IFRA training Workshop: "Bibliographical research" by Dr Elodie Apard
On Tuesday 28th of February, IFRA set up its first research seminar of 2017 at the IFRA library, Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan. The seminar was intended for IFRA research fellows and followed a campaign for the renewal of our research fellowship programme. We were happy to receive a great number of registration requests for this event with diverse affiliations (peace and conflict studies, geography, anthropology, gender studies…). 18 people participated in this first session.
The seminar addressed critical issues of bibliographical research. IFRA director Dr. Elodie Apard began the event with a roundtable and introduced IFRA’s missions and activities. Then, our librarian Rachel Fabunmi and documentalist Patrick Babalola presented the library and detailed conditions of access to our resources and catalogue. Dr. Apard subsequently showcased tenets of library research as a social scientist, picking up on examples in libraries across the world and distinguishing types of sources (grey literature, primary sources, etc.). Her explanations were followed by deputy director Dr. Emilie Guitard’s address on bibliographical research online.
She documented the available online catalogues and databases that researchers can rely on, foremost among them Google Scholars and Worldcat. She also insisted on the relevance of research platforms and networks exemplified by Academia and Research Gate. A practice session ensued, as participants were asked to use the aforementioned tools to locate items online for their own research.
After the break, Phd student Sara Panata and research associate Ismaël Maazaz introduced Zotero, a free and user-friendly research and data management software that participants had been asked to install. As they underlined, researchers can use Zotero to create their own reference lists and bibliography manually or based on online databases. This part was interactive: participants were assisted step by step in their discovery of the various functions of the software.
The session ended on a positive note, with participants enthusiastically expressing their satisfaction and adding they were looking forward to the next one, which will be dedicated to quoting and referencing in Academic writing.