Getting Started with College Research
Learn about the key characteristics of college research, scholarly sources, and how to search for peer-reviewed sources in a library database. Watch the entire lesson or navigate to a specific topic.
The Research Process
The research process in college usually starts with a professor giving you a research assignment. But where do you go from there? Learn about the most common steps for the research process, including selecting a topic, developing a thesis statement, and more.
Picking a topic is an important first step in the research process that deserves careful consideration. Here are some tips for generating ideas for an appropriate and engaging research topic.
Choosing a Manageable Research Topic
When you have the freedom to choose your own research topic, it can be tough to know where to start. This video from Pfau Library (California State University) gives you some useful tips for defeating the “Topic Monster.”
SEARCHING FOR INFORMATION
Searching for Library Materials
Learn how to find books, articles, videos, and more using the library's search tool.
This tutorial will guide you through the process of choosing (and revising) your keywords when searching for information in the library catalog or a library database.
Searching Effectively with Keywords
Use Boolean Operators, parentheses, quotation marks, and truncation to craft an effective keyword search in a database or Google Scholar.
Selecting a Database
Use the University at Albany Libraries website to find the list of databases available for your research.
Searching in an Academic Database
Learn how to use limiters and advanced search features in an academic database. Find peer reviewed articles, enter a date range, narrow by subject, search by author, and search within the abstract.
Finding Books for Your Research
Learn more about the role of books in research and how to find and borrow books from the University Libraries.
Using the Journal Finder
Learn how to access a journal electronically and search within the journal using keywords.
Searching in Google Scholar
This video shows how to link the University at Albany libraries to a Google Scholar search, and briefly describes a few useful features of Google Scholar.
Using Interlibrary Loan
Learn how to request an article online via the UAlbany Libraries' ILL system.
UNDERSTANDING SOURCE TYPES
Learn which sources are typically considered appropriate for college research.
Characteristics of Scholarly Sources
Articles can come from a variety of types of sources. How can you tell the difference? This guide helps you to distinguish articles from scholarly, trade, and popular sources.
Working with Scholarly Articles
Learn more about what scholarly articles are and how you can identify them.
This video discusses peer-reviewed articles and shows you how to find them with the library’s resources.
Reading an Academic Article from a Database
This video explains the various terminology and links onscreen in the article view of an academic database, and then describes the major elements of an academic article.
What is a Primary Source?
This video’s vivid depiction of sources of information on John F. Kennedy’s assassination illustrates the differences between primary and secondary.
Primary and Secondary Sources for Science
This guide provides a quick review of what types of sources are considered primary vs. secondary in science.
Primary and Secondary Sources in the Humanities and Social Sciences
This guide provides a quick review of what types of sources are considered primary vs. secondary in the humanities and social science disciplines.
Evaluating Web Content
This guide offers tips for evaluating the quality of content on the Web. It will help you to identify the type of site you are visiting and to evaluate its content.
CITE YOUR SOURCES
In this interactive video tutorial, you will learn what plagiarism is, its consequences, and how to avoid it.
Not all citation resources are created equal. This guide includes details of many librarian-approved tools to help you with your citations.
Citing Your Sources Guide
If you would like a quick refresher of the elements of citations, take a look at this guide. Remember, different citation styles have their own formats, but convey the same information.
When and Why to Cite Sources
Doing research for a paper is an exploration and learning process. By acknowledging our sources we show our reader the path we took to come to our conclusions.
Exploring Academic Integrity
Become knowledgeable about the role the ethical use of information plays in the scholarly conversation, among other topics, as part of this tutorial from Claremont Colleges Library.
SHARE YOUR WORK
Infographic Design and Creation
Would you like to convey information or data with images? This guide provides resources for creating infographics that can be used in a presentation or research project.
Creative Publication Tools
There are a variety of tools available for sharing what you know about a topic. Consider incorporating some of these tools into your next presentation, or use them as a creative exercise if you are having trouble putting words on paper.
Your Role as a Producer of Information
Consider your role and responsibilities as an information producer and learn how you can employ different learning domains when creating new information.