The web is not the best place to do academic research. Google or Bing should never be the only place you look for information for a college paper or project. However, the web can be a good place to orient yourself to the nature and extent of a topic.
If you are allowed to include web pages as sources, use the following tips to insure that you find the best and most authoritative information on the web:
1. Limit searches to .gov and .edu, which tend to offer more legitimate and reliable information: To do this add site:gov or site: edu to any web search. e.g. "drug use" site:gov
2. Use only key words and place phrases inside " ": "social media" and "social change"
3. Use the asterisk * to find various forms of a word - truncation: text* (finds text, texts, texting, etc.) read* (find read, reading, readers, etc.)
4. Use Wikipedia to read an introduction to a topic, and to find creditable sources through the bibliography: Although not appropriate as scholarly sources to use in your works cited, Wikipedia articles often provide good references and externals links at the end of the articles. The articles have helpful introductions to topics, though any facts need to be verified through other sources.
This is default search on the library home page. This will search across many library's databases and the library catalog. The results from a search will be very large; use the limiters on the left side of the page to refine and narrow your results. The most useful of the limiters are listed below:
This is a good starting place for research, but you will want to use the databases (for articles) and catalogs (for books) listed below for more in-depth and precise searching.
Periodicals are publications that come out on a regular, or periodic, basis. Examples include newspapers, magazines, and journals. Scholarly, or peer-reviewed, periodicals are appropriate for more serious research, while magazines, or popular, periodicals are intended for entertainment or information for general audiences. See the tab above to understand all the differences between types of periodicals.
Click on the Databases tab at the top of the library home page. Click on Browse All for an alphabetical list of all the databases. Click on the appropriate letter of the alphabet to select a specific database.
Locating the full text of the article in electronic form:
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.
If the article is unavailable electronically, but available in print or microfilm, click on Oneonta Local Collection for exact holdings. Periodicals are located on compact shelving or in microfilm drawers on the 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 item on 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 link on the library website.
If you have the citation for a periodical article
The Classic Milne Catalog, WorldCat, and Google Books all search for books but in different ways. These three different tools are interconnected. A search in Google Books will lead you to books in WorldCat and the Milne Catalog. A search in the Milne Catalog can lead you to a book in Google Books. A search in WorldCat will find books in many libraries, including Milne Library.
Librarians are available to help you in several ways: