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How Librarians Can Support Your Research

Cycle diagram showing the 7 steps of the research process

The research life cycle illustrates how information is created and used during the research process, and librarians are instrumental in this work. Librarians are best known for helping scholars find resources, and yet this is just one of several steps in the research process. We are equipped to assist both student and faculty researchers at any phase of the research process, whether you're just getting started and need help deciding what to research or you've already published your work and need help measuring impact. Contact a librarian and let us know where you are in the process.

The Seven Steps of the Research Life Cycle:

  1. Research Planning

Just getting started? Not sure where to even begin? Our librarians can help you with strategic planning, Evidence Synthesis advising, and conducting a survey of the literature. We can also connect faculty and staff members with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to assist with grant writing.

  2. Finding Resources

This is the most common step where students and faculty seek guidance. During a research consultation, our librarians can help you with creating a literature review; searching through databases and journal subscriptions; accessing books and materials hosted in digital repositories; examining holdings in Special Collections and University Archives; and seeking resources not held by Pepperdine through interlibrary loan.

  3. Evaluating and Citing Sources

Once you have a wealth of resources, let us assist you in evaluating which ones would best suit your needs. At this step in the research life cycle, we can also help you with properly citing your sources.

  4. Developing a Publishing Strategy

Congratulations! By this step, you have a completed text. The question remains: Where to get it published? Our librarians can help you find publishers to contact to get your work in a scholarly journal popular among your peers -- with the hopes that your work will add to scholarly conversation and be cited.

  5. Promoting Published Works

Once you're published in the most suitable journal for your research, we can help get your work noticed! Our librarians will work with you to maintain author profiles, self-archive in institutional repositories, make your work more widely available with open access publishing and host lectures about your research.

  6. Measuring Your Impact

At this point, your work has been available to the scholarly community for some time. But who's looking at it? During this step, we'll help you find and interpret scholarly metrics so you can see how much of an impact your research is making.

  7. Showing Your Impact

In this final step of the research life cycle, our librarians will explain the contexts and meaning of the metrics from the above step and appropriately interpret and analyze these metrics.