A primary source is any original work that is unmediated by external analysis, evaluation, or interpretation. A secondary source is typically an external study of primary sources, usually written retrospectively. A tertiary source typically amalgamates the content found in primary and secondary sources and is less critical or argumentative than secondary sources.
With regards to primary or secondary sources, the distinction usually about the identity of the organization issuing the source. In the field of business, primary sources are documents issued by the corporation (press releases, product catalogues, corporate websites, advertisements, financial statements and other filings, etc.) while secondary sources are issued by others, most notably journalists or researchers writing articles about the corporation.
Interviews throw an interesting curve ball into this distinction. I would say that a news or trade journal article featuring an in-depth interview with an executive would probably qualify for a primary source, if the article contains only the interview. If the article only has a few quotes from a company source but contains much more than just the interview (say, commentary or analysis), then the article in question ceases to qualify as a primary source (primary = from the mouth of the corporation or their executives).
It is important to note that certain academic disciplines may have a different definition for primary/secondary sources. Most notably, historians usually consider historical newspaper articles as “primary sources” in their disciplines because of how they conceptualize these sources within the framework of their academic discipline. This is important should you seek out information on the Internet about primary/secondary sources…
Fall 2020 will bring a new cohort of exceptional students to Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business. I have been asked to present, very succinctly, the library services and collections afforded to them upon joining us. Please find below the outline of my presentation, with corresponding links.
The library website is your portal to our services and collections
Be at the forefront of your discipline by harvesting RSS feeds on a special app or website. Subscribe to the table of contents of journals (http://www.journaltocs.ac.uk/), setup an alert in article databases like ProQuest or enjoy webcomics for academics (like https://xkcd.com/)
TOC: Learn how to create a Table of Contents automatically in any word processing software… you need to encode your document properly
As one of the librarians taking care of the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University, I am responsible for supporting two of the five departments, namely Marketing and Management. Over a decade ago, I embarked on an initiative to transform my library service, leveraging blended pedagogy to provide Open Educational Resources for my community. Learning to use a library and trusted resources is the original (dare I say canonical) experiential learning activity. This simple fact is sometimes forgotten…
In short, my pedagogical delivery strategy involves curating a set of short videos (5 to 10 minutes), hosted on YouTube and embedded in an instructional website. These videos cover using specific databases to empower learners to succeed in their classroom activities. These videos also provide insight on search strategies and skills applied to the Canadian business environment. Students can discover these videos and corresponding web pages through direct links in the Moodle instance for their course, through subject guides on the library website or, more improbably, by searching on the Internet. I currently have about three dozen videos in active use.
JMSB provides for some distinct challenges in devising a library learning program. An entering cohort of new students has around 1500 undergraduates. Class sizes are capped at 60, which means that a required course would have up to 55 sections a year, spread over 5 semesters (fall and winter, as well as 3 spring/summer terms). In the past, I would strive to visit as many course-sections as humanly possible, sometimes providing up to 5 library lectures per day. These 60 to 90 minute lectures were provided to a handful of select courses, so each time a teaching faculty would request a library lecture, I would attempt to secure a visit in all sections. Other librarians would pitch in. My records would indicate that we would only visit about a third of course-sections as many teaching faculty would not allocate classroom time for our visits, for a handful of courses.
As I gained experience with my community, I became increasingly aware that the 60-90 minute lecture was neither systematic, nor sustainable. Blended learning, in the form of embedded video lectures on course-related websites, was the strategy I determined to be the most appropriate.
Given the current context, this asynchronous pedagogical strategy is more than necessary.
This question is quite astute as it allows me to consider both academic integrity as well as complying with copyright and licensing requirements. I’m periodically asked whether one can send an article or a report from a licensed database by our University Library to someone outside of our University’s library. The gist:
Don’t share, just cite ™
Source: Olivier Charbonneau, Senior Librarian, Concordia University (Montréal)
To expand on this simple guideline I can provide the following insight: our licensing agreements with most of our vendors do not allow members of the University Community to send the verbatim or full reports to parties from the external community. So, please do not forward PDFs from our licensed databases outside of our University. Caveat: anything on the “free web” – such as websites/reports from governments – are free to share in full (as per the Canadian Copyright Act).
