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Emerging Technology in CJ: Week 9: Research & Writing #4

Week 9: Writing/Research #4

Week 9: Writing/Research #4:

After competing this page, you should be able to:

  • Explain several meanings for the phrase “Information Has Value”
  • Explain that there is always a cost associated with information and why some information sources are more expensive to produce and distribute than others
  • Explain the legal meaning of Fair Use
  • Explain the academic meaning of the phrase “the literature of criminal justice”
  • Give several reasons for the importance of accurately citing information sources in your writing and presentations
  • Cite a website in correct APA format
  • Explain several advantages and disadvantages of using an internet search engine such as Google to look for information
  • Explain to a friend how to use the advanced search features in Google
  • Use Google to find a useful chart or graph to use with your research
  •  Complete Writing Assignment #4

Research/Writing Class Outline

Research/Writing Class Outline

  1. Library Home Page / CJ Subject Guide
  2. Information Has Value and Is Usually Legally Protected
  3. Good Information Is Expensive
  4. The Literature of Criminal Justice
  5. Video: "Information Has Value: Why We Cite"
  6. Video: "Crediting Your Sources: What Is Fair Use?"
  7. Using Google for Research
  8. APA Format: Citing Web Sources
  9. Video: "How to Google Like a Pro"
  10. Using Google to Find a Chart or Graph
  11. In-Class Exercise: Advanced Google Searching
  12. Writing Assignment #4

9/3 Good Information Is Expensive

Good Information Is Expensive

It's easy to get the idea the you can get good information freely from the Internet.  However, you'll usually find that, it it's truly quality information, someone has paid for it.  In the case of government websites, it might be paid for by your taxes.  In the case of high quality medical information, it might be paid for by generous grants from philanthropic organizations.  In the case of the library's databases, it's your tuition dollars that pay several hundred thousand dollars per year for access to journals.  Sometimes organizations provide information that's paid for by their membership dues.

The kind of superficial information that's usually found on ".com" websites is actually advertising for the sponsored product or service.  It's usually biased in favor of whatever is being sold.  This information will not add to your credibility as a writer.

In addition to the reasons given in the "Why We Cite" video, it is in fact illegal to take copyrighted information without properly citing it or getting permission.  Copyright laws apply to any source of information, music, journals, videos, photographs, illustrations, etc.  Taking information without citing it is plagiarism.  Aside from being dishonest, plagiarism carries harsh penalties.

As an example of the cost of information, it may surprise you to know what the library, through your tuition, pays for journal subscriptions.  You can get an idea of some of the expenses of criminal justice journals by looking at the Literature of Criminal Justice webpage.

9/4 The Literature of Criminal Justice

Literature of Criminal Justice

Because the articles these journals contain are written by experts and are peer-reviewed, these are the "gold standard" of credible information. 

9/7 Using Google for Research

Using Google for Research

You're aware there is a vast amount of information available on the Internet.  And it's tempting to think you can find anything you want with a Google search.  By now, however, you should be aware that much of that information is not as useful for true research as the people who sell computers would like you to think.  Quality information is expensive and its producers cannot afford to give it away.

The Internet gives you access to a vast amount of information, but you will probably be surprised to learn that you have free access to only 1% of the information that the Internet hosts.  The remaining 99% is sometimes referred to as the Deep Web (or Invisible Web or Hidden Web) and it is not indexed by search engines such as Google. 

The Deep Web includes the sites that require payment before allowing internet users access.  It includes data stored by research facilities, governments, legal as well as illegal businesses, along with vast amounts of information not intended for public viewing.  Quality information is expensive, and the library pays more than $300,000 per year to provide you access to the databases you've been using in this course.  The expression, "You get what you pay for." has never been truer than it is for the Internet.

Nevertheless, it would be senseless to ignore the quality information that you can access via the Internet.  Advanced Google searching techniques can save you lots of time and help you find exactly what you're looking for.

9/8 APA Format: Citing Web Sources

How to Cite a Website in APA 

Citing a general website article with an author

Note: Many sources have APA citation formats for their online versions (e.g., online newspapers, dictionaries and encyclopedias). Check out our other guides or the APA Publication Manual (6th ed.) first to see if there is a citation for a specific source type in an online format.


Author, F.M. (Year, Month Date of publication). Article title. Retrieved from URL

Note: Only include the retrieval date if the content is likely to change over time (such as wikis). If necessary, include the retrieval month date, year, (in that order) between “Retrieved” and “from URL” in the last segment of the citation.

Note: When a website does not have an article title, replace it in the citation with the website title.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 5.01.48 PM


Limer, E. (2013, October 1). Heck yes! The first free wireless plan is finally here. Retrieved from

From: How to cite a website in APA - EasyBib blog. (n.d.). Retrieved from 

9/2 Information Has Value and Is Usually Legally Protected

Information Has Value and is Usually Legally Protected

Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world. Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information production and dissemination.

The value of information is manifested in various contexts, including publishing practices, access to information, the commodification of personal information, and intellectual property laws. The novice learner may struggle to understand the diverse values of information in an environment where “free” information and related services are plentiful and the concept of intellectual property is first encountered through rules of citation or warnings about plagiarism and copyright law. As creators and users of information, experts understand their rights and responsibilities when participating in a community of scholarship. Experts understand that value may be wielded by powerful interests in ways that marginalize certain voices. However, value may also be leveraged by individuals and organizations to effect change and for civic, economic, social, or personal gains. Experts also understand that the individual is responsible for making deliberate and informed choices about when to comply with and when to contest current legal and socioeconomic practices concerning the value of information.


Association of College and Research Libraries. (2016, January 11). Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved

9/9 Video: "How to Google Like a Pro"

1. Exact Phrase "use quotation marks"
2. Exclude a Word use a dash (-)
3. Missing Words use an asterisk (*)
4. Search within a Domain site: URL
5 Search a Domain Extension [.edu, .com, etc.]
6. Related Websites related: URL
7. File Type filetype: pdf

Elements of a Bibliographic Citation

Drag and drop these elements of a bibliographic citation to their appropriate category below.

Bradshaw. B. (2010, Jan. 11). Answering criticism of explosive detection machines and K-9s. Retrieved from:


Library Home Page Overview

9/5 Video: "Information Has Value: Why We Cite"

UNC [University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill] Writing Center (Producer). (2012, April 24). Why we cite [Video file]. Retrieved from

9/6 Video: "Crediting Your Sources: What Is Fair Use?"

Crediting Your Sources: What Is Fair Use?

It is illegal to just take information from most sources.  That includes the Internet.

Watch this video to get an overview:

9/10 Using Google to Find a Chart or Graph

Using Google to Find a Chart or Graph

9/11 In-Class Exercise: Advanced Google Searching

In-Class Exercise: Advanced Google Searching

1.  Find websites with information on "through the wall radar".

2. Find websites about "through the wall radar," but exclude all the pages that contain the word book.

3. Find these websites for which you are missing a word:  surveillance and [missing word] missions.

4. Find a government website that discusses "through the wall radar."

5. Find a PowerPoint presentation about body armor on a government website.

6. Find a pdf on a government website that discusses traffic accidents in 2015.

7. Find a chart of the consumer price index for the United States.