You are exploring: VU > Library > Blogs > Library News

Forums Explore Ways to Make Villanova University Scholarship More Accessible

nsf1The National Science Foundation has extended its “where discoveries begin” initiative to include not just  principal investigators but anyone interested in perusing publically funded data through the promulgation of rules requiring funding recipients to have data management plans in place. Instead of researchers seeing this request as another chore in an unending to-do list, data management plans (DMP) can be considered a beneficial and valuable impetus to organize and archive resources with potential for enhancing a researcher’s profile. As Alfonso Ortega, PhD, associate vice president for research and graduate programs and the James R. Birle professor of energy technology in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, says “DMP’s are not just about fulfilling regulations but also about making your good work available.”

Intermim Director Darren Poley

Interim Director Darren Poley

The imperative to make Villanova University scholarship more accessible drove Falvey Memorial Library Interim Library Director Darren Poley to organize a series of forums with Dr. Ortega on three emerging developments in scholarly communication: data management plans (Sept. 16), open access journals (Oct. 21st) and institutional repositories (Nov. 11). All forums will take place in Connelly Center cinema from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Both Dr. Ortega and Mr. Poley recognize that a “build it and they will come” philosophy can lead to costly missteps and that faculty input is critical to success. With this guiding principle in mind, the forums are designed to facilitate conversations about these trends and generate ideas about how they ought to be tackled at Villanova.

At the first forum on data management plans, Dr. Ortega introduced the topic by commenting on the challenges researchers face in the day to day management and storage of data of all stripes (big, proprietary, and sensitive), the dilemmas researchers face about pressure to archive and share data, and the importance of clearly articulating how solutions to data management will advance the University Strategic Plan and are essential for them to be resourced sustainably. Poley spoke about how libraries are natural partners in the scholarly enterprise with deep expertise in organizing and archiving resources that ought to be extended to research data.  Linda Hauck, business librarian, surveyed how data management services are progressing at other higher-education institutions.

Ortega and Hauck

Ortega and Hauck

The highlight of the program was talks by Assistant Professor Melissa O’Connor, PhD, MBA, RN, COS-C (College of Nursing) and Professor Amy S. Fleischer, PhD, (College of Engineering) and the discussion they generated. Dr. Fleischer described the National Science Foundation’s data-management-plan requirement from the inside out. Dr. O’Connor illuminated the technical and physical security safeguards that need to be in place when using Medicare data and National Institutes of Health funding as well as the costs associated with data extraction. Comments and questions were volleyed about how to balance intellectual property rights with public access and scholarly reputations, whether Villanova has a research data policy, who should curate and provide stewardship of data a Villanova, and what secure methods for data back-up are available at Villanova.

Clockwise from top left, Spiro, Fogle, Hoskins and Bauer.

Clockwise from top left, Spiro, Fogle, Hoskins and Bauer.

At the second forum, held Oct. 21st on open access journals, Nikolaus Fogle, PhD, subject librarian for philosophy, provided an overview of the open access journal publishing movement including quality issues, tenure and promotion dilemmas, faculty initiated open access policies, and sustainability challenges.  He detailed how the traditional journal-publishing-business model employed by for-profit, non-profit and association publishers alike are straining library budgets. Next up was Professor Aaron M. Bauer, Gerald M. Lemole endowed chair in integrative biology, presenting the researcher point of view, noted that publication fees for high quality open access journals range from $1350 to $3000 per paper and that those fees cannot reasonably be recouped for externally funded research given the volume of papers some projects spawn (one such project alone lead by Dr. Bauer generated 68 papers!). He observed that publication fee discounts are among the benefits of institutional membership in open access publishing organizations, such as PLoS (Public Library of Science) and Biomed Central, and many of our peer institutions have made the commitment. Finally, he commented that the transition to open access will not be simple or quick as pressure to publish in high impact and h-index journals is a fact of life for academics establishing careers and striving to advance professionally. Dr. Bauer implored Villanova academic departments, Colleges and the Library to commit to finding sustainable solutions to the National Science Foundation’s impending mandates for open access publishing. Interim Library Director Darren Poley discussed library supported journals. Gregory D. Hoskins, PhD, Lawrence C. Gallen fellow in the humanities, took attendees for a deep dive into how Concept has become a professional-looking online journal powered by graduate student editors and reviewers. Finally Professor John-Paul Spiro shared the joys and difficulties that came with starting up the online journal, Expositions: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities, including managing subscriptions and submissions to cultivate readership.

