Welcome SURP Students!


Librarian Cynthia Becht and Professor Leon Wiebers brought out vestments from last semester’s Spring exhibition to share with SURP students.

LMU’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) is designed to provide students with insight into the research process. Faculty mentors and librarians hold workshops and seminars throughout the summer to help SURP students build their research and presentation skills. This year, SURP runs from May 16, 2016 – June 24, 2016 and students are required to submit a research proposal or abstract by the end of week 6. Many of the SURP students will eventually complete their research and present at the Undergraduate Research Symposium next spring (2017). Some will even apply for the Undergraduate Library Research Award (hint, hint!) and perhaps win $1000!

As part of our collaboration with the Summer Undergraduate Research Program, librarians offer workshops to participating students. Here’s a quick review of what we’ve done so far.

1. Working with Google Scholar
Presentation by David Hardy, Associate Professor of Psychology, and Jennifer Masunaga, Reference Librarian (and Psychology Liaison).

Dr. David Hardy explained why and how he uses Google Scholar in his own research. Jennifer Masunaga talked about the mechanics of how to use Google Scholar to find articles and books.  She also highlighted the differences between using a library database vs. Google Scholar vs. regular Google.

Google Scholar combines the ease of Google with access to scholarly materials. Google Scholar searches the web for scholarly articles, abstracts and books, but not popular magazine, newspaper or internet articles. It allows you to search multiple formats across multiple disciplines in one search.

2. Working with Web of Science
Presentation by Emily Jarvis, Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Elisa Acosta, Library Instruction Coordinator.

Dr. Emily Jarvis spoke about how she conducts research, different genres of writing in the sciences, and the importance of a thorough literature review. She also shared her favorite databases and search tools: Google Scholar, SciFinder, CAS, INSPEC and Web of Science. Elisa Acosta explained how Web of Science is different from other library databases and defined jargon like: times cited, related records, cited references, “highly cited papers” and “hot papers.”

Students can use Web of Science to see if their source has been cited by others. Citation analysis or citation tracking is a way to see the impact of an article in its field. Also, it’s a great way to use a “landmark” or influential article to find more recent, related articles that cite the landmark article.


Librarian Elisa Acosta shared tips and tricks for using Web of Science for academic research with this year’s SURP participants.

3. Working with and in Archives
Presentation by Leon Wiebers, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts and Dance, and Cynthia Becht, Head of LMU’s Archives and Special Collections (and Theatre Liaison).

Professor Leon Wiebers and students in his Costume Research Methods course spent the Fall term investigating 19th century California Catholic vestments from William H. Hannon Library’s Department of Archives and Special Collections. Leon shared his research experiences and numerous visits to the LMU Archives and Special Collections, the Rancho Camulos Museum, and several other institutions in the area. (See image at top).

For more information about these past workshops, check out our SURP Research Guide