[an error occurred while processing this directive] Research Rules to Live By #2 [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]

Research Rules to Live By


  1. Don't re-invent the wheel: use others' work to fuel your own research
  2. Let your feet (and fingers) do the walking: physical browsing can be as good or better than electronic searching
    • At the very least, you should know the call numer ranges for your subject area and make time  to frequently browse these areas. For example:
      • Film/Cinema = PN1995-1999
      • French History = DC
      • Astronomy = QB
    • To learn learn more about where various subjects are classed in the LC system, see the Library of Congress Classification Outline
    • You should, at one time or another, have looked at (an IN) every book in your subject's call number range in the Main Reference Collection (perhaps 300+ books). These reference works can open up your research to a whole new range of sources.
    • Remember that the same call numbers may be located in different physical locations (Main Stacks, Main Reference, Media Collection, Special Collections etc.). Try to be familiar with them all.
    • Remember that your subject area may also be split between multiple call number ranges (including the Z's - Reference/Bibliography) or classification systems (LC, Dewey, SuDocs, etc.)
  3. Schedule for serendipity: browsing the library stacks is one of the best ways to discover new resources
  4. Get to know bibliographic records. They are your friends
  5. Don't do it alone: Use library services (ILL, Librarians, Reference desks, Chat, etc.)
  6. Google is good (but only to a point)
  7. Start broadly then limit thoughtfully
  8. Use Union lists: learn what is "out there"
  9. Don't avoid library catalogs
  10. Don't forget about print resources
  11. Learning about the history of research in the subject and the relevant scholars is as important as (and is part of) researching the subject
  12. If you find what looks to be a promising source, don't give up on it
  13. Keep a good record of everything you look at (or at least everything you take notes from)
  14. Join academic listservs They are an invaluable resource (for now and later)

 

[an error occurred while processing this directive]