Honing the Research Process in Life Sciences: McGill University’s myResearch Seminar Series<br />Lindsey Sikora and Jill B...
<ul><li>Background information: What is myResearch?
Organization of myResearch
Modules</li></ul>Agenda<br />
What is myResearch? <br /><ul><li>collaboration between McGill Libraries and Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
workshops tailored to graduate and postdoctoral students</li></ul>Background Information <br />
<ul><li>4 workshops,  each 2 hours long, with hands-on practice
3 times a year (fall, winter, spring semesters)
Subject areas include: agriculture/environmental sciences, health and biological sciences, humanities, science & engineeri...
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Honing the Research Process in Life Sciences: McGill University’s myResearch Seminar Series by Lindsey Sikora and Jill Boruff

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MyResearch is a series of workshops offered at McGill University by the Library, designed to better equip graduate and postdoctoral students with essential research skills, and knowledge about the variety of ways McGill’s Library can help support their research. The series consists of four interactive seminars that are held three times a year, in the following subject areas: Agriculture/Environmental Sciences & Nutrition, Health & Biological Sciences, Humanities, Science & Engineering and Social Sciences.
The Life Sciences Library at McGill University has been successful at reaching students with course-embedded instruction in professional programs such as medicine and nursing, but less successful in meeting the needs of students in the core sciences such as neuroscience and biology. The MyResearch seminars helped to fill this gap by providing the opportunity to teach graduate students outside of specific courses. Topics covered in the series include the stages of the research process, such as refining the research topic, and ways of entering the research community.
Each module covers a specific aspect of the research process including the bibliographic software Endnote and its basic functions, refining a research topic, advance search strategies, and how to enter the scholarly community with practical tips on conferences, associations and publication. McGill Library resources and services are highlighted throughout the series. A closer examination of the content and organization for the MyResearch workshops specific to the McGill Life Sciences Library will be discussed in this presentation.
Authors: Lindsey Sikora and Jill Boruff

