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Class Plan -- Unit Three, Day 32

Research Conferences (Class cancelled)

In these conferences, I have always let the groups decide what they would like to spend time getting familiar with in the library, but I usually make sure that in a 45 minutes-hour conference, we

  1. attempt a couple searches on the computer, some in full-text databases and some in databases which give citations (and perhaps abstracts) only [STUDENTS CAN GET ON INDIVIDUAL COMPUTERS TO DO THIS, AND YOU CAN CIRCULATE AMONG THEM, OFFERING HELP];
  2. learn how to find out (by doing SAGE searches) if Morgan Library carries the journal, magazine, newspaper, document or book in question, and if so, if it is checked out, and where it is housed; and
  3. practice finding articles in particular print journals by call number in the Current Periodicals Room.

Other things students frequently want to practice are:

In preparing for these conferences, I usually spend an hour or so in the library refamiliarizing myself with the locations of certain departments like government documents or microtext and trying to brainstorm lists of databases that might be useful sources of information for particular issue groups. However, I've learned that you really can't be prepared for every research question your students will hurl at you. You can try to get acquainted with some of the basic research methods and areas that they are likely to ask about, but you often will find yourself at a loss for an answer. Remember at those moments to model "good research behavior" and seek the help of a reference librarian, computer lab monitor, or other relevant information aficionado who happens to be around. Other students in the groups might also be able to offer advice to their peers; encourage such collaboration.