New Milne Library Website
To find databases, click on the "Databases" tab on the right top of the Milne Library homepage. Options include "Browse All", "Browse by Subject" and "Browse by Discipline".
The course guide for this class is located on the left side of the Milne Library home page under Reference and Instruction/Course Guides.
The Publication process: primary, secondary, and tertiary sources
Primary sources are original works by an author. Examples in chemistry include firsthand reports of research such as lab reports as well as many journal articles. Most new research in chemistry is published in the form of journal articles.
Secondary sources can be used to find references to primary sources. Books that are not the original work of the researcher are also considered secondary sources.
Tertiary sources include guides to the literature and textbooks.
Library Research: Overview
- Identify your research topic. Test the topic by searching the Milne Library catalog and a few databases. You may need to broaden or narrow your topic. See also Tips and examples for writing thesis statements (From Purdue University).
- Background information on a topic can often be found in encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference sources. Reference sources provide background information on a topic, clarify definitions, and often include bibliographies at the end of an article. There are encyclopedias in the reference area on the first floor of Milne Library that cover most topics.
- Wikipedia Although Wikipedia can be a good starting point for basic information, it is not necessarily reliable as most articles can be edited by anyone.(Some Wikipedia articles on controversial topics are "locked down" to prevent vandalism.) Make sure you verify the information in Wikipedia with several other sources. Some Wikipedia articles have useful bibliographies.
- Find books. Books often treat a topic more comprehensively than journal articles. Books can be a good place to find an overview of a topic. References to additional articles and books can often be found in a bibliography at the end of a chapter.
- Find articles. Since journal articles are often more focused than books, they may provide more specific information than books. References to additional articles and books can often be found in a bibliography at the end of an article. Information in journal articles is usually more current than information in books.
- Find supplementary materials such as internet sites. Since articles found on the internet have rarely gone through the peer-review process, they must be carefully evaluated.
- Organize the findings.
- Use the information to address the research topic, integrating the information you've found into a reasoned argument or presentation. Make sure you cite your sources in the appropriate format.
Where to Find Articles
The databases below are located on the Milne Library home page under the Databases tab.
Additional database suggestions include:
Where to Find the Full-Text of an Article
If there is no full text with the citation for an article in a database, click on or Find It!. If a full text of the article is available in another database, there will be a link connecting you to that database, where you can locate the article in the appropriate volume, or search for the article by title or author.
- You can also determine whether a periodical is available electronically by entering the periodical title in the search box under Journals tab on the library home page and clicking on Search. If the title is available in electronic form, check the coverage, and click on the database link(s) and search for the item(s) needed. If the title is available in the library, click on "SUNY-Oneonta Print Holdings" and then on "Is it here?" to see the complete holdings.
- Locating the article in print or microfilm, if not available in electronic form:
- If under "Links to Full Text," there is a link to the title, click on "Journal," and then on "Is it here?" Check "Summary holdings" to see if Milne Library has the particular issue needed and in what form the article can be found. Periodicals are located on compact shelving or in microfilm drawers on floor P.
- Requesting an article on Interlibrary Loan:
- If you find an article from a periodical that is not available at Milne Library in any form after you have linked to "Check Library Catalog", you can request the article through the link Request via Interlibrary Loan on the record for the article needed (see computer screen that comes up after you click on Find It!). You need to be registered to submit ILL requests. See a librarian for help. You can also request articles through the InterLibrary Loan login link on the library web site under the "Services" tab.