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Research Assistant Training

The Library offers training in advanced research skills to both current and aspiring student Research Assistants (RAs). Training is customized based on the skills and resources needed for the research project. Refer to the FAQs below for a list of possible topics. To arrange for training or for more information, please complete a training request form or contact your Subject Librarian directly

What can I get help with?

  • Conducting a literature review
  • Translating a research question into a search strategy
  • Identifying appropriate places to search
  • Organizing and sharing citations with tools like Mendeley or Zotero
  • Advanced search strategies like citation chaining
  • Accessing archival or primary source material and publishing
  • Locating hard-to-find sources like grey literature, statistics, and data sets
  • Possible research methods
  • Interlibrary loan requests
  • Sharing research findings through articles, conferences, posters, podcasts, and more
  • Managing the data you collect in your research
  • Archiving your research in a repository


Does the Library offer a dedicated workspace for Research Assistants?

Yes. During the spring and summer months Research Assistants working on campus have the option of reserving computer workstations located on the second floor of the Library. They can also book a locker on the main floor as a secure holding space for personal items as they work on campus. Go to the Book Our Spaces page for more details and to submit a booking.

NOTE: As of March 18, 2020 Library spaces temporarily closed for bookings due to COVID-19. Please check back for updates.

Do Research Assistants have specific borrowing privileges?

MRU students can borrow most Library materials for an entire semester to support their RA work. If you are traveling to other university campuses in Canada, pick up a free COPPUL card from the Library Service Desk before departing. This card allows you to borrow library materials from most Canadian university libraries. You may also wish to obtain a free TAL card, which allows you to borrow materials from most public and academic libraries in Alberta.

What should Research Assistants keep in mind when submitting loan requests?

Follow Copyright guidelines

If multiple chapters of a book are wanted request a loan of the book not copies of the chapters.

Tell us you are an RA and any other relevant details

Adding a note in your request such as "RA, any language, can wait" or just "RA" lets the ILL staff know the item requested is wanted regardless of what language it is or how long it will take Leaving out this information delays your request processing.

Coordinate with other RAs on your team

If multiple people are working on the same project having some method of tracking submitted requests is a good idea in order to reduce duplication of requests Try using a group Mendeley folder or a shared Google Drive document to keep organized.