Research Rules to Live By
- Don't re-invent the wheel: use others' work to fuel your own research
- Let your feet (and fingers) do the walking: physical browsing can be as good or better than electronic searching
- Schedule for serendipity: browsing the library stacks is one of the best ways to discover new resources
- Get to know bibliographic records. They are your friends
- Don't do it alone: Use library services (ILL, Librarians, Reference desks, Chat, etc.)
- Google is good (but only to a point)
- Start broadly then limit thoughtfully
- Use Union lists: learn what is "out there"
- Don't avoid library catalogs
- Don't forget about print resources
- Learning about the history of research in the subject and the relevant scholars is as important as (and is part of) researching the subject
- If you find what looks to be a promising source, don't give up on it
- Keep a good record of everything you look at (or at least everything you take notes from).
- Keeping good records will help you avoid unintended plagiarism.
- It also allows you quickly to double check sources. Thesis & dissertation writers can spend days on end searching for sources they forgot to document.
- Refworks is an online citation manager provided by the library that can help you keep good records, cite sources and create Works Cited pages or Bibliographies in the correct style. For more information, and tips on using Refworks, see our Refworks Guide .
- Join academic listservs They are an invaluable resource (for now and later)
Last modified: October 6, 2010