When conducting research on a topic, the authenticity of the information is crucial. The information found on web search engines, such as Google and Wikipedia, is not always accurate, could be completely false, changes frequently, and may be impossible to verify.
For your research, look for sources that are authoritative, which means it was written by an expert in the subject area, appears in a well-known, scholarly (preferably peer-reviewed), publication, and is verifiable from other sources. The Rensselaer Libraries collect and subscribe to resources that generally fulfill these qualifications. Some freely accessible websites are authoritative, and these include websites of the U.S. government, and some academic institutions, but be very careful when choosing sources.
This chart from the Colorado State University Libraries illustrates the differences between popular magazines, trade publications, and scholarly/peer-reviewed journals. The following definition of "peer-review" accompanies the chart:
"Peer review" refers to the policy of having experts in the field examine journal articles before acceptance for publication. Peer review insures that the research described in a journal's articles is sound and of high quality. Sometimes the term "refereed" is used instead of peer review. . . ."
- Style guides describe how to correctly format academic papers and cite sources.
- Consult with your instructor or publisher on which style to use for your project.
- Print versions can also be found by searching in the Libraries' catalog under the relevant title (i.e., The MLA Style Guide, The AIP Style Manual, etc.).
ACS Style Guide The 2006 third edition - information needed to write, review, submit, and edit scholarly and scientific manuscripts.
AIP Style Manual The Fourth Edition of the American Institute of Physics manual
AMA Manual of Style, Quick Reference Common citation formats from the American Medical Association's style guide.
APA Formatting and Style Guide Purdue University's adaptation of the American Psychological Association's Style Guide
APA Style Guide to Electronic References The official APA publication on citing ebooks, ejournals, and Internet information sources.
Chicago Manual of Style Online Provides information on manuscript preparation, punctuation, spelling, quotations, captions, tables, abbreviations, references, bibliographies, notes, and indexes, with sections on journals and electronic media.
Council of Science Editors (SCE) Style Guide Ohio State University's guide to the CSE style.
MLA Formatting and Style Guide (Purdue Online Writing Lab) Purdue University's adaptation of the Modern Language Association's style guide
Turabian Citation Style Brief version of the Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 6th ed.
“Intellectual integrity and credibility are the foundation of all academic work. A violation of Academic Integrity policy is, by definition, considered a flagrant offense to the educational process. It is taken seriously by students, faculty, and Rensselaer and will be addressed in an effective manner.
If found responsible for committing academic dishonesty, a student may be subject to one or both types of penalties: an academic (grade) penalty administered by the professor and/or disciplinary action through the Rensselaer judicial process described in this handbook.
Since academic dishonesty is a violation of the Grounds for Disciplinary Action, the student may be subject to any of the following sanctions: disciplinary warning; disciplinary probation; disciplinary suspension, expulsion and/or alternative actions as agreed on by the student and hearing officer. It should be noted that no student who allegedly commits academic dishonesty will be able to drop or change the grade option for the course in question.” 1.
Among the definitions and examples of types of academic dishonesty is:
"Plagiarism is defined as representing the work or words of another as one's own through the omission of acknowledgment or reference. Examples include, using sentences verbatim from a published source in a term paper without appropriate referencing, or presenting as one's own the detailed argument of a published source, or presenting as one's own electronically or digitally enhanced graphic representations from any form of media.” 2.
Plagiarism may be deliberate or accidental, but the consequences are the same. Be sure you are giving proper attribution to your sources. See the Citations section of this site for guides to formatting and citing sources.
plagiarism.org is a useful site for information about types of plagiarism, tips (on avoiding, not how-to) and writing and citation resources.
1. Mark Smith, Dean of Students, 2014 – 2016 Rensselaer Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities, rev. October 2015 (Troy, NY: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2015) 16, http://www.rpi.edu/dept/doso/resources/StudentHandbook2014-2016.pdf .
2. Smith, "2014 – 2016 Rensselaer Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities, rev. October 2015," 17.
EndNote - "learn how to do research, cite sources, write term papers, and even match your manuscript to a scientific journal." Sign up for a free account [link to instruction item]
Zotero - "[zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources."
Mendeley - Reference management, research network, dataset- storage and sharing.
Papers - A reference manager for Macintosh, Windows, or iPhone/iPad. A paid license is required.