I know this is unfortunate but I offer you a silver lining: members of the university community are allowed to read, learn and cite from reports or articles from our licensed databases to draft summaries or briefs. In addition, you can cite from multiple sources to craft a really powerful synthesis of a complex business topic. This resulting paper is your own, as long as you cite short but salient passages from reports or articles our licensed databases and provide the source in a proper bibliography (footnotes and/orendnotes).
This advice stems from a simple ethical rule in research: if you share a single source in full, this is usually called stealing… but if you cite salient but short passages from multiple sources and provide proper references, this is called research. The resulting research paper is yours: the authors of the research paper own the copyright of the resulting paper with citations and can leverage or mobilize it as they wish, like selling it to a client or posting it on the free web.
This is the ethical rule in authorship, in line with various complex copyright or licensing requirements, that exemplifies best practices for the university community. In addition, it also provides for a “value-added” service for business analysis: selecting and arranging salient business insight in a research brief. Believe it or not, this is what you are groomed to do in our business school. Your question exemplifies best practices, that of validating with a colleague how best to proceed given a novel or uncertain context.
In addition to the above insight, please allow me to point out the following resources I’ve created to support Canadian entrepreneurs:
In closing, please note that this summer, I shall be overhauling my research guides and corresponding YouTube tutorials, so these sources will shift in the coming months, as fast as this humble librarian (and single dad from an undisclosed location deep in the Montréal Suburbs) can crank out web and video Open Educational Resources. Please consult my work blog, www.outfind.ca, for updates.
This video showcases my method or protocol to prepare quick & easy videos for my learners. I am a librarian working in a University in Canada and I use free software, namely Quicktime, to produce these instructional support materials. This video is hosted here: https://youtu.be/62sy1xJG4YY
Here is the outline of the video:
1. Before you begin: Create a new user account; Fix accessibility settings; Lights, camera, outline
2. During the video capture: Be yourself, pretend a friend is with you; 10 minutes max; Don’t edit, throw away & start over
3. Post production and uploading: This outline is your description on YouTube; Use YouTube’s tools for post production
I have prepared a 10 minute video about how I produce my instructional videos. It has taken me about a decade to arrive at this workflow, I’ve transformed my practice long ago to harness the potential of new technologies, tools and platforms. My goal is to share with you my playful and underwhelming method to make simple but useful videos.
Please don’t feel like you should put yourself “out there” as I have. As a middle-aged, overqualified and, well, tenured, white male, I am well aware that I can leverage many factors in my favour to curate an Internet persona. Please focus on the production method (QuickTime hack & inexpensive computer equipment), not the dissemination strategy (YouTube & posting on a blog available on the Internet).
I simply use QuickTime, my old computer with an onboard mic and camera and zero editing (ok, I have a nice external microphone which is 10 years old, but you really don’t need it). It is available on my YouTube channel and embedded in my work blog, at this address: https://youtu.be/62sy1xJG4YY
Of course, this is the workflow I’ve implemented for my own practice in supporting my community: hundreds of faculty and thousands of students from the Marketing & Management departments of the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University. These diverse and energetic colleagues and learners require a special kind of library service, which goes well beyond the canonical book-article paradigm of librarianship. (Actually, most of my colleagues go well beyond the book-article paradigm, but I need to speak to what people perceive librarians to be).
I say this because there are passionate and smart people working on various “video production workflows” at my institution, Concordia University, and elsewhere. Please consider this video as “a” possible method, the one I’ve crafted that I am now sharing with you. It works for me and maybe you’ll feel empowered or inspired to try your hand at creating your own videos… Please remember to consult with your institutional experts about best practices that are meaningful for your local community.
This post contains the lecture notes I will be using in an honors level undergraduate class. Remember, the library offers a Business Research Portal.
1. Is there information on the Internet?
Lecture; 10 minutes
Synthesis: Information (or more precisely: facts, opinions and data) is contained in documents. Documents may be posted on the Internet or published in electronic or print venues accessible through subscriptions or other forms of payment. A successful search for information implies thinking about (1) the motivations of those creating documents (e.g.: the goal) and their (2) expectations about posting on the internet or publishing in paid-for venues (e.g.: the source).
