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Develop research skills

Librarians can help you with personal information management skills including learning how to improve your research process, citation management, and working with specific kinds of software. 

Research skills


Introduction to citation management


More services


The Scholarly Commons

The Scholarly Commons, a unit of the University of Illinois Library, opened in August 2010 to serve the emerging needs of faculty, researchers and graduate students pursuing in-depth research and scholarly inquiry. We are a consultation space in the Main Library where experts are available to support exploration of new models for teaching, learning, and research in the contemporary academic environment. We also provide a sandbox to try advanced software and specialized hardware for tasks such as text-encoding, digitization, qualitative data analysis, geospatial, textual, and numeric data analysis, OCR, and Web usability.And finally, the Scholarly Commons is a virtual learning environment here on our website highlighting workshops, tips, tools, and recently published articles. Drop by Monday-Friday between 1pm-5pm or request a consultation.

The Learning Commons

The Learning Commons at the Undergraduate Library aims to extend the successful programs and services of the Undergraduate Library to meet the evolving learning, studying, research, and content creation needs of the 21st Century undergraduate student. The Learning Commons at the Undergraduate Library isn't separate from the Undergraduate Library, but an extension of its core values, and representation of its philosophical approach to library services & programs.

For the past 40 years, the Undergraduate Library has been the central hub of undergraduate research and learning on the University of Illinois Urbana campus. The LC@UGL is built on the principle that today's students need the library to not only be place where they can access the information resources they need to do their coursework, but a site that supports their entire research process, from engaging their curiosity through producing a final intellectual product-in whatever form they need that final project to take. 

Services provided include space for collaborative and single study, equipment and technology, media, digital display, and on-site experts to help with your research including campus-wide partners. Stop by and see us today!

Personal research consultation

Librarians are also available to assist with the planning and execution of your research. If you are pursuing research in which the help of a subject specialist may be useful, please visit the relevant  departmental library for your subject area. All departmental library websites contain information about the nature of their collections as well as the names and email addresses of librarians who can help with your research.

The Library also has experts in the  Scholarly Commons that can provide assistance with data services, copyright, scholarly communication issues, digitization, digital humanities, and much more!  Use our form to request a consultation

The Savvy Researcher

Most days during the fall and spring semesters, the Library's Savvy Researcher workshop series brings experts together with graduate students and faculty to explore various topics relevant to research and academic success. Usually 45-60 minutes long, the workshops provide an introduction to concepts and tools as well as helping make a contact with whom you could follow up for in-depth questions. All instructors will do their best to accommodate your unique research needs.

To view the current schedule, visit the Savvy Researcher calendar. Registration is requested by clicking on the date you want to attend. Classes are limited to 20 attendees. (A wait list of 5 people will kept and they will be notified the day before if space becomes available.) All classes are held in the Main Library, Room 314, unless otherwise noted. You can bring your own laptop or use one of our desktop computers for use during hands-on activities.

Also watch for weekly reminders about the Savvy Researcher series in the GradLinks e-mail and via Twitter from @ScholCommons.

Data Services

Data Services in the Scholarly Commons is a joint project of the University Library and Applied Technologies for Learning in the Arts and Sciences (ATLAS), and is available to everyone on campus. Services offered include:  acquiring data sets needed for teaching and research; locating, downloading and preparing data for secondary analysis; and identifying and creating course materials and teaching tools (including customized data sets drawn from various data repositories).

Spring 2012 Data Services Hours:

Walk in: 1:00-4:00 Tuesdays through Fridays during Spring Semester

Open Lab: 3:00-6:00 Wednesdays during Spring Semester in Library 314. More Information

E-mail: datagis@library.illinois.edu

Karen Hogenboom, Numeric and Spatial Data Librarian, hogenboo@illinois.edu

Software/hardware availability

The Scholarly Commons computers have a range of specialized software. Our computers are available on a walk-in basis to students, faculty, and staff. Our staff can assist users who are starting out using a new piece of software. Users also may find it helpful to use our facilities to determine of a piece of software is useful and worth purchasing for themselves. Special arrangements can also be made for short-term projects; however, we do not operate like a computer lab. If you have questions about our software or would like to reserve a workstation, please e-mail us.  

Learn more about the specialized software you need by using the campus subscription to Lynda tutorials. From the CITES webpage, "Lynda.com is widely recognized as the industry leader in online learning and their library contains over 1,200 courses and 73,000 tutorials organized by subject, software, and instructor. After you log in, you will have the full variety of lynda.com's titles at your fingertips. Taught by industry experts, these videos will be available 24/7 to accommodate your busy schedule and to allow you to learn at your own pace. Lynda.com offers training on leading software topics including Adobe products, Apple products, Microsoft products, Drupal, video editing, audio editing, using operating systems and much more. Many courses provide 7 to 8 hours of detailed information and are broken down into 5-15 minute segments so that you can stop watching at any time and easily return to where you left off."