Vance Memorial Library, Dallas Baptist U., Winter 2016, v. 1
1. New Tool Makes Research A Step-by-Step Process
Either by necessity or by design, students have a tendency to wait to the last minute to work on research papers and assignments. A new tool from the library might allow these students to plan their research more effectively. The tool is the Research Assignment Calculator.
The student can go to the Calculator and punch in the date their assignment is due and the date they begin the research. The Calculator will then develop a research planning timeline that shows the student what needs to be done and when. Email notifications can even be set up so that the students receive alerts during the process.
The Research Assignment Calculator and the Research Planning Guide are essential tools for students wanting to create effective and improved papers and projects.
Debbi Richard, Director of Distance Library Services, developed these tools based on the book Research Strategies by William Badke and from similar tools found at other universities.
2. Three Questions For Reference Librarian John Jaeger
Q: What is the most important advice you would give students who are working on a research assignment?
Jaeger: Sometimes students have difficulty because they choose a specific topic and tell their professor they will write on it without first seeing if there are enough resources on it. Later, they discover that little has been written on that specific topic. Before selecting a specific topic, first search the Find Articles page http://www3.dbu.edu/library/online_databases.asp on your general topic for journal articles, books, and eBooks.
Q: What would be most helpful for professors to understand about the research process their students are undertaking?
Jaeger: Professors might assume that students already have skills in using the online databases effectively, narrowing their topic sufficiently, and writing a research paper based on this. Our experience in the library is that often students do not have strong skills in these areas, and having one of the reference librarians provide an instructional session for their classes would help the students to produce better papers.
Q: What is the most fulfilling part of your job as a research librarian?
Jaeger: It is very fulfilling to provide research assistance and one-on-one instructional guidance with individual DBU students. They sometimes come with a certain amount of stress about their assignment, and by the time the reference assistance is completed, they are no longer stressed and usually express gratitude for my help. They also leave with new insights into doing library research.
3. Manage Library Account To Place Holds and Renew Items
Faculty, staff, and students can create an account through the library catalog that will allow them to see what items are checked out, if there are any fines, and place holds on items. From any DBU library catalog page, click “Sign In” next to “My Library Account.” From here, follow the instructions provided through this link.
4. Oxford eBook Collection Opens Up Trusted and On-Demand Information
Perhaps no name stands out as a respected source for academic research like Oxford Reference. DBU has more than 40 titles accessible digitally. These include, Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, Dictionary of the Christian Church, Encyclopedia of the Islamic World, and the Encyclopedia of Mammals. Each entry found in these resources are accessible through the Oxford Reference search.
5. Databases Create Citations With A Click
The majority of research assignments include the addition of a bibliography. With varying citation styles and source materials, creating the citations for a bibliography can be quite a challenge.
Within most of the electronic databases the library provides, a student can create a citation on the spot for the exact academic journal article they are wanting to use. Use this video to see how this is done using our Academic Search Complete database. (Click here or on the title below)