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Library Research Process   Tags: research library_research  

This guide describes the process and tools used to conduct library research.
Last Updated: Jul 21, 2014 URL: http://sdcc.libguides.com/research Print Guide RSS Updates

Research Process Print Page
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What is Library Research?

The research process--whether you understand this consciously or not--should be a:

SYSTEMATIC PROCESS of determining your research NEED 

Stating it as a Question?

Identifying -- Locating -- Evaluating

Relevant Information

AND

Synthesizing It --

Into a logical, written narrative.

This guide will walk you step-by-step through the process of conducting library research.

 

Research Process

If you haven't done research in a while, this is a visual overview of the basic research process. 

 

Research Steps

CHOOSE TOPIC
- Choose area of interest (topic selection)

GENERAL OVERVIEW
- Gain a general overview of the subject -- do this by consulting the Reference Collection

NARROW TO RESEARCH QUESTION
- Narrow the subject into a specific research question (& start an outline)

TYPE & AMOUNT OF INFO
- Decide what type: books, articles, essays, reports, studies, statistics, primary
   sources, conference proceedings, & dissertations,
- The amount of information – depends of length of paper 
- What types of sources might have that information: indexes, catalogs,
   bibliographies, & web search tools – these all provide lists of information
   sources.

CHOOSE ACCESS TOOLS & SEARCH
- Choose appropriate “access” tools
- - Library catalogs for books, audio/visual, etc.
- - Periodical indexes for journal & magazine articles (see Research
     databases)
- - Research databases for a combination of periodicals, books, essays,
     encyclopedias, & other information resources
- - Internet directories or indexes, search engines, mega/metasearch
     engines, webliographies or web gateways for web pages
- Develop a search strategy for each tool [see LibGuide –  How to Search a Database
- Conduct a search

EXAMINE RESULTS
- Examine the results of your search & select only the most relevant and
   credible sources

EVALUATE SOURCES
- Read, take notes
- Evaluate sources

REPEAT AS NECESSARY
- Revise, refine and repeat steps 1-7 as needed
- Make corrections & adjustments to your strategy or even backtrack to a previous search statement

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