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GETTING STARTED

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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.

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Data Visualizations printed out next to laptop

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.

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developing research strategies playlist

Generating Ideas

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.

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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.”

Want to Learn More? Check out the following playlist.

Developing Research Strategies

SEARCHING FOR INFORMATION

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University Libraries Search Tool

Searching for Library Materials

Learn how to find books, articles, videos, and more using the library's search tool.

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Keyword Searching

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.

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Keywords search with Boolean Operators AND OR NOT

Searching Effectively with Keywords

Use Boolean Operators, parentheses, quotation marks, and truncation to craft an effective keyword search in a database or Google Scholar.

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Database Finder screenshot

Selecting a Database

Use the University at Albany Libraries website to find the list of databases available for your research.

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Database Search screenshot

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.

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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.

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Using the Journal Finder

Learn how to access a journal electronically and search within the journal using keywords.

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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.

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Using Interlibrary Loan

Learn how to request an article online via the UAlbany Libraries' ILL system.

Want to Learn More? Check out the following playlist.

Searching for Information

UNDERSTANDING SOURCE TYPES

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Appropriate Sources

Learn which sources are typically considered appropriate for college research.

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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.

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Working with Scholarly Articles

Learn more about what scholarly articles are and how you can identify them.

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Peer-Reviewed Articles

This video discusses peer-reviewed articles and shows you how to find them with the library’s resources.

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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.

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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.

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Primary and Secondary Sources for Science

This guide provides a quick review of what types of sources are considered primary vs. secondary in science.

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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.

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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

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Plagiarism 101

In this interactive video tutorial, you will learn what plagiarism is, its consequences, and how to avoid it.

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elements of a citation

Citation Help

Not all citation resources are created equal. This guide includes details of many librarian-approved tools to help you with your citations.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Want to Learn More? Check out the following playlist.

Practicing Academic Integrity

SHARE YOUR WORK

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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.

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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.

Want to share your research?

Apply for a research award!
Apply
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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.

Want to Learn More? Check out the following playlist.

Creating Information