One-to-One Research Support: Don’t know where to start? Don’t panic, the Library can help you


A cartoon of a person staring at a laptop in horror, hands on the side of their head.

Cemented, grounded, shipwrecked. There’s nothing worse than that feeling of being stuck with your research. It can assume many forms. Perhaps you’re overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the project, or mountain of literature you need to get through. Or maybe you’re underwhelmed by the lack of previous scholarship on your topic. Or, and this one is uniquely frustrating, you are immobilised by the creeping feeling that you have seen the exact data you need before, but you cannot locate it.


Hindered, blocked, frustrated. This can happen to anyone. One moment you’re making progress and the next you are questioning the purpose of your research entirely. Discovering some new sources or learning about new tools to help you organise your citations and notes might be just the tonic to revive you.


High performing, advancing. You’re already operating like a well-oiled research machine! But there’s always room for improvement. Do you need to level up your searching efficiency or develop future-proof data management practices?

Whatever stage you are at with your research, the Library’s Research Support team can help. We offer one to one or small group sessions for research postgraduates or academics who would like to know how the resources available through the Library can support their research.

Each session will be tailored to suit your own specific needs and can include:

  • discovering and exploiting the best resources for your research area, from print collections to online journals and databases
  • developing strategies for more systematic literature searching
  • getting organised with reference management software
  • building a data management plan for your project

Archives anxiety

Our fantastic Special Collections team, based over at The Keep, also offer researchers who would like support using archives (even if you won’t be using archives held at The Keep). These practical sessions can cover:

  • identifying archives and special collections for your research area
  • how to search archival catalogues most effectively
  • what to expect when visiting an archive and what to prepare in advance

Feel the Library love

We are really proud of our one-to-one support service, with 100% of surveyed participants saying that they would recommend the service to other researchers. It’s immensely rewarding getting to help researchers – and absolutely fascinating to get a close look at the breadth of research taking place across the institution.

We know about our resources and can help you make the most of them, but you are the expert on your own research, so these sessions are really a collaboration and an opportunity to build on knowledge. Don’t take my word for it, check out this blogpost on a previous Hive Scholar’s experience of the service.

You can book a one-to-one via the Support for researchers Library webpage.

A 1970s style animated gif of books and the slogan, 'When in doubt go to the Library'.