I. Registering for EndNote Web
- Register [ https://www.myendnoteweb.com ]
- Click on Create an account (upper left)
- Enter your RPI email and password twice
- Complete the fields
- Password must be 8 or more characters; contain 1 numeral, 1 alpha character and at least 1 symbol
- Click on I Agree
- First name will appear on the upper right
II. Using EndNote Web (from Web of Science) & MS Word
- At Web of Science: Click on Sign In (upper right)
- Search by Topic
- Select citations for EndNote (box next to citation)
- Click on Save to EndNote online
- Click on Send
- Get into EndNote from Tool Bar
- Click Unfiled (left) - will display # of citations
- Click on Bibliography (Under Format Tab)
- Select Reference Unfiled (or other folder)
- Select Bibliographic Style MLA (or other format)[need to customize list]
- Select File Format RTF [for use in Word]
- Click on Save
- Click on Open
- Using Cite While You Write
- In Microsoft Word click on EndNote Web tab
- Enter email and password
- Put cursor where you need to cite the information
- Click on magnifying glass to insert a citation in your document
- Type author's name - doesn't have to be first author
- Highlight citation you need and click insert
- MLA (or other format) citation is inserted into document and added to bottom of document.
III. Using EndNote Web (With Other Databases)
Online Searching (only for FREE resources ie.: PubMed & RPI catalog) Note: "Connections to online databases through EndNote Web originate from the EndNote Web server rather than your connection, so IP authentication or proxy authentication will not take place,..."
- Go to EndNote Web
- Click on tab Collect - Online Search
- Can customize this list
- Select database & search
- Select citations (box buttons)
- Add to Group --> Unfiled (over citations)
- Repeat steps 7 to 9 above
IV. Importing References (Other Subscribed Databases)
- Go to EndNote Web
- Click on Import References (Under Collect)
- Click on Select Favorites. Some resources do not need an import option, others need the EndNote Import option. Still others need options specific for their database. [Consult the Import Formats web page http://library.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=1758 ]
- If you are collecting citations from our discovery tool these are exported directly to EndNote.
- All databases hosted on the EBSCO platform are directly exported to EndNote. All databases hosted on the ProQuest platform and on WorldCat generate citations. Therefore there is no need to export ProQuest or WorldCat citations.
- For other databases click on the Collect tab and select the correct import option. In some databases your citations will be saved to the desktop and you will need to click on the browser button next to File.
- Click on the Format tab and select Bibliography
- Customize the Bibliographic Style List.
- Select your references, bibliographic style, and file format
Chart of Import Formats [http://library.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=1758]
Recommended Download Format
|**ACM Digital Library||
||ACM Digital Library|
||Exported directly to EndNote Web if registered.|
|Engineering Village(Compendex & Inspec)||
||SciFinder (CAS) filter|
|Wiley Online Library||
Below are excerpts of and links to current U.S. Copyight Law, Title 17 of the United States Code, summarizing the rights of copyright holders and the factors determining the "fair use" of protected works for educational purposes.
- Section 106 outlines the rights owners have over their content
- Section 107 recognizes the individual's need to make single copies, i.e. "fair use" of copyrighted works in pursuit of certain kinds of activities, and also recognizes the need of teachers occasionally to make multiple copies for instructional purposes.
- Section 110 specifies how instructors may incorporate copyright protected digital materials into their curriculum materials.
Excerpts from Title 17:
S. 106 - Exclusive Rights Of Owners
Subject to [other provisions of the law] ..., the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:
1. to reproduce the copyrighted works in copies or phonorecords;
2. to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
3. to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public for sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
4. in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual work, to display or perform the copyrighted work publicly.
5. in the case of literary, muscial, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomines, and pictorial or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and
6. in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.
S. 107 - Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair Use
Notwithstanding the provisions of [the previous sections]..., the fair use of copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is fair use the factors to be considered shall include --
- the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes;
- the nature of the copyrighted work;
- the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work;
- the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not in and of itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.
S.110. Limitations on exclusive rights: Exemption of certain performances and displays from the Legal Information Institute [LII] of the Cornell Law School.
Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians from the U.S. Copyright Office outlines the standards of educational fair use.
For detailed information on Copyright and Fair Use see this Copyright Quick Guide from Columbia University Libraries - This page is licensed by a Creative Commons Attribution License with attribution to its author Dr. Kenneth D. Crews (formerly of Columbia University).
Copyright is a type of intellectual property relating to how a creative work can be used, altered or duplicated.
Copyright protection typically applies to:
- literary texts including theses, dissertations, musical scores, and software code
- visual art, performances, sound recordings and even extends to printed circuits
- recognizes theses and dissertations as “exempted scholarly works;”
- states that Rensselaer “makes no claim to the ownership of copyright” in these works.
- you, as the author, hold the copyright and are responsible for determining how your work can be used by others.
- automatically covers your thesis/dissertation at the time of its creation, i.e. when it was fixed in some tangible form.
- gives you the right to go to court to stop someone from making copies of your work without your authorization.
- if you also want the right to sue for damages beyond regaining legal fees, you will need to register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office.
- the copyright icon [ © ] on a work implies that the work has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and is subject to this greater protection.
- Authors of dissertations and master theses personally can file for copyright registration by obtaining the forms from the U.S. Copyright Office website.
