LSCS Librarians can assist you with your dissertation process, most particularly with your literature review and the search for previous writings and research on your topic. LSCS Libraries and your dissertation institution library offer many useful research resources and tools. LSCS Librarians are your guides in choosing and using the right tools.
Your university library will offer a set of on-line research databases which will be the primary tools for your literature review. These searchable databases are indexes of bibliographic information about scholarly articles, reports, books, dissertations, and other types of literature. Many of these databases also contain full text reproductions of these materials which can be read on-line, saved, or printed. Most databases are equipped with useful tools for creating citations, saving and emailing articles, and organizing sources. Your LSCS Librarian can guide you in using these tools.
Government and educational websites
Depending on your dissertation topic, information for your literature review and research may be available on government and academic websites (such as The Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Census Bureau, and the Center for Disease Control). Your librarian can direct you to those that are appropriate for your topic and help you use their built-in resources and tools, and show you how to evaluate information from the web.
Many research databases do not contain full text versions of the materials indexed within them, so accessing a physical copy of the material is necessary. Your university library and LSCS library are well equipped to assist you in gaining this access.
As an employee of LSCS, you are eligible to request research materials (articles, books, CDs, DVDs, etc.) via the library website.
Once you supply the bibliographic information regarding the item to our on-line form, our interlibrary loan staff will request the item from library collections across the country. Requested periodical articles will be scanned and emailed to you. A book or other more substantial media will be shipped and delivered to your campus library for pick up. Time should be allowed (up to 3 weeks) for delivery, depending on the originating location and rareness of the item. The institution owning the item will set a loan period (generally up to 30 days). Your university library will have a similar interlibrary loan system, but the method of delivery will vary depending upon their policies. You should feel confident during your research that almost any type of source material is accessible via interlibrary loan.
As an employee of LSCS, you are eligible to receive from your librarian a Texshare card which you can use to directly access library collections at most academic institutions in Texas. Texshare is a consortium of libraries, each of which sets their own policies in regard to items loaned and services provided via the Texshare card, and these policies vary.
Appropriately citing your research sources and putting your dissertation documents into the correct format are complex and frustrating tasks. Each university and academic department within each school set specific guidelines for formatting dissertations. LSCS librarians can assist you with the appropriate citation format for your sources (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) and can recommend a number of helpful online tools and guides. Your university library will likely have similar tools, and additional subscriptions to citation-building and organizing services. LSCS librarians can also help you seek out the appropriate dissertation formatting guidelines for your university and academic department on the web.
You can make a personal appointment with any LSCS librarian to directly discuss your research and get help in choosing the right strategies for your successful literature review. Contact Scott Gilbert at 936-273-7562 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a referral.
LSCS librarians can review with you numerous services and on-line tools available to help you stay organized and productive in your research. Your university may have writing centers or tutors who can assist you with your actual writing, as well as services for printing and email. Many new free tools for research organization, file storage, and time management now exist on the web, and LSCS librarians can suggest those that might be most helpful to you.
LSCS Librarians can put you in touch with the appropriate librarian for your subject area at your dissertation institution, and provide you with contact information and guidance to any on-line subject guides your university library may offer.
Additional online resources:
- “Writing your Dissertation” a guide from The University of Southampton, UK (also available as a Microsoft Word 2010 document)
- The LSCS Libraries Citation Help Page
- The LSCS Libraries Research Applications and Tools Guide
- LSCS Doctoral Support Group - Library Services for Graduate Students
Suggested print resources on dissertation writing
- Dissertation Writing in Practice by Linda Cooley via Project Muse (ebook). http://muse.jhu.edu/books/9789882201040
- How to prepare a dissertation proposal: suggestions for students in education and the social and behavioral sciences by David R Krathwohl, Syracus University Press, 2005. Available via interlibrary loan or via Texshare card from the SHSU, Prairie View A&M, UH at Clear Lake libraries. ISBN #: 0815681410
Recommended online academic guides and tutorials
- University Libraries: University at Albany, NY – Education Research Tutorial
- Evaluating Web content (guide)
- Evaluation Questions
- Style guides (University at Albany)
- SHSU Thesis & Dissertation Guidelines and Tools
- UH College of Education Dissertation, Thesis and Research Resources
- UT Austin Intellectual Entrepreneurship Sample Dissertation Proposals
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center Dissertation Boot Camp Resources