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Elizabeth C.
Experienced Senior Research Librarian
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Public Administration
TutorMe
Question:

I would like to research mass shootings in America. My research topic is would be to focus on whether stricter gun control laws lessen the incidence of mass shootings. Can you point me to places to research my topic?

Elizabeth C.
Answer:

Glad to help! You may want to begin your research by looking at some federal government reports that give background on the issue and provide context. I often recommend reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) --Library of Congress: https://crsreports.congress.gov/ You can type in keywords like mass shootings or gun control more keyword ideas: gun laws, Firearms, gun rights, Second Amendment, handgun control, illegal firearms, assault weapons, gun violence, school shootings, mass shootings See these example CRS reports: U.S. Gun Policy: Framework and Major Issues https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF11038 Mass Murder with Firearms: Incidents and Victims, 1999-2013 https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R44126 Gun Control: Federal Law and Legislative Action in the 114th Congress https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R44655 For more government information and reports, try searching for similar keywords on USA.gov: www.usa.gov In addition, take a look for articles in the library on your topic. Peer-reviewed sources are less likely to be biased than things like blogs or magazine articles, but bias is always something to check for, no matter the source. For help identifying bias, sites like this can help: https://researchguides.njit.edu/evaluate/bias You could start on the library home page and try searches like: "gun control laws" AND impact AND deaths AND “united States” "gun control laws" AND impact AND deaths AND international comparisons "gun control laws" AND effective* "mass shooting*" AND "gun control" AND (impact* OR effect*) If you are not finding what you need you can also try these searches in some other databases like: CQ Researcher or Criminal Justice Database If you want to look at what other countries have done with regard to gun control, and the impacts of those laws, take a look at the Library of Congress’ Firearms Control Legislation and Policy page: https://www.loc.gov/law/help/firearms-control/index.php Full report PDF: https://www.loc.gov/law/help/firearms-control/firearms-control.pdf Also check out the reports under the reports tab for more on current legislation/laws in the United States and the data under the data & statistics tab. Also see: Mass Shootings Data (from the Gun Violence Archive) http://www.shootingtracker.com/Main_Page The Gun Violence Archive is an online archive of gun violence incidents collected from over 2,500 media, law enforcement, government and commercial sources daily in an effort to provide near-real time data about the results of gun violence. GVA in an independent data collection and research group with no affiliation with any advocacy organization. US Mass Shootings, 1982-2018 https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-mother-jones-full-data/ From Mother Jones. In July 2012, in the aftermath of the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, Mother Jones created a first-of-its-kind open-source database documenting mass shootings in the United States. Our research focused on indiscriminate rampages in public places resulting in four or more victims killed by the attacker. We exclude shootings stemming from more conventionally motivated crimes such as armed robbery or gang violence. I hope this helps get you started, please ask me if you want to know more or have any questions!

Library and Information Science
TutorMe
Question:

I am researching innovative digital tools for use in information literacy instruction. Can you help me find the best sources for this topic? I need three scholarly sources and two web sources (I have to evaluate the web site credibility as well).

Elizabeth C.
Answer:

Thanks for reaching out, we are glad to help. Here are some ideas that might help you get started with researching. I would suggest: On the library's homepage start with the big search box in the middle of the page. This box searches numerous resources at once so it is a great place to begin. Type your keywords into the search box. You might try some searches like these to start: outreach AND (diverse OR diversity) AND (students OR populations) AND academic libraries outreach AND Library* AND (underrepresented OR underserved OR minorit* OR diver*) (Note: for help constructing advanced searches like these that use AND/OR and quotation marks, etc, see our link on Boolean searching. Once you get to your search results, browse the articles, books, etc. in your results. Notice the filters/facets on the left side of the page...you can click those to limit your results (scholarly/peer-reviewed journal articles, for example). Next, I’d suggest you try some subject-specific databases such as these: (You can find them under the A-Z databases link on the library home page) Library & Information Science Source (EBSCO) Library & Information Sciences Abstracts (LISA) To find some credible web sources, I’d suggest starting with the American Libraries Association web site such as these pages: ALA Digital Literacy: https://literacy.ala.org/digital-literacy/ They also have a page on evaluating information here: Evaluating Information: Information Literacy: https://libguides.ala.org/InformationEvaluation/Infolit This lists places to look for information on digital tools for information literacy. I hope this helps get you started, please let us know if you need more information. Feel free also to schedule a research consultation with a librarian at your convenience or chat with us online.

Public Policy
TutorMe
Question:

How can I find out what federal incentives currently exist to encourage energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources?

Elizabeth C.
Answer:

Glad to help! There are currently 40 federal programs listed in the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency https://www.dsireusa.org/. Head to that link to search for state and federal incentives. Each link has a description of the program. Another helpful resource for (scholarly) federal government reports that give background on the issues and provide context are the reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) --part of the Library of Congress: https://crsreports.congress.gov/ You can type in keywords to search like renewable energy or energy efficiency in the search box to find reports on your topic. See these example CRS reports: Residential Energy Tax Credits: Overview and Analysis https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R42089 ENERGY STAR Program https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF10753 Energy Tax Policy: Issues in the 114th Congress https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R43206 Production Tax Credit Incentives for Renewable Electricity: Financial Comparison of Selected Policy Options https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R43340 The Department of Energy also has useful information such as: Incentives and Financing for Energy Efficient Home: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/services/incentives-and-financing-energy-efficient-homes. For more government information and reports, try searching for similar keywords on USA.gov: www.usa.gov In addition, you can take a look for articles in the library on your topic. Peer-reviewed sources are less likely to be biased than things like blogs or magazine articles, but bias is always something to check for, no matter the source. For help identifying bias, sites like this can help: https://researchguides.njit.edu/evaluate/bias You could start on the library home page and try searches like: "renewable energy" OR (solar OR wind OR biofuels) AND incentives Incentives AND federal and (renewable* OR efficienc*) AND energy I hope this helps get you started, please ask me if you want to know more or have any questions!

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