This page is divided into sections devoted to Bruce Pencek's handouts on planning and doing effective, efficient searching; guidance on citations and ethical use of others' work (including some video tutorials); effective scholarly communication; and sources of help about the VT Libraries and our vendors' platforms.
Think of these handouts as lecture notes for what Bruce Pencek said (tried to say... meant to say...) in class or a research consultation.
Become a situationally aware searcher (HANDOUTS)
Bruce Pencek on search techniques to discover and acquire research sources effectively -- so you can manage your time and effort.
I. When to search "the literature"... for the feasibility of the research plan, for primary and secondary sources relevant to the research question, and for making sure you've covered all bases on your answer to your question when you write your paper.
II. Situationally aware (re)searching. A sequence of tools and techniques for applying what you learn in one stage to clarify your information need and improve your success in the face of too much information.
III. Operationalize and organize. A one-page grid framework for laying our your search as part of your research design, aligned with social science concerns for identifying concepts/variables, relationships, explanations, and evidence.
IV. Get tactical. Tips to give you better search results in less time.
These handouts are published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license. I make them available in an easily editable format, so you can easily adapt, slice, and dice the files for reuse, provided that you give me appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests that Bruce Pencek endorses you or your use.
Virginia Tech's University Libraries supports participation in the scholarly conversation at every stage of the research life cycle, from planning to publishing (including journals and proceedings we host) to curation and archiving ... and even records management services for university units.
Underneath good citations are good practices to manage your notes and evidence (qualitative or quantitative alike). Data management plans, long required by most major funders in STEM research grants, are increasingly expected for empirical social science and interdisciplinary humanities funded research as well.
Scholars working in those domains will find are some good tips in Data management plans for historians: How to document and protect your research by Susan L. Collins, a librarian at Carnegie Mellon University. (Perspectives on History, October 2017).
About iThenticate and ETDs : A false rumor (as of summer 2018) alleges that the library will run VT ETDs through the new iThenticate plagiarism prevention system before archiving them. VT Libraries is not involved in providing iThenticate and does not offer such a service.
Tech's graduate school assigns responsibility to "graduate students and their advisors to verify that electronic theses and dissertations are appropriately written and cited." Specifically: