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Keeping a Research Journal

According to Fowler and Aaron’s The Little, Brown Handbook, ninth edition (R 808.042 F829L 2004), a research journal is a way “to keep track of your activities and ideas during research.” They suggest that you should “always carry index cards, a notebook, or a laptop computer to use a research journal, a place to record your activities and ideas” ( 607). The University of North Carolina at Asheville’s Ramsey Library has created an interesting version of the Research Journal, as an assignment. Their website gives hints for the journal format, with suggestions such as including the sources or databases consulted, as well as keywords or subject headings used in the search. According to the Ramsey Library site, this journal (1)provides students an opportunity to practice writing, (2)provides an introduction to how information is organized, and orients students to the library, (3)encourages students to think critically about evaluating quality of resources, and (4)provides practice using a bibliographic citation style.

Is There Useful Information About Research Journals Out There?

You will probably find that it is difficult, at best, to find books about keeping research journals in the library’s catalog (eLibrary). Therefore, you may decide to search the web for educational institutions that have posted definitions, descriptions, and examples of them on their webpages. Our suggestion would be for you to go to Google, the web’s most efficient search engine, and type in the following, spaces and quotation marks included:

“keeping a research journal” site:.eduThis will return some 130 hits.

We’ve done you the favor of finding a couple of sites that offer suggestions. This is a preliminary list and it will grow as time permits, so keep checking back for updates. Our suggested sites, as of September 23, 2005, are as follows:

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