Dissertation research in lockdown: top tips

Researching for your dissertation but can’t get to the library? Lots of resources and services are still available – read on!

Tip 1: Search the Library Catalogue for ebooks. You can filter your search results so that you only see ebooks.

Library catalogue search for ebooks
Filtering a search to ebooks

Tip 2: Check the Library Guide for your subject. You’ll find a list of databases for finding journal articles and research, as well as other recommended websites.

Tip 3: Library doesn’t have the article you want? Use the Article Request service to get journal articles which the library doesn’t have. Articles are usually emailed in about 24 hours and the service is free to you. Register and make requests at http://stir.ac.uk/1s9

Tip 4: Book not in stock (or only in print)? Contact the library and we’ll buy an ebook if we can. Click on the Suggest a book link on the library catalogue.

Tip 5: Use Refworks software to store your references and produce a bibliography. You can access Refworks from the portal. There is lots of online help with Refworks and referencing in general.

If you need help, sign up for an online workshop on Refworks:

March 16th – 11.00 – 12.00

April 20th – 11.00 – 12.00

Sign up at https://canvas.stir.ac.uk/courses/694/pages/prepare-at-stirling-virtual-workshops

Refworks links on the portal
Access Refworks from the Resources tab on the portal

Tip 6: Look at a past dissertation if you can. The Library has a number of past dissertations in digital format (though not in every subject).

To find dissertations in the catalogue: Do a Books search for BA sociology, then filter your search to Stirling Theses, then Online Resources.

If you can come to the library, you can borrow print dissertations for a week using the Click and Collect service. Search as above, but don’t limit your search to Online Resources. Use the Click and Collect form to request it (select the Book form).

Library catalogue search for online dissertations
Searching for an online dissertation

Tip 7: Struggling with your research? Make an online appointment with a librarian. Go to the Library Guide for your subject to connect with your librarian and arrange a Teams appointment.

You can also sign up for an online workshop on Finding Resources:

March 23rd – 11.00-12.00

April 27th – 11.00 -12.00 

Sign up at https://canvas.stir.ac.uk/courses/694/pages/prepare-at-stirling-virtual-workshops

Helen Beardsley

Academic Liaison Librarian

One thought to “Dissertation research in lockdown: top tips”

  1. Thanks Helen, you mentioned exactly what I was looking for – sample Stirling dissertations ! Hopefully there are MA ones in there.

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