Library:Help for Distance Students/Research Toolkit

From UBC Wiki

Assignment first steps

Develop a plan before you dive into your assignments. Below you'll find links to guides that will help you set priorities for the term, manage your deadlines and sharpen your research skills.

  • Getting Started on your Research: covers how to check that you understand your assignment, how to develop your topic and to judge the quality of the sources you find.
  • Library Research: describes the research process and has tips and strategies for making the most of what the Library has to offer.
  • Time Management: has helpful plans for organizing your term, your week and even your day.
  • Assignment Calculator:"is a time management tool that breaks down research assignments into a series of manageable steps, while providing expert tips for success. Enter the assignment start date and due date to get planning!"


Don't think of citing only as an end-of-the-assignment activity. Save yourself a lot of time and stress by tracking your sources as you encounter them.

  • How to Cite: covers the basics of citing and gives a brief overview of some of the most popular citation styles used at UBC.
  • RefWorks is a web-based citation management program that UBC students, staff and faculty can use to store, share and format citations.
    • Refworks will also create your bibliography and with its Write-N-Cite tool, can be used to format your paper within MS Word.

Assessing your sources

Information sources vary wildly in terms of accuracy, currency, objectivity, depth & breadth of coverage and even the authors' qualifications. Judging the quality and suitability of your sources is a key part of the research process.

  • Critical Thinking: includes how to examine an author's arguments to "identify (his or her) feelings, beliefs and cultural/societal influences."

Finding your sources

  • In a Library Research Guide: A short video which explains how research guides connect you to the best sources of research on a topic-by-topic basis.
  • In Summon: Guide to finding and using the Library's general search engine. Includes 2 quick videos explaining basic and advanced searching using the search box on the Library homepage.
  • For Journal Articles: online guide to finding articles with and without a citation.
  • For other materials - check out The Research Help Portal: with guides to finding specific material types such as newspapers, government publications, primary sources, maps and more.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the foundation of university success.

  • Academic Integrity & Plagiarism: covers "how to express original ideas, cite sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly." Includes an interactive tutorial.
  • Copyright at UBC: the official copyright website for UBC. Covers copyright guidelines and requirements for faculty, staff & students and includes an FAQ, resource guides and email support.