your friendly reference/instructional librarian, and
I'm here to help you!
Here's how to get in touch
with me when I'm not at the Research Services desk:
My hours at the Research
by and say hi! And, if those hours aren't convenient for you
(admittedly, they are EARLY!), then drop me an email so we can
set up an appointment in my office!
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. 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
of 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. And, I just can't resist sharing my favorite
Colbert Report clip about the downfalls of Wikipedia.
View it here (and please ignore the brief commercial at
Find books in Blackwell
Library using our
online library catalog.
Books in our library are arranged using
Library of Congress
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
from other USMAI Libraries.
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. View this
tutorial to see how it's done!
Borrow books from
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
Here is a
shows you how!
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.
Ask yourself if you need
scholarly sources or popular sources for your
assignment. Many times, your professor will insist on
scholarly sources. What does that mean? Find out using
We have several databases
you can use to search for journal, magazine, or
newspaper articles. Some of them only give a citation
to the article, and some have the full-text. Here is a
list of databases you might want to try. WARNING: these
links will only work from on campus. From off campus,
access databases through
tutorial shows you how!
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
scholarly full-text resources; the newest documents
are 3-5 years old.
- this database contains full-text world news, legal
and business information.
- a collection of full-text major newspapers
including The New York Times and
America: History and Life -
covers United States and Canadian history, both full
text articles and citations for others with Find-It
Business Source Premier -
company, industry, business information with the
familiar EBSCO interface.
International Affairs Online -
full text theory, research, and case studies on
Communication & Mass Media Complete - our new
database for Communication and Media studies! An
EBSCO database like Academic Search Premier, you
will find both scholarly, popular and trade sources
as well as full text and citations.
Weekly - Congressional
Quarterly Weekly - your opportunity to find out
what's going on in Congress!
ERIC - "Education Resources
Information Center," a database with full text
education articles and ERIC documents as well as
Find It links to non-full text resources.
GEOBASE - Resources on
geography, geology and ecology.
- 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
ScienceDirect - could be
useful for environmental conflict issues.
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 to it!
Links you to the
library catalog when we have the item you want in
print or microform.
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
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
Learn more about the
Citing your Work
Plagiarism 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.
helps students understand what plagiarism is and how to
For citation help, check out the SU's
Citation Style Guide.
I also have a fondness for the
Online Writing Lab
from Purdue University. It's very comprehensive!
Always make sure that internet resources are appropriate
for your project.
Look at the criteria listed on this
If you have questions about the appropriateness of a
website, please check with your professor or a
here for a list
of recommended websites for CADR topics.