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Getting Started with Research at Shapiro Library

This guide discusses understanding information sources, formulating a topic and search phrase, where and how to search the library for information, how to evaluate sources, how to cite sources, and more.

Find Articles & Reports

Use Multi-Search to find books, articles, and more:

 About this Search

Please keep in mind that the Multi-Search searches many of the library's databases and electronic resources but NOT ALL OF THEM. If you have a very specialized subject that you are searching for or are having limited success using the Multi-Search, consider using our A - Z Database List or ask a librarian for assistance.

Most Useful For:
  • Searching many sources at once and saving time by "casting a wide net" instead of searching individual databases one at a time
  • Searching for a lot of different material types at once (e.g. books and ebooks, scholarly articles, newspapers, streaming video, etc.)
Cautions:
  • Can be overwhelming--searches that are not specific enough may bring back too many results
  • Doesn't search ALL library databases and electronic resources--users may miss some good sources if they only use Multi-Search

Our Recommendation:

Consider using the Multi-Search primarily when you 1. Are having trouble finding information on your topic 2. Are not sure where to start looking for information on your topic 3. Have a fairly specific topic in mind 4. Are interested in finding a wide variety of source types.

 

 A - Z Database List

The A - Z Database List allows users to find and search individual databases that the library subscribes to (as well as some open access databases). Users can view all the databases alphabetically, search for a database by title, or use the three drop downs on the A - Z Database List to search for databases by subject, type, or vendor. Wave over the icons next to each database for more information about each one.

Most Useful For:
  • Searching for resources within individual databases such as EBSCOhost, Project Muse, JSTOR, etc.
  • Determining which databases would be best for your research depending on the subject you are researching, the types of sources you need, or the vendor who provides the database
Cautions:
  • Requires users to search in each database individually to find sources--can be time consuming (with a few exceptions, e.g. EBSCOhost)
  • Requires users to determine which database would be most appropriate for their research--users who are unsure which database to use should ask a librarian

Our Recommendation:

Consider using the A - Z Database List primarily when you 1. Want to save time by searching in subject-specific, source type-specific, or vendor-specific database for sources 2. Have been given a recommended database to use by a professor or librarian 3. Have either a fairly specific topic or a broad topic in mind 4. Are interested in finding a wide variety of source types.

 Periodical Finder

The Periodical Finder allows users to search for an individual journal by title or ISSN number. Users can also browse journals by title or by subject. The Periodical Finder allows users to see if the library has access to a journal and if so, how much access we have to it (e.g. issues from ten years ago to today) and where they can access the journal (e.g. in a database vs. in our print collection).

Most Useful For:
  • Searching for individual journals by title, ISSN, or browsing journals by title or subject
  • Determining where to access a specific journal and how much access we have to a specific journal
Cautions:
  • Does not allow users to search within multiple journals at once (like a database does), rather to search for, access, and use individual journals (e.g. The Harvard Business Review)

Our Recommendation:

Consider using the Periodical Finder primarily when you: 1. Have a specific journal in mind that you'd like use 2. Want to know if we have access to a specific journal 3. Want to know if there are multiple access points for a journal 4. Want to browse all the journals we have an a particular subject (e.g. Biology)

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