Step 1: Peruse the Library's Web Site:
Step 2: Get Background Information:
Use encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, textbooks, or other general works to provide background information, a readymade outline, expert authors and contextual parameters on a topic. See Reference Resources Research Guide for a description of the various types of reference tools and their use.
Step 3: Use the Library Catalog:
To find books, ebooks, CDs, DVD, etc. search the library’s catalog, (“Discovery” or "Discovery Advanced") From the results list, use the “Description” tab associated with each record to identify appropriate Subject Headings and for help in identifying related resources.
Step 4: Find Articles:
Step 5: USE SOURCES TO FIND OTHER SOURCES.
This is the key to doing efficient and effective research. Bibliographies, subject headings, authors, call numbers and cited references from each resource found can be used to find more sources. For example use the bibliographies found in encyclopedia articles as a beginning source for both book titles and expert authors. Use the Subjects found with each item in the library catalog to search for other items with the same subject. Use the call numbers associated with each item to browse for similar items on the same topic.
Step 6: Evaluate all Resources
Examine each potential resource for relevancy to your information need. Consider the purpose of the material; the authority and expertise of the source (author/creator, publisher/provider); the accuracy, comprehensiveness and currency of the content. See Evaluating Resources in this Research Guide (Be and EER) for more information.
Step 7: Librarians are your friends.
Introduce yourself to the Reference Librarian. S/He can help you find what you need much more efficiently and effectively. There is no extra mercy granted to those who work harder instead of smarter.
Contact Miss T., Reference Librarian & Institutional Copyright Specialist: firstname.lastname@example.org; 661.362.2201
Search Master's Discovery
1. To find books or articles type your keywords in the "Search ..." box on the library Web site <www.masters.edu/library>.
2. You may wish to use "Advanced Search" for a more efficient search query.
a. Once you get your records list, use the “Refining” options on the left as needed.
b. To open an online resource select the “View Online” button.
3. For better/additional articles select "Find Databases" on the library main Web page (Fig. 1) or from the online catalog select the "Library Links" drop down menu (Fig. 2) on the search results page (top right).
a. Choose appropriate indexes with the "All Subjects" drop down menu. (Fig. 3)
b. Search your topic.
Data Discovery – The basic process of finding information illustrated with a flow chart.
Data Discovery Delineated
1. When conducting research, you generally start with a TOPIC. You must first determine if you will need books or articles or both to fulfill your research need.
a. If you need BOOKS on your topic, you will need to search the library CATALOG
Question: Did you find the book(s) you want? If you did, then get it from the shelf or view it online as appropriate. If you did not, then submit an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request for those that you want, but the library does not have.
b. When you need to find ARTICLES, you will need to search Periodical INDEXES. The periodical indexes available to TMU students are found with the “Find Databases” link on the library Web site or the LibGuides link. Both will retrieve the Indexes/Databases Libguide containing all of the indexes and databases to which the library subscribes.
c. Periodical Indexes will always return a list if CITATIONS and possibly even the FULL TEXT of the article(s).
Question: Is the Full Text available, either hardcopy in the library or softcopy online? If it is, go to the shelf or view the ARTICLE online. If the article is not available, submit and ILL request.
2. When conducting research, you will sometimes have a citation to an article or a book or perhaps a thesis and these will be either hardcopy or softcopy. To find out if the TMU library can provide you with the needed resource:
a. If your citation is for a BOOK, a THESIS or a DISSERTATION, you will need to search the library CATALOG.
Question: Did you find the item you want? If you did, then get it from the shelf or view it online as appropriate. If you did not, then submit an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request for it. You may submit a request for the whole item or for chapters or for pages from the book, thesis or dissertation. These will take less time to get than the whole thing and they will be yours to keep.
b. If your citation is for an ARTICLE, then the easiest method of checking to see if the library has the article is to first identify the JOURNAL title containing the article. Then go to “FIND JOURNALS” on the library Web site and search for the journal.
Question: Does the library provide access to the journal containing the article? If not, submit an ILL request. If the library doesn't have the journal, it's not going to have the article.
Question: If the Journal is available, check to see if the volume and issue of the needed article is available, if so check for the Full text and either go to the shelf or view it online. If not, submit an Interlibrary Loan request.
Search Powell Library Discovery