Honors English 106 ~ Fall 2006
Dr. Mary Kay Mulvaney
Locating Articles in Library Databases
What article databases should I use to find articles on my
~ Includes indexing, abstracting, and some full text for
magazine and journal articles.
~ Includes indexing, abstracting, and full text for a variety of magazines
Street Journal ~ full text from 1985 to present.
York Times ~ full text back to 1999. For older articles, try ProQuest
Historical Newspapers: New York Times, full text articles back to
Tribune ~ full text from 1985 to present.
- Lexis-Nexis Academic
~ accesses a variety of news and business sources, many of which are full
Source ~ full text from more than 100 U.S. and international newspapers.
Includes sources such as USA Today, the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The (London) Times, and transcripts from NPR's Morning Edition.
- Check out some of our other databases
for articles, if you aren't finding what you're looking for
- Find out about WebFeat -- like Dogpile,
but for databases!
This is only a description of an article -- where's the rest of it?
- Click the button
in the database.
- Search for the title of the journal or magazine in I-Share.
- For example, search for the title Teaching Tolerance.
- Click the link Check Availablility to get a listing of the volumes
- If you don't find the journal you need, take a look at the Alphabetical
List of Journals Online. You can also call or email the reference
department to inquire about a specific title or ask a question.
How can I get an article from another library?
- If you have already clicked on the
button, click on the "Go" button next to the words "Interlibrary
- Or, order your article using
this online form.
process takes 7 to 10 days, so leave yourself plenty of time.
How do I know whether an article is useful to me?
Is this a scholarly article or a popular article?
return to top
Locating Books in the A.C. Buehler Library
How do I find books on my topic?
- Use I-Share to find books held in the
Elmhurst College library as well as books owned by 64 other Illinois academic
and research libraries.
- Quick Searches
- A good way to start looking for books.
- You can either look for particular items (such as a particular title),
or you can do keywords searching.
- Use the main words describing your topic.
- For example, to find books about phonics, type the word phonics
(with or without capitals).
- The word phonics can be anywhere in the description of the item,
like the name of the publisher.
- To do a more focused search on, say, phonics and whole language learning,
select Boolean, and type in phonics and "whole learning"
- Browse Subject Searches
- A more precise way of searching.
- I-Share uses Library of Congress (LC) Subject Headings to arrange and
- Subject headings are very specific; you can guess what they might be,
but you can't make them up.
- Some examples of subject headings:
- Guided Keyword Searches
- Allow you more flexibility.
- Click the appropriate tab, and fill in the blanks as desired.
- You can change your searching options to look for either some or all of
the words you've typed in, and to look in different areas of the item's
- For example, select all of these and type eating disorders
How do I get a book that is not available in the library?
Some Helpful Book Series
- Current Controversies
- Contemporary World Issues
- Opposing Viewpoints
- Taking Sides
- These books discuss the pros and cons of a topic.
- To find books in these series, simply do a search for the title of the
series in I-Share.
- See above for more on I-Share.
Helpful Reference Sources
- The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, Reference R031 B862N 1991 ~
A good source of background information and bibliographies. Look up your topic
in the index to get started.
- An online collection of 150 reference books covering many disciplines. Click
here for a list of titles.
Virtual Reference Library - an online collection of reference books,
including Countries and Their Cultures, Dictionary of American History,
Encyclopedia of Sociology, Gale Encyclopedia of Everyday Law, among other
Researcher ~ An excellent source for current hot topics. Each individual
issue contains historical background, a timeline, current status, and potential
future developments. The bibliographies are especially helpful in finding
Statistical ~ Search
the Statistical Abstract of the United States and other resources for
statistics; also available online
- Encyclopedia of Business. Reference R650.103 E5
- The Encyclopedia of Civil Rights in America, Reference R323.1196
- Encyclopedia of Ethics. Reference R170.3 E56 2001
- Encyclopedia of Sociology, Reference R301.03 E56 2000
- Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women, Reference R305.403
How else can reference books help me?
- There are often bibliographies at the end of their articles;
these bibliographies can lead you to other useful books and articles.
- Reference books can also give a general overview of an
issue, discuss the sub-topics of a larger issues and define terms.
How can I find more reference books on my topic?
- Try browsing the Reference section.
- Browse the shelves around a particular book you like; call numbers tend
to keep books on similar topics together.
- Search Illinet Online using your search term combined
with the word "encyclopedia" or "dictionary."
return to top
a Search Engine
Not all search engines are created equal. Each
is designed differently, functions differently, searches different parts of
the Internet and gives different search results. How do you chose which one
First of all, maybe you might like to learn how
search engines work:
Search Engines What they Are,
How They Work, and Practical Suggestions for Getting the Most Out of Them
Then maybe you might like to learn about the differences
among search engines:
Search Engine Watch
- Describes some of the top search engines.
Next, you will choose one or more search engines
or meta search engines to use for your search:
Tools and Sites - brought to you by the librarians at Elmhurst College.
(return to top)
Not all search engines function the same. Reading the "help" or "tips"
screens will help you understand how a search engine functions and how to create
the most effective searches. Does your search engine allow the use of :
* Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT (world war one OR ww1 AND memoirs)
* Quotation marks " " to keep words in a phrase in order ("world
* Special symbols like +, *, ! or - for truncation, proximity, adjacent words
So now that you understand how to put words together in the search
engine, what words should you use?
*Try using language of the discipline or subject you are researching.
*Use terms that are narrow and precise - this helps eliminate "garbage
*Try to avoid terms with multiple meanings - the search engine doesn't know
which meaning you want.
*Synonyms are your best friends. If one term doesn't work, try another word
with a similar meaning.
(return to top)
An Internet Subject Directory is another tool that you can
use to locate resources on the Internet. It differs from a search engine in
Useful for a broad topic or idea
Useful for narrow topic or item
Links are organized by topic/subject
Links are disorganized and uncategorized
Smaller number of links to choose from
Millions of links to choose from
Links chosen for inclusion by live subject experts
Links retrieved by machines
Click on appropriate topic to find sites
Construct search to find sites
High-quality, high-content sites
Could be low-content, untrustworthy sites
Few pop-up or banner ads
Potentially lots of ads and commercial sites
Here are a few Internet subject directories that you can try out:
Librarians' Index to the Internet
WWW Virtual Librarian
(return to top)
Now that you know which search engine to use and how to construct an effective
search, how do you know if the sites that you have found are any good? Are they
for Evaluating Web Sites - from Cornell University Library
Critically About World Wide Web Resources - UCLA College Library
Don't forget to properly cite your Internet resources. It is an important part
of the research process.
& Citing - from the friendly librarians at Elmhurst College
- from the smart folks at Duke University Libraries
for Documenting Electronic Resources - from Purdue's Online Writing
RYT Hospital and Wayne Medical
Martin Luther King.Org
Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division
Writing, Citing and Evaluating Resources
I've found all this stuff -- now what?
Who's going to help me write this paper?
How do I do the citations at the end of my paper?
return to top
Created 20 October, 2003 by Ayanna Gaines, Assistant Reference
November 7, 2006
Paliatka, Assistant Reference Librarian
A.C. Buehler Library, Elmhurst College