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Finding a Faculty Mentor

Cultivating a strong and productive rapport with a faculty member stands as a pivotal component in the accomplishment of a fruitful research endeavor. Your objective is to identify a faculty member whose research aligns seamlessly with your own interests, and the Office of Student Research (OSR) is here to provide you with valuable support in this pursuit. The OSR has created a simple guide sheet plus email template to help you along your academic journey.

Finding a Faculty Mentor

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Research Fundamentals:

Research Basics - To view a helpful guide to help you get started with your research. This website will also provide you with support in the following:

  • Picking a research topic
  • Identifying keywords - How to use keywords to make your searches more effective
  • Find books to get an in depth and historical information about your topic
  • Citing your sources
  • Evaluating your information 
  • Much more...

Introduction to Research Guide

The Basic Research Cycle

  • Read and understand your research assignment.
  • Choose a manageable, interesting research topic and decide on keywords that convey the main ideas of the topic.
  • Use your keywords to search library databases to find books and articles.
  • Skim and evaluate your results, choosing the books/articles that most closely align with your topic and your assignment.
  • Read the book chapters / articles you chose and take notes. Let your ideas percolate.
  • At this point, you may need to go back and fill in some blanks in your understanding of your topic. Do some more searches, or ask a librarian for help!
  • Write your paper according to the assignment and your professor's instructions.
  • Cite all your sources using the citation style your professor requests.

Ethical Responsibility

  • Citing Your Sources - not all information is reliable, every researcher must uphold an ethical responsibility to evaluation the following:
    • Currency
    • Authority
    • Validity/Accuracy
    • Audience
    • Point of view (bias)
    • Purpose/context
  •  Evaluating your research is vital as not all information is reliable.

Penn State offers a wonderful rubric to evaluation resources for books, periodical and website, please see below:

Evaluating Information Rubric

Evaluating Information When Conducting Research

Research Tutorials

The John M. Pfau Library provides wonderful research tutorials ranging from

  • Beginning- (1st-year students or those new to college-level research)
  • Intermediate - (ideal for juniors or seniors)
  • Advance - (upper-division or graduate students already comfortable with research basics)

Critical Information Literacy Lab Video Tutorials

Community-based Research:

Community based research (CBR) is a partnership between CSUSB and organizations in the area. It allows both CSUSB and the community to enhance connections with those around them. Community-based research opportunities are available to CSUSB students through the Office of Community Engagement.

Council on Undergraduate Research:

The Council on Undergraduate Research hosts a Registry of Undergraduate Researchers to facilitate matchmaking between undergraduates who have research experience and a desire to pursue an advanced degree, with graduate schools seeking high-quality students who are well prepared for research.  The Registry is open to students and graduate schools in the fields of Anthropology/Archaeology, Arts/Humanities, Biology/Biochemistry, Business, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Economics, Education, Engineering, English and Linguistics, Environmental Studies, Geosciences, Health Professions, History, Journalism and Communications, Mathematics/Computer Science, Physics/ Astronomy, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work and Sociology. 

Institutional Review Board:

The Institutional Review Board's (IRB) mission is to protect the welfare and rights of human participants as subjects in research. IRB approval is required for research projects involving human subjects. Please visit IRB's website for more information about the requirements for the review process.


Internships are a wonderful opportunity to gain experience in your field and explore career options. Please see the OSR Internships page for a list of available internships.

Poster Preparation:

Many symposiums and conferences include poster sessions – an opportunity for participants to present their research on a large poster or trifold display board. See our suggestions on how to create professional-looking posters.

Research and Creative Activity (RCA) Database:

OSR has created a database to coordinate opportunities on campus. Faculty may post a request for student researchers or interns and students may search the database for opportunities that match their interests.


The Office of Student Research has hired a Peer Statistics Specialist to assist students with questions about SPSS, data analysis, survey design, and administration. Questions should be directed to

This recourse is no longer available.

Test Preparation Books:

Test prep books on the GMAT, GRE, CBEST, and other topics are available for checkout at the Office of Student Research, Chaparral Hall room 123. Students must present their Coyote ID at the time of checkout.

This recourse is no longer available.

University Centers:

CSUSB sponsors the following University Centers which are interdisciplinary in nature and are comprised of faculty from a number of different schools.  

Writing Center:

The CSUSB Writing Center provides one-on-one assistance with writing assignments for both undergraduate and graduate students. Editing specialists may be available through OSR in the future.


 Zotero Website is a software program that helps you cite and manage multiple resources in your papers. You can import and export citations to use in your text and bibliography, which allows you to focus more on your writing instead of the technical aspect of creating citations. It also allows you to save full-text sources as you research, so they will be easily accessible when you need to revisit them. Zotero is free for CSUSB students. Workshops on using Zotero are available through the Pfau Library.