To find library and information science (LIS) journal articles on a specific topic, or to track down a citation (when you already have a specific author's name or the title of the article), it is best to begin by searching one of the LIS-focused databases.
If you have a topic that requires articles outside the library and information science field, or if you are unsure of which database(s) to search for your topic, try QuickSearch to search multiple databases all at once.
Once you are connected to a database, you will have to enter keywords (or search terms) into the search box provided. Consider using multiple keywords and/or synonyms for better results. For information about entering terms, combining searches, or for other database features such as Advanced Searches, Thesauri or Subject Index Terms, please check out the database HELP links or ask a reference librarian for assistance.
Once you enter your search terms, the index (or database) will retrieve a list of article citations for you. These " bibliographic citations" display the author and title of the article, as well as the title, volume, date and page number of the journal (or magazine) in which the article appeared. Usually an "abstract", or summary, of the article is also provided.
Once you identify articles that you want to read, the next step is to locate the actual article. Many databases will link directly to full text either in PDF or HTML format, If you don't see a full text option, look for "Get it @ R" which may take you to the full text from another source, or will take you to a new screen where you can see your other options.
If you don't find full text readily available, try searching QuickSearch for the title of the journal. Some journals are available online, but don't link down to the article level. QuickSearch will also tell you whether the libraries own a journal in print format.
If the Libraries do not have the journal title and volume you need, or only have it in print format, you may order a copy. See the Borrow from Other Libraries page for details.
You will frequently need to consult sources and databases outside the LIS fields. For instance, if you are interested in the topic of digital libraries, ACM Digital Library, IEEE Xplore, ScienceDirect and Wiley Online Library are some of the databases you should search. If your interests are in library management issues, then Business Source Premier will be a useful source. If school libraries or media centers are your topic, you will need to search ERIC. Visit the larger list of Databases on the libraries site for additional resources.
While you are searching the databases, mark those items that will be useful for your research and export them to RefWorks or another citation management tool. You can basically build your own research database. Your final reference list can also be generated following the specific style sheet (e.g., APA or Chicago) required for a course or project. For options, see the APA and Citation Managers tab in this guide.
For a complete list of indexes and databases, visit the Databases page on the Libraries site. For most databases, you will need to log in with your NetID when connecting from off campus.
Many of the databases listed below include a thesaurus unique to the database. When using the databases, you should familiarize yourself with those thesauri.
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