Research Support

Library support for every stage of your research

Research Skills III

Topics covered include:

• Creating a search strategy for your research topic.
• Boolean logic.
• Literature review.
• Finding online journal articles.
• Using relevant subject databases.
• Evaluating information sources.
• Saving searches, RSS feeds and alerts.
• Other sources: Advanced Google, Google Scholar.
• Avoiding plagiarism.
• Citations and Referencing.
• Harvard Referencing.
• Exporting bibliographic references from databases.

Suitable for:

Fourth-year students or postgraduate students beginning a major research project or thesis.

When should you attend:

Semester 5 – 8.

Support Materials:

Epigeum: (The Literature Review; Research in the Humanities/Sciences); ITilt (Chapter 3. Search Strategies; Chapter 5. Evaluating Information; Chapter 9. Plagiarism and Copyright.  Various print guides, online LibGuides.

Tutorials for Postgraduate students

Library staff offer one-to-one and small group tutorials that can be booked by students at any level and can be tailored according to the specific research area. Small group or one to one sessions arranged in consultation with the relevant School Librarian.

Postgraduate Research Support
A service offered to postgraduate students, researchers/research teams to assist them to carry out searches and the organisation of search results more efficiently and effectively.

Due to the staff time involved in this programme participation may be limited subject to demand.

Reference interviews

A one-to-one session with a client asking a series of open and closed questions that encourage the client to clarify their subject and put boundaries on it.  The purpose of the reference interview is to allow the library staff member to gain as much understanding of the client’s view of a subject that will enable them to carry out a Subject Analysis.  It is also a useful exercise in helping the client clarify the subject area for themselves.

Subject Analysis

Following on from the reference interview, library staff would consult general reference material to put flesh on a subject and also define its boundaries, such as currency or geographical area.  The result of the subject analysis is a brief description of the subject with a list of keywords, alternative keywords, names, phrases, companies and other relevant labels that can then be turned into a search strategy.

Search Strategy

Taking the results of the subject analysis and turning them into a search strategy using truncation, Boolean operators, wildcards etc.

Initial searches with recommended results

Following on from the subject analysis, search strategy and list of references, applying the search strategy to that list of references to compile initial findings and present them to the client, who would then be responsible for updating such content.

List of recommended resources, including: 

· Library subscribed-to Online Resources

· Social Networks

· News outlets

· Specialised search engines

· Blogs

· Podcasts

· Image, video and Slide presentation databases

· Devising a list of recommended resources that the client should apply the search strategy to.  An indication of what would be on this list would emerge from the subject analysis and then be added to with more searching.

Assistance setting up and using referencing applications

One-to-One, small group or large group sessions on using referencing applications that would include, setting up accounts, importing citations, exporting citations and referencing style.

Assistance setting up search alerts, RSS feeds

One-to-One or small group sessions, with follow up sessions, on setting up and manipulating search alerts and RSS feeds and how they can be incorporated into a private website or fed to an email account.  This task may require some monitoring over time as alerts and feeds need to be altered and developed with experience of the results they produce.

Copyright control

One-to-One, small group or large group sessions offering assistance in ensuring that content used, especially from shared or open sources, complies with copyright.  This would be of particular use to lecturers using online material to support online teaching.