Faculty Forum #2 panel

Faculty Forum #2 panel

Contribute to the ongoing conversation by attending the final forums on institutional repositories (Monday, Nov. 11, 3:30-5 p.m., Connelly Center Cinema).

Linda Hauck, MS, MBA, is a business librarian. Photographs by Alice Bampton. 


Brill´s New Pauly Online: A New Way to Discover the Ancient World

Have you ever heard of Lupercalia? Wanted to know more about the reign of Constantinus, “the Great” emperor of Rome? Do you need to write a paper about trade routes in post-Antiquity? Brill’s New Pauly Online might just be the place for you to start your research. Its interdisciplinary approach, easy-to-use interface, straightforward language and scholarly authority make this online resource an outstanding reference on the ancient world.

Brill’s New Pauly Online has two different sections you can search through at the same time, one on Antiquity and another on the Classical Tradition. As Brill explains:

“The section on Antiquity of Brill´s New Pauly is devoted to Greco-Roman antiquity and cover more than two thousand years of history, ranging from the second millennium BC to early medieval Europe. Special emphasis is given to the interaction between Greco-Roman culture on the one hand, and Semitic, Celtic, Germanic, and Slavonic culture, and ancient Judaism, Christianity, and Islam on the other hand. The section on the Classical Tradition is uniquely concerned with the long and influential aftermath of antiquity and the process of continuous reinterpretation and revaluation of the ancient heritage, including the history of classical scholarship.”


Brill’s New Pauly Online allows for basic and advanced searches, features cross-references with hyperlinks, a browsable alphabetical index, maps and illustrations, and easy access to names, places, dates and objects from Greek and Roman culture. Plus, you can press Ctrl + F to quickly find relevant key words and phrases in the entries. Once you find what you’re looking for, try scanning the list of bibliographic references at the end of the entry or scroll through an automatically generated “Related Articles” for further topic coverage.


After completing a quick and simple registration online, there are a series of “personal user tools” that can catapult your research experience into another world. Some of these added features include: the ability to label and “star” entries, email entries to yourself or classmates, and share links on social media (Facebook & Twitter). You can also save your searches and easily return to those lists of results, manage them from “My Account,” and even subscribe to Brill’s RSS Feed to hear when new or revised content is added.

As an additional bonus, try out the “Cite this Page” feature that is found at the end of each entry. If you are using this resource for an assignment, copy and paste this citation to create your reference list in just seconds. You can also use the “export citation” feature to send the bibliographic information to EndNote or RefWorks, or you can even save it as a document in either MLA or Chicago Style.

This resource is highly recommended for literature, history, philosophy, theology/religious studies, classical studies, and art/art history students. Find it by searching for Brill’s New Pauly in the library catalog, then click the “Search online version” link, or you can access it from the philosophy subject guide and the late antiquity: reference works course guide.

Questions or comments? Please email me at alexander.williams@villanova.edu or post a comment below.

RS6126_Alex-Williams-work-stationAlexander Williams, ’11 MA, is the temporary librarian liaison to the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and a research librarian on the Academic Integration and the Information and Research Assistance teams. He is currently pursuing an MS in Library and Information Science at Drexel University’s iSchool.

1 People Like This Post

Dig Deeper – Behind the Mask: What are the Origins of Halloween?

Many of us are probably gearing up for this Thursday, Oct. 31st. Whether you’re buying candy bars in bulk to satiate the impending hordes of trick-or-treaters, dusting off an old fog machine to give your haunted house that final touch of creepy or still struggling to find the right makeup to perfect your zombie/walker costume, we know that Halloween has come. But what is the meaning behind the holiday we’ve grown up with?