- Because the United States is a signatory to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Work, an international agreement about copyright, your U.S. copyright is also recognized by almost every country in the world.
Rensselaer’s Copies of Your Thesis or Dissertation
- The electronic copy is part of your program requirements
- Will be made available to members of the Rensselaer community as quickly as possible pending resolution of any intellectual property actions, e.g. a patent filing
- Considered to be a contribution to the world’s knowledge and Rensselaer is part of that community
- Will become known to a global audience via such means as ProQuest's Dissertations & Theses database, Rensselaer's library catalog, departmental and personal websites, and by citations to it in other research publications.
- A print copy of your thesis or dissertation (which the Libraries obtain from ProQuest/UMI), will be made available to anyone at the Folsom Library
- Individual researchers may request a PDF copy from the library in accordance with U.S. Copyright Law.
Electronic Access Options
Upon submission, you will have to choose between two access-rights options that affect how your work will be announced and made available to other researchers. These options do not affect how the print copy of your thesis or dissertation will be accessed or used.
Standard Rensselaer License
- The electronic copy will be available only to current Rensselaer faculty, staff and students, and to on-campus visitors;
- Rensselaer will only allow the abstract of your work to be viewed by people outside of Rensselaer.
- Choose this option if you plan to try to find a commercial publisher for your thesis or dissertation.
- Authorizes Rensselaer to permit the electronic copy of your thesis or dissertation to be viewable and available for download to anyone in accordance with the terms identified in a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial No Derivative Works 3.0 license.
- Specifies that anyone may copy or share your thesis or dissertation, but they must attribute the work to you, cannot use the work for any commercial purpose, and cannot modify your work in any way without obtaining your explicit permission.
- Potentially provides you with faster professional recognition than is gained by using traditional distribution channels, and makes it easier for others to discover and access your work.
- Not "revocable," i.e. you cannot change this decision later.
- Your thesis or dissertation may also be considered as published by some entities because you made it available to the general public. Finding a publisher may be harder; and in some European jurisdictions, other intellectual property rights, such as your filing for patent protection, will be affected.
About the ProQuest Dissertation Service
- Rensselaer has participated in the ProQuest Dissertation Service since the early 1950's.
- A voluntary program for universities established by an act of the U.S. Congress to preserve doctoral dissertations on microfilm and to promote the dissemination of original research at a national level.
- UMI/Proquest fee covers the cost of the production of a print copy of your dissertation for preservation at Folsom Library.
- The licensing agreement you sign authorizes ProQuest to make and sell single copies of your dissertation upon demand.
- For a fee, the company will also register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office.
- For an additional fee, you may also authorize ProQuest to make electronic copies of your dissertation available as an “open access” publication.
Rensselaer Libraries' policies on copyrighted and/or licensed materials for course reserve use, and copying of materials for individuals:
- The Libraries will make single copies of copyrighted materials for course reserve use in accordance with "fair use" guidelines and Section 107 or for individuals in accordance with Section 108 of US Copyright Law.
- The Libraries will not accept a photocopying request, or put items on Course Reserve, for resources whose copyright ownership and licensing agreements cannot be accurately identified or fully determined, or that might violate copyright law.
- Any material or electronic resource that might infringe on copyright or violate licensing agreements will be immediately removed from Course Reserve.
- Final responsibility for obtaining and demonstrating that copyright holder's permission for use either has been received, is actively being sought, and/or that usage complies with licensing agreements resides with the faculty member requesting course reserve service.
Examples of "Unfair" or Illegal Use
Typical requests that are not "fair use" and require obtaining the copyright holder's permission (and usually entailing the payment of royalties) for use include:
- An employee requests a single copy of a work on behalf of a company's research office;
- A research associate wants to distribute copies of a journal article he or she wrote to persons attending an upcoming national conference, but the copyright notice at the bottom of the page shows the article to be registered in the publisher's name;
- An instructor wants to use the same photocopies of readings she used for the same course last year;
- An administrator directs a secretary to photocopy and distribute copies of the "Wall Street Journal's News In Brief" section to all departmental staff daily;
- An assistant professor requests that three photocopies of a chapter from a book be placed on Course Reserve in the library for his class;
- An associate professor wants to have photocopies of selected readings sold at the bookstore because there is no satisfactory textbook available.
- An adjunct professor downloads a file from a library database and posts it on her personal website for students to read.
The below links identify the primary organizations managing usage rights.
PRINTED PUBLICATIONS - Obtaining permission to make or use copies of journal articles or book chapters frequently can be done via the Copyright Clearance Center(Danvers, MA). The CCC will also handle requests for use of electronic media and will contact rightsholders (publishers) about copyrighted items not its database.
SOUND RECORDINGS - The main contact for use of recorded works is RIAA
Other Useful Resources: