Don't miss a thing! Two videos to help you find the information you're looking for in the Library

Subject:  Multidisciplinary
A woman listenning to a video on her mobile phone
Author: Sandra Pérez (foto: Kaboompics -

Learn how to avoid fake news or carry out a systematic review

Over recent months, the Library team has organized a series of webinars, in partnership with the ProQuest publishing group, to showcase the resources available to you in your field of studies. The videos of the sessions are now available, and we'll go over their key takeaways below.

News and fake news in uncertain times


The webinar asks you to think about the concept of fake news to go beyond its narrowest definition: the intentional dissemination of false information. Using this academic article as its basis, it suggests a broader definition that also encompasses information taken out of context or that is unclear, seeks to manipulate readers or appeals to prejudices and emotions. 

It also suggests reading another article that classifies fake news based on its origin: for example, that arising from information overload when you need to access content in a hurry, without the time to check it.

To avoid and prevent disinformation, you need to develop critical thought when it comes to the content you find on the internet. The Fake News library guide can help, with its list of fact-checking tools, and the infographic How To Spot Fake News, which provides eight steps for avoiding it.

 Fake news: the red flags

  • The source is unknown: you need to look into the website, its mission, the contact information, etc.
  • The headline is outrageous: read the full text
  • The author is unknown: what else have they written? What are their social media accounts like? To which company or organization do they belong?
  • No sources cited or links to them provided
  • No date specified or it's from a long time ago

Also on the list for fighting fake news is checking reliable, validated sources of information. This video suggests collections including newspapers and news sites whose sources can be checked and which have been chosen by an editorial team:

You'll have to sign in with your UOC Virtual Campus username and password to use these platforms.

Systematic reviews with APA PsycINFO


The video kicks off with some theory to help you understand both what a systematic review is, and what it is not. It is defined as a research study, performed by a research team, that needs to follow specific standards and protocols (PRISMA statement and GRADE framework) and be replicable by others.

For more information on the topic:

The stages of a systematic review consist, firstly, of clearly defining the protocol to be followed, including the objectives and the eligibility and relevance criteria. There is also a need to define where the information search will be performed (on which databases). Then you have to set the research questions, following the PICO structure (Patient, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome), carry out the research, examine the validity of the results and, lastly, draft the review. The video incldues an example of a systematic review.

The second part of the video provides a practical demonstration of how to use advanced search techniques and assess the results in a systematic review. It uses the example of clinical psychology and utilizes the APA PsycINFO database, available in the Library. This database boasts the quality seal of the American Psychological Association, and contains bibliographical references (not the full text) of the leading research. You'll have to sign in with your UOC Virtual Campus username and password to use it.

Some of the tricks you can use with APA PsycINFO and other databases are:

  • Truncation (stemming)
    • (*) is a wildcard. You can put it in the middle or at the end of a word and you will find all results of the variations of the search word.

If you write Econom*, the results could include Economy, Economics or Economical.

    • [*n] will give you results with variations on the search word that have up to the maximum number of characters you've specified.

So, if you write Econom[*3], results might include Economy or Economics, but not Economical.

  • Boolean operators
Boolean operators
  • Proximity operators
    • NEAR/n: the search terms appear within a specific number of words of each other, in any order.

So, if you write Computer Near/3 Careers, the results could contain computer programming career or careers in computer engineering.

    • PRE/n: the terms appear within a specific number of words of each other, in the order you indicate.

So, if you write Attention PRE/3 Disorder, the results could include attention deficit disorder, but not disorder with attention deficit.

  • You can also specify where you want the keyword you're looking for to appear.

For example, if you write AU(FOWLER) AND TI,AB,SU(NURSING ETHICS), the search engine will provide results with FOWLER in the "Author" field and NURSING and ETHICS in the "Title", "Abstract" and "Subject" fields.

  • Use the database thesaurus, a dictionary with a controlled vocabulary of terms.

This is a great opportunity for all of you who were unable to take part in the live events or for those who did take part but would like to clarify any of the aspects covered.

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