2. Compare articles
Activity; 10 minutes; Compare articles from various sources: blog, magazine, trade journal, Wikipedia, subject encyclopedia and scholarly journal
Focus: distinction between free or invisible (library) web
Synthesis: all articles are not created for the same audiences. Academic or peer-reviewed articles are the standard way to publish research results. University students are groomed to craft academic articles through writing papers as part of the requirements for their classes
3. Academic articles: structure and editorial process of scholarly communication
Lecture; 10 minutes
Synthesis: Structure & Editorial process of scholarly communication.
Structure of an academic article: research questions; conceptual framework; hypothesis/objectives and method; data & analysis; conclusion (very similar to an academic paper)
Process: peer review
4. Tools & strategies
Activity: 20 minutes
Transforming concepts to keywords for database searching
Compare Google Scholar and a library article database
Working from a known item – read the bibliography and explore related articles. Locate the article in a database and obtain keywords
Data sources on the Internet – be mindful of secrets
A colleague of mine used a tool call Padlet in a classroom setting during a presentation to foster open collaboration with attendees. Padlet is a collaborative website which allows posting small tidbits of information in a series of “wall-like” pages. A bit like a community board filles with sticky notes of links, videos and the like.
If you fiddle with the access settings of a padlet site, you can create a semi-open collaborative activity with a class.
Here is a quick tutorial I found on Youtube:
In fact, this tool reminds me of this interesting list of iPad apps presented at this training event in my university:
The Knight Foundation has already granted us “prototype” funding last year to create our alpha prototype, codenamed Alice (family pictures on the proposal page). Now, we want to develop and test our library videogame system with partner libraries (Brooklyn NY, San José CA, Civilla in Detroit and with the Indigenous Futures communities in the North) over the next few years. The Knight Foundation focusses on the USA and rest assured that we will be seeking support to deploy our system in Canada and elsewhere!
Because the News Challenge uses an “open” community based evaluation process (in addition to a formal review), you can help in some very simple ways:
1. Please click on the link to get the page view count up.
2. Register an account on the system to either “heart” the proposal or leave a comment. Some useful comments could be “I would love for my local public library to have indie/digital games” or, if you are a game maker, “I would love for libraries to add my game to their collection” (or some variation thereof). Of course, please feel free to add your own comment!
3. Forward this email to anyone who believes that libraries should have Game Clubs and Indie Games.
The Comment phase of the granting cycle closes in about 2 week.
On a more personal note, my ambition is to strengthen libraries everywhere by devising an open social computing platform so that everyone can play and make games. This will also help libraries acquire and preserve digital content through open markets (fixing some pesky collective action & copyright & technological issues). I am blessed with a myriad of colleagues at Concordia who also share this vision and are willing to embark on this quest!
Thanking you in advance for your support of our project,
Here is a draft outline I just created for a professor teaching an entrepreneurship class for Fine Arts students. Caveat being that these students are not business majors, so we have to spend more time explaining why each resource is useful and how to incorporate these sources in their assignments. Also, the bit about copyright is because they are Fine Arts students and the professor wanted me to cover this as well.
–> Please make sure students bring their devices or borrow laptops from the circulation desk to LB-322 <–
->Total duration: 150 minutes, which leaves room for a 15 minute break <-
1. Basic business & industry information
– Browse NAICS codes related to Fine Arts, enable students to discover their codes by engaging them to state their line of business
– Show the IBIS World system and present a sample report (uses NAICS codes)
– Show the SME Benchmarking system and a sample report (uses NAICS codes)
ACTIVITY: have students retrieve the IBIS World & SME Benchmarking reports. Troubleshoot NAICS codes & interface issues.
2. Basic market information
– Passport GMID
ACTIVITY: Can you identify one trend or statistic that can impact your project from either source?
3. Stats Can
– Census: know your neighbours!
– CANSIM: Household spending & more
– Mention SimplyMap but do not show it
ACTIVITY: What is the average household spending for your product? How do you define your market (geography, demographics, etc.)?
4. Articles (trends, major players…)
– Business Source Complete
ACTIVITY: Locate one article (news, trade or academic) which relates to your project.
– What does copyright mean for you?
– Using copyrighted content as part of your work