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What is authoritative information

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What is authoritative information

  1. 1. What is Authoritative Information? HLT1IPP La Trobe University Library College of Science, Health & Engineering
  2. 2. 2La Trobe University What is Authoritative Information? Let’s look at a definition of ‘authoritative’ “able to be trusted as being accurate or true; reliable...”[1] The term credible is sometimes used in place of authoritative to refer to reliable sources of information An authority on a subject is a recognised expert [1] Authoritative. (2010). In A. Stevenson (Ed.). Oxford dictionary of English. Retrieved from http://0- www.oxfordreference.com.alpha2.latrobe.edu.au/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t140.e0049870
  3. 3. 3La Trobe University What types of authoritative information should I be using for my university assignments? University assignments require you to use authoritative information from recognised experts, which is created in  academic books  scholarly journal articles  reports from government departments and reputable organisations
  4. 4. 4La Trobe University How do I choose the most appropriate books?  Start with enquiry guides provided by your subject  Search your university library www.latrobe.edu.au/library  Choose books which are published recently, as they will be based on up-to-date research
  5. 5. 5La Trobe University Sources for definitions of key terms  Searching for definitions is a good way to begin an assignment  A range of authoritative sources is available for definitions as follows: • Dictionaries and encyclopedias available via the Library – online & print • Glossaries from credible organisations or industry reports • Books or journal articles on the topic available via the Library
  6. 6. 6La Trobe University But what are scholarly journal articles? Most journal articles you need are available online via the Library databases and homepage www.latrobe.edu.au/library They are:  written by subject experts  published in scholarly journals  required to meet certain criteria in order to be published, and some undergo extra checking by experts, so are ‘peer-reviewed’ They include:  the latest research  an abstract at the start  references to other experts in a reference list and within the text  volume and issue number
  7. 7. 7La Trobe University How do I find appropriate reports?  Authoritative information in reports will be generally found on the internet  Search the internet for information from particular types of organisations ̶ Government departments: look for .gov in the url ̶ Professional associations look for .asn in the url ̶ Educational institutions: look for .edu in the url ̶ Not-for-profit organisations set up to support a particular condition or issue: look for .org in the url  You can even specify the type of organisation you want when searching e.g. type in your keywords and type site:.gov.au at the end
  8. 8. 8La Trobe University What about these? Are they appropriate sources to use for an assignment?* Lecture notes: NO – you need to find the original source that the lecturer would have referred to when presenting the information in the lecture Chat with your auntie who is a nurse: NO – you can use a chat with your auntie to get some ideas but you generally can’t use personal communication quotes for health sciences assignments Blog: NO – not an acceptable source for health sciences assignments. They are generally opinion-based rather than research and evidence-based Wikipedia: NO – entries in Wikipedia can be changed and updated by anyone Online fact sheets (like Better Health Channel): NO – they are not appropriate references for a health sciences assignment. They generally provide consumer information *This guidance may differ if the requirements of an assignment specified the use of any of these or other types of sources like newspaper articles
  9. 9. 9La Trobe University Searching for Authoritative Information – Key points Start with what’s recommended in the subject enquiry guide After using what’s recommended, extend your search by:  using Library search tools  looking in reference lists of readings set by course  searching the internet in a credible way – evaluate internet information carefully before using it in assignments  checking sources against each other Use a variety of types of resources (if not specified) – some books, book chapters, some journal articles, some credible internet sources - be guided by task requirements
  10. 10. 10La Trobe University Information Literacy Health Sciences Modules http://latrobe.libguides.com/health_sci Access: Library homepage > LibGuides > + Health Sciences > scroll to Information… Search Smart! These modules provide guidance to search effectively appropriate authoritative information for your assignments
  11. 11. 11La Trobe University Library Help  Chat to Library Staff www.latrobe.edu.au/library/chat  Library FAQ www.latrobe.edu.au/library/faq  Contact Us • Help Zone desk in person at your campus Library • Librarian phone and email – College of Science, Health and Engineering http://www.latrobe.edu.au/library/contact-us/librarian-phone-and-email