How to manage your research information

If you are just starting your PhD, there is an event that could prove to be invaluable to your academic experience. Several times a year the TU Delft Library offers a workshop called “How to Manage Your Research Information.”

During your research you will have to deal with a lot of information that can sometimes be overwhelming. This workshop is intended to help you acquire skills that will increase your effectiveness in searching, finding, assessing, managing and processing research related information. Nicole Will, Head of Education Support for the TUD Library, says that this is something every new PhD student needs to learn. “It’s better at the beginning of the PhD to start to make a good plan for future research,” she says.

The workshop is a very hands-on learning experience. Participants will have to answer questions by finding information using different resources. One benefit is that you can use your own research subject for the exercises if you so choose. After completing the workshop you will be able to explore your research field (find key authors, journals, etc.), make a map or an overview of your subject and manage your information with reference management tools. You will also be able to build a library in EndNote and Mendeley. In addition, you will be able to manage your research data, understand the publication process (copyright, peer review, open access) and publish your research results.

According to Will, learning how to structure information for research is not a one-time event, but rather an ongoing process. “Students can start to make a map of their research that will take them through the whole PhD and beyond,” she states. This workshop will help you be much more efficient whether you are looking for input from a large amount of information, building up a collection of relevant literature, or putting it all together in an intelligent, well-argued paper.

The lecturers who teach the workshop are information specialists at the TU Delft Library. The workshop, held in the TU Delft Library, involves 10 hours over 2 days and will include some homework. It is conducted in English so it is suitable for international students. Some knowledge about search techniques in information resources like Scopus and Web of Science is recommended. Unfortunately, the June session is already full, but there will be additional workshops offered in October and November. Early registration is recommended and can be done via Blackboard.

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