New year, new library research skills
By Kirsty, on 12 January 2022
Did you intend to make new year resolutions but did not get round to it? Why not resolve to take some time this year to further develop your library research skills and ensure you are following best practices for research? UCL Library Services provides training and support to enable you to carry out your research effectively, including online guidance and self-paced tutorials, live online training sessions, tailored and individual training and specialist enquiry services.
Here are our top 5 suggested resolutions for researchers looking to enhance their library research skills and research practices:
The principles of FAIR are designed to help lower barriers to research outputs and help other researchers find and understand them in order to reuse and repurpose them. This will in turn build further research opportunities and maximise the potential benefit of resources.
Findable – making research outputs discoverable by the wider academic community and the public.
Accessible – using unique identifiers, clear metadata, use of language and access protocols.
Interoperable – applying standards to encode and exchange data and metadata.
Reusable – enabling the repurposing of research outputs to maximise their research potential.
- Guides to Research Data Management and self-paced online training can help you understand and build the FAIR Principles into your work.
- Learn more about UCL’s current Research Data Policy
Practise open publishing
The goal of Open Access is to make all research material openly available online without restriction, to all readers, free from the barriers imposed by subscriptions. Open access is now required by many research funders and for the REF but it also has its own intrinsic benefits such as more exposure for your work, more citations, broader reach and wider readership worldwide.
- Find out about the different routes to Open Access and how you can get funding and support to do the same for your research
- Search for Open Access Research online
Refine your literature searching skills for reliable, relevant and comprehensive results. Whether you are searching for references to inform your research, as background reading, to scope your research topic, for a literature review or a systematic review, a robust search strategy is essential to ensure you find all the relevant research without having to wade through excessive irrelevant results. Our support for literature searching includes a range of options to support you at every stage of your research:
- Introductory guides and self-paced online tutorials to help you refresh your knowledge of the essential skills.
- Advanced online guidance and support, including our guide to searching for systematic reviews.
- Live online sessions covering essentials of literature searching skills and searching particular online databases.
Organise your references
Get the most out of reference management software such as EndNote, Mendeley or Zotero, which enable you to gather and organise references and full text documents relevant to your research and to insert references in a Word document automatically, generating a reference list in the citation style of your choice. We provide support in using EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero to help you use the software more effectively and to troubleshoot your queries:
- Live online and face to face training sessions to get you started and for questions and answers.
- Online guides including suggested activities to get to know the software and frequently asked questions to help resolve your queries.
Bibliometrics is concerned with the analysis of research based on citation counts and patterns. The individual measures used are also commonly referred to as bibliometrics, or citation metrics.
- Our bibliometrics guidance to UCL authors and colleagues demonstrates the best way to approach bibliometric measures, and how to interpret and use the findings in relation to UCL’s bibliometrics policy and the wider context.
- Explore further with our live online bibliometrics training sessions and self-paced online tutorials.