Help prepare students for university level research with library instruction

The Patrick Power Library is here to assist instructors and help Saint Mary’s University students develop information literacy skills such as the ability to seek, retrieve, evaluate and use information sources. Library instruction opportunities include Academic Integrity Foundations, ResearchBase, and information literacy classes customized for individual courses and assignments.

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Library’s Successful Research Toolkit starts May 10

Are you a Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant or grad student who would benefit from research training? Sign up for the Research Toolkit workshops, happening virtually May 10-13.

Research assistants, teaching assistants, and graduate students, take note: the library’s Research Toolkit workshops are back!

Running next week, from May 10-13, the Research Toolkit workshops are a great opportunity for students to connect with information experts and with other students, as well as a chance to ask questions and expand their research skills and knowledge. This year’s line-up includes presentations on creating a literature review, finding and using data, and even includes two sessions from staff in the Software & Application Support Centre (SAS) on Microsoft Excel.

Here’s the full Research Toolkit – Spring 2021 Schedule:

Monday, May 10, 2021

11:00 – 12:15 Navigating the Library: Strategies for Successful Research – Heather Sanderson

This workshop will help you research more efficiently and get up to speed in new areas more quickly. It will discuss the research process and the ways faculty stay current in their fields. Topics covered include basic and advanced database skills, document delivery, journal and search alerts and more. This session will set you up for the sessions that follow.

2:00 – 3:15 Internet Expertise for Researchers 101 – Cindy Harrigan

This session will focus on how to find useful, quality information for academic or scholarly research, using Google and Google Scholar. Topics covered will include: Grey literature, search strategies, and tips on how to evaluate search results. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

11:00 – 12:15 Researching the Literature Review – Heather Sanderson

Building on the two previous sessions, this session will focus on the literature review: what they are, where they appear, how they are organized. Then we will cover several key tools and strategies, such as citation searching, that will help you be more comprehensive and systematic in your literature searches.

2:00 – 3:15 File Management and Introduction to Excel – Sarah Cooke and Matthew Salah (SAS)

In this workshop, participants will learn best practices for file naming and folder organization using Microsoft OneDrive. Participants will then be given an introductory tour through Microsoft Excel and learn basic skills like creating tables and using basic functions.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

11:00 – 12:15 Managing your Research with RefWorks – Cindy Harrigan

RefWorks is a citation management tool that enables you to manage bibliographic references as you research and automatically create bibliographies using a wide variety of citation styles. Topics covered in this session will include creating an account, setting up folders, adding references, generating bibliographies, inserting citations into an essay, and sharing your citations with other researchers.

2:00 – 3:15 Excelling with Excel: Beyond the Basics – Sarah Cooke and Matthew Salah (SAS)

In this workshop, participants will learn strategies for working with both qualitative and quantitative data in Excel. Participants will be introduced to advanced functions, data tools, and features that support statistical analysis.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

11:00 – 12:15 Show Me the Numbers: Stats and Data Discovery Tools to Support your Research – Joyce Thomson

This session will focus on key concepts and challenges in finding data and statistics for your research as well as several useful places and strategies to explore, particularly for survey data from Statistics Canada.

2:00 – 3:15 Scholarly Journal Quality and Open Access – Peter Webster

This session will focus on how to identify scholarly journal quality, a key skill for researchers and authors. Topics covered will include the various impact measures in use and strategies to identify the “best” articles in a subject area, as well as the benefits of open access and how to avoid predatory journals.

You can register for the workshops at

Still have questions? Contact Information Literacy Librarian, Heather Sanderson ( or Instructional Development Librarian, Cindy Harrigan ( for more info.