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Make sure you do the following to get yourself set up for successful library research
So you'll have it handy whenever an assignment comes around. Always begin your research on the Library website so you get UTC enabled access to all the online subscriptions we have. If you simply use Google, you won't find the type of specialized academic research your professors expect you to use.
In case you need a book or an article we do not have in our collection. Interlibrary Loan is fast, easy to use and is completely free to you as long as you are a UTC student. Look for the button to sign up below the Quick Search box.
Look on the top menu bar of the Library website and find the Help link. Here you will find a complete list of all the types of help we can provide.
When you search Google, it's easy to simply type in a question and get lots of relevant results to view. Library databases don't work like Google does. When searching Library databases, use several focused keywords or short phrases to describe your research topic. Also remember to use professional terminology and not casual or everyday language.
Here's an example of a good search strategy:
If your first combination of search terms does not bring good results, try switching up your terms to include synonyms or related terms. The most common reason that searches go wrong is choice of keywords. If you have trouble thinking of alternative keywords, try Googling your topic and reading some websites that describe your area of interest.
Academic or scholarly publications are produced through a rigorous process of peer review where experts read and critique the manuscript and must approve it before it is published. The research study design, statistical analysis and conclusions are closely analyzed for validity and accuracy. Scholarly articles follow a standard format that includes these sections:
Abstract: Executive summary of the study included at the top of the article. A great place to skim and see if the study is relevant to your research topic.
Introduction: A literature review, definitions of major concepts, discussion of limitations of prior research and any other relevant or important background information that gives the study context.
Method(s): A description of the research study to be undertaken. Includes variables to be measured, number of participants, type of study, and statistical analysis that will be used.
Results: Charts, graphs, detailed analysis of the data collected and how it was measured or assessed.
Discussion: In depth review of the major findings revealed by the data as well as its significance to the issue being studied. This is often where the most meaningful information about the study is highlighted.
Conclusion: Section that summarizes the findings and discusses the limitations of the study and possible implications for future research that might be undertaken to expand on what was learned.
As you browse results in Quick Search or in Databases, look for links to PDFs of individual articles
If you don't see a PDF, look for View Online or Get It @ UTC links. These will point you to other UTC sources for the article.
After you click View Online or Get It @ UTC, then click the blue bar to jump to the full text of the article.
When you find a study that you would like to use in your research paper, it is tempting to simply copy the URL and paste it into an email or Word doc so you can go back and access it later. Unfortunately, the URLs for articles inside of our databases are usually NOT permanent links so you should always save the PDF to your computer.
Look for the buttons within databases and publisher websites that offer the option to Save or Download the PDF. Some publisher sites also allow you to email yourself a copy of the PDF, which will also work.
Quick Search is our main search box on the library homepage. Use keywords and short phrases to locate relevant books, ebooks, films, articles and more. Use filters on the left sidebar to limit to a certain format (eg articles, books, etc), limit by date and by online availability.
For a thorough explanation of Quick Search and its various features, check out this Tutorial
For subject-specific scholarly databases, use the Research Guides listed on the right sidebar of this guide.
Easy How-To guides for popular Social Work databases.