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GNED 1403 - Winter 2024 Library Session

Session OutlineStock image picture of a human figure with a question mark.

Here is a plan for what we will cover today:

  1. Go over assignment details.

  2. Provide an overview of how to search LibrarySearch and Google Scholar for scholarly sources.

  3. Learn the difference between scholarly and non-scholarly sources.

  4. Explore artificial intelligence as a research tool and its limitations.

  5. Practice information evaluation skills.

  6. Talk about finding and using images and image citation.

  7. Show a couple of different ways to get help if you have questions.









Public Domain MarkThis work (Question Mark Symbol Icon Character, by Peggy_Marco), identified by Pixabay, is free of known copyright restrictions.

Assignment Details

Library-Related Details in Parts of the Digital Portfolio Assignment

An argumentative research essay that informs both the blog entries and the podcast:

  • 5-6 pages in length and formatted according to APA 7 guidance.

  • Include at least 5 sources, with at least 2 being academic/scholarly in nature and at least 3 being credible/popular resources.

Rhetorical analysis that contextualizes the blog entries and podcast:

  • 5-6 pages in length and formatted according to APA 7 guidance.

  • You should use at least 3 scholarly references for this task (Foolproof must be one of your scholarly resources. You may also use credible popular resources on top of your scholarly sources).

4 blog entries about your topic:

  • 3-5 paragraphs per blog entry.

  • All research must be cited in proper APA 7 style, but you have some control over how to present your works cited as this isn’t a formal essay.

  • Include appropriate images and caption them according to APA 7 style guidance.

A podcast episode about your topic:

  • 10 minute podcast

  • Present the information in your research essay in podcast format.

  • Use proper verbal citation techniques (see this document for guidance) for incorporating information from your research essay in the podcast.

Process guide (individual):

  • Describe and explain your creative and critical processes when designing and implementing the digital portfolio.

  • 6-8 pages and formatted according to APA 7 guidance.

  • Cite appropriate lectures and readings, as well as provide specific evidence from the artifacts you created for the digital portfolio. If you need to do some additional research, please use credible resources, but everything you need is covered in lectures and required readings.

Conducting Academic Research With LibrarySearch 

LibrarySearch is MRU Library's one-stop search interface/catalogue that brings together resources across format, time, and subject. 

We have about 1.3 million e-resources and 221,000 physical resources in our collection, and LibrarySearch searches across those.

Things to remember when using LibrarySearch:

  1. Sign in to save searches, items, and to request materials.

  2. Use the pin icon to save books and articles to your Favorites for future reference.

  3. Use the filters on the right. You will use Availability, Resource Type, and Date filters most often. Filter settings can be "locked in" so that you don't have to reapply them to every search that you make.

  4. Some items may not be available, however, you can request unavailable items using what is called interlibrary loan.

  5. When viewing an item record, scroll down to the Get it (for hardcopy/physical items) or Access options (for electronic items) section to get access to the item.

Helpful Search Operators to Use in LibrarySearch

You can use what are called search operators to search in a way to combine or omit different terms by telling the search engine exactly what you want and this can help you save some time (and frustration!)

  • Use quotation marks to keep specific phrases together:

    • "social media"

    • "public space"

    • "inclusive design"

    • "fast fashion"

  • Use AND to combine search terms (LibrarySearch automatically creates an AND when you write terms one after another, but it can be good practice to use an AND to help you understand the searches that you build) (AND narrows your search):

    • "social media" AND privacy

  • Use OR to connect two or more similar terms (OR broadens your search):

    • "social media" OR "social networking"

  • Use wild cards to substitute a letter or suffix with a symbol:

    • access* (in this example, the search access* will search for records that contain strings such as accessible and accessibility)

Conducting Academic Research With Google Scholar

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is another great way to find high quality resources.

Besides providing links to resources in MRU databases, Google Scholar links to online repositories that contain articles the author has been allowed to upload. and ResearchGate are among the repositories searched by Google Scholar.

