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The Productive Researcher

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Welcome to The Productive Researcher, an introduction to general library research skills that also may serve as a quick review or update for the experienced researcher. You may choose the text or video versions of these lessons.

For a sequential overview, complete the modules in the order listed in the menu. Or, complete only the modules in which you are interested in any order you wish. After you use the tutorial, please complete our survey.

Define a Topic & Generate Keywords

Defining a Topic & Generating Keywords
  • Define your topic & form a question.
  • Generate useful words and phrases for searching.
  • Adjust your strategy for better results.
  • Estimated completion time: about 4 minutes.
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Finding Databases

Find Database
  • Find a specific database on the Libraries' website.
  • Browse and locate databases by subject.
  • Search for databases of interest by keyword.
  • Locate more databases using the Libraries' research guides.
  • Estimated completion time: about 6 minutes.
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Using the Libraries' Catalog

Using Discover to Find Library Materials
  • Locate the Libraries' catalog and execute a search.
  • Refine, sort, and filter your search results.
  • Determine an item's availability and locate it in the library.
  • Estimated completion time: about 4 minutes.
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Using Summon: Finding Articles

Using Summon: Finding Articles
  • Search for relevant articles.
  • Identify a variety of articles appropriate to your topic.
  • Access the full-text of the articles online.
  • Estimated completion time: about 5 minutes.
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Finding Full Text Articles

Full Text Title
  • Locate articles based on a citation.
  • Know when to use SULinks to locate articles.
  • Determine whether the SU Libraries have access to an article in full text.
  • Learn to use SU's interlibrary loan system.
  • Estimated completion time: about 7 minutes.
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Find Information in Different Formats

Finding Artcles in Library Databases
  • Identify databases for video, audio, images, maps, and data.
  • Search for databases that include specific formats.
  • Understand the types of information available in selected databases.
  • Estimated completion time: about 9 minutes.
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