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Public Art Research

1. Relevancy/Title & Description


  • Title, subject headings, table of contents in BobCat
  • Table of contents and index in the book.


  • Title, abstract, & subject headings in the Database record
  • First and last paragraphs and keyword passages in the article.

2. Currency/Date of Publication


  • BobCat record
  • Copyright page (behind the title page of the book)


  • Database record
  • Cover, spine, table of contents, or margins of magazine, journal or newspaper

3. How Scholarly

  • Language and Presentation (formal/informal)
  • Authors who are academics, not journalists
  • Footnotes or bibliography
  • Original research, not summary of other people’s work
  • Quotations of and analysis of primary sources
  • Publisher of book or journal (University Press usually scholarly)
  • For articles, which database you found it in and how you limited your results, e.g, JSTOR has almost all scholarly articles, Art Full Text has a mix, use the "peer-reviewed" limiter to narrow to only scholarly sources. 

Example Book Record in BobCat

Example Article Record in BobCat

4. Extent/Depth of Coverage


  • In BobCat record, click on “More bibliographic information.” 
  • Number of pages appears next to “Description.”
  • Book’s table of contents and index will show you extent of coverage.


  • Number of pages appears in Database record.  Opt for Feature Articles rather than Reviews.

5. Writing

  • Appropriate reading level (college vs. high school)
  • Check for signs of bias (objectivity vs. subjectivity)
  • Assessing the argument

6. Websites

  • Who is the author or publisher? (Go to 'About' link on websites)
  • What is the mission of the website?
  • Who is is intended audience? (Go to 'About' or 'Home' page, or "What we Do," etc.)
  • Is there bias or opinion?
  • Is there a last date updated on the site? When is it?  
  • Check the domain: .edu and .org domains are non-commercial (see the 'Google Search Tip' box)
  • Remember that much information on the internet is produced by businesses, agencies, organizations or individuals with a certain bias or agenda