Category: Research Paper
An important part of your master’s education is the writing of your final master’s qualifying research paper (also called a master’s thesis). To aid you in this process we have assembled the following guidelines.
Qualifying research papers fall into two categories, those based on laboratory research and those based on library research. Both types are mentored by a faculty member or principal investigator of a research laboratory sought by the student. For laboratory research, the student will write the paper based on original experimental results obtained in the laboratory of the mentor. For a library-based thesis, after selection of a suitable topic by the student and mentor, the student will research the topic by reading and analyzing original literature on the subject, and then prepare a substantive analysis that will constitute the paper. All qualifying papers are graded "Pass", "Pass with Distinction" or "Fail". Further information can be found at http://www.biology.as.nyu.edu/object/graduate.ms.generalbio.
Qualifying papers in the Department of Biology should follow the structure of the types of papers that appear in the journal Cell. Laboratory research based papers should be modeled after a Cell research style articles and library research based papers should be modeled after Cell review style articles. Some example articles are listed in the notes for you to access through the library. The Department of Biology also has copies of Cell available to look through.
Limited to 200 words or less. Should summarize the main findings of your research.
The introduction provides background information on the field of study and includes references to previously published works. You are describing where the research has come to this point.
This section should be well developed/detailed and include all the laboratory techniques that you performed to obtain your results.
No methods section.
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BY 70 Library Research Paper
Length. 3-4 double spaced typewritten pages with standard margins and 12 font
Topic. Student choice but must apply to embryology/development
(examples: blastomere separation, congenital malformations, infertility, advances in reproductive biology, environmental teratogens and their effects, nuclear transplantation - cloning, growth factors in development and cancer, stem cell research, tissue engineering and organogenesis In utero gene therapy, limb bud development, alpha fetoprotein, birth defects, etc.)
Format: Must include a bibliography with at least two current (within the last 5 years) articles from a scientific publication. Avoid using direct quotes. Instead, read your references, understand them, and write your paper in you own words. Remember to cite the source of any information within the body of your paper. Even if you do not quote directly, you need to tell the reader where the information came from by giving the last name of the author(s) and the year of publication of the reference in parentheses at the end of the sentence or paragraph in your paper.
Tips for Researching:
You can find Academic Search Engines on the SCCC Library Website
Infotrac onefile is a search engine that will provide you articles from scientific journals. You can limit your search to complete text online or just abstracts you will get the Author, Date, Title, Journal name, volume and page numbers and go to a library and find the article in print.
Using the Internet for Research
Before you attempt to use the Internet to research your paper, you should realize that anyone with the right software and access to the Internet can publish a document on the Web, regardless of the accuracy of the information. Another concern is that the Web pages may be altered, moved or deleted at any time. Future readers of your paper may not be able to find the same version of your source or at the same location where you found it. If the information in a Web page is available as a print publication, it may be better to find and cite the printed version. To gauge the appropriateness of a Web page, consider the guidelines posted by Craig Branham from the English Department at Saint Louis University (http://www.slu.edu/departments/english/research/page01.html ).
Not sure how to do research on the Internet? Look at the online tutorial created by the Library of Monash University http://www.lib.monash.edu.au/vl/www/wwwcon.htm
Rules for citation can be found in Columbia Guide to Online Style by Janice R. Walker and Todd Taylor. http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cup/cgos/idx_basic.html
A good place to begin your research is the Library Catalog. which is an electronic database of all material owned by the UB libraries. This includes books, DVDs, CDs, government documents, journal titles, musical scores and more.
The four main ways to search the catalog are keyword/all fields, subject, title and author. A keyword or all fields search retrieves the most results because it searches for the word (s) throughout the entire catalog. A subject search is more focused because it looks for the word in a specific field. If you know of an important author or book title in your field of study, you can search specifically for them.
All Field/Keyword Search:
For specific searching tips go to the Creating a Search Strategy page.
To request books that are not available in the catalog use Delivery+.
You need to evaluate the information you are finding. It is an essential part of the research process! Consider these five criteria:
Articles are found in periodical publications, issued on a regular or "periodic" basis (daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly). These include newspapers, popular magazines, and academic or scholarly journals. Scholarly articles are usually the most appropriate source of information for academic research.
Searching for Articles
Full-text articles are found in two main formats: print and electronic. The UB Libraries have vast collections of print journals and also provide electronic access to even larger numbers of journals through full-text databases.
For A Known Article
If you know the periodical title, volume number and page number for an article of interest, follow the instructions below.
Search the E-Journals tab by doing a title search for the title of the periodical. Do not search for the title of the article. Some databases will identify the journal title as " Source ".
If the article is not available electronically, retry your journal title search in the libraries' catalog.
Using Databases to Find Articles
A database is a collection of organized data that can be used to quickly retrieve information. Most databases owned by the University Libraries are electronic periodical indexes of citations, abstracts, or full-text periodical articles from thousands of magazines, journals, newspapers, historical documents, or other literary works.
The University Libraries subscribe to over 300 databases and electronic information products. Several of the most frequently used general databases are Academic Search Complete. JSTOR. and MasterFILE Premier. These databases contain full-text articles or citations to articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers. However, these are only a handful of the databases you have access to through the University Libraries.
