Which to teach?
Why teach both?
- Need to know some basics
about the printed product to use the electronic product well.
Some print tools strongly influence
their electronic counterparts.
Chemical Abstracts - abbreviations,
inverted subject headings
Science Citation Index - citations
by first author only
- Length of coverage differs
for print vs online
- Only the Print version may be
Don't teach what you don't own.
Exception: for graduate students
and upper-division undergraduates, you may want to at least mention tools which
they'll find elsewhere.
Points Worth Pondering
- Ease of learning, ease of
- Some print tools are
easy to use and their electronic counterparts difficult (or expensive)
- Start with the
quickest, easiest tools and build up to the more difficult but more
- Some print tools have
different coverage than their electronic counterparts
- Chronological range -
usually print goes back farther
- Currency of
information - usually, electronic has the edge, but not always with
- Downsides of online
- Online searching is
fast, but must learn search techniques first
- Must evaluate the
- How many answers are
- Have all the important
references been found
- Information is never
cheap, on some systems mistakes online can be expensive
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