Research Goals for a New Year

With the Fall Quarter behind you, December brings some time to rest, catch up with family and friends, and treat yourself to something sweet. As you reflect on your successes from this past quarter, you may also be thinking ahead to Winter Quarter and setting goals for the new year. Setting meaningful, achievable goals is key. If research goals are among those on your list, DePaul librarians are here to help you succeed and make this your best year yet! These are just a few of the goals we can help you achieve this Winter Quarter:

Try a New Database

You may already know that library databases contain thousands of journals and articles you can use to support your research topic. And you may also know that general databases like Academic Search Complete and JSTOR cover all subject areas. But did you know that the DePaul Library also subscribes to hundreds of other subject-specific databases for every topic from art to education, international studies, business, and more? So if you’re taking a course in LGBTQ Studies, for example, try a database like GenderWatch. Or if you’re writing a paper on climate refugees, try Environment Complete. Librarian-created Research Guides are available to point you to the best databases for your topic, so checking this goal off your list will be easier than you think!

Keep Your Research Organized

We hear it every quarter….. you cited an important article in your paper but can’t find it anywhere now that it’s time to complete your bibliography. If organized research is one of your goals, we can help! Almost all library databases include tools that will format quality citations, as well as save and manage your research. For example, look for the Cite button to generate a citation in most common styles or make use of other database tools like emailing articles, saving permanent links, or exporting sources to your Google Drive or OneDrive. If you’re considering using a citation management software this year, we especially recommend Zotero, and our Zotero How-to Guide can help you get started.

Learn a New Research Method

Are you planning an ethnographic research study this year? Or want to learn more about statistical analysis? Sage Research Methods is a unique resource intended to help you understand each component of a research project from design to conclusion. Hundreds of e-book titles are included, so you can take a deep dive into concepts like feminist methodology, regression analysis, or action research. A collection of cases provides detailed, real-life examples of research projects that can be used as models or teaching tools to inform your own research, and sample datasets come with step-by-step guides to help you learn analysis methods. With additional material like podcasts and videos to help you learn from experienced researchers, this tool provides a solid foundation for your next project.

Ask for Help

DePaul librarians are here to help! Research can be complicated, but librarians are available to help you use library resources, develop search strategies, find information, evaluate sources, and meet your goals. You can find us at the Research Help Desk at the John T. Richardson Library and the Loop Library, or you can Ask A Librarian online via chat, email or text. Appointments are also available for individual consultations in person or online. Our top goal every year is to help you succeed at DePaul and beyond, and we look forward to seeing you this Winter Quarter.

Happy holidays, and enjoy the break!

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