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Media, Art, and Performance (MAP): Research Basics

This guide has information for researchers in all areas of Media, Art, and Performance.

About This Page

This guide includes links and tips for doing research as a U of Regina student.

Video tutorial links are available directly below.

The middle section breaks down research processes and resources.

We are here to help! Use the chat box on the far right to get instant answers. If you have any questions about your research, please contact the Help Desk or your subject liaison librarian.

Videos

Critical Thinking

A short video on critical thinking for university-level research can be viewed here.

You can access the slides from this video by clicking this link.

If you have questions or would like one-on-one help with your research, we are here to help! Contact your liaison librarian for subject-specific help, or contact the Library Help Desk during opening hours for immediate assistance.

Academic Research

Learning About Your Topic

Starting Research

Evaluating Resources

Peer Review

Advanced Research

Using Resources and Citation/Documentation


Learning About Your Topic

If you are unfamiliar with aspects of your research topic, you can consult resources that will give you a basic understanding of the topic.

Please note: These resources should generally NOT be used or cited in your research. These resources will get you started in understanding your topic, but they are usually not appropriate for university-level research, essays, papers, or projects. You must go on to use academic research tools once you have learned the basics of your topic.

Textbooks
A review of the topic in your textbook should be the first place you look.

Reference Materials
Reference materials include dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, handbooks, guides, manuals, directories, indexes, and others. The U of R Library has print and electronic reference materials in all subject areas. Check the Research Guides in your subject area for tips on finding them, or contact the Help Desk for help finding reference materials on your topic.

Reference sources available for free online may not be reliable. Information you find free online should be backed up by library reference materials or other reliable sources. Free online reference materials may be listed on your subject area's Research Guides (look for tabs like "Web Resources" or "Links").

If you choose to use Wikipedia, remember that all information should be backed up with library reference materials or other reliable sources. Wikipedia may have useful information (such as articles from reliable sources) listed under "References" or "Links" in any article.


Starting Research

General Searching

General searches for reliable resources are a good place to start your research.

The U of Regina Library general search tool is called Quick Find (also available on the Library website). Enter general search terms in the search box, then refine your results.

Google Scholar is a freely-available tool that searches for academic, scholarly, and peer-reviewed research articles and books. Not all results may be freely available. Use computers or wifi at the U of Regina, or try logging on first, in order to access more content.

Books: Quick Find

The Library's Quick Find search allows you to search for books. Enter in your search terms, and on the results page, select "Books" under "Resource Type" from the toolsbar on the left side of the page, then click "Apply Filter."

Articles, Statistics, Reports, and More: Databases

Library databases allow you to search for high-quality resources. Most databases search through scholarly journals for articles. Other databases search for statistics and data, reports, and other resources.

Choose databases from your subject area's Research Guides, or use the dropdown menu from the Library Homepage.

We are here to help you with this! For assistance in selecting a database for your needs, and for help using it to do research, please contact the Help Desk or your subject liaison librarian.


Evaluating Resources

 Resources you use for research must be appropriate. Some university-level research requires peer-reviewed or academic resources. Other kinds of research might include resources like newspapers, magazines, and online resources. It is important to know what is appropriate to use in your assignment.

To determine whether a resource is appropriate to use:

1. Carefully read the assignment, or ask your professor/instructor/TA for clarification.

2. Look at the Library's guide to evaluating resources.

3. We are here to help! Please contact the Help Desk or your subject liaison librarian with any questions.


Peer Review

An article is peer-reviewed if it had to be approved by the author's peers (e.g. other professors or other researchers) before publication. This means that it has been held to a very high standard before it was published. It is considered the gold standard for university-level research, and students are often told specifically to use only peer-reviewed articles for their research.

Many Library databases allow you to check a box when searching so that you will only retrieve peer-reviewed articles. If you are unsure whether an article you have found is peer-reviewed, ask the Library Help Desk.


Advanced Research

The library catalogue and many library databases have basic and advanced search options. Advanced searching allows you to search more precisely and find items you might otherwise overlook.

Most advanced searches use Boolean searching. A video tutorial is available.

We are here to help! Please contact the Help Desk for assistance with advanced searching. You can also contact your subject liaison librarian to schedule an appointment where you can learn about advanced searching techniques.


Using Resources and Citation/Documentation

MLA Style:
OWL Purdue Guide

APA Style:
Library Guide
OWL Purdue Guide

Chicago Style:
Library Guide
OWL Purdue Guide

Citation Software:
Many students use software (web-based like EasyBib, word-processor-based like in MS Word, or database-based) to create citations. These will often produce errors and it is highly recommended that you familiarize yourself with the guides listed above in order to spot and correct the errors.

RefWorks:
RefWorks is licenced software available to U of Regina students which allows you to create reliable, correct citations in any style, as well as manage your research materials.