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Research Guide

Starting Your Research

This guide provides tips on how to:

  • explore the literature
  • find scholarly resources
  • set up alerts for your research topic
  • managing your references effectively
  • comply with copyright

Explore the Literature

The starting point for any research project always starts with a literature review.

Before you begin any research, think of the points below:

  • Identify the theme, scope, debates, and gaps in your research topic.
  • Search for relevant literature
  • The purpose and presentation of your literature review
  • Evaluate, plan, organise, and outline your workflow for an efficient and comprehensive literature review.

Our literature review guide will:

  • show you through the literature review process
  • show examples of other literature reviews
  • provide useful tips for writing a literature review
  • recommend tools for tracking searches and developing an effective search strategy

Head over to finding scholarly literature and other published and unpublished documents across all disciplines.

Once you have established your research topic and search strategy, you can create a list of keywords and use the alert service available in research databases to keep you up to date with new research on your topic – find out more about alerts for researchers.

Tips and tools for managing and organising your research and references are available.

Finding Scholarly Resources

UOW Malaysia KDU Library website contains databases, journals, and books, and includes a wide range of useful open-access content. Make good use of them to find peer-reviewed articles in your field and to identify gaps in the research.

Most subscribed databases provide additional functionality to enable you to:

  • save searches
  • set up search or journal alerts
  • export to reference management software such as Mendeley, EndNote, etc.

We also provide document delivery service for articles not available in our Library.

Subject guides

Our subject guides are available to help you find content relevant to your research, with lists of databases for major subject areas in each discipline.

Other Resources

These guides and resources will help you to find materials relevant to your research.

Alerts for Researchers

Setting up alerts allows you to:

  • keep up with the most recent publications in your field of study
  • receive notifications when your own publications are indexed or cited in a database
  • save time by eliminating the need to repeat typical searches
  • discover new research data from various databases and platforms

Journal Alerts

Keep up with the latest issues of your favourite search or journals by using journal alerts.

Table of contents (TOC) alert is often available via a journal's website. Additionally, you may create a journal alert using a database or TOC portal.

If you create a journal alert in an EBSCO database, you will receive an email notification whenever a new issue of a certain journal becomes available in that database.

The largest free collection of scholarly journal Table of Contents (TOCs). You can use Journal TOCs to search, browse and follow journals. Click on Help to find out how.

Citation Alerts

Set up an email alert to be alerted when your publication is mentioned.

  1. Search for the title of your paper.
  2. Click on the "cited by" link at the bottom of the search result.
  3. Click on the "create alert" envelope icon in the left sidebar of the search results page.
  4. Follow the prompts to set up a citation alert for your article.

Managing Your References

Reference management software (also known as "citation managers" or "bibliographic management software") can help you:

  • keep and organise all your research and writing references
  • create citations and bibliographies in the reference style of your choice
  • maintain academic integrity by avoiding plagiarism

There are numerous programs available, so select the one that best meets your requirements.

The library can teach you how to utilise Mendeley to make your research easier.


Understanding copyright is critical for reproducing other people's work, such as utilising tables, photos, data, diagrams, and so on.

Any work you make will also be protected by copyright or creative commons licences.

Manage Your Research

Discover how to:

  • create, review, and update your author profiles
  • find and manage research data

Author Profiles & Identities

Author profiles can be used to demonstrate your affiliation, academic outputs (publications), and research activity.

An accurate, public author profile:

  • raises the exposure of your publications
  • assists with your grant applications and marketing
  • makes the collection of your papers and citation-based metrics easier.

Check your author profile:

  • Is it easy to locate?
  • Is it current?
  • Would you be pleased with what a possible collaborator saw if they looked at your profile?

Use this table to review and update your author profiles.

Author profile
Public profile
Your publication
Scholarly impact metrics
ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) ORCID Yes Author managed No Make your ORCID work for you
Scopus Author ID Elsevier Yes Automatic import from Scopus Yes
  1. Search for an author and view their profile?
  2. How do I use the Author Feedback Wizard?
  3. How do I import Author details to ORCID?
Google Scholar Profile Google Scholar Yes Author managed Yes Google Scholar Profile Set Up
Octopus Octopus (Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)) Yes Author managed No FAQs

Research Data Management

Data management activities in research include data collection, organisation, storage, backup, preservation, sharing, archiving, and disposal.

