your friendly reference/instructional librarian, and I'm here
to help you!
How to get help:
Reference sources are a good
place to start your research. What is a reference source?
A reference source is something you consult for a specific piece
of information, not something you read from cover to cover.
Reference sources include encyclopedias, dictionaries,
handbooks, thesauri, atlases, almanacs, directories, etc.
Blackwell Library's reference collection is located on the main
floor. Consult the
Congress Classification outline to see the call number area
for your topic.
Why can't I just use Wikipedia, you ask? Well, anybody and
their brother can get on Wikipedia and write whatever they want,
for starters! Plus, there are tons of more reliable,
authoritative sources out there for you to use.
Find books in Blackwell Library
online library catalog.
Books in our library are arranged using
Library of Congress Classification.
The books you can check out are located on the second floor of
the library. If you ever have trouble finding a book you want,
PLEASE ask for help at the Research Desk!
You can also find books
in other USMAI Libraries
by selecting the "choose campus" link at the top of the catalog
page and then selecting "USMAI All Campuses." When you find a
book you want that is not in Blackwell, click the "request"
button and use your ID number to login. You can have the book
delivered to Blackwell within 3 or 4 days.
This tutorial shows you how it's done!
Before searching for articles you should watch this 6
minute video tutorial:
Portfolio Assignment Tutorial
Why should you
use the library databases and not Google
to find articles?
Most of the time,
scholarly publications are not
available to the general public, nor are they
available for free on the internet. Individuals or
organizations (such as a library) subscribe to these
publications. Because subscriptions are expensive, many
choose to access this content through libraries.
Often, content from
scholarly journals is indexed in databases that
the library subscribes
to. The content is on the web, but it is not accessible unless
you are affiliated with the institution that
is subscribing. It isn’t the same thing as just finding a
website through a regular Google search.
Sometimes the full text of the article is available
through the database; other times it is only a citation to the
article and you will need to find the print version of the
article in the library or order the article through interlibrary
loan if we don’t subscribe to it.
So, basically what
I'm saying is that the only way you can access this scholarly
information for free is by using the library databases!
This database will be useful for finding scholarly articles
for the Journal Portfolio Assignment and the Group Powerpoint
You will be asked to log in with your Gull Card barcode number
if you are off campus.)
Communication & Mass Media Complete - our new database
for Communication and Media studies! An EBSCO database
like Academic Search Complete, you will find both scholarly,
popular and trade sources as well as full text and
For the Intercultural
Briefing Memo or the Public Speaking Assignment, try one of the
following databases to locate newspaper and magazine articles:
Academic Search Complete
- a multidisciplinary database from EBSCO with a mix of scholarly and
popular resources, a lot of full-text and Find It links when there is no
Business Source Premier - company, industry, business
information with the familiar EBSCO interface.
Lexis-Nexis Academic -
this database contains full-text world news, legal and business information.
- a collection of full-text major newspapers including The New York Times
and Washington Post.
WHAT DOES THAT CUTE LITTLE FIND IT BUTTON DO, ANYWAY?
It's a bit like magic,
really. The Find It button does three things:
Looks in all of our
databases to see if the document you want is available
full-text in another of our databases. If so, it links you
Links you to the library
catalog when we have the item you want in print or
Links you to ILLiad
(interlibrary loan) so you can borrow the item from another
library if we don't have access electronically or in print.
The Find It button is YOUR
tutorial lets you see the FIND IT BUTTON in action!
this tutorial gives you a little insight about Interlibrary
Scholarly V. Popular Sources: A Showdown!
Here are the basics:
(Check out this
chart for more information!)
glossy, pretty pages
with lots of advertisements and pictures
written by hired
reporters for a general audience
short, easily read
looking - very few pictures or advertisements
written by experts
in the field and reviewed by other scholars before
long articles with
citations and bibliographies at the end
And about literature reviews!
Some links for you to check out:
sure that internet resources are appropriate for your project.
Look at the criteria listed on this
website. If you
have questions about the appropriateness of a website, please
check with your professor or a librarian.
Citing your work
is not cool. Of course you want to make
sure you give proper credit to any source that you use to write
your papers, whether you directly quote or paraphrase.
guide helps students understand what plagiarism is and how to
This guide should help you cite your work.
really like the guide by the
Most of the articles you'll be citing
will be from databases, so you can follow this example:
Article From a Database
Please note: APA states that including database information
in citations is not necessary because databases change over time (p. 192).
However, the OWL still includes information about databases for those users who
need database information.
When referencing a print article obtained from an online database (such as a
database in the library), provide appropriate print citation information
(formatted just like a "normal" print citation would be for that type of work).
By providing this information, you allow people to retrieve the print version if
they do not have access to the database from which you retrieved the article.
You can also include the item number or accession number in parentheses at the
end, but the APA manual says that this is not required.
For articles that are easily located, do not provide database information. If
the article is difficult to locate, then you can provide database information.
Only use retrieval dates if the source could change, such as Wikis. For more
about citing articles retrieved from electronic databases, see pages 187-192 of
the Publication Manual.
Smyth, A. M., Parker, A. L., & Pease, D. L. (2002). A
study of enjoyment of peas. Journal of Abnormal Eating, 8(3),