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Online Learners Library Guide: Research

Information for students who take classes online

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You may always call the Reference Department at (850) 474-2424 or the Circulation Department at (850) 474-2414. Feel free to contact us the following ways 

Getting Started With Your Research

The first step is to formulate a good research question. Luckily, we have a tutorial that will help you do just that!

Once you have your research question formulated, you may want to think about how you are going to select and use keywords

But where to use those keywords at? We have a wealth of databases, or you can use OneSearch. Watch the video below for more guidance on how to discover and locate sources.

Now that you've found lots of articles, you'll need to work on selecting the ones that are most relevant to your topic.

Great! You've got a pile of relevant sources, but now you need to put them in order and start turning them in to a great paper or presentation. 

Don't forget to properly cite your sources! Academic integrity is key, and the library has lot resources to help you, including:

Research Tips

Research assignments are most effectively completed by breaking the process into steps. See also, :

Select a topic or break the assigned topic into a manageable scope (e.g., effect of ocean temperature on whale reproductive rates rather than simply reseaching whales)

Identify the key concepts pertaining to your research topic (e.g., ocean temperature and whales and reproduction)

Select databases covering environmental science or biology from the Subject Research Guides to locate articles and search them using your key concepts (see Articles tab for more information)

Books are broader in scope than articles, so search  for whales and reproduction in the online catalog (see Books for more information)

Keep track of citations from databases and the catalog by using a citation manager, such as Refworks (see Refworks tutorial for more information)

Many articles and books are available online, but if you need an item owned by the library in print and you live over 50 miles from campus, use the Intercampus Loan form to request the item to be delivered to you

Books and articles not owned by  UWF may be obtained from other libraries by using the Interlibrary Loan service. This is free and items will be delivered electronically to you or mailed to your home if you live over 50 miles from campus.

Review your material critically to ensure that it is scholarly, current enough, relevant, and appropriate for your research (for example, there is a tutorial on distinguishing between scholarly and popular sources)

Create a rough draft and save it to your H drive or a flash drive, as well as to your hard drive if you are researching from home. Making a backup file is always a good idea.

Use the grammar and spell checks available to you in your word processing software.

Avoid plagiarism by using your own words and citing sources you use, especially quotes (there is an online tutorial on plagiarism for more information

Ask a colleague or friend to read the article to make sure it is logical and clearly written 

Review your list of references for accuracy and add to your paper

Correct and send the final paper by the due date. Don't forget to include your list of sources or reference list . Remember to save a backup copy.