Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Fall Classes with FREE textbooks

Short on cash? Not sure what classes to take this fall? Check out these classes that are using FREE- that’s right FREE textbooks. These professors took part in the Tarleton Open Educational Resource (OER) grant and now use textbooks that are freely available online for anyone to use or access. 

*Courses are part of the General Education Core.

PSYC 2317 Stat Methods in Psychology with Dr. Faulkenberry

Study of statistical methods used in psychological research, assessment, and testing. Includes the study of measures of central tendency and variability, statistical inference (including analysis of variance), and correlation and regression as these apply to psychology. Check prerequisites

PSYC 2301* General Psychology- all sections

An overview of psychology, the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes and the variables that influence these processes. Topics covered in the course include motivation, emotions, intelligence, sensory processes, perception, learning, thinking, mental health, and psychotherapy. 

GOVT 2305* Federal Government with Dr. Casey Thompson

A study of the American national governmental system. This course with POLS 202 satisfies the legal requirement for graduation from state colleges and universities.

SOCI 1301* Introduction to Sociology with Dr. Kawakami

A general introduction to the concepts and elementary methods used in the study of society. Special attention is given to social organization, social stratification, social institutions, formal organizations, small groups, and social change.

ECON 2301* Principles of Economics: Macroeconomics with Dr. Derrill Watson and Dr. Hari Katuwal

-Also offered over the summer
This course focuses on the aggregate or overall economy. Topics include the description and measurement of economic aggregates; the basic theories of output, employment, and prices; the monetary economy and the role of government.  Check prerequisites.

COMM 1311* Introduction to Speech Communication with Dr. Tracey Holley

This course is designed to improve the individual's understanding of the human communication process. Classroom exercises involve the student in interpersonal, small group, and presentational speaking situations requiring critical thinking skills, teamwork, and personal responsibility. Special emphasis on developing communication skills needed to check and validate perceptions, control language usage, and analyze and improve reasoning processes.

PHIL 3301* Ethics in the Professions with Dr. Aho

This course will consider both the responsibilities inherent in a profession as such and some of the specific ethical dilemmas that arise in particular professions: business, science, engineering, military, education, medicine, etc. Check prerequisites.

FINA 1360* The Art of Film with Dr. Howard and Dr. Anderson

An overview of the historical development of cinema (including contemporary and classic films) as an artistic and social force. Students study the aesthetic elements of the cinema, the terminology governing film production and the lines of critical inquiry that have been developed for the medium. Readings, screenings and written reports required.


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Role of Scientific Evidence in Battling COVID-19


COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation. Scientists around the world are working to find better ways to detect, treat, and hopefully create a vaccine against COVID-19. Everyday there are news articles out with seemingly contradictory information. Does sunlight kill the virus? Do it survive better in cold climates or warmer areas? Does the  virus last 17 days or just a few hours? Does malaria medicine treat COVID or not? It can be difficult to determine what information is true or how reliable that information may be.

Understanding the scientific method and different types of biomedical evidence can help you better understand what it means when an article says "clinical trials" or "initial results" or "preliminary findings".

Scientific Method

The first step is understanding the scientific method. The scientific method is a broad method of observing the world and scientific phenomenon, asking questions, creating a hypothesis, testing that hypothesis, learning from the results, and most importantly trying again. This creates a feedback loop of information. The more scientists learn, the more questions they can ask, the more theories they can test, and the process starts over again.


Scientific Flowchart, Encyclopedia Britannica, 2020


Hierarchy of Evidence 

Scientific evidence can be broken down into tiers or levels designating how much the information has been filtered and reviewed. The levels may vary somewhat field to field, but the underlying principle remains the same. The highest level of evidence includes systematic reviews and meta- analysis, where hundreds, sometimes thousands of research articles are reviewed and compared. This gives a broad overview of what treatments have been used and what their impact is. 

The next level consists of large, well designed cohort studies or randomized control trials. This level looks at large numbers of the population and has well designed methodology to reduce potential biases. Prudent methodology and large study groups typically mean that a study is repeatable and better reflects the general population. For example, clinical trials will start with very few participants and increase in number as the treatment is shown to be safe and effective. Learn more about clinical studies.

The next level down includes, expert opinions, qualitative studies, background information gathering, and expert committees. This level provides essential background information and preliminary information for later studies, but hasn't gone through the same rigor as the other levels of evidence. 



(Hierarchy of Evidence, OHSU Library, 2020) 

This is not to say that one level of evidence is "more important" than another level, but the hierarchy of  the evidence should be considered when evaluating it. Science is continuously learning and improving, and the hierarchy of evidence helps expose potential hypothesis and medical treatments to continuously increasing rigor. 

Reproducibility or Replication 

Another important facet of research is replication studies. The methods sections of scientific papers outline the way experiments are conducted and serve as a guideline for how other scientists can attempt to repeat those studies. Replication is important because flukes happen. Sometimes, life throws curve balls, data becomes skewed, or things just aren't the way they seem. “Replication can increase certainty when findings are reproduced and promote innovation when they are not” (Open Science Collaboration, pg. 943, 2015). Replication is an important step in verifying studies and continuing to learn about scientific phenomena.


