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
Synthesizing It --
Into a logical, written narrative.
This guide will walk you step-by-step through the process of conducting library research.
If you haven't done research in a while, this is a visual overview of the basic research process.
- Choose area of interest (topic selection)
- 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
CHOOSE ACCESS TOOLS & SEARCH
- Choose appropriate “access” tools
- - Library catalogs for books, audio/visual, etc.
- - Periodical indexes for journal & magazine articles (see Research
- - 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 the results of your search & select only the most relevant and
- 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