Research Process Toolkit

This tutorial toolkit is a collection of Western Libraries tutorials specific to the research process.  Organized as a step by step series from the beginning to the end of the research process, this toolkit helps equip undergraduate students with essential research skills along with the knowledge of various ways the Library can help.

Finding the Right Search Tools

Picking the Right Database Picking the Right Database
There are many databases out there but which one is best for your subject? (3:24)

Coming Up with Search Terms

Developng Search Terms Developing Search Terms
Tips on brainstorming for additional search terms to help you get the best results. (2:57)
Reference Tools Reference Tools
Dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks and bibliographies give you a broad scope of your topic to help you gain a better understanding for your research or assignment. (0:58)
Concept Mapping Concept Mapping
Plan your search with a visual representation of your search terms

Search Strategies

Putting Together Your Search Terms Putting Together Your Search Terms
Tips on creating effective search strategies. (1:35)
Refining Your Seach with Fields Refining Your Search with Fields
Tips & tricks for narrowing down your search results. (1:22)

How to Find Books How to Find Books
Three tips on how to find books in the library. (1:10)
Revising Your Search Strategy Revising Your Search Strategy
Helpful search tips to use when you can't find any sources on your topic. (1:45)
Search Log Keeping a Search Log
Help to keep track of your searches effectively.
Two Ways to Search a Database Two Ways to Search a Database
Tips on how to search in a database. (2:12)

Getting Library Stuff

Call numbers Introduction to call numbers
How to read those letters and numbers on the spine of a library book. (2:25)
Journal Abbreviations Journal Abbreviations
How to find full journal titles and journal title abbreviations.

Reading and Evaluating Sources

This interactive module will show you how to evaluate all your information.
Evaluating Sources Evaluating Sources
Criteria to help you critically evaluate sources of information and ensure that
you're only using quality sources. (2:16)
Peer Review The Peer Review Process
What is it? Why is it important to know about it? (1:56)


How to read a Scholarly Article How to Read a Scholarly Article
Tips on skimming and digesting scholarly journal articles. (2:34)
Annotated Bibliography Annotated Bibliography
What is an annotated bibliography? Why write one? What kinds
of sources should you annotate?

Keeping Your Library Stuff Organized

Benefits Benefits of Using a Citation Management Tool
Managing a list of references, citations, sources and information
can be a frustrating and a lengthy process. Fortunately, there is a solution!


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