5.22.2012

On Writing: Solutions to the Research Problem

{ Image source: Daniel Catt on Flickr }
A few weeks ago, I was having problems with conducting research beyond what I could do at my local library with popular non-fiction books. I'm happy to say that the problem is solved! Or, I have some solutions.

The first is courtesy of a fellow writer friend, Twitter handle @magpiedays. She wrote:
Are you familiar with JSTOR? One-stop shopping for academic research. I used it all the time as a grad student and I think they might have opened up access so you no longer need to be affiliated with a university to gain at least limited access. I'm not sure what an individual account might cost, but worth looking into...
It's at www.jstor.org.
Until that moment, no, I was not familiar with JSTOR. As it turns out, limited-use accounts are free (free! FREE!), and I was able to get the abstract to one of the articles I needed. Not the whole article, unfortunately, but enough to suffice for citation purposes.

The second solution comes from both trial and error and a helpful hint from Monique Liddle at Bends in the Road. She wrote:
Another option is to check out the main branch of your local library and tell them what you need in terms of resources. Again, they may be able to get a copy of the resource for a small fee or free (it depends).
She was right. I submitted a request through our Ask a Librarian program through my local library, and they were able to get the article within a day. (For free!) The book I needed took a little bit longer, especially because it went to the wrong branch, but I picked it up yesterday. They charge a nominal fee that the patron sets, making it an affordable option. (And cheaper than gas to go out to the university.)

I'm so thrilled to have these new resources at hand; it's going to make writing articles much easier. Now it's just a matter of buckling down and doing the work ...

Are there any other research methods that you use? What are they? I'm still taking recommendations.

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