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Introduction to Research Basics: Home

Introduction

You’ll find that this tutorial is about more – much more – than mastering the use of computer applications, gaining knowledge of services and resources of a particular library, or obtaining skill in the use of particular electronic databases or Web search engines. Rather, it encompasses various and vital skills relating to the:

  • Ability to determine the nature and extent of the information needed;
  • Ability to access needed information effectively and efficiently;
  • Ability to evaluate information and its sources critically, and to incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base and value system;
  • Ability to use, individually or as a member of a group, information effectively to accomplish specific purposes, and;
  • Understanding of economic, legal and social issues surrounding information use.*

*Adapted from: http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/whatisIL.html


The tutorial provides students with an introduction to basic information-seeking skills. 

Students will learn:

  • To focus and articulate information needs and identify key concepts of a topic;
  • To use key concepts to find resources on a topic by using the library catalog, online periodical databases and other sources as needed;
  • To interpret bibliographic citations from search results and locate the materials cited;
  • To evaluate the information retrieved, discerning the strengths, limitations and usefulness in relation to a topic;
  • To incorporate retrieved information into their own texts;
  • The locations and functions of essential areas in the library;
  • How to locate and borrow material;
  • How to obtain materials not owned by the library.

Although it is recommended to work through the tutorial sequentially, feel free to jump ahead or move back and forth between modules.

Healey Library | University of Massachusetts Boston | 100 Morrissey Blvd | Boston, MA | 02125-3393 | 617-287-5900