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In the Instructional Resource Center

Searching Basics

Developing a Research Question (conducted by Dora Rowe)
Designed to help the researcher move beyond an assigned topic to a well-honed research question that can be used to develop focused keywords and search strategies  that retrieve relevant sources.

Conducting a Literature Review (conducted by Dora Rowe)
Grounding the basics of the purpose and process of a conducting literature review  as evidentiary support of a thesis within a larger work.

Organizing Research in Preparation to Writing (conducted by Dora Rowe)
This session is designed to help students learn to hone the wealth of information they have found and organize it so that they can then use it to write more effectively.

Using Zotero (conducted by Dora Rowe)
Using automation tools makes creating footnotes and bibliographies much easier. Zotero gathers metadate from websites to craft citations, making it invaluable in organizing information during the search process, and again when providing attribution within a finished project.

Finding Sources

 Introduction to Using Library Resources (conducted by Dora Rowe)
A fast guide to finding print materials, using ILL, and accessing electronic resources. It covers using the catalog, the library website, and our research guides. It usually takes no more than 30 minutes.

Topic Researching Outside the Reference Room (conducted by Dora Rowe)
Discusses several online and in-library methods of research, from discovery through strategic shelf browsing to bibliography mining, and points in between.

Introduction to Finding Sources Online (conducted by Dora Rowe)
Basic introduction to  searching, narrowing by facet, saving, and citing from the library’s databases. Google Scholar and Open Access tools may be mentioned in this session, but not covered in depth.

Refined Database Searching (conducted by Dora Rowe and Robin McCall)
Choosing specific databases within the Library’s collections, using Google Scholar, and using Open Access databases to perform more comprehensive literature reviews.

Using the Reference Room (conducted by Robin McCall)
Using print commentaries, encyclopedias, dictionaries, theological handbooks, and atlases; researching with primary sources (writings of theologians, biblical manuscripts, Jewish texts, etc.).

Searching Specific Tools (conducted by Robin McCall)
Using discipline-specific resources for biblical studies (Context of Scripture Online, Oxford Biblical Studies Online, Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception); using online and electronic Bible study tools (Accordance, STEP Bible,; using BHS’s critical apparatus & Masorah parva.

Using the Digital Reference Collection (conducted by Robin McCall)
Searching online databases, e-books, and open-access resources effectively and creatively; using digital primary-source collections (ex., Religious Periodicals from the Southern U.S., 1801-1904).

Researching for Exegesis (conducted by Robin McCall)
Step-by-step help on how to do Old or New Testament exegesis, and which specific library tools can help you accomplish each step.

Introduction to Library Serials (conducted by Robin McCall)
Finding the best journals for your research; how to read journal articles for content even if you aren’t an expert in the field; when to use journal articles vs. commentaries vs. monographs.

Topic Researching Within the Reference Room (conducted by Robin McCall)
Guidance on doing topic-specific research at UPSem (such as researching the Black church in America, or house churches, or art history on the Psalms as a type of biblical exegesis)