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CSCI 450 - Artifical Intelligence   Tags: artificial intelligence, computer science, csci  

Last Updated: Mar 24, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Evaluating Information

Regardless of where you are getting your information, you need to be aware of a few simple attributes about whatever information you are using.

When evaluating information, here are five helpful considerations:

Currency: timeliness of the information.

Relevance: importance of the information for your need.

Authority: source of the information.

Accuracy: reliability, truthfulness, correctness.

Purpose: reason that the information exists.


Academic / Scholarly / Peer Reviewed

The terms Academic, Scholarly or Peer Reviewed are frequently used interchangably.  In nearly all cases they mean the same thing.  They are used to indicated a scholarly (adheres to a common 4-6 part format to report research findings) article that has been peer reviewed (by others with knowledge of research in the field) that appears in an academic or research publication (few or no advertisements).

Characteristics of a Scholarly Resource:

  1. Peer Reviewed (ususally blind review)
    1. Peer review means a group of experts in the field review the article that an author has submitted to a scholarly journal for publication BEFORE it is actually published. These are typically peers of the submitting author (thus "peer reviewed") working in the same field. There are typically 2-4 reviewers who will make suggestions to improve the article, identify particular strong or weak points in the sections of the article, and generally provide feedback to the author (through the journal editor, thus "blind peer reviewed") about the value of the findings and if the article should be accepted for publication.

  2. Writing can be complex and difficult for readers without knowledge of the field.
    1. Making sense of research findings in a particular field requires some knowledge of that field. Articles published to share research findings really are intended for an academic or research audience where knowledge of the field at a certain level is assumed. The narrorwer the intended reading audience, the more knowledge the reader is assumed to have.

  3. The article follows a typical formula.
    1. Abstract 
    2. Methods
    3. Results
    4. Discussion
    5. Conclusion
    6. References

  4. In-text citations or footnotes or endnotes are frequently utilized.
    1. Depending on the field, some scholarly publications will use "in line" citations (Author Name, Year), some will use an elevated citation number that references a citation or note that appears at the bottom of the page called a footnote (at the "foot" or bottom of the page), while others will use an elevated citation number to an article or note that appears at the end of the article itself called an endnote.

  5. Reference list typically appears at the end of the article (or book).
    1. Not only is there a reference list / bibliography, but that list will be formatted in a particular style (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) that is common to a particular field of research.

  6. The publication in which the article appears has no (or very little) advertising.


Getting a basic overview on a particular topic is a great first step in learning about the major issues, trends, sub-disciplines, standard works or ongoing research efforts in the field.

  • Access Science
    AccessScience synthesizes vast amounts of information, and organizes it to give you fast, easy and accurate access to authoritative articles in all major areas of science and technology. More than 8500 scientific topics are explained, 110,000 terms defined, using more than 15,000 diagrams and graphics to explain ideas and topics. Continuously updated including the latest terms, images and videos.
  • Computing Reviews
    Computing Reviews provides a continually updated overview of the best new material published in the field of Computer Science. Reviewers recommend and review the best articles and books in their areas, providing a resource for technical professionals, experienced users, and laypeople looking for high-level information.
  • Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence ( AAAI )
    Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) is a nonprofit scientific society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines.


Pre-prints are the latest "pre-published" research findings in many science related fields.   Many pre-prints eventually find there way into the formal scholarly journal literature several months to a year (or two) later after they have been further refined and editorially polished.

    arXiv is an e-print / pre-print service in the fields of physics, mathematics, non-linear science, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance and statistics.  

Professional Associations & Major Research Tools

  • ACM Digital Library
    Provides a vast collection of citations and online full-text from ACM journal and newsletter articles and conference proceedings, including over 50 years of archives. Create a web account to manage and share citations and reading lists.
  • Computers & Applied Sciences Complete
    Covers the computing and applied sciences disciplines, including the business and social implications of new technology.
  • CiteSeer
    CiteSeerx is a digital library and search engine for resources like journal articles, conference papers, and technical reports in computer and information science. In addition to a list of documents, an author or subject search automatically generates the search context and a list of related documents. The autonomous citation indexing feature executes a citation search similar to Science Citation Index or Scopus. Many of the citations are linked to the full text.
  • IEEE Computer Science Publications
    The IEEE Computer Society publications provides full-text access to IEEE Computer Society periodicals and conference proceedings. Periodicals are available from 1988 to the present. Conference Proceedings are available from 1995 to the present.
  • IEEE Xplore Digital Library
    The IEEE Xplore provides scientific and technical content published by IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). IEEE Xplore provides access to almost 3-million full-text documents from publications in electrical engineering, computer science and electronics from the IEEE and its partners. IEEE Xplore comprises 151 journals, 900+ conference proceedings, 3,400+ technical standards, 400+ ebooks and 200 educational courses. 25,000 new documents are added monthly.
  • Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence ( AAAI )
    Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) is a nonprofit scientific society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines.

Notable Publications

  • AI Magazine
    Access provided by the library through Computer & Applied Sciences research database.
  • Artificial Intelligence
    Some content is openly accessible, some made available by the library, most recent articles you may have to request via the "Request It" library service.
  • Communications of the ACM
    Access provided by the library through a subscription to the ACM Digital Library.
  • Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research
    JAIR (ISSN 1076-9757) covers all areas of artificial intelligence (AI), publishing refereed research articles, survey articles, and technical notes. JAIR reviews papers within approximately three months of submission and publishes accepted articles on the internet immediately upon receiving the final versions.
  • Neural Networks
    Access provided by the library.

Library Search

Library Search ( nearly all library resources )

Chicago Citation Style

Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago)
Chicago, IL : University of Chicago Press, 2010. 16th ed.
Useful to students who need to know recommended forms for presenting bibliographies, footnotes, tables, and figures.
Accessibility: Reserve -- Z 253 .U69 2010 ( 4 Hour Circulation )

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  • Request It
    Request full-text articles, chapters/sections of books and conference proceedings. Or look for the green squirrel when you're in a library database to Request It. Articles usually arrive within 2 business days.
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    Access items for your course added by your instructor. Books and DVDs can be checked out at the library circulation desk in McNairy Library. Get login help for course reserves.
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