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AOP Summer Academy: Home

Library resources for students participating in the AOP Summer Academy at SUNY Oneonta

Contact Information

James M. Milne Library Website

Jason Cash

Librarians:  Michelle Hendley & Erin Larucci


Sophia Givre-Mead

Librarians:  Sarah RhodesJean-Paul Orgeron 


Martin Christiansen

Librarians:  Mary Lynn Bensen & Heather Stalter nee Beach

Understanding the Lingo

Conducting research can be difficult when you are unfamiliar with the terms being used to describe certain types of items. If your instructor asks you to use a periodical, would you know what they meant? If you had to locate the call number in an item’s record, could you? It is important to familiarize yourself with what particular library words mean. 

Refer to the files below. The Definitions handout and Types of Periodicals chart will be particularly useful to keep and use in future classes. 

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators are words or symbols that are used in conjunction with words to refine searches. 

Here are three helpful ones to use: 

  1. AND - narrows 
    1. Ex: ADHD and boys (this narrows down our results to only include ADHD and boys) 
  2. NOT - excludes
    1. Ex: ADHD not boys (this narrows down our results to include things about ADHD excluding those that mention boys) 
  3. OR - expands
    1. Ex: boys or males or guy (this expands our our search to search for multiple possible terms) 


It is important to include appropriate citation in your paper. The library has a guide that can help you accurately cite your resources. You can locate it on the library homepage by clicking the "Citing Sources" link, or you can click on the link below. 

APA Style

MLA Style

Choosing/Refining a Research Topic and Choosing Keywords

Choosing and Refining a Research Topic
If you are stuck trying to decide on a topic for your paper, there are a few ways to generate ideas. 

  1. Scan newspaper headlines 
  2. Browse chapter titles in your textbook
  3. Check out what's trending 
  4. Use a Topic Idea Generator
  5. Use the "Browse Issues" section in the Opposing Viewpoints Database
  6. Browse an encyclopedia such as Britannica Academic Edition

Choosing Keywords

Keywords are the words used in databases to find results.  You can find keywords for your topic by brainstorming synonyms and using reference sources, such as encyclopedias, to find alternative keywords.  For example, if you wanted to write a paper on the effect divorce has on children's school performance, you would want to find keywords for the main concepts of 'divorce', 'children', and 'school performance'.  

Breakdown of research question into keywordsBreakdown of research question into keywords

Locating Electronic Books (E-books)

James M. Milne Library has a number of ebook collections. They are listed below:

EBL eBook library

Select SUNY Oneonta from the drop-down menu. You will be prompted to sign in with your Oneonta credentials. Provides access to about 6,000 full-text academic ebooks across many disciplines. New titles are added every month. Can be used for course content: eBooks from academic publishers in all subject disciplines.

eBook Collection from Springer

Ebook collection covering many subjects but primarily science. Over 20,000 full-text titles. Fully integrated in the Oneonta "Search Everything" interface. Chapters are downloadable to computers, tablets, and other portable devices. Can be used for course content: eBooks from academic publishers in STEM disciplines.

eBooks on EBSCOhost

Over 100,000 full-text ebooks in categories including adult fiction and non-fiction, art, biography, business, economics, computer science, education, medicine, history, literature, philosophy, political science, psychology, and reference. Downloadable to portable devices. Can be used for course content: eBooks from academic publishers in all subject disciplines.

eBook Central Academic Complete (ProQuest)

Provides approximately 150,000 multidisciplinary ebooks. Can be used for course content: eBooks from academic publishers in all subject disciplines.

Other databases that have ebook collections include JSTOR and  Academic Search Complete.  You can search for books in these by limiting your search to books only. 

Locating a Scholarly Journal Article

What is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal article?  See an example: Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Electronic articles can be searched through our databases. There are some general databases and some subject-specific databases. To access the databases, click on the database tab on the library homepage. You can then browse through them alphabetically, or browse by discipline (i.e., gender studies, history, etc.). 

Below you will find Academic Search Complete, a general database that covers a wide range of disciplines. 

Finding an Article - Academic Search Complete Video Tutorial

Search Everything

The library has a search feature called "Search Everything". This is the default search on the library's homepage. 

To effectively search with this feature, type in a search, then use the limiters on the left hand side of the results to narrow down your search results. You can also use the advanced search feature. 

We highly recommend signing in when using Search Everything.  Sign-in prompts, which you may dismiss, occur when conducting a search. The benefits of Sign In are:

  • Save Query allows you to save a search to a favorites list
  • Search History provides a detailed record of past searches
  • Resource Sharing accesses the collections of all SUNY libraries and allows you to initiate borrowing requests
  • Renew your active loans 

Using Search & Discover

There are two main ways to use Search & Discover.

Everything allows you to search simultaneously for books, ebooks, articles, movies, music, and more. You may use keywords, titles, authors, or phrases. Refine your results using the choices on the left. For example, if you want to discover the newest results then select Sort by. Explore Resource Type, also on the left, to get a sense of the various materials available to you.

Library Catalog is commonly used to search the physical collections of the James M. Milne Library, plus ebooks, by an author’s name or a book’s title. You may also use keywords to search the library catalog, which contains the table of contents for many records. Subject headings are included in keyword searching and are assigned to all library catalog holdings.

Other Collections: 

While Everything and Library Catalog are two of the main searching functions in Search & Discover, there are others available for use. Child Collection, Course Reserves, EMC Media, NY State Collection, Reference, Special Collections (SCC), SUNY Catalog, and Young Adult (YA) are all options to choose from. These collections can be searched exclusively by selecting them in the top menu. For example, selecting Child Collection will include results only from that collection. 

Except where otherwise noted, SUNY Oneonta Library Guides are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 International License. Not sure how to cite us? Try these best practices.