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Research Guides Standards and Best Practices

This guide will help you create a usable, readable and well designed guide for the University of New Hampshire. It lists standards, best practices, and guidelines to follow when creating and updating guides or webpages.


Guidelines for course guides, because of the narrowly focused audiences, must be considerably more flexible in design and style than any other pages. The principal focus should be on providing resources and instruction for a particular course, in consultation with faculty members. However, because course guides are also linked on portal pages, and some people outside the course will inevitably use them, authors should also make an effort to adhere to general design principles to ensure some consistency with the rest of the site.

Naming Conventions

In order for course guides to be displayed in course-alpha-numeric order, please follow the following naming conventions: 

Pattern:     Course Number - Course Name (Campus)

Example:    ENGL 401 - First-Year Writing (UNH Durham)

Course numbers and names can be found in the UNH Course Search tool:

Tips for Designing Course Guides

  • Rationale:  If there is a relevant research guide, determine if is there enough new and unique content to justify a course guide.
  • Profile: It is essential to have a profile box on all course guides. It might also be relevant to add details of other subject specialists ro librarians who might assist (especially for cross disciplinary topics).
  • Instructor Collaboration: It is important to work carefully with the course instructor. Make sure that you obtain a copy of the course syllabus and any relevant research assignments as the course guide is being designed.
  • Guide Title: the title of the course guide should mirror that of the course and should include the course number.
  • Citation Style: if a major assignment for the course is a research paper, consider including a tab/box detailing resources for the appropriate citation style.
  • Strongly consider inclusion of a tab/box for Zotero.