- 11 August 2014
BIUST Library will always strive to deliver resources and activities to develop and enhance students’ research and continued learning skills.
Not familiar with the Library's information sources? Do you require assistance in your search for information? Our professional staff can help you to find the information that you require for your research and show you how to use the collections, services and resources (both print and online) of BIUST Library.
The research lifecycle
The Lifecycle outlines the different stages and activities that a researcher will go through when conducting University-level research. BIUST Library has developed the toolkit below to assist with accessing key Library resources and services in each of the stages with the focus on increasing the quality and impact of research outputs.
1. Research Idea
Developing a research project generally begins with an idea. This idea should be timely, innovative and relevant to the field of research.
Having an idea for a new research topic should be closely followed by interrogating the literature to ensure your idea is original. Library assistance at this critical stage is recommended to ensure all relevant databases/resources are identified; appropriate search strategies are used; options for obtaining and evaluating resources are explored and; methods for staying current are discussed. BIUST Library offers the following services and resources to assist with this stage:
2. Formulate Research Question
When formulating a research question, it is important to generate an actual question rather than selecting a single topic or theme. Generating a research question is never easy and will require constant refinement until a workable question presents itself. The following resources may assist with this process:
3. Conduct Research: Literature Searching
The literature search is one of the most important parts of conducting a research project. A literature search involves planning, identifying, organising and presenting as much relevant literature on a topic as possible. BIUST Library offers the following services and resources to assist with this stage:
- Literature Searching guide
- Borrowing Resources
- Referencing, Citation and Bibliographic Management
4. Disseminate Research Findings:
Disseminating research findings is a key aspect of the research process. Dissemination assists with passing on the benefits of research, increasing exposure to the work, sharing of data and building a researcher’s profile. BIUST Library assists in the process of disseminating research through the following services and resources:
5. Identify Related/Further Research Questions
Once you have completed your research, you may find that other avenues for research, collaboration opportunities or questions have become evident. This is the opportunity to look at your findings and explore new research questions. The BiustCat can help you explore some of the research already available.
For your prolific research, the following resources are available:
Why is citing important?
If you refer to other people's work in your writing, you should include correct citations to:
Avoid committing plagiarism,
Avoid breaking copyright law, and
Allow your readers to find and read your sources of information.
Choosing a Referencing Style
You should use the referencing style recommended by your lecturer for your assignment. If they have not specified style, we recommend APA 6th, a widely used style.
How to use a Referencing Style
IEEE Citation Reference: the references should be numbered and appear in the order they appear in the text. When referring to a reference in the text of the document, put the number of the reference in square brackets. Eg: 
The IEEE citation style has 3 main features:
•The author name is first name (or initial) and last. This differs from MLA style where author’s last name is first.
•The title of an article (or chapter, conference paper, patent etc.) is in quotation marks.
•The title of the journal or book is in italics.
APA 6th: is widely used in the social sciences and other fields, such as education, commerce and nursing. It is an author-date style with two key components:
o Citations in the text: name of author and year of publication
o Reference List at end of paper: alphabetical listing of all references used in the text
Harvard: is an author-date system that originated at Harvard University. Although they no longer produce a guide, this system is still referred to as the Harvard Style.
MLA: uses parenthetical (in text) citations to identify an alphabetical list of references that appears at the end of the paper.
MLA format follows the author-page method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text and a complete reference should appear on your Works Cited page.
The author's name may appear either in the sentence itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase, but the page number(s) should always appear in the parentheses, Various formats should be used depending upon the type of source and the way that the source is used.
Reference Management Software
If you are writing a longer assignment or thesis, you should consider using reference management software applications which are available through the following links:
Please contact your Subject Librarian for further details
You can also search our knowledge base from the following points:
- A-Z e-journals and databases
- Google Scholar
- Exam Papers
Furthermore, you can find immediate answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Library and its services as well as resources available for you.
Teaching and Learning Support
BIUST Library is committed to positive engagement with students commencing in the initial weeks every semester. This engagement provides the basis of an on-going relationship throughout the student’s time at the University.
The relationship between students and library staff commences during Orientation Week when librarians attend Orientation sessions to introduce themselves to students and to provide a familiar friendly face in the Library. This introduction includes a short presentation designed to entice students to explore our information discovery services and to join a Library tour.
Orientation tours are designed to familiarise new students with the physical facilities and services of the library, online services and resources, and getting them started with finding resources required for the first weeks of the semester.
BIUST Library has dedicated professional staff committed to providing information literacy classes, groups or individuals to both undergraduates, post-graduates as well as the academic staff.
Information Literacy is a set of lifelong learning skills that expands far beyond the walls of the academic library. Some think of Information Literacy as how we interact with information or learning to learn. At a minimum, information literate individuals are demonstrated by their ability to:
- articulate a research question and information need;
- determine the scope, type, and depth of information needed;
- evaluate information for its credibility and appropriateness to the current task and information need;
- synthesize and place new information into context of their own knowledge base;
- use various information and educational technologies to effectively retrieve and communicate information appropriately;
- Demonstrate that they can use information ethically and legally.
- Librarians are available to help departments and individual faculty members incorporate information literacy learning outcomes into departmental curriculum or individual courses. Please contact your librarian liaison for more information.