April 29, 2022

The UCR Library’s Robin Katz contributed to Adam Matthew’s latest platform, Research Methods Primary Sources

Primary sources are history in the raw, data that hasn’t been interpreted yet. Primary sources present themselves in formats like oral histories, letters, diaries, and other first-hand documentation. 

As a new researcher or college student, interpreting and analyzing primary sources can be an exciting yet overwhelming task. Many may still regard history as a collection of agreed-upon facts attractively packaged together in a textbook.

A new tool from academic publisher Adam Matthew aims to teach students what primary sources are, where to find them, and how to conduct the critical analysis necessary to wield primary sources effectively. 

Research Methods Primary Sources (RMPS) is an online learning tool for primary source literacy designed to support students of the humanities and social sciences by introducing key methods and approaches to working with historical material. 

“What is exciting about RMPS is that it doesn’t just contain digitized primary sources — it is designed to teach students how to engage with primary sources, and it can be used by faculty to design learning activities and assignments,” said Robin Katz, the UCR Library’s Arts and Humanities Teaching Librarian.

Adam Matthew approached Katz to provide input on the tool due to her expertise in primary source pedagogy.  

“I gave feedback on how the then-proposed tool would be useful to librarians, faculty, and students and how it could best meet their goals,” Katz explained. “I also authored a case study on using oral histories.” 

The platform's flexibility allows it to be easily incorporated into a classroom setting or used as part of a student’s independent study. Students will learn through videos, how-to guides, and peer-reviewed essays. Students will also be able to access over 140 case studies and put their new skills into practice, all within the platform. 

Research Methods Primary Sources is sure to become an essential resource for students seeking to develop the skills necessary to conduct research and evaluate primary sources confidently. 

This innovative teaching and learning tool is now available to all UCR students, faculty, and researchers. To connect to RMPS, navigate to the UCR Library's A-Z Database page, or head straight to the Research Methods Primary Sources website. If you’re connecting from off-campus, ensure you have your VPN installed and turned on to access the resource.