Halloween is believed to have been influenced by a pre-Christian harvest festival called Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”), which marked the end of the summer and the beginning of the winter season for the Celtic peoples. As the Celts used a lunar calendar and divided the year into these two seasons, Samhain was the first day of the Celtic new year and was celebrated from sunset on Oct. 31st to sunset on Nov. 1st. During this time, it was believed that the souls of the dead, as well as other supernatural entities, were restlessly roaming the earth because the barrier between worlds, or the time between the old and new years, was temporarily broken. Sacrifices, as well as offerings of food and drink, were made to appease these spirits and ensure the Celtic people’s survival throughout the winter. To avoid being recognized by wandering spirits, celebrants would disguise themselves in feathers and fur, a tradition that we still carry on today, albeit primarily in polyester.

Halloween Party (1942), by Philip Guston (1913-1980)

Although Samhain remained popular among the Celtic people throughout the Christianization of Great Britain, the British church may have added a Christian celebration to the calendar on the same date in order to lessen the impact of these pagan customs. As a result, Halloween is also known as Allhallows Eve because it precedes All Hallows, or All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1st). This feast is a solemnity that is held in honor of all the saints, both known and unknown. All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2nd) completes the Christian Triduum of All Hallows, also known as Hallowmas, which is a time to remember departed saints, martyrs and Christians.

Dig Deeper

For more information on Halloween and other festivals, check out the resources available at Falvey Memorial Library:

Trick of Treat: A History of Halloween is a recently published book that traces Halloween from its Celtic origins through popular culture today.

 - Check out Holy Holidays!: The Catholic Origins of Celebration for a fresh new look  at the religious roots of secular holidays like Halloween, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s.

 - Search for holidays, festivals and other celebrations in Gale’s Encyclopedia of Religion.

– Browse our print Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary

Want to learn about the origins of the jack o’ lantern? Check out these two brief articles from History.com:

“History of the Jack o’ Lantern”

“The Halloween Pumpkin: An American History”

Still curious about Halloween or other days of celebration? Leave a question or post a comment below.

RS6126_Alex-Williams-work-stationAlexander Williams, ’11 MA, is the temporary librarian liaison to the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and a research librarian on the Academic Integration and the Information and Research Assistance teams. He is currently pursuing an MS in Library and Information Science at Drexel University’s iSchool.



Learn RefWorks in 30 minutes: Never Type a Bibliography Again!

ev-2.owaGot 30 minutes? Learn how RefWorks can organize your references and then produce your bibliography in a snap – and in any of the major documentation styles. Workshops are open to students, faculty and staff.

Participants should bring their own laptops (PC or Mac).
All sessions held in Rm 204, Learning Commons, 2nd floor, Falvey Memorial Library

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013 –  4 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 – 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 –  4 p.m.

Questions? Need more info? Contact Barbara Quintiliano at 610-519-5207 or by email (barbara.quintiliano@villanova.edu)

BQBarbara Quintiliano is nursing and life sciences liaison and instructional services librarian.




Back and bigger than ever: Falvey Memorial Library showcases and celebrates technology at annual weeklong event

SUPERFECTABack and bigger than ever, Falvey Memorial Library’s annual showcase and celebration of technology begins this week. Nicknamed the Tech Superfecta, this year’s event combines previous years’ events—the VUFind Summit, Code4Lib MidAtlantic Conference and Falvey’s own VUStuff IV—with the new, experimental VUClass day, a mini boot camp for beginning programmers and graphic designers. Together, the event cavalcade—brainchildren of Special Collections and Digital Library Coordinator Michael Foight and Interim Library Director Darren Poley—provides an opportunity for participants to not only improve their tech skills but also define the future and function of the 21st-century library.

Dave Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications, along with Gina Duffy, library events and program coordinator, and members of the Digital Library team began almost a year in advance to furnish attendees from around the globe with a forum to exchange ideas in a socially engaging, interactive environment, taking advantage of the myriad of new event spaces now available in the Library. As Uspal says, “It always amazes me what we can accomplish on our shoestring budget: building five days of great content mostly through volunteer efforts of people involved.”