Peer Review 

One of the final step of the research process is submitting research articles for publication and undergoing peer review.  An author submits an article and a board of subject experts review and evaluate the research and offer comments for improvement (San Diego State University Library, 2020). There are several types of peer review, but the process is intended to verify the methodology of research, weed out inferior articles, and ensure higher quality science is being published. 

Unpublished research, articles in trade magazines, and white papers, such as conference proceedings, committee reports, or  preprints of research articles, may not have gone through peer review and the editorial process. They may lack that vital step in gaining feedback from peers and making necessary edits. 

Now, the next time you see a news headline citing a new research, you will hopefully have a better understanding of how that research fits into the scientific community as a whole. 

The latest information about COVID-19 can be found through the CDC and the National Institute of Health.

References

Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2020, January 16). Scientific method. Retrieved April 20, 2020, from https://www.britannica.com/science/scientific-method

OHSU Library. (2020, March 23). LibGuides: OHSU Evidence-Based Practice Course for Interprofessional Clinical Teams: Hierarchy of Evidence and Study Design. Retrieved April 20, 2020, from https://libguides.ohsu.edu/c.php?g=693307&p=4912291

Open Science Foundation. (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science349(6251), 943–953. doi: 10.1126/science.aac4716

SDSU Library. (2020). What is Peer Review? Retrieved April 20, 2020, from https://library.sdsu.edu/reference/news/what-does-peer-review-mean

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Finals Week Hours


The library will be hosting finals hours for the students.

·         It is mandatory that they show their physical Texan card to be allowed in the building.
·         Selected study rooms on the upper level will be set up for individual Proctorio exams.
o   They must sign in and be escorted to their testing room.
·         For those needing a quiet place to study, tables are available, and there will be one person per table.
Extended hours begin on Monday, April 27. Please see the calender's below, and please note that both libraries will be open on Saturday, May 2.  



Dick Smith Library
Spring 2020 Finals Hours

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Apr 26
Apr 27
Apr 28
Apr 29
Apr 30
May 1
May 2
CLOSED
8:00AM-9:00PM

8:00AM-9:00PM
8:00AM-9:00PM
8:00AM-9:00PM
8:00AM-9:00PM
8:00AM-9:00PM
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
May 3
May 4
May 5
May 6
May 7
May 8
May 9
Noon-9:00PM
8:00AM-9:00PM
8:00AM-9:00PM
8:00AM-5:00PM
8:00AM-5:00PM
8:00AM-5:00PM
CLOSED








Rickett Library
Spring 2020 Finals Hours

Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Apr 26
Apr 27
Apr 28
Apr 29
Apr 30
May 1
May 2
CLOSED
10:00AM-5:00PM

10:00AM-5:00PM

10:00AM-5:00PM

10:00AM-5:00PM

10:00AM-5:00PM

10:00AM-4:00PM

Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
May 3
May 4
May 5
May 6
May 7
May 8
May 9
CLOSED
10:00AM-5:00PM

10:00AM-5:00PM




CLOSED




























Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Tarleton Libraries YouTube Channel

Did you know that the library has a YouTube channel? Not only that, it's seven years old and it has over eighty videos!

A screenshot of the Tarleton Libraries YouTube channel.


Our librarians have been busy creating tutorial videos for you during the past few months.
Stop by our channel and find out:


and more.  Our videos are closed captioned and most of them are under five minutes.

We don't only have tutorial videos, though.

You can find videos from our 2017 Banned Books Read Out, which featured a wide variety of Tarleton students, faculty, and staff.  You can also get staff reading recommendations.

So stop by and click on the Subscribe button. You'll be glad you did.

Monday, April 13, 2020

What Keeps Librarians Up at Night


What Keeps Librarians Up at Night


You’d think that librarians being the calm, collected people we are wouldn’t stay awake at night counting sheep and wondering how to help our patrons – Y’all -- do research, but we do. Maybe this list will help.


We wish you knew that

...more than your ONE favorite database exists for finding articles for your paper.

Tarleton has over 200 databases – over 200, just for you! That’s a lot of databases, so find more than that one comfy, familiar database!

How do you do that? Click on Subject Guides from the libraries’ homepage and find your topic area, then click on it. Tada! A whole page full of information about that area pops up. In fact, a whole bunch of databases you may never have seen before are right at the top of the page.  Click on one of those shiny new-to-you databases and off you go! You are on your way to developing a whole new relationship with a completely new database.
 

…you can’t just throw any old word, group of words, or - please NO - not entire sentences into the search boxes!


Our databases are not Google and won’t react well when you treat them like Google.  They are special and want better search terms than Google.  So just think about the main concepts that you want to research.  Put just one concept – no more, no less - in each separate box. When all the concepts are in their own little boxes, hit that search box. All this special treatment for those concepts should bring you up a pretty sweet list of articles to begin to search through.

...clicking the Full Text button should only happen when it’s 20 minutes before class and you have to bring an article with you!

Just don’t do it! Resist the urge to click that box in front of Full Text!  Doing so will cut you off from really good articles that you will never see again.  You’ll never even know that they exist just because of that check mark in box in front of “Full Text”. Even if you can’t directly get to the article through the databases, a mere request to Interlibrary Loan could very well bring you that best article in the world in a matter of days!

So that’s the short list to help to make your researching better, at least we hope so. We librarians would really like to get a full night’s sleep again!


                                        

From University of Michigan Health. www.helthblog.uofmhealth.org