University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Research Help

Research Beyond the Basics

Understand the steps in the research process to efficiently complete your assignment.  

Choose a Topic

Choosing your topic is research. Take a look at your assignment instructions and consider how many words or pages your finished paper needs to be, and how much time you have to complete it.  Get topic ideas from your course readings, news, podcasts, or trends in scholarly journals or on social media. You may have to spend some time on this assignment, so choose something that is interesting to you.

Get Background Information

Use background information from textbooks and reference sources like encyclopedias to define your subject and identify any key issues, vocabulary, or themes. Databases like Credo Reference, AccessScience, UpToDate, and ClinicalKey are good places to look. It is not uncommon to find that you need to adjust your topic to make it broader or narrower.  

Develop Your Research Question

Use the background information you’ve found to turn your topic into a specific and answerable research question. This will keep your literature search and assignment discussion focused.

Find Resources

Search library resources in order to get relevant results, make sure you are using quality sources, and have access to our paid subscriptions.  

Search Strategy

Consider effective keywords and develop a search strategy. For a well-rounded paper, seek out different perspectives on your topic and look for alternative viewpoints or controversies. 

Where to Search

Free Interlibrary Loan

You should never have to pay for an article while you are a student at UNE – if there is something you can’t access through our subscriptions or collections, you can request it for free through Interlibrary Loan

What about Google Scholar or AI?

This link to Google Scholar will recognize your UNE credentials and give you access to our subscriptions. Google Scholar can be a good place to start an exploratory search to get an idea of what has been published on a topic. It is not our first recommendation because it does not provide filtering tools to refine your results, or vet journals for quality. Learn more about using Google Scholar.

Be cautious with generative AI programs like ChatGPT, Bard, Gemini or Llama. They are increasingly embedded in the tools we use every day, but are known to give inaccurate, outdated and false responses at times. Use extra caution with AI-generated citations – they can look real, but don’t exist! 

Evaluate Your Sources

Evaluate your sources carefully and make sure that you are following your instructor’s directions on the types of resources that are acceptable for your assignment.

Organize, Write & Cite

UNE’s Student Academic Success Center (SASC) can help you with grammar, writing style, drafting, and revision.

Manage Citations

We have citation style guides in the formats most frequently used at UNE to help you with formatting your citations.

RefWorks can help you organize and manage your sources, and generate in-text citations and reference lists. Use this tool to easily collaborate with others.

Questions & Help

If you have questions on this, or another, topic, contact a librarian for help!