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Essential Skills for the Information Age Worker, Semester 2 2004

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Week 02: Research principles and the organisation of knowledge

Lecturer: Gavan McCarthy
Image of Week 02: Research principles and the organisation of knowledge
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Date: 4 August 2004 1pm
Location: Old Arts Theatre B
Particular emphasis will be given to the evolution of scholarly practice in the paper-based or print world and introduce the critical role of (archival) records as the evidential foundation of Western knowledge.


Tutorial Exercises

This tutorial will deal with administration relating to assessment. The timetable for delivery of class papers will be determined and some preliminary discussion of topics for the research project.
  • Students should come prepared with ideas for the class paper they wish to present and the research project they wish to pursue.
  • Students should also come prepared to discuss the review questions for the set reading that have been posted to WebRaft under the week one folder.

Lab Exercise

This laboratory will focus on basics like signing on to the subject listserv, viewing the subject web pages, working with browser applications etc. Given that we expect a broad range of IT skills, this is the opportunity for students to gain familiarity and confidence in using WWW technology.
  • See http://webraft.its.unimelb.edu.au/ to access the subject forum. Your first task is to go to Preferences and make any changes, in particular marking the subscription list as current so that the messages from previous years will be marked as read.
  • home.student.unimelb.edu.au for using your ITS email account.
  • Assess your skills against Basic Expectations of Student Computer Skills.
  • Students should also work through the review questions, noting the methods used to locate answers to questions that are not provided in the set reading. Answers should be posted to the WebRaft forum.

Review Questions

Some of these questions can be answered from reading Helge Kragh's An Introduction to the Historiography of Science (1987).
  1. Can you access a copy of it? Is it in the library? How many copies? Can you find it on the Web or anything about Kragh?
  2. What is meant by Kragh when he talks about 'symbolic' and 'non-symbolic' sources? Why is this problematic?
  3. What is the difference between a primary and secondary source? Is there a 'grey' area? Give examples.
  4. What is oral testimony? How does it fit into Kragh's column of examples of sources?
  5. What is the difference between the cyclic view of time and the linear view of time? How does this affect the way we 'remember'?
  6. What is the range of sources your use in your own research and how does it compare with Kragh's typology?
  7. Who was Thoth?
  8. What does a web search for the term citability turn up?
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Resource Sections

Prepared by: Gavan McCarthy
Created: 5 June 2000
Modified: 22 July 2004

Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre on AustehcWeb, 2000 - 2004
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: tfac@austehc.unimelb.edu.au
Updated: 22 July 2004

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