Research Tools

About This Page

For the Library and Information Science student and others new to research, this page includes glossaries, sampling tools, information for those new to data analysis and writing & style guides.

Also see:

LIS Terminology

  • ODLIS – The Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science is provided by ABC-CLIO.
  • Glossary of Library Terms – The glossary is curated by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


  • Sampling is the process of selecting units (e.g., people, organizations) from a population of interest so that by studying the sample we may fairly generalize our results back to the population from which they were chosen. Read more at Social Research Methods'  Sampling page
  • Sample Size Calculator
  • Example of Sample Size calculation for the American Community Survey at the United States Census Bureau


  • Tools for Teaching – This site has tools for exploring correlation and calculating percentile rankings.
  • Institute for Digital Research at UCLA – This site includes resources to help understand and use statistical packages such as SPSS, R, MatLab and more.
  • About Data – This site had simple explanations of data analysis for beginners, including probability and statistics.
  • Quantitative data analysis - an introduction (.pdf) - From the United States General Accounting Office, the paper aims to illustrate a variety of statistical methods and bridge the gap between specialist and generalist.

Writing & Style Guides

Just for Fun

Working With Data

  • Data Curation Profile Tools - This resource offers help, support and camaraderie in exploring avenues to learn more about working with research data and the use of the Data Curation Profiles Toolkit. A Data Curation Profile is an outline of the “story” of a data set or collection, describing its origin and lifecycle within a research project.
  • Data Management and Publishing tools - From the Massachussetts Institute of Technology Libraries, this resource gives tips on managing/ documenting data, evaluating data needs, and more.

National Data Sources

Interested in describing the community around your research? Here are some national resources to get you started.

Other USA data sources from

Presentation tools

  • PowerPoint [Desktop resource] - the well-known slide show presentation program developed by Microsoft.
  • Google Presentation - [Online resource] a web-based presentation software which allows users to upload and share presentations on-the-go, synced to a Google account.
  • Slideshare - [Online resource] a web-based presentation software owned by LinkedIn which allows users to upload and share presentations, infographics, documents, videos, PDFs, and webinars.
  • Apple Keynote - [Desktop resource] Keynote for Mac is the native iOS presentation application,  which allows users to create and edit between Mac and iOS devices. It works with Microsoft PowerPoint as well.
  • Prezi [Online + desktop resource] - Prezi allows for animated presentations. The service allows users to present from your browser, desktop, iPad, or iPhone; users can create or edit on the go, then auto-sync across all devices.

Visualization tools

Use your research and create dynamic charts for online presentations.

  • Tableau - web-based and desktop-based applications for analytics and visualization.
  • - web-based application for non-designers to create infographics and visualizations without the need of programming or design skills.

Visualization Resource

Wong, Dona M. (2006). The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics: The Dos and Don'ts of Presenting Data, Facts, and Figures. New York: W W Norton & Company Incorporated, 2010


For questions about the content on this page - or any suggested additions to these resources - please contact the Office for Research & Statistics.