Please stop by our Circulation Desk for assistance with quick or simple inquiries. If you have questions regarding how to research your topic, please stop by or make an appointment with the Library Coordinator to discuss your research questions.

Conducting Thesis/Dissertation Research

Please see our Dissertation Resources page for more information on starting your thesis or dissertation, writing annotated bibliographies, theses or dissertation, how to cite using APA style, observe copyright and avoid plagiarism.

Concept Maps (brainstorming application for creating concept maps)
Handout: Concept Map (editable)

Search Strategies

Super Searcher Tutorial (Purdue University Library)
Boolean Operators (YouTube video)
Using Subject Headings vs Keywords (VA Tech Library Info Skills Module)
Got Too Many Search Results? (VA Tech Library Info Skills Module)
Got Too Few Search Results? (VA Tech Library Info Skills Module)
Handout: Search Strategy Worksheet (editable or PDF)

Research Logs

Research logs are helpful aids for managing the research process and tracking your progress. Use the research log template below to keep a detailed record of the resources you searched, the search strategies you used (includes search terms) and the number of search results you retrieved. Use the notes field to assess your results (what worked and what didn't) and formulate next steps. Keeping a log will also help to eliminate duplicate searching and will make it easier to update your research when necessary. You can also use it to document how and what you have researched for a thesis/dissertation advisor or other faculty member or librarian.
Handouts: Research Log Template (editable or PDF)

Citation management tools

You can manage and organize your reference citations using purchased software programs or free web-based tools. These may also be referred to as bibliographic management, reference management or citation management programs or tools.
Software program which costs approx. $115 (new) or $110 (upgrade) for students or $199.95 for faculty from online vendors. A free trial is available. Mobile version for EndNote Web now available.


Web-based tool which costs about $100 direct from the publisher. A free trial is available. Mobile access now availble via RefMobile.


Allows you to use your browser to download database records and extract information from web pages. You can then edit, organize and share your citations.
Web version: Firefox browser is available on all library PCs.

Sites supported: Amazon, EBSCO, Google Books, Google Scholar, ProQuest, PubMed, Sage, Wiley (Cochrane Library), WorldCat or any file exported in RIS file format

Quick Start Guide (includes video tour) | Screencast Tutorials | FAQ


Uses a FREE desktop program and a FREE web-based tool to index and organize your citations and PDF files.

Web version: Access on any library PC.
Mobile version: Can download an app for the iPhone or iPad.
Desktop version: Not available on library PCs. Download to your PC/laptop.
When the desktop program is opened, it syncs with the web version.

Databases supported: Amazon, APA PsycNET, EBSCO, Google Books, Google Scholar, PubMed, Sage, SSRN, Wiley (Cochrane Library), WorldCat

Getting Started | FAQ | Video & Tutorials

Research Consultations

The Forest Library offers a research consultation service to current Forest Institute faculty, staff or students who require assistance in identifying and using print and electronic resources available in the Library. This service is designed primarily for those with in-depth research paper topics or thesis/dissertation proposals who would like to discuss their research needs with a librarian Monday-Friday between 8:00am to 4:00pm. Appointments for research consultations should be made at least 24 hours in advance. The librarian will contact you to set up your appointment for an in-person or virtual consultation. Please let us know as soon as possible if you cannot make your scheduled appointment. The Library Coordinator will conduct the research consultation. Please complete and submit the online form.

Fee Databases

Depending on your topic, the Librarian can also search the fee-based service Dialog, which provides access to hundreds of other online databases in many disciplines (such as business, legal, medical, science and social science).