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Expert Researchers- Information Literacy @ Trinity

This guide serves as a reference point for students at Trinity to become Expert Researchers by incorporating skills and practices central to attaining information literacy.

Expert Researcher Skills

Expert Researcher status is almost unlocked! By the time you're preparing for graduate studies, you should be able to:

  1. Differentiate between open access and traditional publishing models
  2. Use Boolean searching
  3. Use controlled vocabulary
  4. Follow citations
  5. Distinguish different types of research (quantitative, qualitative, meta-analysis, lit review, theoretical, applied)
  6. Scrutinize the origins/funding/etc. of a publication to determine bias
  7. Use citation management software

Advanced Database Searching, CSUSBURL

Boolean Operators are words that, when used in your database search, help narrow or expand your results based on your search terms. This video introduces the Boolean Operators And, Or, and Not, and illustrates how to use these powerful words in your searches. Expert Researcher tip: combine Boolean Operators to further specify your search!

Locating Documents Using Citations, UWFURL

When you find an article or resource that seems perfect for your research, chances are that the reference or citations list the author includes at the end will have great suggestions for further reading. This video demonstrates how to identify what kind of source a citation is describing, and then how to find it either in the library or online in library's research databases.

What are Citation Managers, UMNURL

This guide gives you a brief overview of a few of the biggest citation management products out there. What's a citation manager, you ask? Citation managers are services that allow you to create an account to store and manage your research materials. While they vary greatly in capabilities (and sometimes cost), most citation managers allow you to save or import citations from databases, save full-text PDFs, and generate citations in popular styles. They're a really great way to manage your research for extended research projects, such as theses and dissertations. 

Information Economics, CSUSBURL

How research is written, published, and then sold and disseminated is often a mysterious process. This video gives you an inside look of why and how research gets published, and what effect its pricing has on the types of information that you, a student, have access to.

Open Access, CSUSBURL

While subscribing to journals either directly or through databases is the most prevalent means of obtaining scholarly information, this process leaves many out of the loop. Open Access, a method which makes research freely available to all, is rising in popularity as an alternative to traditional publishing models in academia. Learn more about Open Access publishing through this informative video. 

Researching and Writing a Literature Review, UMNURL

Literature reviews are an important part of the research process, especially for theses and dissertations. This extremely in-depth tutorial takes you through the basic process of how to prepare one, including explaining why they're important; how they differ from annotated bibliographies; and finally how to organize and structure a literature review.

Literature Reviews: An Overview for Graduate Students, NCSUURL

Another detailed tutorial on how literature reviews are written. This one has especially helpful tips on organizing your literature review by concepts you've discovered while analyzing your articles.

Citation Management Tools: Guide, PennURL

This resource is a great overview of 7 different citation management tools, helping you to find the one most appropriate for your research style and needs.

Citation Management Tools, UMNURL

Another guide on how to choose a citation manager, featuring 6 of the top citation management tools.

Introduction to Zotero: Recorded workshop (58 minURL)

Zotero is one of the most popular and customizable citation managers out there. This in-depth previously recorded workshop provides a generous overview of its features and capabilities.

Zotero Guide

A standard text guide for learning about Zotero and how to use it.