By clicking on the Settings icon, you can select library links to show library access for up to 5 libraries (type in Mount Royal and click on save).  If you are logged into MRU library, links should automatically populate if you are running a Google search in another window. 

Google Scholar has a nifty citation chaining function. The Cited by function will forward you to indexed scholarly material that has cited a resource that you may be interested in. The Related articles link will direct you to similar articles that may have the same metadata or keywords. 

Helpful Search Operators to Use in Google Scholar

Google Scholar's Advanced Search is found by clicking the menu icon in the top left.

You can also add search operators to Google Scholar searches to build your own custom advanced searches in similar ways to LibrarySearch:

  • Use quotation marks to keep specific phrases together:

    • "climate change"

  • Avoid using AND to combine search terms with Google Scholar, as the search engine automatically creates ANDs between concepts and sometimes adding an additional AND can confuse the search syntax.

  • Use OR to connect two or more similar terms:

    • "social media" OR "social networking"

  • Use wild cards to substitute a letter or suffix with a symbol:

    • ethic* (in this example, the search ethic* will search for records that contain strings such as ethics, ethical, and ethically)

Figure 1

Peter Steiner's Famous 1993 New Yorker Cartoon Illustrating an Issue Central to Information Evaluation

Note. From "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog" [Cartoon], by P. Steiner, 1993, Wikimedia (

Evaluating Information

It is good to find lots of search results, but, in order to use information skilfully, you need to know how to evaluate that information to determine whether a specific resource is appropriate to use in a specific use case (i.e. for a specific assignment).

The phrase "evaluating information" actually stands in for a wide range of judgments that we make about information in many different contexts, whether those judgments are about relevance, timeliness, quality, etc.

Librarians have developed several different acronyms to help people remember useful criteria to use in information evaluation. One of my personal favourites is RADAR!

RADAR stands for





Reason for Creation

We can ask the following questions to help us assess each criterion:


  • Does this source fit my topic?

  • What is this source's intended audience?

    • Is that intended audience appropriate for my use case in this assignment?


  • Is/are the creator(s) of this source clearly identified or known to us?

  • How important is it in this use case to trust the source's creator(s)?

    • If it is important, why should we trust the source's creator(s)?

    • Is the source's creator credentialed or an expert in their field?


  • Is the creation or publication date of this source identified or known to us?

  • Is this source too old?


  • Do this source's facts "check out"?

  • Does the source have references of its own?

Reason for Creation (take your best guess at this question using judgments from earlier criteria):

  • Why was this source made?

  • Was this source made to sell a product or service, to inform/educate, to entertain, etc?

Scholarly vs. Popular Sources

scholarly publication contains articles written by experts in a particular field. The primary audience of these articles is other experts.

Many of these publications are also referred to as "peer-reviewed," academic, or "refereed." They all mean essentially the same thing and refer to the editorial and publication process in which scholars in the same field review the research and findings before the article is published.


Scholarly / Peer-Reviewed

Popular / Not Scholarly (but possibly still credible!)


  • Expert

  • Journalist / professional writer

Review Process

  • Reviewed by an editorial board or other experts ("peers")

  • Reviewed by an editor

Audience /

  • Scholars and students

  • Technical language

  • General public

  • Easy to understand


  • Original research

  • Uses previously published literature for background

  • News and practical information

  • Uses a variety of sources for background 


  • Always cited

  • Sometimes cited


  • Peer-reviewed articles

  • Scholarly books

  • Literature reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses

  • Theses and dissertations

  • Magazine articles

  • Newspaper articles

  • Blog articles

  • Encyclopedias

  • Textbooks

  • Websites

  • Social media

Some Helpful Questions for Identifying a Scholarly/Academic Article

  1. What are the author’s credentials? Was it written by an expert?

  2. Was it published in a journal (is there a DOI?)? (If you are not sure if a source is a journal article, you can enter the title of the publication into Ulrichs Web to check.)

