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Tarleton State University Libraries Unit 3
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image of notebook and pencil   Research Logs help researchers formulate searches, modify searches, choose the best search tools, plan and organize research time, document resources, and retrace steps when needed.

No matter which search tool is used, keeping a research log that records research activities (sources, search terms, and outcomes) is a good idea. When creating a research log, you should keep track of
•  dates when you search,
•  where you search (places and the search tools you use),
•  search terms and strategies you use,
•  types of materials you find,
•  ideas to use during the next research session,
•  and other notes that will help your research time be more productive.

This example research log shows the basic categories of information that are usually recorded. However, this log will not fit all research activities and should be adjusted accordingly.

In addition to keeping a research log, you should use any or all of the following techniques to help you keep up with information you will need when documenting sources in your research projects:
•  print articles/citations that seem useful,
•  email articles/citations to yourself, and
•  take notes or make copies of bibliographic information during each research session.

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