Physics Assignment (Amy Prendergast)

Assignment: Find an article on a topic such as fusion energy using Science Direct or Scitation databases.

How to:

    1. Student will use ScienceDirect or Scitation databases to find an article on a topic such as fusion energy.
    2. From the ScienceDirect Home page select the “Search” button and do search. Scitation goes directly to the search page.
    3. Pick an article that looks good from the results and look at the “Summary Plus” in ScienceDirect to see the abstract or “Additional Information” in Scitation to see Keywords.
    4. Choose topic words from abstract or Keywords, go back to Search screen and add new word(s) to search to narrow it.
    5. Choose a full-text or PDF article from results. Write a brief annotation, noting date of article, author affiliation if any, and any other relevant information about the article.
    6. Using a search engine like Google search for a website using the same subject headings.
    7. Choose a website and write a brief annotation of relevant information about the website.
    8. In a paragraph or two compare the two with regard to authors (address or other biographical info, affiliation, qualifications), currency of publication/updating, bibliography, other resource information and any other evidence of value.

Support: Discuss the use, value and coverage of Science Direct and Scitation databases. Provide a list of relevant topics with one for each student--to avoid possible sharing.

Use: As a homework assignment and short writing assignment. Have them compare their experiences verbally in class. For "W' classes allow small percentage for a grade. Assign one-half of the class to each database.

Objectives: •Make students aware of the existence, value and use of authoritative sources for physics literature. •Encourage critical thinking and effective writing while exploring the relative value of databases compared to websites.