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Research Papers 101: Popular sources discussed

Popular sources, or, What Google can and can't do for you

Where do we get our information from? For most people today, it's popular sources.

Image credit: "Teens and Social Media Fact Sheet," January 5 2024, Pew Research Center

But popular media doesn't always reliably inform us,
or allow us unmediated access to the facts.

Filter bubbles

"Technologies such as social media can shunt information to different users -- guessing what they want to hear -- by personalizing the incoming information. Over time, communities of like-minded people form, oblivious to contrasting points of view. The 'filter bubble' concept was developed and popularized by activist Eli Pariser."

Image and caption credit: Tomwsulcer, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons



When we search Google for information about a topic,
nearly all of the results we pull up will be POPULAR sources.


Google's NEWS tab could be useful if you are searching for
sources that might be considered "authoritative" but not scholarly,
like newspapers and traditional news outlets like CNN.

You can navigate to some scholarly sources if you search for them
by name, but unless they are OPEN ACCESS you are likely to run into a PAYWALL.

Sidebar: an increasing number of scholarly journals are OPEN ACCESS
(you can search for them at the Directory of Open Access Journals),
but for most scholarly articles you'll need some way to get past the paywall.

Even magazines and newspapers like the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal
will only let you read a limited number of articles before you hit a paywall.

get you past paywalls—the Hofheimer Library website!

Join us on the next page to learn about how the library website gets you
past paywalls and allows you to access a whole universe of information.