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Research Process

This libguide walks the reader through the Information Search Process as outlined by Dr. Carol Kuhlthau.


  • Find the right keywords!
  • Quality is more important than quantity
  • Use a variety of sources

Step 5 - a deeper explanation

  • Gather useful information
  • Go broad
  • Go deep

A clearly articulated question gives direction to the Gather phase.  Gather sessions are designed to help students collect detailed information from a variety of sources.  This information engages them in learning about their inquiry question.  The Learning Team guides students in locating, evaluating, and using information that leads to deep learning.

The main task of the Gather phase is to guide learners to choose what is personally meaningful and compelling about their inquiry question in the information sources they find.  The Learning Team guides students in a structured approach for managing their search.  Students "go broad" to find a range of sources that are useful for understanding their inquiry question.  Students also "go deep" and choose a core of the most useful sources to read closely as they find connections and gain personal understanding.

Kuhlthau, Carol Collier, et al. “Guided Inquiry Design Framework.” Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century, 2nd ed., Libraries Unlimited, Santa Barbara, CA, 2015, pp. 57–57.