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Macdonald-Kelce Library

Introduction to Library Research

Library handouts and a video presentation on starting your research using the resources at the Macdonald-Kelce Library at The University of Tampa.

Getting Started with Research

On this guide you'll find information on how to start working on a research paper.

If you want a research guide for a particular discipline, look here for our list of guides.

Introduction to Library Research: Video

The following videos are for academic year 2019-2020. Since we're moving to a new web platform in the summer of 2020 some of the information will be outdated.

New videos for academic year 2020-2021 will be posted in August 2020.

Check out the library's new front page here.

Introduction: What is scholarship and the role of academic libraries.

Part One: Using the internet and Wikipedia.

Part Two: Books and the online catalog.

Part Three: Articles and online databases.

Part Four: Using citations.

Helpful Guides to Scholarly Research: Handouts

Step-by-step guides to help you become a better researcher.

Common Misconceptions About Using the University Library

MISCONCEPTION: You are supposed to do your research without assistance.
REALITY: The librarians can help you locate authoritative sources to use for your research.


MISCONCEPTION: The library is only a place to get books or to study.
REALITY: The library has a substantial collection of research resources. The library also has information professionals (librarians) who can help you locate or evaluate your information sources.


MISCONCEPTION: Research is a linear, uni-directional process.
REALITY: Research involves dead ends, circling back, re-thinking your premise, and adjusting your research questions.


MISCONCEPTION: Freely available internet resources are sufficient for academic work.
REALITY: Scholarship, notable for its attempt at accuracy, reliability, and high quality, is mostly not available on the open internet.


MISCONCEPTION: Google is a sufficient search tool.
REALITY: Google is only one search tool you will use in pursuing quality research.


MISCONCEPTION: Accessibility is an indicator of quality.
REALITY: High quality research is expensive, and often difficult to access outside a university setting.


MISCONCEPTION: All library sources and discovery tools are credible.
REALITY: There are many reasons beyond credibility for a library to collect materials (either physical or digital). Just because you find it in the library doesn't necessarily mean it is credible.


MISCONCEPTION: Every question has a single answer.
REALITY: Complex, open-ended questions may have several correct answers. (For example, depending on which disciplinary lens you analyze the problem. Historians and sociologists may question the same problem and arrive at different answers.)


Hinchliffe, L. J., Rand, A., & Collier, J. (2018). Predictable Information Literacy Misconceptions of First-Year College Students. Communications in Information Literacy, 12 (1), 4-18. https://doi.org/10.15760/comminfolit.2018.12.1.2

Chat with a Librarian

Click on the Ask Us box along the right-hand edge of the page to open the chat function.

Macdonald-Kelce Library - The University of Tampa - 401 W. Kennedy Blvd. - Tampa, FL 33606 - 813 257-3056 - library@ut.edu - Accessibility