BIOL 5174 - Intro to Grad Studies - Biological Sciences: Getting Started

Resources, techniques, and tools for finding and keeping track of research literature for Biological Sciences thesis, dissertation, and other research projects.

Tips for Using Library Resources

This guide will walk you through resources and services of use to graduate students in Biological Sciences, 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 (see librarian info box on this guide)

2.  If you're doing research from off campus, make sure you access information sources via the library to be prompted to sign in for Off Campus Access to VT-only content, or use another off campus access option such as: a) setting your Google Scholar preferences for 'Library Links' to all the options for Virginia Tech, b) try out the LibKey Nomad Browser Extension (Chrome browser only), and/or c) follow instructions in this PubMed Tip handout to set your preferences in PubMed. 

3.  If you live outside of Blacksburg and its neighboring counties, find out about VT Libraries Services for "Extended Campus Users"

3.  Use the library home page search (powered by EBSCO Discovery Search (EDS)) to conduct a Google-like search of most of our library resources.  While it's not a disciplinary database like most others 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 via the library search, Google Scholar, or any of the databases that I recommend, break your research question into 2-4 keywords, rather than typing in the entire sentence or question. For more tips on searching, see Search Basics, Advanced Search Techniques, or Tutorials from specific database providers, such as Web of Science, PubMed and others that will highlight expert searching methods for each resource.

5.  Use the Recommended Databases page on this course guide or the Biological Sciences Subject Guide to identify relevant databases to start your research. 

6.  When trying to access articles and other resources, look for the Get VText box:

 

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 - "We work with writing and reading assignments from any course in the University. We can also help you with writing projects that are not linked to classes."

------> For Roanoke or Northern Virginia Students: Writing support available via Skype, by appointment.

2.  Lynda - Software Tutorials and Training - "Lynda.com is your one stop shop for online tutorials and training in a variety of software suites and programs. Access is free to current Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff."

3. SAIG - Statistical Applications and Innovations Group - "We provide statistical advice, analysis, and education to Virginia Tech researchers by offering individual collaboration meetings, walk-in consulting, educational short courses, and support for interdisciplinary research projects."

Biological Sciences Librarian

Ginny Pannabecker's picture
Ginny Pannabecker
Contact:
vpannabe@vt.edu
Newman Library, Room 5092
540-231-7980

Office Hours are Flexible:
Contact me to arrange an appointment at: vpannabe@vt.edu

Subjects: Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Bioinformatics, Biomedical Engineering, Systems Biology
Website Skype Contact: Virginia.Pannabecker