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  • MyResearch is a suite of workshops tailored to graduate and postdoctoral students. MyResearch is designed to better equip you with essential research skills, and knowledge about the various ways the Library can support you during your research. It is a collaboration between the McGill Library and Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies department, that started in 2009. This collaboration is various subject areas, which will be discussed shortly. Topics cover the beginning of the research process, including the refining of the research topic, right through to ways to enter the research community, all from the perspective of the Library’s resources and services.If you do attend all four modules you will receive a certificate signed by both the Trenholme Dean of Libraries and the Dean of Graduate and Post-doctoral Studies.
  • Each workshop is two hours long, with plenty of hands-on practice. The series consists of four interactive seminars that will be held three times a year at five different locations and covering the following subject areas:Agriculture/Environmental sciences &amp;Nutrition,Health &amp; Biological sciences,Humanities,Science &amp; Engineering andSocial SciencesAt LSL, Jill and another one of our colleagues began the workshops, and Lindsey replaced our colleague (who moved to another library) in the fall of 2010. Each location has a graduate student incorporated into the workshops, that helps teach and identify issues important to graduate students within each workshop. We have been lucky enough to have some amazing students work with us! Usually, we try to work with students within our discipline (i.e. a medical or life sciences student), who has an understanding of the terminology. This past year, our student was from the Education department, but was an essential element in our workshops with her knowledge, experience, and insight.
  • Subject specific: ranging from core programs such as biology to neuroscience to professional programs, such as physical and occupational therapy to nursingWe were responsible for taking the general learning outcomes from myResearch, and organizing them in a way that was appropriate for our group of students. Here’s how we did it: Module 1: EndNote EssentialsManage your information resources efficiently and comprehensively – showed specific examples in PubMed and OVID (heavily used medical databases) Mention Cite While You Write.
  • Module 2: Graduate Research Tool KitTranslate your topic into a search strategy which will uncover relevant information – our graduate student did a fantastic 15 minute presentation on how to break down your research topic into a search strategy, using synonyms and “like” words, the process of selecting appropriate databases, and how the strategy needs to be revised a few times before it is considered correct2) Find the specific information on your topic using general resource discovery tools – we do a complete search of OVID Medline in this module with the students, identifying and explaining what a Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) is, how Medline works, and basic searching techniques3) Broaden, narrow and refine your topic through reading, viewing, listening and accessing appropriate content - 4) Gather useful tips on how to broaden and refine your research topic – we let them know of other databases available to them, that are subject specific, giving them lots of hands on practice, to compare Medline to another database, answering their questions about these databasesSearching Techniques: One example specific to the Life Sciences Library MyResearch workshops is our presentation of searching techniques in PubMed and Medline (which is essentially the same database, but presented on different platforms by the National Library of Medicine – PubMed = free, Medline = fee). Explain, simply, a comparison of the two search techniques, and why. Handouts: As a summary of what we have presented to the students, we pass around handouts with tips, links and other helpful information for the students.
  • Module 3: Search Strategies &amp; TechniquesFind specific types of information resources (e.g., theses, government information, patents, etc.)Update your information needs and awareness of the information cycleReach an advanced level in resource discovery and learn effective search strategies – students were given a walk through of PubMed, how to locate Mesh and other functions similar to MEDLINE, and then were given hands on practice time to navigate between PubMed and Medline, and other databases they wanted to become familiar withUnderstand discipline-specific resources and how they can give you an edge on research – Students were shown resources specific for systematic reviews and randomized control trials, specific to some medical disciplines, as well as where to search the grey literature (and some of their resources). Find relevant information for your own research topics. Stay ahead by using alerting services, RSS feeds and social network environments – Students were shown how to create a Google Reader account for RSS feeds, how to sign up for the Table of Contents alerts via email or RSS from journals, how to set up alerts from PubMed and Medline with their own account
  • Module 4: Getting Your Research OutFind professional associations, other networking opportunities, workshops and conferences related to your needs – Students are shown resources for conferences, publishing and networking opportunities that are available in life sciencesUnderstand peer reviewKeep track of your researchAppreciate the discourse surrounding academic integrityFind out how to enter the scholarly conversation with practical tips on finding professional associations and conferences, identifying core journals in your filed and discovering those that are best for publishing your research results.Find out why impact factors and citation analysis tools are so important and how to use them – Students are shown impact factors for journals per discipline in life sciences, and the importance of selecting each discipline separatelyExplore and learn about the Open Access movement and the institutional repositories – Students are taught about Open Access, and how it affects them and their future research and publications, with specific examples shownLearn about the impact of a Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA) when you sign it with a publisher. This workshop will also highlight the importance of academic integrity and intellectual property.Difficulties: It is sometimes difficult to show all databases, examples, tricks, etc, for every department that comes to MyResearch. We strive to be as inclusive with our examples as possible, at least touching on some aspects of each discipline throughout each module. Example: biology
  • Honing the Research Process in Life Sciences: McGill University’s myResearch Seminar Series by Lindsey Sikora and Jill Boruff

    1. 1. Honing the Research Process in Life Sciences: McGill University’s myResearch Seminar Series<br />Lindsey Sikora and Jill Boruff <br />Liaison Librarians <br />Life Sciences Library<br />McGill University<br />www.mcgill.ca/library<br />
    2. 2. <ul><li>Background information: What is myResearch?
    3. 3. Organization of myResearch
    4. 4. Modules</li></ul>Agenda<br />
    5. 5. What is myResearch? <br /><ul><li>collaboration between McGill Libraries and Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
    6. 6. workshops tailored to graduate and postdoctoral students</li></ul>Background Information <br />
    7. 7. <ul><li>4 workshops, each 2 hours long, with hands-on practice
    8. 8. 3 times a year (fall, winter, spring semesters)
    9. 9. Subject areas include: agriculture/environmental sciences, health and biological sciences, humanities, science & engineering and social sciences </li></ul>Organization of myResearch <br />
    10. 10. Module 1: Endnote Essentials<br />
    11. 11. Module 2: Graduate Research ToolKit<br />
    12. 12. Module 3: Search Strategies and Techniques<br />
    13. 13. Module 4: Getting Your Research Out<br />
    14. 14. Comments/suggestions are welcome! <br />Contact information: <br />Lindsey Sikora Jill Boruff <br />lindsey.sikora@mcgill.cajill.boruff@mcgill.ca<br />514-398-4475 ex. 09844 514-398-4475 ex. 09528<br />Thank you! Merci!<br />

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