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Getting Started in the Library

This guide helps students and faculty get started navigating the library's online resources.

What to Expect with Library Research

Library research involves identifying and locating sources of factual information and expert opinion to answer a research question.

A digital image with a pale orange background and green text reads "Getting Started: Library Research in a Creative Context. 1. The process of researching is a creative one! Almost any creative practice involves research -  think prototypes, figure drawings, reference photos, etc!" Below, there's a drawing of a pink  brain with many colourful blobs surrounding it. A digital image with pale orange background and green text reads: "2. Research can inform or be a pillar of your creative practice. Critical thinking, writing, and research can all be core parts of a creative practice - presenting information in a creative way is important. Similarly, the various resources the library has access to has provide a source of inspiration." Below, a drawing of an open laptop and an open book with text and pictures can be seen.    A digital image with pale orange background and green text reads: "3. Library research takes time. It can take a while to find the perfect source(s)! Be sure to give yourself enough time to find the information you want or need for your project." Below the text, there are drawings of a clock, a newspaper, and an art magazine.

Images by Keimi Nakashima-Ochoa, CC BY-NC-SA

The Library Research Process is Creative

Research is a process that involves creative inquiry: asking questions, exploring resources, and discovering information that will inevitably lead you to more questions. You already do a lot of informal research in your day-to-day activities and you can use the skills you have already developed to do scholarly research.

Library Research Informs Your Creative Practice

Creative practice and theoretical reflection go hand and hand. Artworks and design creations are information, and produced through seeking and responding to information. The library gives you access to books, exhibition catalogues, magazines, journal articles, online databases, and spaces that are here to inspire and inform you. We also have wonderful staff who are dedicated to helping you find what you need.

Library Research Takes Time

Give yourself time to find useful, credible, quality resources. There is so much information out there and it takes critical inquiry and perseverance to find the best resources for your specific needs. Research is also an evolving process - your ideas and focus might change as you delve into different resources, similar to how an artwork will change from the initial idea at the beginning of a project to the completed work.

The Research Process

Library research is a cyclical process that you will likely return to in multiple phases of completing an assignment or project. Give yourself time and flexibility to reformulate your research as you learn more about your topic.

A graph showing the research process as non-linear. The research cycle involves choosing a topic, developing a research question, and searching and evaluating sources. The writing process involves taking notes, keeping track of sources, and organizing your information and ideas. You will move between the writing and research cycles through the process of finishing a project.














Chart from Concordia University Library Research TutorialCreative Commons License       604-844-3840        520 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver, BC