with the Kwantlen Polytechnic University library in mind. Therefore, some of the references may not be universally applicable but the information appears to be transferable. For example, a number of modules refer to the Summon search engine. While not all universities use that specific search engine, they should have a similar engine and the general query process would remain the same.
The book is written in a clear and accessible manner appropriate for entry-level college students. The videos that are embedded are also clear and easy to understand. The book is written for a Canadian university and uses Canadian spelling rather than American spelling, but that doesn't impact the content.
The book is very consistent in structure and terminology.
The book is designed to be worked through in a sequential manner, with each module building upon previous learning. That said, each module is also complete within itself and could be assigned as a review of a specific topic. For example, I might assign Module 12 if the topic we were studying was peer review.
The book is organized in a logical manner and guides the student through the research process from choosing a research topic and question through developing a search strategy and evaluating sources. The table of contents makes it easy to jump to a specific topic of interest. Each of the four parts of the book begins with a key takeaway and clear learning objectives.
The book is available as an eBook, PDF, online, and XML. I had no difficulty in navigating through the book using either Chrome or Firefox.
I found no major grammatical errors that detracted from the content.
The book did not contain any references that would be considered culturally offensive. There are very few references to different ethnicities. While the language is not always gender-neutral, I didn't find anything offensive.
I found the interactive activities to be both enjoyable and educational. They were presented in a non-threatening manner and provided immediate feedback and the opportunity to redo the activity. I may use parts or all of this book in one of my basic research classes.
The text is very comprehensive of the elements of college-level assignment-based research. The content is clearly stated and organized in the expandable index, allowing for effective navigation to specific modules, and sections within modules.... read more
The text is very comprehensive of the elements of college-level assignment-based research. The content is clearly stated and organized in the expandable index, allowing for effective navigation to specific modules, and sections within modules. Each module includes explanations, examples, activities, and related concepts to provide a thorough introduction to research strategies. Some sections could be more developed; for example, section 15 includes explanations of how bias relates to creation of effective search terms, but does not provide examples or activities for readers to explore this concept.
The text provides accurate and error-free information on effective research strategies. Modules present current, useful approaches to information literacy that encourage and incorporate readers’ reflection on their own understandings and practices. Multiple sections refer readers to the “best” strategy or the “best” information. This designation fully incorporates the importance of context; for example, instead of stating that peer-reviewed sources are “best”, the Part 2: Recognize Types of Information module explores the types of situations in which you need or want information from peer-reviewed resources. Likewise, popular sources and social media or open web sources are shown to be useful in the context of specific information needs. Content is also specific to Library resource and database searching, providing accurate descriptions of search tools and strategies for reading and using these tools, such as filters and item records.
Content is relevant and up-to-date with current standards of information literacy. The text builds on the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education in a way that is relevant to the student audience and current strategies for searching with available tools and technology. Necessary updates will be relatively easy to implement due to the modular format of the text. Many of the examples are specific to the Library where the author works and their service region, but are still relevant to readers outside this area in how to approach and conduct assignment-based research. Example search topics are relevant to current issues as well as general research topics, and will likely remain relevant for some time.
Information about assignment-based academic research and the tasks involved is clearly and concisely presented. Useful examples and context are included to help make sense of different research concepts. Technical terminology is defined clearly and bolded or italicized for emphasis. The language is accessible to both beginner and experienced college-level researchers. Concepts are presented in multiple formats – tables, text, images, and video – which appeals to multiple learning styles without being overly repetitive. Activities are clearly aligned with the content. Some activities and figures could include more explanations or headers to support understanding of the concepts depicted. For example, source examples in the interactive table in section 8 don’t clarify the type of sources named which could confuse readers as to what they are examples of.
The text is extremely consistent in structure and terminology. Each section contains the same layout and flow of content while allowing for topic-specific differences in examples and activities. The language remains consistent as well, including definitions for new terms and an accessible style.
