While the librarians you’ll meet at the Temple University Libraries can offer valuable advice for producing better research results, some traditionally good ideas can be found in unexpected places. That’s why we wanted to share this article “Advice for Students: 10 Steps Toward Better Research” that we came across at the LifeHack.org website. Most of the advice may be somewhat familiar, but the way it is presented makes it a good candidate to be a resource for sharing with your friends, colleagues, and students. It would be well worth the time to review these ten steps before starting a research project.
Advice such as “take it one piece at a time” and “have a system” are, as mentioned above, time-tested ideas that can be used to avoid becoming overwhelmed by research. But we like two particular items on this list of ten. As you might have guessed, we like them because they emphasize the importance of two things that are essential for research success: know your sources and ask for help. Temple University librarians are available to help with both steps. First, we can tailor individual or group meetings, instruction sessions, or resource lists to any class or assignment. This can provide significant time savings researchers can get directly to the resources that will provide the most help. Second, we offer multiple ways to ask for help. We have our friendly reference desk, an instant messaging service (AskTULibrary), traditional phone service (215-204-8212), sophisticated virtual chat reference, and students can even e-mail us their requests for help (see all options at our Ask a Librarian page).
As the article indicates in boldface “most librarians will be happy to help you find relevant material”. Nowhere is that more true than at the Temple University Libraries. Please let your friends, colleagues, or students know that the librarians are here to help. The only piece of advice we would want to add to the list is: “if you don’t ask, librarians can’t help you.”