VUFINDOn Monday begins the two-day VuFind Summit, an event that will include detailed discussion of this summer’s unveiling of VuFind 2.1, and will provide opportunities to network with other VuFind users—both local and global via simulcast—via a daylong ‘hackfest.’ Benjamin Mosior, Jr., KLN systems administrator at Shippensburg University, will provide tips for advanced users on scaling VUFind and enhancing its performance, while those new to the open source discovery software, developed here at Falvey in 2007, will be given an opportunity to ‘start from scratch’ with clean-install tips and overviews of program features, options and templates. Uspal expects about two dozen attendees for this annual event.

code4libOn Wednesday the Library will batten down its hatches as the Code4Lib MidAtlantic participants—a group of self-professed online “hackers, designers, architects, curators, catalogers, artists and instigators”—arrive at Falvey for their annual meet-up. Celebrating their first anniversary, Uspal describes this ‘volunteer collective’ as a free-wheeling, spontaneous forum of dialogue sharing and projects. “Anyone who wishes to talk gets up and talks,” he says, and primarily covers the burgeoning field and potential of digital-humanities projects. Among the distinguished speakers attendees can look forward to, Chad Nelson, assistant professor at the University of Delaware, will share ideas on modern development best practices. And Falvey’s own Technology Development team members, Uspal and Library Technology Development Specialist Chris Hallberg, will give a primer on the popular responsive design software from Twitter: Bootstrap.

VUSTUFFVuSTuff IV is next in the Superfecta lineup on Thursday, in its fourth annual platform of the “intersection of scholarship and digital projects.” This year’s roster features six fascinating projects, including Eastern University’s Info Services Librarian Mark Puterbaugh’s  Reaching China: The Use of Social Media for an International Collaboration, and a presentation by Villanova’s Department of Political Science Associate Professor Markus Kreuzer, PhD: Going Beyond Blogs and Discussion Boards: Classroom Salon. Library Technology Development Specialist, and dime novel enthusiast, Demian Katz will share the building of DimeNovels.org, and Digital and Special Collections Curatorial Assistant Laura Bang will describe projects that involve using digital humanities in university classrooms.

VUCLASS-LOGO-2Wrapping up the Superfecta on Friday—the first ever VUClass day, an idea Michael Foight developed to provide instruction for practical skills and applications, culled from artisans and technicians right here on Villanova’s campus. According to Foight, “High-quality, free, creative and innovative workshops provide the educated public with the chance to learn new skills, engage with subject and vocational experts, and become better and more fulfilled human beings. With experts willing to provide community service by sharing hard-won expertise freely with the community, the academic library becomes the facilitator of knowledge creation and sharing. The library becomes in effect the crossroads between space and expert availability.” Inaugural workshops will be A Beginner’s Guide to Graphic Design, conducted by Communication and Service Promotion Team Leader Joanne Quinn and A Basic Guide to Web Programming taught by Uspal, Katz, and the library’s newest Technology Development team team member, Chris Hallberg, who will focus on “Scratch,” a fascinating Lego-block approach to programming and a subject on which he recently completed his master’s thesis. Event planners expect a full house for these two events.

Coordinating a five day conference for hungry out-of-towners would not be possible without the unruffled hospitality—and humility—of Gina Duffy, who quickly credits Uspal for his “tenacity and positive attitude [that] makes planning these logistics as smooth as possible.”

If you’d like to attend any of these sessions, check the following link for space availability.


Dig Deeper: Conscience of the Holocaust Lecture featuring Rabbi Alan Iser

HOLOCAUST-FINALsmfOn Monday, Sept. 23 at 1:30 p.m., Rabbi Alan Iser, a professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, will present this year’s annual Conscience of the Holocaust Lecture. Rabbi Iser’s talk is entitled “Where Was God At Auschwitz?: Jewish Theological Reflections on the Holocaust,” and will explore various struggles with theodicy in Jewish literature and theological writings.The inaugural Conscience of the Holocaust lecture was delivered in Sept. 2006, on the first anniversary of the peaceful death of modern Jewish hero Simon Wiesenthal. Wiesenthal’s motto of “Justice, Not Vengeance” was the inspiration for the series. Each year’s lecture represents an effort to combat non-violently antiSemitism, hate, terrorism, and genocide, and to positively promote, through intellectual engagement, human rights and the dignity of every human person.This event’s Dig Deeper content, collected by First-Year Experience/Humanities Librarian Robert LeBlanc, can be found below.

Dig Deeper: Holocaust and theological concerns

The ethical, philosophical and theological study of the holocaust and its influence on religious thought is a complex and varied subject. Fortunately, Falvey Memorial Library has a large number of resources to help you explore the subjects of theology and the holocaust on a deeper level.

