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Library - University of Johannesburg Postgraduate and Research Guide: Home

This guide is intended to assist postgraduate students in finding the library and other information sources for supporting research.


A hearty welcome to you! This guide is your starting place for research. The UJ Library has a range of services and facilities dedicated for helping researchers to work efficiently. Whether you are a postgraduate student starting to work on your thesis , an early career researcher or an established academic, the guide will be your friendly companion to finding and effectively using the library and other resources for your research project.

The Research Cycle

The research cycle is rarely linear and often some (or all) stages will need to be revisited. Remember that different disciplines and  research topics may employ different approaches to research, which will impact on the process. Please note some  key considerations for each stage on the table below the research cycle. 


                                                                                                Image courtesy of the Curtin Library 

Develop a research question
A research question provides a focus and specifies the purpose of the research:
  • What is the problem, or topic, you wish to investigate?
  • Why is this important?
  • What background reading have you done? 
  • How will you focus your topic?
Select Methodology
The methodology establishes how you will conduct the research:
  • How will you approach the question?
  • What information do you need to address the question?
  • Which methodology or methodologies will you use?
  • What theoretical framing will be used (if appropriate)?
Design data collection and/or instruments
This design determines how you will collect the required information:
  • Do you have access to the necessary equipment?
  • What techniques will you use to collect the data?
  • What is your plan to manage the data?
  • How will you identify all the relevant collection?
Collect, test and analyze data
This process is often iterative and repeated many times:
  • What stages will be automated and what will be manual?
  • How will you break down, analyze and interpret the data?
Use findings 
The results from the analysis need to be interpreted and discussed:
  • How do the findings relate to existing literature?
  • Why are the findings significant or important?
  • What areas can you identify for further investigation?
  • How will you disseminate your research findings
Submit document for publication or examination
Once your manuscript has been prepared:
  • Who is your audience?
  • Where will you publish your findings?
  • How will you maximize the dissemination and impact of your research findings?


Faculty Librarian: Research

Ivy Segoe's picture
Ivy Segoe
University of Johannesburg Library, Auckland Park, Kingsway Campus
+27 11559 2031

Sayings about Research