Conducting Scholarly Research
The following tutorials and information are mandatory, though no assignment is required to be submitted. The skills developed in these tutorials will be used throughout the nursing program.
Evaluating the resources you use
One of the major challenges today, with the sheer amount of information available at your fingertips via the Web, is determining the reliability of the information presented. It can be quite difficult to determine the quality, authenticity, and authority of the information you encounter. However, there are a number of tools and skills at your disposal that help to determine if the information you find is trustworthy and of academic quality. Watch the Evaluating Websites tutorial to learn more about how to determine the quality of information found on the Web. Review the tutorial: “Evaluating Websites,” located at http://tutorials.gcumedia.com/evaluatingWebTutorial/vp02.swf
What makes a resource scholarly?
Throughout your courses at GCU you will be encouraged to use scholarly resources to support your assignments and discussion questions. But what is a scholarly source? Simply put, a scholarly source is a resource or research created, published, and or written by scholars and professionals in a specific discipline. In addition, a scholarly source should have undergone rigorous fact checking and peer review to ensure the research and information presented is of strong academic quality.
The bulk of scholarly resources can be found in books and academic and/or professional journals. A large majority of these are research based. A scholar or professional may publish articles in other resources, such as in magazines, newspapers, and even Web sites and blogs. However, these sources do not go through the rigorous fact checking that is expected from scholarly journals. This rigorous fact checking is called peer review. When a scholar or professional submits their article to be published the journal will send the article to another expert in the field to review the work. The reviewer will look to see that the quality is high, the research sound, and the conclusions in line with the work presented. If it is approved, it will then be published in the journal. This process gives students like you the added confidence in the resource being used.
How to find Scholarly Research
The Web is filled with information and resources. It is possible to find scholarly articles and research on the Web. However, most will ask that you pay a fee to read the article. The GCU library has subscribed to a number of the journals so that you do not need to pay to read the research. These journals and articles are contained in collections called Databases. Some are multidisciplinary, but most are specific to a subject area. For instance, in nursing, the strongest databases include CINAHL, OVID, and the ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source. These can be found on the Nursing subject page in the GCU library. Watch the “GCU Library Walk Through Tutorial” to learn how to access the library and its vast resources. The “GCU Library Walk Through Tutorial” is located at http://tutorials.gcumedia.com/libraryWalkThrough/vp02.swf
Watch the CINAHL Tutorial to learn more about how to specifically use this nursing specific database. Pay special attention to the section discussing subject headings. Learning to use tools like these will help you design effective search strategies and significantly reduce the time and frustration that comes with research. The CINAHL Tutorial is located at http://tutorials.gcumedia.com/CINAHLTutorial/vp02.swf
The GCU library has a number of Librarians and staffed trained specifically to assist you with your research. Please contact them if you have questions or concerns with finding information. They can help walk you through the technical aspects of using a database and assist in developing search strategies that will enable you to find the information you need. Call them at 800.800.9776 ext. 6396641 or email them at using the form at http://library.gcu.edu/AskALibrarian
Writing will be a large part of the work expected in this program. Scholarly
writing can often be intimidating, but there are a number of resources GCU has provided to ease this strain and help you learn to write good scholarly papers.
A key to scholarly writing is using evidence to support your arguments. The skills you learn as a researcher will aid you in your writing. The purpose of education is to build your knowledge and the purpose of academia is to contribute to and build the knowledge of the culture as a whole. By taking the research and writings of others and evaluating and adding it as essential pieces of your own research, you then move the knowledge of both yourself and the community to the next step.
To enable this process, it is essential to cite where the information is found that is used in your papers. This is why scholars use citation styles, such as APA, to standardize how this is done and allow others to easily follow from where the information has come. This is, of course, in addition to the ethical reasons that argue that one should be acknowledged for the work that is done. Watch the tutorials below to learn more about scholarly writing and what resources are available to you.
The Writing Center, located in the Student Success Center
Writing in APA Tutorial http://tutorials.gcumedia.com/mediaElement/apa-6th-edition-tutorial/apa-6th-edition-tutorial-v1.1.html Plagiarism Tutorial
The Writing Process Tutorial http://tutorials.gcumedia.com/writingProcessTutorial/vp02.swf
The Center for Learning Advancement has a number of staff and tutors available to assist you in your academic writing. In addition they have a number of resources available at the click of a button. Find out more at