Data created in research initiatives may be stored and retrieved for both present and future usage using good research data management procedures.

Finding Research Data

Use these repositories to find research data.

Google Dataset Search is a Google search engine that assists academics in locating publicly available web data.

An international consortium of more than 750 academic and research institutions.

Find research data repositories for specific disciplines.

Publish Your Research

Discover how to:

Journal Quality

There are numerous journals of various quality available, thus it is critical to select journals intelligently and publish your study in trustworthy sources.

What to consider when choosing a journal.

When selecting a publication to publish your research in, consider the following factors:

Other tools for assessing journals

Key Journal Metrics

What is it?
When should I use?
Where do I access it?
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) Uses an algorithm where citations are weighted, based on the prestige of the journal they come from When a journal is indexed in Scopus
Journals in disciplines with higher citation frequency (e.g. Life and Health Sciences) tend to have higher SJR values
Freely available from SCImago
MyCite Malaysian published journals in the fields of Sciences, Technology, Medicine, Social Sciences and the Humanities. Malaysian scholarly journals. Available from MyCite

Discipline-based Journal Rankings

European quality journal list for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Provides a range of rankings data for Economics, Finance, Accounting, Management, and Marketing journals.

Journal Finder Tools

Paste in your paper's title and/or abstract to match with appropriate journals.

Enter the details of your paper to get suggested journal matches.

Paste details of your abstract to find relevant Open Access journals.

Finds recommended IEEE publications based on keywords from your paper.

Journal/Author Name Estimator. Compare your paper's title and/or abstract with millions of others in PubMed to find matching articles, authors and journals.

Books and Conferences

Choosing a Book Publisher

The book publisher you select is determined by the sort of book you are publishing.

When choosing a book publisher:

  • Begin by compiling a list of credible publishers who publish books in your industry
  • Check WorldCat to discover whether libraries have current books from this publisher
  • Consider university presses
  • Look into the Malaysian Book Publishers Association (MABOPA)
  • Seek advice from peers who have written scholarly books and book chapters
  • Use the checklist at Think.Check.Submit. to determine if a publisher can be trusted

Useful links:

Choosing a Conference

Conferences present opportunities to:

  • publish
  • network with your peers
  • keep up to date with research in your field

Considering presenting your research at a conference?


  • whether or not the conference papers will be peer-evaluated
  • whether articles will be published in their whole or merely the abstract
  • use the checklist at Think.Check.Attend. to examine whether a conference can be trusted

Useful links for finding and assessing conferences:

Listings for over 100,000 conferences, conventions, trade shows, exhibits, expos and seminars from a wide range of disciplines.

Lists conferences by topic and country. You can set up conference alerts and link to conference websites.

Explore international conferences, workshops, exhibitions, and fairs.

A summary of genuine versus predatory conferences, followed by indicators that a conference or conference organiser may be predatory.

IEEE sponsors more than 1,800 annual conferences and events worldwide.

Discoverability & Open Access


How to improve the discoverability of your study:

  1. Publish in a journal that is indexed in significant disciplinary databases or citation databases such as Web of Science or Scopus.
  2. Manage your author profiles and identities so that your research activities and results are discoverable. It is critical to use the same name and form of your name for all published and unpublished research results.

Open Access Publishing


You can deposit your research in a variety of Open Access repositories, including:

Subject repositories

Repository directory

  • OpenDOAR - OpenDOAR is a global directory of Open Access repositories and their policies.

Open Access publishing

Finding Open Access journals

Publisher copyright policies & self-archiving information

Finding Open Access books

Open Access models

There are three main Open Access models, some of which attract fees:

  • Green OA: Authors can self-archive accepted manuscripts at the time of submission of the publication, via an institutional or subject repository.
  • Gold OA: Authors publish in an Open Access journal where free online access is available to all readers. Some OA journals require the author to pay a publication fee (Article Processing Charge – APC).
  • Hybrid OA: Authors pay a fee for their article to be made Open Access even though it is in a subscription journal.

Useful links:

How to Get an ISBN or ISSN for Your Publication

What are ISBNs & ISSNs?

