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A Guide to the Research Process

Stay Organized

Now that you know where and how to look for sources you need to keep track of your research. Avoid duplicating your efforts by keeping track of which searches work and which searches don't. Once you find an article that looks promising you should record all the publication information. You will be glad you did when you start on your bibliography!

Keep notes throughout the research process in order to efficiently and effectively complete your research projects.

  • Keep a research log
    • Track your keyword use in databases or search engines to prevent repeat searches.
  • Record source information
    • Keep track of citations as you find/create them.
Try It!

Use the Database Research and Citation Log to assist in keeping track of your research.

Or take advantage of technology with a citation manager!

Most databases include tools that will help you keep track of your research.  The icon is often a quotation mark. When you open an article's information page in Spartan Search, tools are in the middle of the page. In EBSCO databases, these tools can be found on the right side of an article's webpage.  In ProQuest databases, tools are located in the upper right side of the screen.

  • Citations
    • Most databases provide pre-generated citations.  These citations should not be considered accurate and will need to be checked for error.  Most common mistakes are punctuation, capitalization and name errors.
  • Email
  • Permalinks
    • Sometimes called Document URLs, Permalinks are stable URLs that will allow you to navigate back to an article at a later date.
  • Folder systems
    • Database vendors may offer a folder system to save articles within the database.  To use this feature, you will need to create an account with the database.
  • Google Drive
    • Uploads PDFs to Google Drive with one click
Did You Know?

You can request articles through inter-library loan (Tipasa).  Make sure you download your requested articles from Tipasa as soon as you receive them.  Articles requested through Tipasa include a download limit or return date within Tipasa.  If you have saved the article to your desktop, flash drive or in the cloud, you will continue to be able to access the article after it is no longer available in Tipasa.

There's an app for that!

Citation managers are tools that make it easy to keep track of your research and citations.

  • Save citations for articles, books, websites, and more
  • Generate in-text citations and bibliographies in documents
  • Use browser extensions to capture citations from a web page
  • Organize resources with collections, tags, and notes
Get one now with our guide to citation managers.