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MyResearch (Humanities)

Liaison librarians

  • sharon [dot] rankin [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email) 514-398-6657
  • Sean [dot] Swanick [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email) 514-398-6787
  • McGill users only
  • Open access resource
  • Free resource
  • In-library-use only
  • Catalogue record

Please visit the MyResearch page for more information about this series.

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

Week 1: Managing Your Research

The first session of MyResearch provides an introduction to one citation management software, EndNote, which is free to students, faculty, and staff of McGill University. EndNote can store and organize bibliographic information and research notes and generate footnotes and bibliographies according to various citation styles.

In preparation for the MyResearch session, please visit the Library's EndNote page to download and install the software on your laptop.

The Library also provides McGill access to RefWorks, and a number of free online products exist. To decide which citation management software is right for you, use McGill’s comparison chart.

Module 1 handouts

Module 1 presentation slides module_4_fall_2014_revised-3.pptxmodule_4_fall_2014_revised-3.pptx

End Note Essentials handout

Help using EndNote

Visit the Library's Getting help with EndNote page for more suggestions.


Week 2: Graduate Research Tool Kit

In this module, we give an overview of the research process, experiment with breaking down a research topic for effective database searching, and explore the Library's catalogues and general academic databases. At the end we introduce the BCI/CREPUQ card and COLOMBO, two essential tools for acquiring resources not available at McGill.

The research process

Books on research methodologies in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library

McGill catalogues and databases

McGill WorldCat Catalogue
A "discovery tool" that searches McGill's classic catalogue as well as catalogues of libraries worldwide plus select article databases.

McGill Classic Catalogue
A powerful catalogue for searching and accessing the McGill Library's print collections.

McGill databases by subject
See the full array of general and subject-specific databases available to researchers at McGill

A basic search strategy


Borrowing from other libraries

To borrow in person from another Quebec or Canadian university library, get a CREPUQ card from any McGill Library service.

To request an item via interlibrary loan, use COLOMBO.

Module 2 handouts

Module 2 presentation slides

Library tools you need to know

Boolean operators and a comparison of McGill Worldcat and Classic catalogues

Google search tips



Week 3: Search strategies and document types

Request, renew, and review via the Library catalogue

Your library account allows you to perform several important tasks:

You'll find the link to "Your library account" on the McGill Library homepage.

Library account PIN: The 11-digit barcode number on your student ID

Library account password: your birthdate (YYYYMMDD). E.g., 19800307 if you were born on March 7, 1980.

Concept mapping

Concept mapping with CmapTools

Subject guides and subject-specific databases

Subject guides are created by librarians to introduce researchers to resources relevant to their field of study. They are an excellent tool for orienting oneself within the world with research. Explore those that interest you from the McGill Library homepage under "Resources by subject."

Subject-specific databases are like specialty boutiques: they may not have a broad range of products, but they offer incredible depth within their narrow scope. These core databases are identified in every subject guide. You can also survey this list of databases by subject available at McGill.

Citation searching

Traditionally citation searching works backward in time: by studying the bibliography of an article or book, one can discover relevant earlier works. Databases make it possible to search forward in time by linking a document to later documents within the database that cite it. Though several databases offer this functionality, 3 are more comprehensive than the rest:

Look for the "Cited by" link that accompanies each article record.

Types of specialized resources

Module 3 handouts

Module 3 presentation slides

Week 4: Getting your research out

Academic Integrity

Fair play: A guide to academic integrity (McGill)
Writing centre tutorial sessions
SkillSets academic integrity day

Conferences and poster sessions

University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center: Oral Presentations

Some useful information on conference preparation and presentation may be found using these subject headings in the Library catalogue:

Business presentations
Microsoft PowerPoint (Computer file)
Poster presentations
Public speaking

Choosing a journal for publication

Quantitative method

Web of Science: Journal Impact Factor
(click on "Additional Resources" tab and select "Journal Citation Reports")
Scopus: SJR: SCImago Journal Rank and SNIP: Source Normalized Impact per Paper
(click on "Analytics" to access the Journal Analyzer)

Qualitative method

Metrics alone can't determine where you publish your research. When selecting potential journals for publication, consider the following points:

Article-level metrics

New efforts are being made to measure an article's impact, not just a journal's. Read this brief primer commissioned by SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition.


Who's tweeted your article? Who's blogged about it? What's the relative impact of these "citations" in comparison with traditional print citations? Scholarly communication is changing and new metrics are needed to measure impact meaningfully. Some initial steps are being taken to address these questions. Read more at altmetrics.org.

Open Access (OA)

SPARC Canadian Author Addendum
Creative Commons

Finishing the thesis/dissertation

McGill Thesis guidelines: http://www.mcgill.ca/gps/thesis/guidelines

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers. 7th ed. Revised by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, and University of Chicago Press editorial staff. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. HSSL LB2369 T8 2007

Guidère, Mathieu. Méthodologie de la recherche: Guide du jeune chercheur en lettres, langues, sciences humaines et sociales. Rev. ed. Paris: Ellipses, 2004. HSSL LB2369 G9462 2004

Bolker, Joan. Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis. New York: H. Holt, 1998. Schulich LB2369 B57 1998

For more titles, try these subject headings in the Library catalogue:

Dissertations, Academic -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Report writing -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Research -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.

Publishing the thesis/dissertation

Kitchin, Rob, and Duncan Fuller. The Academic’s Guide to Publishing. London: Sage, 2005.
HSSL Z286 S37 K58 2005

Harman, Eleanor, Ian Montagnes, Siobhan McMenemy, and Chris Bucci, eds. The Thesis and the Book: A Guide for First-time Academic Authors. 2nd ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003. HSSL Z286 S37 T53 2003

For more titles, try these subject headings in the Library catalogue:

Academic writing
Scholarly publishing

CVs and academic portfolios

The McGill Career Planning Service (CaPS) offers services for graduate students.

CV resources:

Resumes (Employment) -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.

Academic portfolio

Seldin, Peter, and J. Elizabeth Miller. The Academic Portfolio: A Practical Guide to Documenting Teaching, Research, and Service. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009. Education LB1029 P67 S45 2009

Teaching portfolio 

McGill Teaching and Learning Services has assembled a great selection of resources on the academic teaching portfolio. Take note of their guidelines and other resources.


Toth, Emily. Ms. Mentor's New and Ever More Impeccable Advice for Women and Men in Academia. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009. Education LB2332.3 T683 2009

Module 4 handouts

Module 4 presentation slides

Talking Points by Andy Geisler

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