ISBNs (International Standard Book Numbers) and ISSNs (International Standard Serial Numbers) are unique bibliographic reference numbers used to identify individual books, journals, multimedia and other published materials.

For example:

Book – The KDU story : droplet to ocean., ISBN: 9789834395612

Journal – Illawarra Unity, ISSN: 1327-8126

Get an ISBN for Your Publication

Applying for an ISBN from National Library of Malaysia (PNM)

  • Applying an ISBN from PNM is free of charge
  • Go to PNM website: https://www.pnm.gov.my/index.php/pages/view/961
  • Download and fill in form B1 (ISBN Program Registration Form) for first time requestor and register as publisher
  • Download and fill in form B2 (ISBN Application form) for ISBN application
  • Send an email to PNM ([email protected]) once everything is ready
  • After the first application and registration as a publisher, only form B2 is required for subsequent ISBN applications

Research Impact

Discover how to:

  • use metrics based on citations to highlight your study output.
  • discover evidence to support your research's real-world impact.
  • expand the significance of your research.

Resources by Publishers

Cambridge University Press
Author Hub

De Gruyter
For Journal Authors

Author Services

Oxford Academic

Emerald Publishing
Author Services

Harvard University Press
Resources for Authors

John Wiley
Author Services

Princeton University Press

Sage Publishing
Resources for Journal Authors, Editors and Reviewers

Authors & Editors

Taylor & Francis

The Lancet
For Authors

World Scientific
For Authors

Yale University Press
For Authors

Citation-based Metrics

Scholarly Impact

Measure your scholarly impact using citation-based metrics such as:

  • citation counts
  • journal quality indicators
  • h-index
  • other metrics

Use the Measuring Your Research Impact (MyRI) tutorial to understand and use citation-based metrics to benefit your research.

Key Citation-based Metrics

What it is
Where to find it
Citation count Number of times a publication has been cited by another research Google Scholar
Google Scholar
h-index An h-index of five means that an author has five publications that have been cited at least five times
Note: should only compare within same discipline and career-stage
Google Scholar Google Scholar
Citations per paper Total number of citations divided by total number of publications Dimensions
Journal metrics Journal citation-based measures such as Impact Factor, CiteScore, SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) etc.
Note: measures the impact of journals, not individual articles
See Journal quality section for more information

Alternative Metrics

Alternative metrics indicate the number of times a research output has been shared, discussed, or downloaded through online sources such as social networking sites, blogs, mainstream media, and reference managers. When compared to standard metrics, this data accumulates at a quicker rate.

Alternative metrics:

  • assist researchers in developing a narrative about their study for grant applications and marketing
  • create successful dissemination and engagement methods
  • allow researchers to delve deeper and investigate how people interact with their study.

If your research is available through Open Access, it's more likely to have alternative metrics through web sources.

Alternative metrics supplement typical citation-based measures and can be beneficial in subjects such as the humanities and social sciences, where traditional metrics may not be available or as valuable for demonstrating influence.

Other Tools:

Access to data for any publication with a DOI.

Free site where researchers join with their Twitter account and explore and see the online reach of their research.

Monitors and provides analytics of public mentions of work in social networks and on the web.

Find International Library holdings of your books.

Research Engagement and Increase Your Impact

Research impact is the contribution that research makes to the economy, society and environment, beyond the contribution to academic research (EI 2018 Framework).

Publish free and accessible versions of your work. This will boost the significance of your research because:

  • anyone can access your work without encountering paywalls.
  • anyone can use social media to reference your work.
  • other scholars throughout the world will be able to build on your work.
  • your work can be freely used in educational contexts by anyone.
  • search engines can locate your research on the internet.

Contact PGRC ([email protected]) for information on managing your publications. See discoverability and Open Access for how to make your research more discoverable.

Make your research data publicly available so you can:

  • contribute to a more robust knowledge economy
  • inspire other scholars to expand on your findings
  • promote collaboration
  • aid in the teaching of fresh researchers

Manage Your Name

Manage your author profiles and identities so all your research outputs are discoverable under the one name.

It is also critical to use the same spelling or form of your name in all published and unpublished research results.

Find the Right Journal for Your Article

Find journals that will maximise the impact of your research.

See journal quality and journal finder tools to learn how.

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