BCHM 5784: Getting Started

Course Guide for BCHM 5784: Advanced Applications in Molecular Life Sciences

Tips for Using Library Resources

This guide will walk you through resources and services of use to graduate students in Biochemistry, including: accessing, searching, and using research resources.

Virginia Tech University Libraries:  http://www.lib.vt.edu/

A few tips to get you started:

1.  Don't be afraid to ask for assistance.  Simply contact your librarian directly 

2.  If you're doing research from off campus, make sure you access information sources via the library for Off Campus Access, or use another off campus access option such as the LibKey Nomad browser extension that assists with access to library resources. The page on off campus access also has info on Settings for Google Scholar.

3.  If you live outside of Blacksburg and its neighboring counties, find out about VT Libraries Services for Distance or 'Extended Campus' Researchers

3.  Use the library home page search to conduct a Google-like search of most of our library resources. While it's not a disciplinary database, like the ones that I recommend to you on this guide, it can help you gain a broad overview of a particular research topic or question.  

4.  When searching the Library discovery search, Google Scholar, or any of the databases that I recommend, break your research question into keywords, rather than typing in the entire sentence or question. Click here for tips and videos on strategies for creating effective keyword searches.  

5.  Use the Recommended Databases page on this guide, the Biochemistry Subject Guide, or another subject guide to identify relevant databases to start your research. 

6.  When trying to access articles and other resources, look for a 'full text,' 'PDF,' symbol, or the Get VText phrase or logo:


7.  Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad) Service - a free service to get journal articles, book chapters (even if we own a copy), books, and more that VT does not own or subscribe to, don't pay to access research sources you need - use Illiad to request materials for free.

Additional VT Resources

1.  Writing Center - Provides writing sessions for all types of writing at all levels, via one on one consultations - live online or face to face, or via asynchronous sessions where writers share a draft and comments and receive written feedback within 24 hours. See scheduling options on their website.

2.  LinkedIn Learning - Software Tutorials and Training - "LinkedIn Learning is an on-demand learning solution designed to help users gain new skills and knowledge. Access is free to current Virginia Tech students, employees, and recent graduates."

3. SAIG - Statistical Applications and Innovations Group - "Helping non-statisticians transform data into insight. Work with us to design experiments, analyze and plot data, run statistical software, and interpret results."


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Kat Brown
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Newman Library, Room 3005
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