A search of the library’s general Article Search Box located at the top of the library search page ( choose the “Articles and more” tab) returns a large number of articles on Holocaust and theological concerns:

holocaust articles & more





A search of Gale’s Opposing Viewpoints Resources in Context (Gale) provides a complete overview of both sides of a large number of ethical issues and allows users to access information through viewpoint articles, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, links to web sites and full-text magazine and newspaper articles.

A specific search in this resource for the terms “Jewish Holocaust,” Holocaust, or  genocide provides a large number of articles and opposing viewpoints exploring the efficacy of remembrance in the avoidance future holocausts to the ethics of invoking holocaust experiences to justify modern political decisions.


For more theological oriented articles, a search of ATLA Religion Database (EBSCO) will produce a large number of results on the topic of theology and holocaust studies. ATLA Religion Database is the leading international database indexing citations in all scholarly fields of religion.

holocaust atla db




Using the database’s date and subject limiters will allow researchers to narrow in on a specific aspect of the holocaust and theology.


Finally, a general search of the Philosophy Documentation Center for both the terms Theology AND Holocaust will yield results that explore the role of philosophy and social engagement when faced with the horrors of genocide.

Holocaust philo doc center


Article by Corey Waite Arnold, writer and intern on the Communication and Service Promotion team. Arnold is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


Rob LeBlanc

Links and research instructions prepared by Rob LeBlanc, first-year experience/humanities librarian.Links and research instructions prepared by Rob LeBlanc, first-year experience/humanities librarian.

Our new Dig Deeper series features links to Falvey Memorial Library resources curated and provided by a librarian specializing in the subject, to allow you to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of seasonal occasions and events held here at the Library. Don’t hesitate to ‘ask us!’ if you’d like to take the excavation even further. And visit our Events listings for more exciting upcoming speakers, lectures and workshops! 




Write, Cite, Sync and Share

On May 15, Nursing/Life Sciences and Instructional Services Librarian Barbara Quintiliano presented a 45-minute session on the benefits of citation management software at the Teaching-and-Learning-Strategies event, a day of information sharing organized by the Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning (VITAL).

Citation management software (also called reference management software) facilitates the collection and organization of references to all types of resources, whether scholarly articles, books, web pages, works of art or patents. These software products allow users to create and organize their own personal collection of references and then, with just a click or two, to format bibliographies according to any of the major documentation styles, such as MLA, APA and Chicago, or styles required by specific journals. Citation software will also work in conjunction with Microsoft Word to place footnotes or in-text citations as users type their papers.

Quintiliano demonstrated features of four popular citation management products, EndNote, RefWorks, Zotero and Mendeley. The first two are currently available to Villanova University students and faculty at no cost, and our Falvey Librarians provide instruction and support in their use. Zotero and Mendeley, two newer players in the field, have intriguing social web features that facilitate sharing and collaboration among researchers. While they can be downloaded for free, users must pay for additional storage as needed.

This comparison chart, created by MIT Libraries, can help you decide which product is best for you. For further information, please contact Research Support at ref@villanova.edu.



Interview: Victoria Horn, a 2013 Falvey Scholar

Last week Falvey Memorial Library hosted a conference featuring this year’s Falvey Scholars. Representatives from our Library and each of the University’s colleges consider senior class Villanova applicants on the basis of outstanding undergraduate research. This selection committee then chooses five students to be distinguished as Falvey Scholars. The competition confers awards for each of the following five disciplines: the liberal arts, science, engineering, nursing and business.

Victoria Horn pic (2)We caught up with Victoria Horn, this year’s winner from the Villanova School of Business, and asked her about her project, entitled “Examining the Experiential Pedestal: The Negative Side of Experiential Consumption.”

CA: First, congratulations on being named a Falvey Scholar—I’m sure it feels great to see all that hard work paying off.

VH: Thank you! But I can’t celebrate just yet — there’s still a lot of hard work to be done since our study is not complete. I can assure you I will still be spending many of my nights in Falvey Library.

CA: What was the first germ of thought that directed you towards your larger research project?

VH: I’ve always had an interest in Consumer Research. Actually, one of my application essays to Villanova was about branding, materialism and the psyche behind needing a product. I’d say I’ve always had a Consumer Research seed planted in me, but Dr. Chaplin’s Buyer Behavior course was the one that really made it blossom. After her class I realized I wanted to pursue a larger, more intense, research project with her outside of a classroom setting.