This text is modular by design, with 4 self-contained modules that provide key takeaways, learning outcomes, and topic-specific information. These modules could be easily assigned at different times throughout a course. While the modules build on each other, and make sense in the order the text presents them, individual modules could be used separate from the others to highlight that element of the research process for a particular class or assignment.
The organization of the text content is very clear, logical, and sequential. Information in later modules build on that from earlier ones and supports the progression of understanding the many elements of college-level assignment-based research. The flow between modules and sections is clear and seamless, with obvious transitions that allow for reflection. Key takeaways are presented at the beginning and end of modules to reinforce concepts learned.
The text is in four main formats: eBook, PDF, online, and XML. The text includes useful navigational instructions, such as how to interact with each of the activities, expected time to complete modules, what to click on, and how to return to the text after viewing an image or outside source. Videos and activities are embedded in the online version and all function well. Some figures are slightly distorted (Fig. 2.2 Types of Information Sources in section 7). Videos have closed captions in English.
I found one grammatical error, otherwise the text is error-free.
Content and examples in the text are not offensive or culturally insensitive. Some examples of search tools and topics are specific to Canada. Very few examples or content include identity information (gender, race, ethnicity) and when they do there is a variety of identities presented.
This text is a useful balance of content and practice. I enjoyed reading the text and engaging with the activities and can see it's many practical applications. I am interested in making an adaptation of this text, with slight edits for use at my institution in the Colorado, U.S.A.
Doing Research does not cover all aspects of research but it doesn't aspire to either. The creator is upfront that the modules are designed to take 15 minutes for students to complete. That goal is achieved. read more
Doing Research does not cover all aspects of research but it doesn't aspire to either. The creator is upfront that the modules are designed to take 15 minutes for students to complete. That goal is achieved.
Doing Research accurately presents library research concepts to students.
The modules are chunked in a way that will make changes easy to make.
I'd like to see more boxes with definitions for students. For example, a longer description of bias in Chapter 14.
I didn't notice any issues with consistency.
Doing Research is arranged in order by the steps in completing research for an assignment. However, each module can be assigned separately to students without completing earlier modules. For example, the first module on narrowing a topic and developing a research question might be skipped if topics are assigned to students. Students could then start with learning about the types of resources or how to develop a search strategy.
Doing Research walks students through finding research for course assignments in four modules in a logical order. Students first learn how to narrow a topic and develop a research question. Next, they learn about the different types of resources and when each type makes sense to use. The next module addresses how to search for resources. In the final module, students learn how to evaluate the information they find.
I'm not sure how accessible the images are that students are to analyze and respond to questions about.
I didn't notice any major grammatical errors.
Some inconsistency on using gender-neutral language.
In the introduction, the creator states this book is based on the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education but I didn't see the six frames clearly addressed. I'd suggest identifying which frames make the most sense for an introductory text to be emphasized. For example, the elements of Research as Inquiry could be integrated into the first module.
The activities in each chapter are good and it's a nice bonus that you can download the H5P files.
The author refers to this text as a “tutorial”; it is intended to introduce the student to library research methods. The text certainly does cover a broad spectrum of research methods topics. If students use the entire text, they will be taken... read more
The author refers to this text as a “tutorial”; it is intended to introduce the student to library research methods. The text certainly does cover a broad spectrum of research methods topics. If students use the entire text, they will be taken through modules showing them how to think critically about the larger process of refining a research topic, continuing to learn about it from different types of sources, and evaluating and curating the sources they find through library and other catalogues. Of course, there is much more to say on the subject of "doing research" than is said here but it is a succinct and accessible entry point for new researchers which lays out the most urgent and timely considerations of process and critical thought in research.
This is a useful and accurate introductory guide to asking the right kinds of questions in the research process. I did not find troubling biases; rather, the text is oriented to guiding students through how to recognize and mitigate their own biases in the research process. (There are some errors, but these are not in content; they are rather in formatting and numbering, as explained below.)
