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Library Research Tips for Graduate Students

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

Physical Sciences Librarian

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Naomi Gold
Liaison to the following: Honors Living Learning Community (HLLC), RU-N Writing Program, Office of Transfer Students, Anthropology, Life Sciences (with Bonnie Fong), Nursing, Philosophy, Psychology (with Bonnie Fong), Religious Studies, and Sociology.
The John Cotton Dana Library
Subjects: Writing & Citation

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10 Tips for Doing Literature 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. 

  •   Need a book that's located in another Rutgers library? Request that it be sent to the Dana Library for you - or choose Personal Delivery and it will be sent to your Home Address.
  •   Need only a book chapter or an article that's available in print at another Rutgers library? Use the Digitization button 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 website, 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 via interlibrary loan

  • Need a book that's not located in any Rutgers library?  Request it through EZBorrow.  Not available through E-ZBorrow either?  Request it through UBorrow.  Not available through UBorrow either?  Request it through the (interlibrary loan) ILLiad system.  Be sure to indicate that you'd like the book sent to you at the Dana Library.
  • Need an article that's not available online or in print at any Rutgers library? Request it through the Article Delivery ILLiad system and it will 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.  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 website.  (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?  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 management tool.  Rutgers subscribes to EndNote and RefWorks.  A couple of the free tools available are Zotero and Mendeley.  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.

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

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. 


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