CA: What’s the most exciting thing you discovered during your research process?  Anything that made you feel like you were really onto something unique?

VH: One of my favorite finds was an explanation of how experiences are difficult to compare, and thus tend to be safe from disadvantageous comparisons. The author wrote that it was “literally like comparing apples to oranges.” That description really helped put into perspective how unique my research was going to be since we’re trying to apply a set of standards to something that is inherently unique to each person. I also really loved reading one author’s notion of how materialism was evolving to include more than just traits or values, but extrinsic motivation. Basically, materialism wasn’t just about collecting objects anymore but included people having extrinsic (i.e. need validation from other people) goals and motives. This piece I thought would be vital to our study and it made me feel like my notions weren’t far-fetched.

CA: Where is your favorite spot in our Library, or just on campus generally, to hunker down when you have some serious reading, writing or researching to get done?

VH: The President’s Lounge in Connelly used to be my big go-to for work, but there were many times when it was closed for unknown reasons or there was a function going on inside so I had to go to Falvey instead. I typically do work on the first floor either at one of the tables near the printers or in the 24-hour lounge.

CA: Do you have a research tool you use that you think a lot of people on campus may not know about? A database or a resource you find useful.

VH: I think one of the best things someone can utilize is the [Course] Guide page on Falvey’s website. If you don’t know exactly what database or journal to use, you can just pull that up, click the appropriate subject, find the course/professor you’re taking and you’ll see recommended databases/journals. That page saved me so much time and energy when I first started my research because I really wasn’t sure where to begin my searches.

CA: What’s the best thing you bought this year so far?

VH: I’m a bit of a fitness nut, and I found a Groupon with some friends for 10 kickboxing classes in Ardmore. The classes were amazing and I loved going with some fellow Villanovans. I actually ended up buying more classes from a friend who wasn’t too into them so I can keep going once my work subsides.

CA: Do you have a favorite app?  If you don’t use a smart phone you can pretend I meant “appetizer.”  

VH: I’m probably one of the only Falvey Scholars that doesn’t have a smart phone. But hopefully I can get my hands on one soon. My favorite appetizer would have to be a spinach and artichoke dip; it’s too good.

Corey Waite Arnold is a writer and intern on the Communication and Publications Team. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


A Misconception about “Cinco de Mayo”

Mexican flag

Wait!!  Before you make the mad dash to enjoy all those delicious salsa combos you made to kick off your annual “Cinco de Mayo” celebration, I have some little-known facts to share with you about this day.

If you thought Cinco de Mayo was Mexico’s Independence Day, you would be mistaken! Mexico’s Independence Day is September 16th. Yup, you heard me. It was on that September day, in 1810, Mexicans declared their independence from Spain, which had controlled the territory referred to as “New Spain,” since 1521 when Hernán Cortés conquered the Aztec Empire. If you plan to add Independence Day, aka “Grito de Dolores,” to your celebration list, be sure to check out the article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica[1] on Mexico’s struggles!

So what’s so great about the 5th of May? Although it is not an official holiday in Mexico, it does commemorate the Mexicans’ victory over the French on May 5, 1862, in the town of Puebla; thus, the holiday is called “El Día de la Batalla de Puebla,” and there are celebrations. The Mexican-American community, from the western states, began the observance shortly after the event. Ultimately, the day’s events evolved within the US as recognition of the Mexican culture and heritage.  Moreover, the U.S. Congress recently issued  resolutions[2] recognizing the historical significance of Cinco de Mayo. The Congressional Record, for the House of Representatives, recorded on June 7, 2005, a concurrent, non-binding resolution recognizing the historical significance of the day,[3]

Selected resources about “Cinco de Mayo”:

Arellano, Gustavo.  Interview by Michel Martin. Arts & Life.  Natl. Public Radio, 5 May

2011. NPR.org. Web. 29 Apr. 2013.

“Cinco de Mayo.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic

Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.

Ganster, Paul. “Cinco de Mayo.” Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture.

Ed. Jay Kinsbruner and Erick D. Langer. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2008. 413. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.

