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Library Research Process

This guide provides introductory information and tips on the research process.

The Library Research Process: What's On These Pages

Research: An Overview

A strategy for your project; where to start?

Finding a Topic & Presearch

Start Big; narrow by aspect; start investigating

Search Techniques

How to find what you need in a database

Types of Resources & Finding Them

Formats and characteristics of information

Evaluating Sources

Investigate or test the information for reliability

Citing Sources

Details of style and using Zotero

Information in Real Life Tutorial 

Finding and using information after college


spiral design with text, "research is seldom a straight line"The Research Process is a cycle, not a straightforward step-by-step progression. There are steps involved, but they can be repeated as you learn more about your topic and perhaps change the focus of your research.

Librarians can be especially helpful in two aspects of the information-gathering portion of the research process:

  1. WHERE to search: recommending appropriate databases and other research tools for your particular topic
  2. HOW to search: coming up with good terms to use when you use these research tools, and arranging those terms in ways that will give you the best results