This tutorial was developed followed the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, which was adopted by ACRL in 2016. The Framework represents recent work on ethical and responsible approaches to library-based research and, more broadly, information literacy. Throughout, there is an emphasis on evaluating sources and checking for bias in different ways and this is much needed for students across the board.
Though written specifically for students at KPU, this text could easily be used in a variety of higher ed writing and research classrooms. There are some references to specific KPU resources, but the instructor can replace these with their own institutional links and examples, such as a link to library reference books. It would be straightforward to implement changes and made additions to the text in its PDF form.
This text is clear, accessible, and interesting to read. The examples and activities clarify any doubts students may have in how to apply concepts to their individual research processes.
The author's technique of beginning each part of the text with a guide to the purpose fosters clarity for students in terms of what they should acquire in each section. And there is a friendly and inviting tone to the writing that makes it more accessible and less intimidating for students embarking on research projects. At the end of each section, summarizing language and activities solidify the clarity and accessibility of each of the four parts that make up the text.
There is some inconsistency in use of the term “module” and some errors in numbering sections. Instructors will want to ensure they are assigning numbered sections by checking both the table of contents and the text itself (and by differentiating how the online and PDF versions are numbered, which do not match). There are also minor errors in numbering of lists within the text.
The text is broken into four “Parts” that are organized by core concepts and practices (with learning objectives). Within each part, there are modules, which contain text, activities, and quizzes. Instructors can easily excerpt specific modules and assign them by URL or by excerpts from the PDF version of the text. Each module stands alone well.
There is an easily navigated, hyperlinked table of contents with headings broken down in digestible pieces. These headings reflect common questions or concepts that a student would want to consult, such as “Understanding Peer Review” and “But is it Relevant?”. Each of the four parts is organized progressively, though they are also easy to separate if an instructor wanted to use fewer than four. They can also be subdivided into their component Parts: each Part contains three to nine subheaded modules with activities, for a total of 26 modules.
Each Part begins with “Key Takeaways”, “Learning Objectives,” and a box on “Navigation: How to move around this tutorial.” At the end of each Part, a review quiz is helpful for ensuring students acquired to key takeaways from that section.
The text can be read as a PDF or as a web-based text. In case of using the former, there are hyperlinks that take the reader into the web-based interactive sections, including quizzes, videos (some made originally by the author), and other activities. The text is purportedly not compatible with Internet Explorer, but can be used with Chrome or Firefox. The quizzes helpfully offer an answer key in real time and can be taken multiple times. Quiz answers are checked and accompanied by an explanation of correct and incorrect responses.
There is integration with Moodle, but it appears to still be under development and I do not have a Moodle account to be able to try it out. Moodle will be the location for completion certificates and some activities, according to the text at the time of this review.
Within each Part, there are indications of how long each Part should take to complete, but confusingly these are referred to as “modules” again. Some of the hyperlinks to online activities are incorrect in the PDF version, but hopefully the author will update soon.
I did not find major or distracting grammatical errors.
There are a variety of examples of research themes and sources throughout the book that include multiple disciplines and social problems and some differences in cultural or national backgrounds. There is also use of the feminine gender when referencing authors in some places. There are minimal implicit references to different ethnicities in examples and cases.
The online activities are engaging and fun. They are challenging yet straightforward and students can assess their reading and concept comprehension through them. Overall, this is a fantastic introduction that can be adapted easily!
Table of Contents
- How to Use This Tutorial
- I. Part 1. Get Started on Your Research
- II. Part 2. Recognize Types of Information
- III. Part 3. Develop your Search Strategy
- IV. Part 4. Evaluate your Sources
About the Book
A modules-based approach to learning research skills that emphasizes the reflective nature of information discovery, the contextual basis for evaluating that information, and a recognition that information has value.
About the Contributors
Celia Brinkerhoff, Kwantlen Polytechnic University