We had an interesting discussion last week (Fed 4) on the Research Lifecycle. We used the interactive research lifecycle developed at University of Central Florida Libraries as a basis for the discussion. Our goal is to create a similar but non-linear model for the research lifecycle at IU. From the discussion, it quickly became apparent that we would need a lifecycle or lifecylces that addresses the research process in a variety of disciplines. As the discussion progressed, we touched on the need for libraries to assist researchers in understanding how to effectively and efficiently manage, track and organize their research. This includes citation management tools such as EndNote (http://endnote.com/) and Zotero (http://zotero.org/) and Mendeley as well as organizational tools like Evernote (https://evernote.com/).
While we currently offer workshops on citation management tools, the Scholars Commons could provide additional opportunities to provide consultation to researchers on organizing their research. This process could be similar to the reference interview where you ask the researchers questions about their research to recommend a tool that would meet their needs and to help them determine a process for organizing their research. Librarians can to provide assistance and recommend strategies for organizing research. Based on my on research experiences and teaching citation management workshop, some initial thoughts on research organization:
- keep your method for organizing your research simple: organize by research interests or classes, research projects – it will be more difficult for you to remember and continue to use an elaborate system
- be consistent, if you use tags, tag everything
- take some time to find what works best for you and be flexible, be willing to change as your research changes