Oct 23

Something to Mull Over

Good Evening fellow and fella un conference goers,
I don’t necessarily have my own session to propose, but wish to add some thoughts based on my own experiences and work, as well as on the thoughts already expressed through this forum.
As a grad student researching and working in an online environment I have found it both frustrating and rewarding to use online resources and to be increasingly aware of those in hard copy elsewhere (physically elsewhere). The ideas presented by Peter about the plethora of resources available online is what intimidates me. With the immediacy of many resources I as a researcher often feel as though this almost forces me to cover all my bases and then some.
For example, in reading various newspapers online to extract information for a current school project, I realized that I did not have online access to the closest newspaper (geographically) to the event in question. I did not even have access to it in person at either of two major universities. In my undergraduate years I may have chosen to disregard this source and simply rely on the others due to the simplicity of the action.
Now, however I feel as though I will potentially be criticized for not including this source in my research because it is findable thanks to the power of the internet. Interestingly enough I ended up relying on a tried and true method, ordering microfilm through RACER (interlibrary loan system) and then reading it in a construction site (i.e. our university library). I am very happy to have read this particular source and to have the information which it provided for my project. Had I not read this source my project would be very different.
All of that said, the wide range of available materials is, I guess, keeping us researchers on our toes, forcing us to either stick to a small number of sources (and justify it) or cover all our bases (as much as possible) by taking advantage of the resources available to us.
So in the end, this has led to good, but I welcome your thoughts on the subject all the same.

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