• Physics Design Research

    Where to find resources for physics research:

    • Books
    • Online Databases
    • Free web (i.e. google, search engines, websites, etc)

    Books

    You can search for library books on your topic by typing in the below search box. You might try simple phrases such as just the word "physics" or "science" before your topic. Examples:

    • Physics baseball or
    • Science Baseball
    • Physics roller coaster or
    • Science roller coaster
  • Databases

    Find the username and passwords in the canvas module!

    JSTOR

    • This is a database which you can use to research a variety of subjects. The articles you find in JSTOR are most likely to be academic and trustworthy.  

    Power Library

    • Click on "Health/Science" and try some of the following databases.
      • Academic Onefile
      • General OneFile
      • Science Reference Center

    SIRS Issues Researcher 

    • Some students have had luck using Sirs Issues Researcher because it does include articles from Scientific American. 

     Database Tutorial Videos:

  • Free Web 

    You can sometimes find great resources on the free web, though it is much harder. You will be expected to carefully evaluate these sources before using them for academic research. Be sure to educate yourself on who wrote/produced/published the resource. Check that the person or organization that wrote/published/produced the information has authority on the subject.

    •  Google.com (science of roller coasters filetype:pdf)
      • When using google you might try searching just for PDFs on your topic. Sometimes this will bring you scholarly journals.  
      • Type "filetype:pdf" after the final search term in the search box
      • Always check to make sure the article was not written by other students.
    • Refseek 
      • Refseek is a great alternative to google, because it tries to bring more academic sources and less commercial sources.
      • Always check to make sure the article is written and published by reputable, authoritative source and not other students!
    • Google's Dataset Search
      • find data sets/statistics using google's dataset search
    • Microsoft Academic -
      • Great place to find scholarly articles outside a database.
      • Be aware that not every article that shows up in the results will ACTUALLY be free to access.
        • You'll have to stay flexible and adaptive while searching the results.
        • Expect to run into some barriers you can't get past. When that happens, abandon the article and keep searching for others.
    • Semantic Scholar
      • Great place to find scholarly articles outside a database.
      • Be aware that not every article that shows up in the results will ACTUALLY be free to access.
        • You'll have to stay flexible and adaptive while searching the results.
        • Expect to run into some barriers you can't get past. When that happens, abandon the article and keep searching for others.

    Google Search Tips

    keywords      quotations
    graphic2      domain  

     

    Evaluating Sources:

     

    Wikipedia - How to Use Wikipedia for Academic Research:

    1. You CAN use Wikipedia:
      1. Use it to find keywords for your search strings
      2. Use it to familiarize yourself with the broad overview of your topic
      3. Use it to get background info on a topic
      4. Use it to find other sources (go to bottom of page, explore cited sources there)
    2. You just cannot quote from, or cite Wikipedia as a source
      1. Why? Because, even though Wikipedia has become an exceptional information resource, it IS a Wiki, which means that someone could technically add misinformation. Since we can never be 100% absolutely certain of the author of the information, Wikipedia itself cannot be quoted or cited as a reputable source.

     

    Additional Free Web Resources:

    1. News Sources
      1. The Wall Street Journal 
      2. The New York Times 
      3. Chicago Tribune 
      4. New York Post 
      5. Los Angeles Times 
      6. The Washington Post 
      7. Newsday 
      8. The Mercury News 
      9. East Bay Times 
      10. Star Tribune 
      11. You also might try looking at Associated Press for news sources.

     

    1. Websites for Issues Research
    2. ProCon.org: an independent non-profit founded by Steven C. Markoff “to provide resources for critical thinking and to educate without bias.”
    3. AllSides - AllSides curates stories from right, center and left-leaning media so that readers can easily compare how bias influences reporting.
    4. ProPublica. ProPublica produces investigative journalism in the public interest.
    5. National Discussion and Debate Series: This program was created “to encourage a vigorous, well-informed discussion on the national stage about the major issues of our time.”
    6. Debate.org - Gain balanced, non-biased insight into each issue and review the breakdown of pro-con stances within our community.
    7. MediaBiasFactCheck - This website is awesome for checking the biases and reputation associated with news sources. It will give you info about the source's political leanings and reputation which helps you decide if your source is reliable.
    8. Open Secrets. Tracks how much and where candidates get their money.
    9. WHOis.net - find out who owns a website or domain name. You can then search for that person or organization's reputation and biases.
    10. isidewith.com - example of ideas
    11. Washington Post Fact Checker. Although WP has a left-center bias, its checks are excellent and sourced. Bias because they fact check conservative claims more than liberal ones.
    12. The Sunlight Foundation. Uses public policy data-based journalism to make politics more transparent/accountable
    13. Snopes.  Often the first to set facts straight on wild fake news claims.
    14. Fact Check. This nonpartisan, nonprofit monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by U.S. political players, including politicians, TV ads, debates, interviews and news releases.​
    15. Media Matters. This nonprofit and self-described liberal-leaning research center monitors and corrects conservative misinformation in the media.​
    16. NewsBusters. A project of the conservative Media Research Center, NewsBusters is focused on “documenting, exposing and neutralizing liberal media bias.”​