The Rules; or what Gibbs has to do with Research.

by Anna Blanch on February 12, 2010

I’ve written elsewhere that I have a thing for triumph of the spirit movies, military movies, and crime fiction…. If you know me, or you’ve been hanging around Goannatree long enough, none of this will suprise you.

Gibbs has his rules. I have mine.

His are definitely more fun – but many of them also apply to research! You are going to have to wait a little longer for the Basics post on Research and Archival libraries but good things come to those who wait.

These are his:

  • Rule #1: Never let suspects stay together.
  • Rule #1: Never screw (over) your partner.
  • Rule #2: Always wear gloves at a crime scene.
  • Rule #3: Don’t believe what you’re told. Double check.
  • Rule #3: Never be unreachable.
  • Rule #4: If you have a secret, the best thing is to keep it to yourself. The second-best is to tell one other person if you must. There is no third-best.
  • Rule #7: Always be specific when you lie.
  • Rule #8: Never take anything for granted.
  • Rule #9: Never go anywhere without a knife.
  • Rule #18: It’s better to seek forgiveness than ask permission.
  • Rule #11: Leave when the job is done

  • Rule #12: Never date a co-worker.
  • Rule #13 Never, ever involve lawyers
  • Rule #15: Always work as a team.
  • Rule #22: Never, ever interrupt Gibbs in interrogation.
  • Rule #23: Never mess with a Marine’s coffee.
  • Rule #38: Your case, your lead.
  • Rule #?: Never say you’re sorry.
Mine are a whole lot nerdier! Not that I mind, spending time in research libraries is invigorating to me providing motivation for the hours of non-discovery. I tend to be quite productive in archival contexts. Outside of them I am still trying to find the most efficient reading location in my new work location – I’ve tried a few different locations but it turns out that i’ve become finicky about where I read….it’s a pity actually.
The last time i visited the National Library of Scotland (NLS) I pretty much broke all of my own rules! as frustrating as it was it reminded me that no matter how many times you do the same thing (visit research libraries) you still have to cover your bases.

Research 101: Make sure you have the requisite power cords for your laptop.
I must have been a little less awake than I realised as I threw (carefully placed) my laptop and cords into my bag the other morning as I ran out the door to catch the bus to the train station. Somehow I left the power adapter (converting my cord from Aus – UK) still in the wall. Now some libraries like you to use their converter but the NLS is not one of those libraries. Not that I knew that, I didn’t figure out i’d left it behind until i was on the 07:48 train. I decided it was probably good for me to own a second converter anyway – this way I leave one at the office and one at home. It was a good justification anyway!     – 0/1

Research 102 – make sure your Ipod is charged.
A charged Ipod and headphones makes for a far better day of research & train travel. I like to use headphones to block out ambient noise. I can concentrate far better in my own little world. This was my second rookie mistake for the day  – 0/2

I couldn’t believe I had broken two cardinal rules of research and i was only at Kirkcaldy (kerrshulldy). Oh yeah and no bananas (or Pears or Yoghurt containers) in your research bag. I had not one but twocleaning up squishy bananary messes is not a good ways to start the day.   – 0/3 FAIL

Despite the rocky start it ended up being a very successful research day. In fact, I hit the E.Nesbit motherlode north of the Tweed (Scottish border). No less than 258 copies of works by Nesbit!

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