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Library Research Tips for Graduate Students: Overview

This guide features expert tips for graduate students doing library research.

Ask a Librarian for Help

There are several ways to seek help from a librarian:


It is possible for current Rutgers students, faculty, and staff to access the Rutgers University Libraries' online resources off-campus. Be sure to go through the Libraries Website and you will be prompted to log in with your Rutgers NetID and password. 

10 Tips for Doing Research @ Rutgers during COVID-19

1.  The Rutgers University Libraries (RUL) subscribes to an immense amount of content online. This includes e-books, journals, indexes, databases, and streaming media!  Online materials are available to Rutgers students on-campus and off-campus.  When off-campus, students must access these resources through the Libraries Web site, where they will be prompted to log in with their Rutgers NetID and password. 


2.  The RUL collection also consists of physical copies of books, periodicals, and multimedia in its 24 libraries/centers - and just about all of is is available to Rutgers University-Newark students, even during COVID-19 times. Please note that although libraries are open for studying and/or use of a computer lab, we are providing contactless service at the moment, so to borrow physical library materials, you must use Click and Collect. [Note: Titles that are accessible online, including through HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service, cannot be borrowed.]

  a)  Need a book that's located in print at a Rutgers library? Look it up in QuickSearch, Sign In, then Request Pickup.  For Pickup location, choose 1 of these 2 options:

  • Dana Library (or other Rutgers library) - if picking up at a library, wait for the email that invites you to make an appointment for your pickup and follow the pickup instruction for that library.
  • Home Address (at the very bottom) - you'll need to confirm your address in QuickSearch.

  b)  Need a book chapter or article that's available in print format at Rutgers? Look it up in QuickSearch, Sign In, then click on the Digitization button to request that it be made available to you electronically.


3.  If RUL does not own or subscribe to something you need for your research, it may still be possible for the Libraries to obtain it for you. 

  a)  Need a book that's not available at Rutgers?  Request it through EZBorrow.  Not available through E-ZBorrow either?  Request it through UBorrow.  Not available through UBorrow either?  Request it through ILLiad, our interlibrary loan system. [Note: Unfortunately, we cannot facilitate interlibrary loan requests for textbooks or other required course materials.]
  b)  Need an article that's not available online or in print at any Rutgers library? Sign in to the ILLiad system and submit a New Article Request.  It will typically be made available to you electronically within 48 business hours.


4.  Not sure where to go to begin your research


5.  It is generally recommended that graduate students use subject-specific indexes/databases because they are designed with a particular subject area in mind.  Due to this, they focus on indexing content that is relevant and using subject terms that are appropriate for that subject area.  Even the search limiters may be tailored to that subject area.

  • Interested in a more in-depth exploration of databases in your area of study? 
    • Register for the 2/15/2022, 7pm-8pm, "So You Need to Write a Research Paper in Your Social Work Class?" webinar.
    • Register for the 2/18/2022, 12pm-1pm, "A Taste of Databases in the Sciences" webinar.
    • Register for the 3/4/2022, 12pm-1pm, "A Taste of Databases in the Humanities" webinar.
    • Contact your subject specialist librarian for a consultation.


6.  Multidisciplinary indexes/databases may be desirable for interdisciplinary work.  Examples of some of these are Academic Search Premier, JSTOR, Scopus, and Web of Science (Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences and Science Citation Indexes).  A couple of others are HathiTrust Digital Library and Project MUSE.


7.  If you decide to use Google Scholar when you're off-campus, please note that for efficiency in locating full text, you should log in through the RUL Web site.  (When you're on campus, the recognized IP address allows you automatic access to the full text of Rutgers-subscribed materials.)


8.  Interested in doing citation searching or citation analysis?  You can use Scopus or Web of Science (Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences and Science Citation Indexes).


9.  To help you with organizing or managing your research, consider using a citation manager.  Rutgers subscribes to EndNote and RefWorks.  A couple of the free tools available are Mendeley and Zotero.  Most indexes/databases can export citations into these citation managers, at which point you can then organize them into folders, and share the folders (with co-authors, a faculty advisory, etc.)  When you write a paper, the citation management tool can generate citations for you, both in-text citations as well as a bibliography.  Some also allow you to save PDFs and even make annotations within the PDF for future reference.

  • Interested in a more in-depth exploration of citation managers?
    • Register for the 3/11/2022, 12pm-1pm, "Introduction to EndNoteWeb" webinar.
    • Register for the 3/25/2022, 12pm-1pm, "Which Citation Manager?" webinar, covering EndNote, RefWorks, and Zotero.


10.  Interested in opportunities to learn more?  The Dana Library and Graduate School-Newark co-sponsor a number of Graduate Student Success Workshops intended to help students with doing - and publishing - research, from literature research skills, to collecting and analyzing data, and much more! The New Brunswick Libraries also offers workshops of different topics and those are open to RU-Newark students, as well.  All workshops will be Webinars this Spring and are free for students to attend, although registration is typically required. In addition, you can learn on-demand via tutorials and guides available on the Libraries Web site.  (Note: For those at RU-Newark interested in writing help, consider the Writing Center.)

Physical Sciences Librarian

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Bonnie Fong
John Cotton Dana Library

185 University Ave

Newark, NJ 07102-1814

(973) 353-3811

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