Things I Looked Up Last Week

Posted: March 20, 2020 9:00:00 AM CDT

Research means a lot of things to a lot of people. If we’re talking primary research, we’re referring to someone who’s conducted a study, observed the results, and drawn a conclusion. If we’re talking about secondary research then we’re usually referring to when a researcher searched for a bunch of research and information sources and created something new with all of that information, like a literature review, systematic review, or a book.

We do research all the time, even if we don’t realize it. It’s usually simple reference research (called that because you refer to an information source), but we tend to call it googling. Yes, google is a verb now. It’s 2020, get on board.

And because we do this kind of research all the time, every day, I’ve decided to walk you through just a few of the things I’ve researched in the past week or so. Please enjoy this odd list.

Lentigines: I was working on creating a tool to help nursing students find background information and when skimming through one of their assignments, I found this word that I’d never heard before. I looked it up in a database I like called Credo Reference, which searches through a bunch of dictionaries and encyclopedias to get you the answers you need. I found out from Black’s Medical Dictionary that a lentigo is a freckle!bruise.jpg

Ecchymosis: Same thing! No idea what this word meant, so I looked it up, also in Credo Reference, and learned from Webster’s New World Medical Dictionary that ecchymosis is skin discoloration caused by blood escaping into tissues—so it’s a bruise! By skimming the results after entering my search term, I also learned that another word for this is Purpura. There may be some distinctions between ecchymosis and purpura, but I’d found out enough for my purposes.

Demographic info on the makeup of Veteran’s High School and Miller High School: A group of nursing students are comparing the demographic information of students at different high schools so they can later recommend a health-related intervention. I wanted a little background information before I met with them so I did a Google search for NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) and “Veterans memorial high school Corpus Christi” and after some clicking around (we call this “persistence” in the library biz) I was able to find a bunch of demographic info about both Veterans and Miller high school and help the nursing students get a data-driven understanding of the communities they’re working with.

Car information: My old car had a busted air conditioner and I don’t want to live through a Texas summer without a/c. So I spoke to a friend who used to be a car salesman (seeking out professional opinions counts as research too!) and he recommended that I buy a car rather than spend more than $1,000 to fix my a/c. Thus began my research! First, I broke down my monthly budget to see what I could afford. Then I just started looking at used cars at Corpus Christi CarMax to get a sense of what was available. I liked the looks (and price!) of a particular car, but then I googled the make and model and saw that it didn’t have a great safety rating. So I googled “safest crossovers” (because I don’t need a truck, but I want good gas mileage and I like being a little higher up than a sedan sits) and found a Kelley Blue Book page on “Best Safety Rated Crossovers of 2020.” I decided I liked the Hyundai Kona and the Subaru Crosstrek, and made a spreadsheet of available used vehicles in the area, available new vehicles, their prices, whether they had all wheel drive, and a few more notes about trims and accessories. I test drove a few cars, mulled over a decision for a few days, and bought my car! It was exhausting and stressful, but doing my research really helped me get a sense of what I needed, what I wanted, and what I could afford.

Bella Luna: Some other librarians and I went out to dinner at Bella Luna over the weekend and I wanted to know if there would be live music that night. It’s nothing against live music, I just want to be mentally prepared anytime a person will be playing a saxophone within ten feet of me. We all have our quirks. This is mine. So I looked it up! In case you’re curious, they have live music on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

HOCO: Finally, on Saturday I went to the homecoming events, but wasn’t sure where I was supposed to go. I googled “tamucc hoco 2020” (the 2020 was a later addition because weirdly the 2018 events popped up first. Google is a mystifying creature.). I found out I needed to get to the American Bank Center Parking Lot, so I drove on down, wandered around for a hot minute looking for parking, and then had a great time.  

2-29-20 mens basketball game

The point of this rambling blog post is to show you that we do research all the time, even when it isn’t for a class or a publication. Most of the time, it’s a quick and easy way to inform ourselves and it enables us to contribute meaningfully to conversations, make smart decisions, and improve our lives and our community. 


Emily Metcalf

Instructional Services Librarian

Generally Curious Person



By: Emily Metcalf

Category: Things to Do, Library Randomness, Library Hacks