Go to the Library

Photo by H McPherson

Photo by H McPherson

Have you ever been stuck in your research, cannot find the article (any article) that will help you move forward?  So you sit in front of your computer, gears spinning, groaning.  Frustration mounting, grains of sand moving through the hour glass?

Go to the library.  Ask a librarian.  All your dreams will come true.  Two or three focused questions, a bit of magic, and then papers, articles – everything you were looking for is there.

Are you familiar with Boolean logic?  How to use AND, NOT, “ “, or *. Which data base to use? What key words will give you results?  Or how do you adjust your search when you have too many hits? How to use filters? The glitches in a data base? If not, you need to talk to a librarian.  What about setting up alerts to notify you when new articles come out from previous searches you used in a data base?

And what about endnote – if no one has told you about endnote – go ask a librarian.  You want, no, you need endnote.  I waited six months to figure out endnote, and then spent the better part of two days entering articles.  Time well spent, but I should have figured endnote out day one.  If you have not used endnote – well, let’s just say grad life is better with endnote. If you haven’t discovered endnote, don’t know where to start – go ask a librarian. There are 1.5 hr workshops. The librarian I spoke to described endnote as miraculously good software.

There are even ways to use Google scholar effectively.  Did you know you can set up Google Scholar to link directly to McGill AND to endnote?  (Go to the setting menu in Google Scholar) That blew me away!  Cited by? Use it.

Any questions?  – Well, you know what to do.

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