research tidbits.jpg Welcome to Research Tidbits, a new monthly feature on the Inside Groove blog. Research Tidbits will highlight useful tips we’ve learned through the years at the Improve Group. Recently, Marian and I wrote an article on successful transitions in the K-12 education system that will be featured in our forthcoming Fall 2007 company newsletter. While doing some background research on this topic, I was delighted to find that I could download academic articles for free through my membership at the Minneapolis Public Library. This meant that I was able to access a number of academic journals, such as the American Journal of Evaluation, Evaluation & the Health Professions, and Evaluation Review, right at my desk! Any Minneapolis resident with a library card and a password can access these free resources online; however, non-members must go to the library to access them. Another free resource available to Minnesotans (with a library card) is the Electronic Library for Minnesotans (ELM). Patrons log in with a library card number (no password is needed) and have access to a number of peer-reviewed journals, as well as newspaper and magazine articles. For those without a library card, ELM also shows you how to contact your nearest library. Although the resources I’ve mentioned are specific to the Minneapolis and Minnesota Public Library systems, I encourage you to contact your local library to see what free resources are available for research. Like me, you might just be surprised at what you find!