Our names are Laurie Neuerburg and Jenay Solomon. We are both librarians at the UI Libraries. Laurie is the Science Reference and Outreach Librarian at the Sciences Library and Jenay is an Undergraduate Engagement Librarian at the Main Library. We're happy to answer any and all questions you have about research and the Libraries. Our emails and contact information are on this guide.
You can also chat with the Libraries! Ask Us anything!
This is a research-focused first-year seminar, which is intended to serve as an introduction to research at an R1 institution, such as the University of Iowa. Students who are considering graduate or professional school will find this seminar of particular interest. No prior research knowledge or experience is required.
“Research shows…” or “scientists have discovered…” makes it in a lot of headlines, but how many people actually know what research is, where it happens, or who does it? Undergraduate research is touted by many as one of the most valuable experiences you can have at an institution like the University of Iowa. People may have already told you that you must be involved if you want to go on to a graduate or professional program. This course is designed to introduce you to undergraduate research, commonly the first step in a budding researcher’s academic and career path. You will learn what resources are available to you at the UI, how research involvement can be woven into your studies, and whether research is a good fit for you (or possibly not). Learn what science research is, what happens in laboratories on a day-to-day basis, how to get involved as an undergraduate, and so much more.
Here are a few simple steps you can practice when looking at unverified source:
(SIFT was originally created by Mike Caulfield, an educator in digital technology and director of Washington State's Blended and Networked Learning program.)
Image from Hapgood blog, "SIFT (The Four Moves)" (2019)
These are simple methods you can do any time you come across an unverified claim or other piece of information.
First: Stop! Before you start to read, ask what you know about the source or information it contains.
Second: Investigate! If you don't know the source and can't verify it, open up Google or another search platform and do a little more research on the information and source, itself.
Third: Find trusted coverage or more information from multiple different sources to a quick confirmation that the original source is reporting the right information. Finding more information from a variety of valid sources, such as Washington Post or local news channels can help you confirm the post or source is true or at least that it's valid.
Fourth: Trace any claims, references, quotes back to the original source or study. Especially if it's a meme or video with no other information attached, it's helpful to find the context of how or where the source came about.