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Getting Started -- Tips for Library Research

(Find books, journals, video etc. in the IU Libraries)

 






Top Recommended Resources

What you will find on this page:
  • What are these resources? 
  • Do I have to choose a category like "Catalogs" or "Articles?"  How can I tell what each category contains?
  • How do I use these resources? Are there some basic search techniques I should know?
  • How do I find it when it?s not full text?
  • How do I find a User Guide?
What are these resources? 

The IU Bloomington Libraries purchase subscriptions to many information tools and resources in a wide variety of subject areas. Some resources provide the full text of articles or even books while some provide citations to help you find the source of information in the IU Libraries or elsewhere. 

Do I have to choose a category such as "Catalogs" or "Articles?"  How can I tell what each category contains?

The resources are divided into several categories--Catalogs, Articles, Images, Digital Resources, and Reference Shelf.  You may choose one of these categories, but you do not have to do so.  The "Find Information" top page will allow you to search or browse all the databases, ejournals, and other electronic resources on the library's web site.

Here are descriptions of the categories:

Catalogs -- Use IUCAT to find books, journal titles, government documents, music, video, maps, and other materials owned by the Indiana University Libraries state wide.  Select OCLC's WorldCat, RLIN/Eureka, or catalogs of libraries from around the world to find materials the IUB Libraries do not own.

Articles -- Use indexes and databases to identify journal, magazine, and newspaper articles on a variety of topics.  Some indexes include links to the full text of articles.  Some resources also cover books, parts of books and other documents.

Images -- Find images, photos, maps and artwork.

Digital Resources -- Make connections to multimedia digital library resources, electronic books and texts, electronic journals, datasets, and more.

Reference Shelf -- Find information in online encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, statistical resources, address databases, and more.

How do I use these resources?

The Libraries create user guides for many resources.  When a user guide is not available, try the following basic search techniques.  These will work in most of the library resources. To use any database effectively, read the screens and use the help functions to find the answers to your questions. 

Basic Search Techniques

When combining search terms to narrow a search use Boolean Operators (AND, OR, and NOT).

AND
cookies and milk

will retrieve records which contain the word cookies and the word milk.

OR
caffeine or coffee
will retrieve records which contain the word caffeine or the word coffee. This operator is used to broaden the number of records retrieved.

NOT
chocolate not cake

will retrieve records which contain only the word chocolate but not the word cake. This operator is used to reduce the number of records retrieved.

You can also use a combination or keywords and operators with parentheses to adjust your search results.
Example: success and (education or employment)
will retrieve records which contain the word success and the word education OR the word employment.

Example: education and (career not jobs)
will retrieve records which contain the word education and the word career but NOT the word jobs.

How do I find it when it?s not full text?

Check IUCAT (the library catalog) to find out if the IUB Libraries have the item.   If you have a citation for an article or book chapter from a database, look for the source of the information in IUCAT. 

1. Go to IUCAT
2. Select Exact Search
3. Type in the name of the journal or newspaper (not the title of the article) or the name of the book (not the title of the chapter).
4. Select a library (optional)
5. Select ?title? for a book
or
Select ?Periodical Title? for a journal, magazine, or newspaper.
6. Check the catalog record for the location and call number and find the item in the library

NOTE: if the libraries don?t have the item that you need, request it through Document Delivery Services

EXAMPLES

Article Example:

Citation from Academic Search
Article title: Parents or Pop Culture?
Source: Childhood Education, Spring2002, Vol. 78 Issue 3, p161, 8p, 4 graphs
Author: Anderson, Kristin

Check IUCAT
1. Do an exact search in IUCAT for the periodical title Childhood Education.
2. Find the location and get the journal and find the article based on the information provided in the source.
3. Photocopy the article

Book Chapter Example:

Citation from MLA Bibliography
Title: Man without a Gun: Mamet, Masculinity, and Mystification
Author: Borden,-Diane-M.
Publication information:  p. 235-54 in Gender and Genre: Essays on David Mamet.

Check IUCAT
1. Do an exact search in IUCAT for the title Gender and Genre: Essays on David Mamet.
2. Find the location and check out the book.


Where can I find a handout or a user guide?

The Libraries have created a number of handouts and guides for the indexes and databases we make available.  Find these at:  
Instructional Publications and Handouts


 

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