Landscape Studies Minors Research Skills

What Should Landscape Studies Minors Know?

By the time they graduate all minors should understand how scholars conduct research in landscape studies and how they communicate the results of their work to colleagues. One way to describe this process is “information literacy,” the ability to identify what information is needed and locating, evaluating, and using this information effectively and ethically. As she progresses through the minor, the landscape studies student is expected to acquire the following information literacy skills:

Required Pre-minor Writing Intensive Classes

  • define and articulate the need for information and identify a variety of types and formats of potential sources for information beyond the web search engine
  • articulate and apply initial criteria for evaluating both the information and its sources
  • acknowledge and cite the sources used in conducting research for an assignment using an acceptable style guide

Introductory Courses (LSS105 or equivalent)

Locating Information

  • Use the Five College Library Catalog to locate known items, perform basic subject searches, access print reserves, and page monographic material from the other Five College libraries
  • Find materials cited in books and periodical articles in the library collections
  • Use Libraries databases to find articles on specific landscapes and other topics including:
    Libraries Databases Link

    Garden, Landscape and Horticulture Index 1990+

    click here
    Art Abstracts 1984+ click here

    Humanities Abstracts 1984+

    click here

    Biological Abstracts 1926+

    click here

    Search Skills

    • Select appropriate search vocabulary
    • Modify search strategy to refine or expand a search
    • Interpret citations
    • Find cited analytics in the library collections (print and electronic)
  • Differentiate between primary and secondary sources
  • Differentiate between popular and scholarly information
  • Access class-related visual resources (in LUNA, ARTstor, Moodle, etc.)
  • Understand the appropriate use of Internet resources for landscape studies research

Familiarity with the Literature of the Discipline

  • Be aware of the existence of periodical literature specific to landscape studies
  • Be aware of standard landscape studies reference tools

Citing Information

  • Understand and avoid plagiarism
  • Routinely acknowledge sources using a standard citation format

Intermediate Courses (LSS100, 200, 210, 250, 255, and 256; BIO202 and 203)

Locating Information

  • Find and use primary source information in archival and historical collections, public records, and other repositories (both physical and online)
  • Use appropriate specialized Libraries' databases to identify scholarly periodical articles and other analytics including:
    Libraries Databases Link

    Garden, Landscape and Horticulture Index 1990+

    click here
    Avery Index 1930's+ click here

    MLA Bibliography 1926+

    click here

    Biological Abstracts 1926+

    click here
  • Use Interlibrary Loan services to obtain research materials that are not available at Smith
  • Find maps and other geographical information to support their arguments
  • Use image databases to find visual materials to support their arguments

Develop Familiarity with the Literature of the Discipline

  • Recognize major scholars in the discipline
  • Identify major periodicals in landscape studies and related fields
    • Understand the target audiences for these periodicals – general public, scholarly, professional

Presenting Information

  • Use PowerPoint, Prezi, or other tools to effectively present visual material

Advanced Courses (LSS300, 389 or equivalent in a related discipline)

Locating and Managing Information

  • Become familiar with more sophisticated access tools for periodical and government information such as WorldCat and other research-oriented library union catalogs, retrospective periodical indexes, collections of facsimile documents
  • When appropriate, use RefWorks or other citation management software to manage project bibliographies.

April 1, 2013