  3. Does it use academic or more technical language?

  4. Does it includes a reference list of sources that it is citing?

  5. How long is it? (Scholarly articles are typically longer than popular or news articles.)

  6. Does it have a "Received" and "Accepted" date on it?

  7. Is it an actual article? (Sometimes other types of content are included in scholarly publications, such as editorials/opinion pieces and book reviews. Make sure you are looking at an article.)

Jan 2, 2024

Activity: Is It Scholarly?

To make sure we are all on the same page, let's put our knowledge to the test.

Skim the following resources available through the links keeping in mind the characteristics we have discussed in class (for example: what is this information and where did it come from? Was it written by an expert? Where is this source published?).

Vote whether you think this source is Scholarly or Not Scholarly.


Scholarly: 5 votes (31.25%)
Not Scholarly: 11 votes (68.75%)
Total Votes: 16
Scholarly: 13 votes (100%)
Not Scholarly: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 13
Scholarly: 0 votes (0%)
Not Scholarly: 14 votes (100%)
Total Votes: 14
Scholarly: 14 votes (100%)
Not Scholarly: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 14
Scholarly: 5 votes (31.25%)
Not Scholarly: 11 votes (68.75%)
Total Votes: 16
Scholarly: 2 votes (15.38%)
Not Scholarly: 11 votes (84.62%)
Total Votes: 13
Scholarly: 0 votes (0%)
Not Scholarly: 13 votes (100%)
Total Votes: 13
Scholarly: 11 votes (78.57%)
Not Scholarly: 3 votes (21.43%)
Total Votes: 14
Scholarly: 4 votes (23.53%)
Not Scholarly: 13 votes (76.47%)
Total Votes: 17
Scholarly: 14 votes (100%)
Not Scholarly: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 14

AI as a Research Tool

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is a hot topic these days that is having an impact on many areas of cultural life, education, and the economy.

Many people in education (including myself) are still getting their heads around generative AI as a topic, and this is made difficult by how quickly the technology changes and how little non-experts understand about it. It is incredibly complex, blackboxed technology.

Professor Broitman-Levandovsky will allow you to use generative AI in this course, but do not use it to generate your writing for you. (Also, please know that you are not obligated or required to use generative AI if you have no interest in doing so.)

If you do choose to use generative AI, you may want to use it as a brainstorming partner early on in your exploration of a topic similar to how you might browse a Wikipedia article on a subject to get a quick grasp of it in the early stages of your research. Do not use generative AI as a research tool in complete replacement of LibrarySearch or Google Scholar. If you do so, your research (and thinking) will suffer.

Specifically, be sure to scrutinize any source(s) that generative AI provides you with on a topic. This is because, at this point, it is prone to error: what some have called "hallucination," but that I prefer to call "fabrication."

If generative AI provides you with a source:

(1) make sure that the source actually exists, and, if it does exist;

(2) make sure that the source actually contains the information that generative AI has attributed to it.

What is fabrication?

An Investigation of ChatGPT's Sources

  1. BookInfluencer Marketing for Dummies by Kristy Sammis, Cat Lincoln, and Stefania Pomponi

    • This source does exist and it was written by these authors, but it is a For Dummies book that wouldn't be considered scholarly.

  2. BookInfluencer Marketing: Building Brand in a Digital Age by Duncan Brown and Nick Haye

    • This source does exist and it was written by those authors, but ChatGPT has fabricated a subtitle for it that it doesn't have.

  3. Academic Article: "The Rise of Influencer Marketing and Its Impact on Consumer Behavior" by Liu, Hu, and Zhang (2019)

    • To the best of my searching abilities, this source does not exist.

  4. Academic Article: "Ethical and Legal Issues in Influencer Marketing" by Brenner, A. and Capron, L. (2019)

    • To the best of my searching abilities, this source does not exist.

