EDLF 712
Research Techniques & Scholarship in the Digital Environment



"All that is necessary for a student is access to a library,
and directions in what order to read the books."

Thomas Jefferson

Course Number: EDLF 712
Course Credit: One Hour Credit
Course Name: Research Techniques & Scholarship in the Digital Environment
Class Time: 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm, Wednesday, Fall
Location: Education Library classroom, Room 302, Ruffner Hall
Textbooks: Required readings will be posted on the class Toolkit web site or put on Reserve in the library.


  • Kay A. Buchanan, Information Services Librarian
    Telephone: 434-982-2664
    Email:  kaybuchanan@virginia.edu
    Office Location: Ruffner Hall, Room 302A in the Education Library
    Office Hours: By chance or appointment

Course Goals:

  • To familiarize Ph.D. & Ed.D. candidates with the information landscape in the field of education, including resources aimed at researchers, practitioners, and the general public
  • To introduce them to the various tools, resources, and organizational concepts that will assist them with their research and publishing needs throughout their careers
  • To provide hands-on practice with databases, search engines, and other Internet tools
  • To enable students to select, locate, access, organize, retrieve, evaluate, preserve, interpret, and archive information in any format
  • To build skills and confidence in their abilities to locate information using a variety of tools
  • To develop the ability to evaluate information, and to present their findings in intellectual and practical settings
  • To familiarize the students with copyright laws, the steps in a literature review, the scholarly research cycle, and publication process in a digital world

Objectives: Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand how electronic databases are constructed, navigated and maintained and be able to effectively search databases using Boolean operators, correct search strategies and various software tools
  2. Be able to evaluate, categorize, and archive the information retrieved from databases
  3. Navigate the Internet using the World Wide Web in support of research and teaching needs
  4. Develop informed opinions on issues concerning higher education such as copyright and publishing.
  5. Become acquainted with the top journals and trade magazines in their field of specialization and understand how they are incorporated into the traditional scholarly publication cycle
  6. Become acquainted with the library's Digital Centers and Special Collections Department and where they fit into the role of a researcher
  7. Become acquainted with new technology tools used in research and teaching
  8. Be able to perform a literature review of print and electronic resources
  9. Be able to use bibliographic management software
  10. Know how to select journals in which to publish, be familiar with journal's publishing requirements, write effective article titles and abstracts, and sign name consistently

Course Requirements

  • EDLF 589 focuses on hands-on practice, group discussion, and tours. Consequently, it will be difficult to make up for time missed. Students are expected to attend all class sessions and to participate actively in discussion and activities. Contact the instructor immediately if you will not be able to attend a class. The instructor will make the final decision on a case-by-case basis about the opportunity for make up work and the acceptance of homework that is late. Missing more than 2 hours of the course is grounds for failure.

  • Pass/Fail

  • In-class lab activities
  • Outside class assignments such as: practicing database techniques, exploring resources, reading articles and providing feedback, etc.
  • Classroom discussion - active, informed, and constructive contributions are expected
  • Students will download articles into the bibliographic software RefWorks throughout the semester. At the end of the semester, the student will select citations and create a bibliography in APA which they will send in electronic format to the instructor. The bibliography should supply evidence demonstrating mastery of effective database searching and ability to select articles based on authoritative criteria. The records for individual articles should include information in the "notes" field such as partipants, effect size, design, results, definitions, quotations, statistics, matrixes, methodololgy, test, etc. The student will also submit a short paper outlining why they selected the various articles for inclusion on the bibliography.

Maintained by: Kay A. Buchanan, Information Services Librarian, University of Virginia
  • Last Modified: Wednesday, February 19, 2006
    1998 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia
    University of Virginia / Charlottesville, Virginia / 22903