Blackwell Library

 

Holloway Hall

POSC360 - Environmental Politics -  Class Guide

Getting Help

Hi, I'm Gaylord Robb, 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 Services Desk:

  • Mondays 8am-12pm

  • Wednesdays 8am-10am

  • Thursdays 10am-12pm

  • Fridays 8am-10am

Stop 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!

You can also get help 24 hours a day/7 days a week through the Maryland AskUsNow chat reference service:  http://askusnow.info/

 


Background Info

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 Library 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 the beginning!):

http://www.comedycentral.com/motherload/index.jhtml?ml_video=72347

 


Finding Books

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 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.  This tutorial shows you how it's done!

Books from Interlibrary Loan/Worldcat

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 ILL Express

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.  Learn about how to use Interlibrary Loan by watching this short video tutorial.

 


Finding Articles & the Find It Button

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 this handy-dandy chart from Duke Libraries.

Here are some databases that may be useful for this class:

(Warning, these links will only work from on campus.  From off campus, go through Research Port. This tutorial shows you how!)

  • Academic Search Premier - a multidisciplinary database containing both scholarly and popular sources, many of which have full-text available.  ASP is a good place to start your research.  Use the FindIt button to locate articles that are not available full-text.
  • Lexis-Nexis Academic - a great source for full-text world news and legal information.
  • National Newspapers - a source of U.S. news from major papers including The New York Times and The Washington Post
  • JSTOR  - a huge, wonderful database of scholarly communication from a wide variety of disciplines, including Political Science.  All of these sources are full-text, but the newest documents are 3-5 years old.
  • CQ Weekly - Congressional Quarterly's magazine on government, commerce and politics.
  • Business Source Premier - EBSCO database that focuses on business topics.
  • GEOBASE - Worldwide literature on geography, geology, and ecology.
  • Social Sciences Abstracts - covers all the social sciences.  It's an EBSCO database, same as Academic Search Premier, so the interface will look familiar.  There are some full-text articles; for others, use the FindIt 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 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 YOUR FRIEND!!!  Here is a short tutorial showing the Find It Button in action!

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 Citation Linker!

 

 


Evaluating Websites

Always make sure that internet resources are appropriate for your project
Look at the criteria listed on this website:  http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Evaluate.html


If you have questions about the appropriateness of a website, please check with your professor or a librarian.

Here are some websites that may be of interest:

 



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.  This guide  helps students understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.

SU's Citation Style Guide

The Political Science Department Citation Guide

 



 
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The librarian liaison to Political Science is Gaylord Robb,
ggrobb@salisbury.edu | 410-677-0118