Legal Research: what we can (and can’t!) do in the library

This message is for full time LPC students only.

Today, you are being given your LegalResearch assignments for you to carry out over the next few weeks. During this time, because it is important that you carry out the research yourself, library staff are more limited than usual in the help we can give you.

Here’s the help we can give: We can show you where paper resources are on the shelves, and if they’re not there we will help you find them. We’ll also show you how the paper resources work (for example how to use their indexes and updating facilities). We’ll help you access online databases and show you how to navigate your way through them. If a database is not accessible, we’ll report it to IT for you.

It’s difficult to list comprehensively everything we CAN’T help you with, but the most important things are: we cannot answer any question which relates directly to the contents of your assignment, and we cannot help you to look research specific items, either online or paper-based. We can’t suggest search strategies or recommend particular sources to you. One particular point which often comes up: we aren’t allowed to tell you if your search is complete and you’ve done enough. One of the most important research skills is being able to decide this for yourself!

I can of course suggest a few other things to help you out: do go back and read your Research Guides which give you first rate advice on research strategies and guidance on using sources. If you’ve mislaid your copy, or think you may never have received one, ask in the library for another. Don’t forget to check the i-guides: these short animations are excellent. And I’ll still be holding workshops in the coming weeks, which you’re welcome to attend- you’ll understand that I can only answer questions if they’re not too specific!

I’d like to wish you the very best of success with your research assignment!


PS GDL students: the above does NOT apply to you; you can still ask us any questions you like.

Author: manchesterlawlibrary

One of seven centre libraries serving The University of Law

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