  5. Academic Article: "The Dark Side of Social Media: A Consumer Psychology Perspective" by Phua, J., Jin, S.V., and Kim, J.J. (2017)

    • This source is a Frankenstein composite of 2 sources. The authors have been taken from this article and the title has been taken from this edited book with which those authors had no involvement.

Image Sources


Image Collection

Contains images from Archive Photos, Canadian Press, Motion Picture & Television Archive, and MapQuest as well as a variety of images from the public domain.


ARTstor is a digital library of nearly 1,000,000 images with a set of tools to view, present, and manage images for research and pedagogical purposes.

Oxford Art Online

Provides access to more than 23,000 subject entries, 21,000 biographies, 40,000 image links and 5,000 images.

Bridgeman Art Library Archive

Founded in 1972, the Bridgeman Art Library works with museums art galleries and artists to make the best art available for reproduction. It represents a large part of the complete collection chosen for its suitability for web use. Over 17000 individual works of art are featured here cross-referenced and linked using Bridgeman's own categories.

LIFE Photo Archive

Search photographs from the LIFE Photo Archive.

Images on the Web:

Flickr Creative Commons

Creative Commons licensing offers an alternative to full copyright. Search the collection of Flickr images that have been offered for use with CC licenses.

Wikimedia Commons

Search freely usable media files.


Stock photos


Searches for images that match an uploaded file or another image on the web - great for tracing original creators of images, rights holders, or just finding more information.

Google Images Search

Great for finding high-profile images.

Archival Collections:

Glenbow Museum & Archives

Search the photographs collection in the Archives.

Alberta on Record

Search for digital material in the Archives Society of Alberta’s online portal.

Library & Archives Canada Image Search

Search for photographs, drawings, maps and art.

For more information on finding images you can use in your work, consult the Copyright Guide's Copyright friendly image resources section.

Citing Images in your Assignment

Consult MRU's advisory of image citation in APA here.

Images that you refer to in your assignments must always be cited both parenthetically in text and in your reference list.

Images that you reproduce in your assignment must also be cited in-text with a figure number, title, and a figure note.

Example 1

Figure 1

 Portrait of a Woman by Raphael, 1505-1506.

Portrait of a woman by Raphael

Note. Source: (Raphael, 1505-1506).

Note: Some instructors (like Professor Broitman-Levandovsky) allow you to use a typical APA parenthetical in-text reference (as in Figure 1 above) under your image instead of a more formal figure note.

Reference list entry:

In addition to the in-text citation, this image would also be cited in your reference list like this:

Raphael. (1505-1506). Portrait of a woman [Drawing]. Wikimedia Commons.              _Portrait_of_a_Woman_-_WGA18948.jpg


Example 2

Figure 2

Lava the Sled Dog

Note. Source: (Denali National Park and Preserve, 2013).


Reference list entry:

Denali National Park and Preserve. (2013). Lava [Photograph]. Flickr.

If the image has no title, provide a description of the image in your own words, e.g.:

Denali National Park and Preserve. (2013). [Photograph of blue-eyed dog in the snow]. Flickr.


Example 3

Figure 3 

The Artist With Their Work

Note. Source: (Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2019).


Reference list entry:

Philadelphia Museum of Art [@philamuseum]. (2019, December 3). “It’s always wonderful to walk in and see my work in a collection where it’s loved, and where people are [Photograph]. Instagram.

  • In this case there is no title, so we use the first 20 words of the post’s text as its title (according to the direction of APA style).


Example 4: Stock image citations

Figure 4

The Ōnaruto Bridge in the Evening

Note. Source: (Kanenori, 2022).


Reference list entry:

Kanenori. (2022, September 8). [Photograph of the Ōnaruto Bridge in the evening]. Pixabay.


Example 5: Integrating your own images

Figure 5

A Rainbow in Edmonton

My own supplied image does not need a note or source attribution in APA style.


Reference list entry:

My own supplied image does not need a reference list entry in APA style.


1. How would we properly integrate this image into our research paper?

2. How would we properly integrate this image into our research paper?

(Answers here!)

Citation Help


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