Source criticism and plagiarism

You might be in the midst of searching for scientific articles for your thesis or assignment. Do not forget to think critically when you do this work!

COLOURBOX1947363Source criticism is a method to examine the information and facts contained in the sources you choose to use. You value the sources and choose carefully what you want to include. Do not forget to use source criticism on other than text. For example pictures and video that nowdays are equally important to source view given how much you can edit and process them. Remember to differentiate between a primary source and secondary source. The Academy is considered primary sources (first-hand) to be more reliable. You can use following questions, irrespective of the material:

  • Who is the author of your source?
  • For what purpose is it published?
  • Is the research still relevant?
  • Where have the research been published? Has it been reviewed? ( peer-review)
  • Can other check the results?
  • What information do you get from other sources at the same event?
  • If others have done similar studies, which results have they reached?
  • Does the timing in movies and audio clips add up?
  • Who funded the research?
  • Does the results seem trustworthy? Are there other sources that are trustworthy to say the same thing?
  • Are the conclusions reasonable based on the theory and methodology used?

Take a look at the web page Källlkritik on the Internet which is a guide that .SE stands behind and which shows how you can review content on web pages.

It can be helpful to know what obligations you as the author of your essay or thesis have regarding plagiarism. On the University web you can find a great anti-plagiarism guide where most aspects of this matter are included. It is available through Ping Pong, but also open on the web from this page (click on the link in the text far down on the page).
And please see the movie where our former librarian Eli Bytoft-Nyaas is talking about the subject and deal critically  with sources and references. The anti-plagiarism tutorial included Urkund, a plagiarism handbook that inlcudes a list to look at if you want to know what actually is plagiarism when writing.

Text: Lena Holmberg
Bild. Colourbox

Endnote news

EndNote is the reference management program that the University of Borås provide for their students and researchers. The program simplifies your reference management and can help you manage your bibliographic references and create the right type of reference for you. Most databases and our library discovery system Summon supports an export of references to EndNote. It’s then easy to connect Endnote to Word so that you can export references into your working document and create a proper reading list. Be sure to select the correct format for your references, the most common are Harvard and APA, and you will find information and guides to both on the library website. But be sure to read the instructions of your particular teacher and institution for which referencesystem that should be used.

We’ve made two short guides, they are in swedish but it’s easy to follow them just by looking at the instructions. How to export from Summon to Endnote and How to export from Google Scholar to Endnote. Otherwise you are welcome to the informationdesk, and we will show you how to make it work.

A novelty is that Endnote is soon updated to Endnote X6, then a sync function between desktop Endnote and WebEndnote will work, this was not previously possible. There is also an app for iPad that can be downloaded from iTunes, which also can sync to your Endnote account. But importantly, this applies only when the X6 version is in place, which will take a couple of weeks yet, and we will have to return to it.

Text & film: Lisa Carlson