How Do I Select Which Database to Use?
To identify a database in your field of study go to the UB Libraries Resources by Subject page where you can find subject-specific databases recommended by UB librarians.
How Do I Search Databases?
Enter your search terms in the text boxes and click “Search.”
Article citations include important information about that specific article: author, article title, publication title, volume, date and pages. You will need this information when you cite the article in your research.
Locating Full Text
When full text is immediately available:
Many of the articles you find in library databases are available in full text and can be viewed online either in Adobe Acrobat PDF format or in HTML format. In cases where the full text is not immediately available you may see links to where it can be found in other databases.
When full text is not immediately available click on the “Search for Article” link:
Another window will open either showing you where the article can be found online:
Telling you to search the Libraries’ catalog to see if the item is available in print:
***If you have a known item, a citation for a specific article, you can search the catalog by the title of the journal to see if the UB Libraries owns the journal in print:
Refining Your Search
Many databases offer the capability of refining a search after it’s been completed: by date, full text availability, by type etc. Here is what the “refine” section looks like in an EBSCOhost database:
Emailing, Printing and Saving
Most databases provide options such as emailing, printing or saving articles or citations. Once you click on the title of an article,
You will see the choices on the far right of the screen:
For Journals Not Available at UB
If the article or any other material that you are looking for is not available at UB, request the article through Delivery+.
Evaluating Journal Articles
Articles in databases have already been published, and have gone through a review and editing process, unlike web sites. But it is still a good idea to evaluate them.
For more detailed descriptions of various forms of periodicals, go to Periodicals by Type .
It is important to understand that the information found in databases such as LexisNexis Academic or Factiva is not the same as the information found on the Web. A great deal of time, effort, and money is spent to purchase, collect, and organize the scholarly data found in these and other databases provided by the University Libraries. In contrast, because of its free and open nature, there is little to no organization involved in Web information resources. Therefore, many instructors will require that the Web not be used to collect information for research assignments. It is recommended that when doing research, UB databases be used before seeking information from the Web. While the Web often provides useful and reliable information, it must be used with discretion.
Search engines are the most common tools people use to search the Web. They are indexed by computerized "spider" programs that crawl through the Web searching for new Web pages to add to their listings. Most general search engines have millions of indexed pages which are not organized into any discernible order. This often leads to the returning of numerous records which may have nothing to do with your original search. Therefore, search engines are best used for specific references, general facts and information, or information about specific people or organizations. Examples of general search engines include:
If you already know the subject matter that you need to research, it might be better to start searching with a subject directory. Subject directories are indexed by the same "spider" programs as general search engines, however they are organized by human beings into subject specific hierarchies. Subject directories emphasize "quality over quantity", therefore there are smaller numbers of Web pages listed in subject directories than search engines. Examples of subject directories include:
Basic Search Engine Tips
Evaluating Web Sites
Anything can be published on the Internet, so it is extremely important to critically evaluate Web sites.
Reports of research studies usually follow the IMRAD format. IMRAD ( I ntroduction, Methods, Results, [and] Discussion) is a mnemonic for the major components of a scientific paper. These elements are included in the overall structure outlined below.
Title: Tells the reader what to expect in the paper.
Author(s): Most papers are written by one or two primary authors. The remaining authors have reviewed the work and/or aided in study design or data analysis (International Committee of Medical Editors, 1997). Check the Instructions to Authors for the target journal for specifics about authorship.
Keywords [according to the journal]
Corresponding Author: Full name and affiliation for the primary contact author for persons who have questions about the research.
Financial & Equipment Support [if needed]: Specific information about organizations, agencies, or companies that supported the research.
Conflicts of Interest [if needed]: List and explain any conflicts of interest.
II. Abstract: “Structured abstract” has become the standard for research papers (introduction, objective, methods, results and conclusions), while reviews, case reports and other articles have non-structured abstracts. The abstract should be a summary/synopsis of the paper.
III. Introduction: The “why did you do the study”; setting the scene or laying the foundation or background for the paper.
IV. Methods: The “how did you do the study.”
Describe the --
Context and setting of the study
Specify the study design
Population (patients, etc. if applicable)
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The annual Loyola University Libraries Undergraduate Research Paper Award seeks to recognize and reward outstanding research conducted by undergraduate students at Loyola University Chicago. Any undergraduate in any discipline is invited to apply for the award, which will be judged by a cross-disciplinary panel of librarians and faculty members. The first and second prize winners will receive a $500 and $250 prize, respectively, which will be presented at the Loyola Undergraduate Research and Engagement Symposium, Saturday, April 16, 2016.
The Loyola University Libraries Research Paper Award judges not only the paper itself, butalso the author’s reflection on the research process, including the role of the library's resources and services. Submissions for the award will be evaluated based on the quality of the following: (1) faculty letter of support, (2) student research reflection statement, (3) the paper, and (4) the accompanying bibliography.
Application Rules & Procedure
Questions? Contact Paul Voelker at (773) 508-3949, (email@example.com ), or Stephen Macksey at (773) 508-2644 (firstname.lastname@example.org ).