your friendly research/instructional librarian, and I'm here
to help you!
How to get in touch with me:
can also get help 24 hours a day/7 days a week through the
Maryland AskUsNow chat reference service:
Reference sources are a good place to start your research.
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.
Check out the
Subject Guide for a list of reference tools!
These specific titles may be of assistance:
Encyclopedia of animal
Reference | QL750.3 .E53 2004
Animal behavior desk
reference ; a dictionary of animal
behavior, ecology, and evolution
Reference | QL750.3 .B37 2001
can't I just use Wikipedia?
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 using our
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!
Books from other USMAI
You can also borrow books from any of the USMAI affiliations 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.
short tutorial about how to do intercampus borrowing!
Books from Interlibrary
Interlibrary Loan is a great tool that
allows you to borrow a book from libraries outside the USMAI
system. Before you submit a request, make sure that we don't
own the book here at SU or at one of the other USMAI
institutions. If not, you can submit a request through
You can also search
Worldcat, which is a huge catalog of materials from
libraries all over the world. If the book you want is in a
library, chances are pretty good you will find it in Worldcat!
If you find the book you want and you know it is not available
at SU or any USMAI campus, then you can click the Find It button
and then request the book through Interlibrary Loan. The
advantage of doing it this way is that you don't have to fill in
all the information about the book!
Click here to go to the
Interlibrary Loan webpage.
short tutorial about how to use ILL!
Scholarly V. Popular Sources: A Showdown!
What exactly do you mean by scholarly?
Here are the basics: (Check out this
handy dandy 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
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!
Here are some databases where you will find both popular and scholarly articles:
Note: If you are off campus, you will
be prompted to log in with your Gull Card barcode number.
MULTIDISCIPLINARY & NEWSPAPERS:
Academic Search Premier
- 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 full-text
scholarly full-text resources; the newest documents are 3-5
years old. Religion journals in
this database too! Some tips: in Advanced
Search, choose the disciplines/subject areas which are
appropriate for your topic and limit your search to Articles
and also by date. Results are sorted by relevance, not
- this database contains full-text world news, legal and
- a collection of full-text major newspapers including
The New York Times and
Communication & Mass Media Complete -
database that is all about Communication and Media studies.
This database ROCKS and you will want to use it.
A lot. *
Com Abstracts - a smaller Communications-specific
database that is also useful for finding research in the
Humanities International Complete -
database covering the Humanities with quite a few
Communications journals included. You would also find
Religion journals in this database. *
PsycINFO - the gold standard database for psychology and
related fields. *
Social Sciences Abstracts - articles
and citations for interdisciplinary fields such as
addiction studies, anthropology, corrections, economics,
gender studies, gerontology, minority studies, political
sciences, psychology, sociology, and more *
*These EBSCO databases can
be searched simultaneously by checking them off in the "Choose
Databases" box on the main search screen in any EBSCO database.
This is where to click to get to
the Choose Databases box.
Find It Button
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
FRIEND!!! Here's a
tutorial showing how to use it!
You can also use the Citation
Linker, another fabulously cool tool. It is useful when you
are reading an article and it cites another article that looks
like it would be super useful for your research. You plug in
the citation information for that article and can find out how
to access it, whether it be electronically, physically in the
library, or through Interlibrary Loan. It works the same way as
Find It, but you don't have to be in a database.
Learn more about the
Here are some journals you might find
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
Here are some APA Citation Guides: