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You may also find our Library Support for Researchers guide helpful.
UOW Library provides support for higher degree research students in all aspects of their research cycle. Save your time and use our expertise in areas like, where to publish, how to manage your profile and increase your research impact in a competitive world.
The discovery phase helps you identify what information is available on your topic and what gaps there might be in the literature.
"I found with certain students they think, 'Oh, there's nothing going on in this area.' And it's a simple matter of saying, 'No, can you please go and talk to the librarian about it, if there's nothing about it, I'm sure it's a keyword thing or there's something else going on.' And they've come back and said, 'yes, there was actually 1500 journal articles on that particular area but I wasn't tweaking the right words."
For all students it's essential that they really get to grips with the literature, what's been shown before, what types of experiments have been carried out previously and where they think their research should fit into the whole scheme of the research topic. Librarian subject specialists can assist to set up topic and keyword searches to point to relevant discipline-specific resources in specialised databases and keep you up to date by setting automatic alerts to track hot articles and follow key authors and publications. They will have highlights you can get emailed out to you that tell you what people in the field think is very important at the moment.
Research proposals play a role in furthering your research and are a vehicle to research sustainability. You may have the opportunity to be part of academic teams seeking grant funding and the resulting publications can help to build your author profile.
"Without a research proposal we really don't have any basis for evaluating whether students will have a successful progran of research so it's absolutely critical. That's the first thing you ask for if somebody suggests that they might be interested and it's one of the hardest things to actually produce, especially as you're transferring from undergraduate to postgraduate work. You really ought to be apprised of what's going on in your field so it's not even just the primary research, it's the assessment of the research and evaluation of the research and there's a wealth of things that the Library can do to help you to find out about these things.
The research process can generate so much information, there are articles to read, references to cite, statistical data to collect, and the Library staff will guide you in managing all of your information needs, particularly setting up systems around EndNote and even just their cataloguing of their own resources.
We have to keep track of so many references, it's essential to have a really good knowledge of the management and how to use it as well. For those of us who use data which isn't purely numbers, so transcripts and photos and all those types of things, we're starting to realise that they're quite data heavy. We're wanting to make sure that information doesn't get lost, so we're starting to think about where things can be kept, backed up, accessed from, and I think the Library is really helping us to explore those possibilities.
Increasingly in the last few years, the Library's been realy coming in to help people to make sure that their name is used consistently across all their publication, different codes that link you to who you are as an identiy, as a researcher, that's a lot easier. And the journals are really picking up on that and they love the fact that you have that set up and that your profile's being set up and that someone's coached you to do all the right things.
You put in the hard work and are now ready to publish, but what if people can't find what you've written? "Knowledge needs to be discoverable and reuable, both in terms of actually what the research is supposed to achieve and in terms of career, and it's crucial. That's probably the single most important thing about where and how you choose to publish these days, we're thinking all the time about which journal we want to publish in, with respect to what our particular message is and who we want to read it as well. Obvously, you want to get your papers in the best journals you possibly can. I think it's really important when you're going to get out there, that every piece of work is counted and understood and found. The Library's supported me and all I've had to do is ask, if I had any questions.
Talk to your supervisor in the Library team for advice on making your work visible to a worldwide audience, you can even be part of the worldwide research community, Research Online, UOW's open access repository.
"The point of research is to discover something new, but then communicate it to people so that it can be used."
UOW Library staff can assist you across all phases of your research discovery and design you research proposal, research management and research output, and can be contacted via our website: www.library.uow.edu.au