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Researching from home

Research Sans Frontières: resources for doing research from home

As a consequence of the significant impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on research, to assist CUE members in maintaining research productivity, we expanded some existing resources and created some additional ones so that our investigators could continue their research from home.

Research Resources

Research assistants

Students can still be of invaluable support while working from home. Please consider the use of internal and external grant funds to employ research assistants, as this is an eligible expense for research funds. We continue to encourage faculty members to include research assistants in their application budgets.

Off-campus library access

CUE faculty, staff and students can access CUE’s IT and online library resources off-campus. For resources requiring authentication, users log in using their CUE email and password. If you need specific access to a resource, or to obtain software or hardware for your research, please contact IT.

Many resources can be accessed via CUE’s library, including Scopus, Pubmed, Sage Journals, SpringerLink, Statistics Canada, UN Data, and Wiley Online.  Please visit the library’s website here. The Library has liaisons for each Faculty who can assist with your research, a list of which can be found here.

The library has prepared a variety of resources to assist researchers working off campus. Of particular interest are those related to accessing eBooks or interlibrary loans.  For information on how to access this resource, please watch this video tutorial on CUE eBooks. While the physical collections are currently unavailable and requests for such items cannot be filled at this time, interlibrary loans for electronic items, such as eBook chapters and journal articles, will continue as usual. Instructions on how to place an interlibrary loan request can be found in this video tutorial prepared by the library. For this, you will need your Library Barcode and PIN.

Additional insight and tips are available on the library’s blog, CUE Library Essentials, where you will find postings on a wide variety of topics, such as database searching. The library can also guide on how to correctly cite documents and on copyright matters.

CUE’s Scholarly Communications Librarian

Victoria Eke is available to:

  • Advise members of the CUE community on scholarly communications topics, such as determining whether a journal or publisher is predatory in nature and providing information about reputable open access journals and publishers.
  • Provide virtual reference services for using the library’s collections and resources, developing search strategies, and creating formal citations.
  • Provide virtual research support and feedback for search strategies.
  • Prepare online materials covering various aspects of information literacy, such as finding resources using the library’s catalogue and developing a search strategy for database searching.

For those interested in connecting, but who are unavailable during the above-mentioned time, Victoria is also available for one-on-one consultations. Please email her directly at victoria.eke@concordia.ab.ca to arrange an appointment.

IT and software resources

CUE’s IT has several resources that can facilitate research and working from home, including a very helpful helpdesk and knowledge database. There are also software options, some of which are free for CUE employees:

Jupyter. Jupyter is an integrative application that incorporates math, science and engineering tools, along with communication and visualization resources, in one web-based platform. It enables a broad suite of computing capabilities on any device that has an internet connection, for free. This platform has been developed by Cybera and the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS).

Office 365. Faculty are entitled to download and use Office 365 for up to 4 additional devices, in addition to their CUE-assigned computer. To access/download Office 365, please go to portal.office.com. Login with your CUE email address and password. Faculty are entitled to use the software as long as they are employed at CUE.

Reference management software.  Free software, such as Mendeley and Zotero, can help you manage references, but there are also other options available for purchase, including EndNote and RefWorks. Our SCL can provide additional information for you.

Spartan. There are various interfaces for this chemistry software, which can be consulted using this link. You can consult information on Spartan here. To obtain a copy, please contact IT.

SPSS. Powerful statistical analysis software that includes various useful modules, including graphing options. To obtain a copy, please contact IT.

Secure file storage. For this, CUE uses Alfresco. We know some people find it complex, but IT is happy to provide support for users, and has developed a guide with additional information on how to use it here.

Webinar series

Research Sans Frontières: how to be a productive researcher while working from home

The Office of Research Services is seeking input from investigators on potential topics to develop the webinar series “Research Sans Frontières: how to be a productive researcher while working from home”. The ORS would like to develop audiovisual materials that can benefit faculty members while off-campus (e.g., how to supervise Research Assistants online). This resource will expand as new content is incorporated and updated.

A variety of resources are already available on the library’s YouTube channel. However, Victoria will be happy to provide assistance by developing additional materials related to research activities off-campus (e.g., how to develop comprehensive search strategies and effective searching tips through virtual instruction). She will work with the Office of Research Services to create additional online resources and provide instruction to groups, with expert advice and guidance.

Developing online teaching resources

For researchers interested in investigating online teaching, Daniel Braun has been recently recruited by CUE to assist faculty members in their online teaching strategies, and has agreed to provide support to such investigations. For additional information on Daniel, please consult the Inside CUE news release.

Office of Research Services and Research at CUE

The ORS continues to strengthen CUE’s research culture and provide support for existing and upcoming grant applications and much more. The ORS continues to release important information via Inside CUE on a regular basis. Do not hesitate to contact us by email at research@concordia.ab.ca.