Getting Started: Four Tools to LEAD Your Research


Digital research and scholarship is a developing and exciting field – and there are equally many new and exciting tools to choose from. LEAD (Locate, Enhance, Aggregate and Demonstrate) your research to success by using the platforms outlined below!

LOCATE primary sources using HathiTrust


First you’ll need primary sources to support your research, and here’s where HathiTrust can be handy. HathiTrust aggregates digitized collections between partnered research institutions as well as services like Google Books. As a result, there are over ten million items available to the public – and it’s continuing to grow. You can perform full-text and catalog searches on items like books, journals, and government documents.

The FSU community has full-text access and downloading with HathiTrust as well as privileges to download certain materials for further study. To login, click on the yellow “Log In” button on the homepage, select “FSU” from the drop-down menu, and click “Continue” to enter your FSUID and password. Once logged in, you can search and create your own public and private collections to gather works for easy access.

ENHANCE your research with secondary sources through BrowZine

Your research can always benefit with more sources. With BrowZine you can browse, read, and keep track of your favorite academic journals. Through BrowZine, FSU Libraries provide access to academic journals from publishers like Oxford, SAGE, Wiley and Elsevier and many more. Use the website or download the BrowZine App (available on Android and iOS) to read and collect journal articles on the go!

The website offers a simple, intuitive interface which makes searching and browsing journals easy by title, subject, or ISSN. To login, choose “FSU” from the list of libraries and just enter your FSUID login and password. Or, you can also browse the open access library. Create a free BrowZine account and create your own personal bookshelf of journals that you care to keep up with, be notified of when new articles are published, and export your articles to bibliographic management tools.

AGGREGATE your source material with Zotero


Speaking of bibliographic management, Zotero can help you organize and manage the sources you collect. Zotero is a free, open-source program that assists with the annotation and organization of research. Its many features include creating libraries, attaching or editing information to records, exporting to word processing programs, using tags to quickly find your sources, and more. Your citations can adapt to any style guide and be changed at any time – plus, turn your citations into a collaborative effort by setting up groups and inviting other users to your group.

Adding entries to your Zotero library is as simple as clicking an icon in your browser with a Firefox, Chrome, or Safari extension. Extracting metadata from HathiTrust and library search pages is just as simple too! The Firefox extension and standalone Zotero application are easy installations after the creation of a free Zotero account. Keep in mind free accounts have up to 300 MB of storage and there are premium options if more space is necessary – and, you will always have the ability to sync your information to make it accessible online and offline.

DEMONSTRATE your research with Omeka


Lastly, you’ll probably want a user-friendly way to feature your research. Try Omeka! Omeka is a web based, open source platform to display digital exhibits. You can host your own content by creating collections, which can include items like text files, images, and audio-visual materials. Omeka’s versatility includes the ability to build simple pages for your collection’s exhibit – no technical skills required, as there are plenty of templates and plugins to choose from!

Download the Omeka software or use and explore its wide variety of capabilities for your digital humanities projects. A free account, or the “Basic” plan, includes 500MB of storage, 1 website, 15 plugins, and 5 themes. While the Basic plan should be fine for most users, there are other plans available for more space and capacity. It’s a very do-it-yourself approach for displaying your scholarship online.

Looking for more information on these digital research tools?

FSU Libraries provides basic research guides with instructions for how to begin:

If you’re looking to get more hands-on, the Office of Digital Research and Scholarship (DRS) offers workshops and consultations on how to use a variety of digital research tools, including these four. Explore other tools using the Periodic Table of Digital Research Tools chart!

These tools are all readily available online to LEAD your digital research right now. They don’t necessarily have to be used together either – so try one, or try them all! Which one did you find most helpful? Let us know!

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