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Library Research Tips for Graduate Students: Overview

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

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10 Tips for Doing Research @ Rutgers

1.  The Rutgers University Libraries (RUL) collection consists of books, periodicals, and multimedia in its 24 libraries/centers - all of which are available to Rutgers University-Newark students. 

  a)  Need a book that's located in another Rutgers library? Request that it be sent to the Dana Library for you.
  b)  Need an article that's available in print at another Rutgers library? Use Article Delivery to request that it be made available to you electronically.

2.  RUL also 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. 

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 located in any Rutgers library?  Request it through E-ZBorrow.  Not available through E-ZBorrow either?  Request it through UBorrow.  Not available through UBorrow either?  Request it through Interlibrary Loan.  Be sure to indicate that you'd like the book sent to you at the Dana Library.
  b)  Need an article that's not available online or in print at any Rutgers library? Use Article Delivery / Interlibrary Loan to request that it be made available to you electronically.

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 certain 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 the subject area.

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

8.  To help you with organizing or managing your research, consider using a citation management tool.  Rutgers subscribes to EndNoteRefWorks and RefWorks 3.  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.  When you write a paper, the citation management tool can generate citations for you.  Some also allow you to save PDFs and even make annotations within the PDF for future reference.

9.  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.)

10.  The Dana Library offers a number of graduate student workshops each semester intended to help students with doing research (i.e., information literacy skills), searching for grants, and much more! The Writing Center also offers workshops to help students with writing.  Consider attending them. 

Physical Sciences Librarian

Bonnie Fong's picture
Bonnie Fong
John Cotton Dana Library

185 University Ave

Newark, NJ 07102-1814

(973) 353-3811

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