Research Help

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Library Instruction Services for First Year Students

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Basic Database Searching
A hands-on demonstration of 1 or 2 full-text, generalist databases. Students search for citations using topics for a research project and email citations to themselves and/or faculty. Most popular databases: Library Catalog, Academic Search Premier, CQ Researcher.

Evaluating Websites
Librarian leads class through an evaluation of Web pages based on their topics.

Finding books in the stacks
Students arrive at the library with 3 call numbers; librarian provides a short tour of the library; students locate their books while the librarian is available for assistance.

30-minute physical tour of J.D. Williams
Covers the major areas of the library. Only recommended for students with library anxiety.

Scavenger Hunt
A 45-60 minute hunt is designed to connect students to library resources through teamwork that leads them throughout the library to complete an assignment. Scavenger hunts must be coordinated with a librarian to avoid disruptions.

Citing online resources
How to maximize database tools for citations. This is part of “Basic Database Searching” but can be explored in-depth through a demonstration of a variety of online citation tools.

Understanding periodicals
Librarians present students with information on how to identify a scholarly journal from popular press sources. Does not cover peer review.

The following research skills are not recommended for first year students: advanced database searching, interlibrary loan, finding print materials in the library.

Library Instruction Services for Advanced Classes

Advanced Database Searching
A hands-on demonstration of 1 or 2 subject specific databases (JSOR, American History & Life, Library Catalog, Lexis Nexis, etc.) Students search for citations using topics for a research project and email citations to themselves.

Advanced Keyword and Subject Searching
Students learn to navigate complex research resources using catalog and database-specific language, including broader and narrower terms. Suggested as part of Advanced Database Searching either in a 2-hour session or series of two 1-hour sessions.

Advanced Internet Searching
Librarians with subject specialties work with students hands-on to locate relevant, reliable research information on the Internet.

Finding Peer Review and Scholarly Articles
Students search for citations using topics for a research project following a brief presentation on methods to determine if an article is scholarly or peer reviewed.

The Research Cycle
Librarian subject specialists work with faculty to increase student familiarity with their discipline's major journals, methods of publication (articles, books, peer review, etc.);

Getting Any Article
Hands-on topic searching while a librarian assists students to determine if journal articles, in print or online full text, are available through library resources including Interlibrary Loan.


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