|Books and Call Numbers|
|Group Study Rooms|
|How Do I?|
|If We Don't Have It|
|Instead of Google|
|Mobile & Laptop Checkouts|
|Off Campus Access|
|Software in the Library|
|Why Use Databases|
When and Why: Do you have an assignment that says that you must use a certain number of library resources? You start at the library website▄but there are so many choices! It?s too confusing! Working with a librarian should always be your first step in academic research because A) your success is our number one goal, and B) Librarians are highly trained in research and can help you pick the best search strategies and choose the most useful kinds of sources.
When and Why: Use books when you need thorough and accurate understanding of a condition, place, person or event. (Keep in mind, books take at least a year to publish, so it's best to use articles when exploring recent events.)3˛4Books are great choices for getting a deep understanding. Think about it: how long is a book compared to a web page?
When and Why:
When you need to find high-quality articles from a variety of scholarly journals, magazines, or newspapers, databases are the most efficient way to search. Databases are huge collections of articles and other publications that have been carefully indexed to have searchable subjects and keywords. You can find practically any topic in databases, and you can choose from general academic databases that include thousands of full-text titles (meaning, you can see the whole article right there in the database), or more specific subject databases that focus on a broad topic like education, science, biography, literature, or almost anything you can think of. Best of all, these articles have gone through a publication process, meaning somebody has read and evaluated them before printing them in, say, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, or The Journal of Clinical Psychology. Now, think about things like Facebook, blogs, Wikipedia, and About.com and ask yourself: Who is the Internet?s editor?
When and Why: What does it mean when your professor says you must use a 'Peer Reviewed' or 'Scholarly' article? Simply put, scholarly articles are the building blocks to scientific and academic progress. They typically meet extremely high standards for publication. Take a look at a typical peer reviewed article. Peer Reviewed articles are typically published by researchers/professors. These articles build on prior research to expand collective knowledge. Therefore, a scholarly article will always have a Reference or Works Cited page. Readers of peer-reviewed articles rely on the information to make pretty important decisions. Think about it: would you want doctor to practice medicine based on information he got from WebMD?
When and Why: Like Wikipedia, reference articles provide a basic overview of a specific topic. These sources include dictionaries, handbooks and encyclopedias. Warning! Reference sources don't offer as much depth as articles and books so don't over-rely on them. Still, reference sources from library databases are vetted before publishing. Think about it: who can publish on Wikipedia?
When and Why:Newspaper articles are great options for two things: researching recent events and covering very focused or specific events. Reynolds Library offers access to hundreds of newspapers and billions of articles, so be prepared to conduct a focused search using lots of keywords. Using library newspaper databases is often a better choice than using the Internet for newspaper articles because we offer more complete access. Think about it: Have you ever clicked into an article via the Internet and then gotten a pop-up that you had to pay for it? With library databases, we have paid for your access up-front.