Nutshell And Demystified Books Provide Great Introductions To Complex Topics

These books are great introductions to legal topics such as arbitration, contracts, corporate finance, copyright law and more.

You need a good introduction to a HARD topic. Written to get you started, and as intelligent as you are.You already know what the median and mode are; you need a discussion of Bayesian probability, or 12 ways of looking at correlation, or population distribution, etc.

Enter the wonderful Demystified series.

Here are some examples.

Business Stats Demystified.
Stats Demystified
Probability Demystified

Alkek Library vs. Google (Video Tutorial)

Google does not search all the information in the world! Even though libraries and other institutions make their resources available full text online, Google does not search these web sites (otherwise known as the deep web).

Instead, what you’ll typically get on a Google search is a lot of random info that won’t be of use to you in writing an academic paper.

Video tutorial below:

 

How to Use Google Scholar (Or Not)

Google Scholar searches the contents of many (but not all) academic journals. However, it does not provide access to the fulltext material. If you are off-campus, you will be prompted to log in or buy the article.

If you follow the Alkek Library link to Google Scholar here, you will have to sign in ONCE with your NET ID and then it’s all clear sailing.

In any case, please don’t buy the article – you can get it through us.  If you hit a dead end, use interlibrary loan.

Google Scholar does not search ALL the scholarly literature because some publishers restrict access.

The Internet Wayback Machine Archives The Web

The Internet changes constantly. Ever wonder what happens to content that’s taken down?

A handful (but growing) number of organizations archive web content. A “picture” is taken every few days and stored.

The main Internet archive is called the Wayback Machine.

From The Economist:

The Wayback Machine’s inventor, Brewster Kahle, is an internet entrepreneur, philanthropist and computer whizz who helped design Mr Hillis’s ground-breaking Connection Machine in the 1980s. In 1996 he founded a non-profit organisation, the Internet Archive, to create a free internet library capable of storing a copy of every web page of every website ever to go online. The Wayback Machine allows users to view the library’s archived web pages as they appeared when published. Today the Internet Archive also includes texts, audio, moving images and software. At the last count, its collection contained more than 150 billion items.

Search The Wayback Machine Here

Even though we have the Wayback Machine, it is not a perfect solution and does not capture all of the web. Here’s a critique of our current storage methods of the web. 

Annual Reviews Database Presents Bibliographic Essays of Key Works

Annual Reviews is a wonderful database that presents bibliographic essays on your academic topic. These essays will explain our current state of understanding the topic as well as listing the important articles and books that you need to read.

These essays provide an effective means of context and deeper understanding of the problem you are researching. You didn’t have to read a sketchy Wikipedia article either!

How to Search Using Parentheses – As In: (Emily or Charlotte) Bronte

What if there are two are more common or related words and you want to include both of them in your search?  You’ll use parentheses – it works like an algebraic equation.

You enter your search into the database like so:

Example (blue or harvest) moon. You’ll get results that include blue and moon and harvest and moon.

(Soviet or Russia) “Cold War”

You’ll get results that include Soviet and “Cold War” AND Russia and “Cold War.”

If you have been doing searches like blue or harvest moon, you’ll get results back that feature only the word blue together with results that mix harvest and moon. No blue moon exactly, just blue….skies, bells, tooth, etc…

The parentheses make sure (those words go together.)