Tools used for research assignments

Students also interpreted this prompt in a wide variety of ways, most commonly sharing photos of computer access to library and internet resources. Workspaces were also considered as “tools” in some photos, and students gave careful consideration to the qualities of a location — crowding, noise, and availability during evening hours — when selecting (or settling for) it as a workspace.

Student: A lot of times I would use, when I am in school and I have to do research assignment, I’ll use the school computer.

Interviewer: And when you go on the computer what are the tools that you are using?

Student: The internet.

Interviewer: Yahoo is your favorite search engine?

Student: Yeah that’s my home page most of the time

–Brooklyn College student, Fall 2009

Student: This must be something I can’t live without. Or is it tools I use for research assignments? This is a tough one. So, this is either the tools I use for research assignments or something I can’t live without. ‘Cause I love Google. Everything that I know comes from… if it didn’t come from experiencing it, or somebody telling me it, it came from Google.

Interviewer: And are there other research tools you use for research assignments as well as Google?

Mmm, not really. Google I find is just more direct. You can type in anything you want and something will come up. I mean, I could go to the… I could go the database and look for what I need. But…I mean, it’s Google. You just…it’s one field, type in what you want and that’s it. I’m taking research classes now and, you know, some of my papers come from Journal of Neuroscience, other papers come from Nature, rather than going through each website, I just go to Google and it’ll show me a paper from all of those sites and I’ll pick what I want.

You can get the whole text of the articles form Google?

Well, once you get into the website, then you have to…then you may or may not get the whole text. You may have to subscribe or login. So…
I don’t look at the article. Or if I really, really need it I’ll tell my professor that I need it and have them send it to me. Because chances are that they have a subscription. Yeah, but I’m not gonna pay for subscription, I’m only in the class for a couple, what, like, three months?

–Hunter College student, Spring 2011

Student: When I do my research at night it would be through the Hunter database. But, what I like doing more is actually going to the library and getting, like, actual textbooks so I can mark them up. Not, you know… Like, post-its and those stickies that you put on them. For me, I like having something physical and looking at it.

And I see that you have here your cards from the New York Public Library. Do you use the public library a lot? 
Do you use them remotely?


–Hunter College student, Spring 2011

That’s a place where I also go to do research: the public library.

–Bronx Community College student, Spring 2011

I’m a SEEK student [a student support program]. And when you’re in a computer lab, it’s a small environment. So, whenever I’m doing research, I go there because you have someone there, at the computer desk. When you enter, you know, they greet you. But then, when you need help, they also help you with that. And they have the computers are there and they work extremely fast. So it’s like, it’s not like the computer lab on the 1st floor, with so many students there. So I do my best research there.

–City College student, Fall 2010

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