Most university students have a lot on their plate. As such, embarking on new research projects while juggling classes, work, and extracurriculars can be intimidating. As a student, and as a researcher, it is important to know the resources available to you, and where to find them. Once you are aware of the resources that can assist you, the whole process becomes a lot easier. One of the first places that you can look to for help in your research is, of course, your university. Universities have numerous online and in-person resources that are readily available. When starting a new project, look for these offices and resources at your University for help.
1) University Research Offices: Most universities will have a program of undergraduate research or an office specialized in student research. Look to see if this office or program exists at your University and try to find possible contacts within the office/program. This office will connect you to other research students on campus as well as professors on campus that can assist you in understanding more about your topic. Visit your University website to see if there is anything on their website related to research. By exploring these pages, you may find additional resources available to you that you were not previously aware existed.
2) University Library: If your school does not have an office related to research, another possible resource is your university library. Even if your school has a research office, the library is still a phenomenal resource. If you are starting a new project, and are unsure of where to start, pay your school librarian a visit. They can help you navigate the online databases and narrow down your search for information. You can also ask the assistants or individuals working in the library for help finding certain information as you move along through your research process. If you are someone who works best in quiet environments, then the library can also be a great place to go and organize your project or analyze the information you have collected.
3) Scholarly search engines: If you are someone who enjoys working independently and will be completing some of your research from home, here are a couple of search engines that are student-friendly. There are endless ways to find information online, but these search engines will consolidate your search and provide good results. Some of these include Educational Resource Information Center, Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic, Science.gov, and iSeek. Educational Resource Information Center contains education-related literature that is perfect for student researchers. Google Scholar is perfect if you are looking for peer-reviewed material from academic publishers and scholarly organizations. Microsoft Academic allows you to search by topic, pulling information from over 120 million publications. Science.gov pulls its resources from numerous databases and websites all related to scientific data and iSeek allows you to search exact questions or search by topic or tool. All of these search engines will provide you with credible sources and articles to use. Your school may also have unique databases that you can visit to collect data.
4) Finally, students can use resources like the Conseris app to help them gather, store, and share data throughout the entirety of their research project. Especially when conducting difficult research, it is crucial that you stay organized in your process. If you are traveling for research, or just need a way to manage your data, Conseris can help you every step of the way!
Regardless of where you are studying, there will be resources around you. Familiarize yourself with your campus and the offices, professors, and peers that can help you. Understanding the resources and support you have around you takes a lot of the stress out of the process and allows you to focus on the work that you are passionate about!