These chapters present a series of short readings with discussion questions and exercises related to basic research skills. Topics relate to the whole research process from identifying a topic through presenting one’s own work and address both library research as well as searching for and evaluating sources on the open web.
This work was originally created to serve the needs of IS1111 Tackling a Wicked Problem taught at Plymouth State University. You can see these chapters in the context of the other course readings in Tackling Wicked Problems: An OER for Students at PSU. This version has been revised to remove references to institution-specific resources and programs in the hopes that these chapters may be useful in other contexts.
While the title, Researching Wicked Problems, implies a narrow applicability, this content addresses basic information literacy skills useful in a variety of contexts at a level appropriate for first year college students.
Like all works, this one was not created in isolation. Thank you to all creators who enrich the commons by sharing their works under open licenses, particularly the following creators whose work has been integrated into these chapters:
- Mike Caulfield: (@holden) The chapters SIFTing Information and Evaluating News Sources were adapted from the Check, Please! Starter Course and Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers, both licensed under a CC BY.
- Matt Cheney: (@finiteeyes) Much of the Audience, Presentation, and Citation chapter is derived from Matt’s Citation slide deck, (CC BY,) and in class presentation.
- Walter Butler, Aloha Sargent, & Kelsey Smith: The Information Cynicism section of Introduction to Researching Wicked Problems is derived from their excellent textbook, Introduction to College Research, licensed under CC BY.
- Wikipedia Contributors: The chapter, Types of Sources, uses material adapted from the Wikipedia entries “Fact-checking” and “Advocacy Group” (CC BY-SA) as accessed in June 2021.
- Noun Project Contributors: Icons used in the Iterate section of Identifying a Topic come from The Noun Project, and are licensed under CC BY.
Thank you to the TWP/INCAP cohort of the 3rd Cluster Pedagogy Learning Community and my Plymouth State librarian colleagues for your thoughtful feedback and editing.
Copyright & Licensing
Except where otherwise indicated, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. Exceptions to this license include:
- embedded videos in Our Mental Shortcuts, Identifying a Topic, and SIFTing Information
- image from Oatmeal Comic, George Washington’s Teeth in Our Mental Shortcuts
- SIFT image in SIFTing Information
- subsections, Special Interest Groups and Fact Checking, in Types of Information (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)