Hamnett, Brian. “Puebla, Battle and Siege of.” Encyclopedia of Latin American History

and Culture. Ed. Jay Kinsbruner and Erick D. Langer. 2nd ed. Vol. 5. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2008. 401-402. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.

“Monthly Record of Current Events: Mexico.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 25.146

(1862): 261. Making of America, 1815-1901. Web. 29 April 2013.

“News from San Francisco.” New York Times (1857-1922): 1. Jun 01 1862. ProQuest.

Web. 27 Apr. 2013.

Pérez, Daniel Enrique. “Cinco de Mayo.” Confluencia: Revista Hispánica de Cultura y

Literatura 27.1 (2011): 210+. Academic OneFile. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.

Recognizing Historical Significance Of The Mexican Holiday Of  Cinco De Mayo of

2007.  H.R. Con. Res. 44. 7 June 2005. Web.

Sue Ottignon is the subject librarian for romance languages and literatures.



Plagiarism: Strategies in Research and Writing

Learning Commons LOGO-WEB2 smallWhat do Jane Goodall, Martin Luther King Jr., Vladimir Putin, Stephen Harper, George Harrison, J.K. Rowling, Maureen Dowd, and Joe Biden all have in common?

All of the above, as well as countless others, have been accused of plagiarizing their sources.

While we tend to think of plagiarism as some secret process done in the dark of night to cover for shoddy work, it is possible to engage in plagiarism simply by trying to incorporate information from sources you did not fully read or understand. Without a good grasp of your source and your topic, it can become all too easy to plagiarize your source without intending to be dishonest.

With this in mind we welcome Steven Schultz from the Writing Center with a few words about how to effectively use and attribute sources in your next paper.

Start by embracing the research process. Locate sources early and incorporate them into the very first draft of a paper. This approach produces better writing than shoehorning a couple quotes into the final version and gives you time to understand each source and its relationship to your topic. Sure, some sources—numbers, data, and statistics—may appear straightforward enough, but complex thinkers such as St. Augustine, Friedrich Nietzsche and Adrienne Rich probably won’t be. Also, use sources for more than just garden-variety support by including some whose perspective on your topic diverges from your own. Critical debate enriches a paper.

Writers use three techniques to integrate outside sources: summary, paraphrase, and direct quotation. An effective writer chooses among them like a painter chooses among paintbrushes with bristles ranging from broad to fine: each technique conveys a different level of detail. A summary offers the broadest overview of a source by restating a main idea, thesis statement, or a lengthy passage. Think of summary as the view from an airplane cruising at 30,000 feet: big features are enhanced but small ones may be invisible. Summary is effective technique for condensing long sources such as a research study or a book chapter.

Quotation is the opposite of summary: it preserves the original writer’s exact words and reproduces all the original detail. Quote when rephrasing an idea would lessen its impact or when including the original writer’s words enhances your credibility. We quote Ernest Hemingway, not paraphrase him.

Paraphrasing someone else’s idea means being able to explain it in your own words, not just restate it. If a writer includes an idea from an outside source by changing a few though not all of the words from the original but still provides a citation, is that an acceptable paraphrase? Not so much. Faulty paraphrases like this are called “patchwriting,” a term used to describe writing that attempts to paraphrase a source but fails because it either 1) retains most of its wording from the original source or 2) replaces select key terms with synonyms but otherwise reproduces the source’s syntax. Both are problems and usually happen when a writer doesn’t fully comprehend the material she or he is attempting to paraphrase. In fact, done well, paraphrasing is a great way to draw attention to a particular facet of an idea or offer a new interpretation of it.

Lastly, vary how you use these techniques. Not only will it make your writing style more engaging, but by adapting your technique to each source’s purpose, you’ll demonstrate to your audience that you’ve thought about each source’s unique relationship to your argument and therefore be more persuasive.

Are you having problems working with your sources? If so it is time to contact the Writing Center and make an appointment to work with one of their phenomenal tutors. Appointments can be made by phone at 610-519-4604 or in person at the Writing Center in the Learning Commons on Falvey’s 2nd floor. Act fast though because appointment slots fill quickly.

Robin Bowles is a research librarian on the Academic Integration Team and a liaison librarian to the Villanova University School of Nursing.



« Previous PageNext Page »


Last Modified: April 30, 2013