your friendly research/instructional librarian, and
I'm here to help you!
How to get in touch with me:
In my office, BL128
(best to make an appointment)
By IM on AIM, MSN,
YAHOO or gtalk (blackwellref) or on
At the Research
Services Desk: Mondays 10am-12pm and Wednesdays
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
Here are some suggestions:
SAGE Encyclopedia of
Social Science Research Methods
REF H62 .S34 2004
REF HM425 .E5 2000
REF HM425 .C36 2006
Encyclopedia of Marriage & Family
REF HQ9 .E52 2003
Encyclopedia of Aging
REF HQ1061 .E53 2001
REF HQ1090.3 A457 2006
REF HQ1421 .A486 2006
Encyclopedia of Crime
REF HV6017.E52 2002
Encyclopedia of Drugs,
Alcohol & Addictive Behavior
REF HV5804.E53 2001
Encyclopedia of Education
REF LB15.E47 2003
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
These may also help you:
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
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. This short
video tutorial shows you how to complete the
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.
Click here to view a short tutorial about ILL.
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!
databases you might find useful:
(Note: From off campus you will be asked 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
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 - EBSCO
database with full text and citations covering
Communications and related fields.
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.
- 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.
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 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
video about how to use The Find It Button.
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
Always make sure that internet resources are appropriate
for your project. Look at the criteria listed on
If you have questions about the appropriateness of a
website, please check with your professor or a
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
Citation help for Sociology