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Research Productivity Workshop Series

Reading for Research

Workshop Abstract: What is “reading for research”? It is not the same as pleasure reading, but neither is it simply picking out and citing small bits of information from texts. Good academic readers understand the structure and purpose of research articles and recognize how they can fit into a broader network of ideas. To help you better “read for research,” this workshop will review the basic principles of scholarly literature and offer practical strategies for understanding what you read and how it speaks within the wider scholarly conversation.

Workshop Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the structure of Introduction-Methods-Results-Discussion (IMRD) research articles 
  • Define the purpose of each part of a research article 
  • Recognize research as an ongoing conversation among researchers 
  • Describe how hunting down citations and references can help readers follow the research conversation 

Practice Texts for Class

Further Reading

Presentation Files

Literature Searching in the Social Sciences and Humanities

Workshop Abstract: Searching for literature in the social sciences and humanities can seem overwhelming, especially with so many databases and other sources of information available. How can you make sure you’re not missing something? How do you ensure you’ve examined all the important scholarship on a topic? This workshop will help you navigate the most important social science and humanities sources and make sure you are making a comprehensive literature search.  

Workshop Learning Outcomes

  • Identify social science and humanities databases and other sources to drive targeted searches 
  • Apply other tactics for identifying main lines of research in particular discipline—e.g., dissertations, references/citations, bibliographies, etc. 
  • Use Google Scholar effectively, making use of the search engine’s specialized features 

Tuesday, September 22, 1-2PM

Meeting ID: 937 0057 1674
Passcode: 451374

Teaching Materials


Literature Searching in the Hard Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Workshop Abstract: Google Scholar is one of the most popular research databases, but it is not sufficient when you are seeking comprehensive field-specific literature. This workshop will focus on two key STEM databases—PubMed, which is an essential database for medical literature, and SciFinder, which is equally important for chemistry and biochemistry. The workshop will demonstrate both generalizable search strategies and those that are unique to PubMed and SciFinder. 

Workshop Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how to use the databases, such as SciFinder and PubMed, that are key conduits into the scientific literature 
  • Use features of databases to identify relevant articles and other research 
  • Use Google Scholar effectively as a searching tool for scientific/medical literature 


Tuesday, September 29, 1-2PM

Meeting ID: 937 0057 1674
Passcode: 451374

Managing Your Research

Workshop Abstract: The more research you do, the more citations you must manage, and the more frustrating it can become. This workshop will review the basics of citation managers and demonstrate how they can make you more efficient and productive in your research and writing. Special focus will be given to Zotero, Mendeley, and Endnote.

Workshop Learning Outcomes

  • Understand how citation managers work and understand the pros and cons of the main citation managers on offer 
  • Learn ways to keep track of new research in a field, whether through database alerts, feeds, or social media 
  • Learn about sites for collaborating on research and for working on systematic reviews 

Tuesday, October 6, 1-2PM

Meeting ID: 937 0057 1674
Passcode: 451374

Finding and Using Census Data

Workshop Abstract: Census 2020 has been in the news a lot lately. Find out why the Census matters, what the data is used for, a little bit of the history of the Census, how the process of completing the Census is working this year, a brief flyover of some of the election-year politics involved, and what resources the library has that can help you with any research related to the Census or to demographics more generally.

Workshop Learning Outcomes:

  • Articulate why Census data is collected, what it is used for, and why it matters to the communities that they live and work in and serve
  • Understand the difference between the two major surveys of Census data, the decennial Census and the American Community Survey (ACS)
  • Understand and identify what challenges are faced by the Census Bureau in 2020 and beyond in collecting data
  • Identify, locate, and use at least three online resources to find demographic data relevant to any United States geography that you want to research

Tuesday, October 13, 1-2PM

Meeting ID: 937 0057 1674
Passcode: 451374

Presenting Your Research

Workshop Abstract: Sharing and communicating technical information in a meaningful way can be a challenge. In this workshop, we will discuss how to use the narrative structures of storytelling to communicate your research in a way that will resonate with audiences.

Workshop Learning Outcomes

  • Understand how narrative can be used to improve information retention  
  • Translate a research question into a ‘who done it?’ narrative style  
  • Learn how to give a 2-minute elevator pitch for their research  
  • Review the components of a successful research poster 

Tuesday, October 20, 1-2PM

Meeting ID: 937 0057 1674
Passcode: 451374