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Research Guides | Library | Amherst College

The Research Process


This guide will help you think through aspects of the research process, understanding that "research" can mean very different things depending on discipline (particularly in STEM and creative research), audience, and goals. 

  • Keeping a research journal is a great practice to get into for any project; you can keep track of sources and searches, in addition to notes about what you tried, questions you have, permanent links to database searches, and possible next steps. 
  • Download Zotero, which saves citations and PDFs with one click, lets you take notes, and formats a bibliography right in Word or Google Docs.
  • Use the menu on the left to learn more, and look for activities, tools, and checkpoints in each section. 

Get Research Help

Ask at the Reference Desk (or via chat — click on the Mammoth!)  Frost Library Reference Desk

Academic year hours:

Monday - Thursday 11 am - 9 pm, Friday 11 am - 5 pm 
(or whenever the Mammoth isn't skeletal)

Make a research appointment to meet individually (via Zoom) with a Research & Instruction librarian. Contact a specific subject librarian directly, or email us at

Have a question about your library account? Email or see our full contact list.

Need to get started right away? Try our Research Guides for every subject.