Library Research Skills Tutorial About the tutorial
Planning Library Research

Key points

This module has helped you plan your library research. It contained an overview of the different tools, resources and collections that you may need to use during your research.

The key points to remember when planning your library research:

  1. The library research process can be broken down into five activities:
    • Analyse the research subject
    • Identify research tools and collections to use
    • Locate and obtain resources
    • Read and evaluate
    • Keep records
  2. It is necessary to analyse your subject at the start of your research in order to establish the scope of the research and to identify keywords. You will need to consider spelling variants, abbreviations, alternative meanings and to identify broader and narrower terms.

  3. There are a range of tools and resources that you will need to use at different points in your research. Understanding what they do and what they are best used for will help you to work more effectively.

  4. Different types of institutions might hold relevant collections. You may need to visit academic libraries, museum libraries or records offices. It is vital that you contact any library before you visit for the first time to check that you are entitled to access and find out what procedures you need to follow.

  5. Throughout the research process it is important to keep records of, for example, the search strategies you have used and the databases you have searched. Remember to note down (at the time) the full bibliographic details of all the resources you consult, including websites.
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