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COMPOSITION 100: COMP 100 Research Tools

Research Help

Librarians are available to help you in several ways:

  • Visit the Research Help Desk in Milne Library, located on your left after you enter the first floor through the main entrance or through Jazzman's Cafe.
  • Call the Research Help Desk at Milne Library at 607-436-2722. If the librarian is busy, you can leave a message on voice mail.
  • E-mail a question to a Milne librarian & get a response within 48 hours.
  • Request a research consultation to meet individually with a librarian. 

Where to Start

Search Everything  

Library home page URL:

EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) provides a single search tool to find information resources in Milne Library's physical and electronic collections, including scholarly journal articles, magazine articles, newspaper articles, books, e-books, internet documents, research reports, and much more. This is an excellent place to start your research.

This is the default search box on the library home page. This search tool will allow you to find the types of high quality scholarly resources required by your teacher.  Search Everything locates resources the library pays to subscribe to and that are not free on the web using web search engines like Google or bing. 

The results from a search can 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:

  • Type: Select to narrow the results to only "Academic Journals" or "Magazines" or "Books."
  • Subject:  Click on "Show More" to see a list of all the subject categories. You can select multiple subjects. Subjects at the top represent the largest number of results. Subjects at the bottom will give the fewest results.
  • Geography: Useful if you wish to restrict your results to a certain country or region of the world.
  • Location: If you are looking for books you can limit to print or electronic owned by Milne Library, among other things.
  • Source: Click on "Show More" for a complete list of every database in which results were found.

For more in-depth and precise researching you will want to use the databases (for articles) and catalogs (for books) listed below.

Reference Books

Encyclopedias, almanacs, and handbooks provide quick, reliable information about a topic.  They are excellent starting points for research when you need to find background information, important concepts, names and dates.  These sources often include lists of books and articles for further reading.

Use Reference Universe to find information indexed in print and electronic reference sources.  A computer with scanner is available in the reference area for copying information.  Assistance is available at the Research Help Desk.

Finding Books

Books can be found using library catalogs. Milne Library's "classic catalog" includes both print and links to the full text of electronic books.

Milne Library Classic Catalog
Use the "Classic Catalog" tab on the library home page. This is an index to the contents of Milne Library, including print and electronic books, DVDs, CDs, and more.

In any list of results, the location of physical books in the Library as well as call number and circulation status are shown. Note that books, ebooks, full text articles, encyclopedia full text are shown with the books.

For more information about any item, click on the title in the results list. To limit the list to those items more specifically about your topic, click on the headings after subject at the bottom of the record for the item. The resulting list should have fewer, but more relevant, items.

If you do not find the item on the shelf, ask at the Circulation Desk to see if the book has been checked in and is waiting to be shelved. If still not available, complete a “Search” card for the item. A staff member will look for the item and notify you of the results. Items in circulation can be requested on interlibrary loan from another library.

Search Tips:

  • Truncate or shorten terms using the *. This is useful if you are uncertain of the spelling, or if you are searching for variations of a word, such as myth(s), mythology(ies), mythical. For example: Gree* myth* for Greek/Greece myth(s), mythology(ies) hatshepsut and biography

  • Place phrases inside parenthesis " ". For example: "cell phone*" and "distracted driving"
Use the WorldCat tab on the library home page. WorldCat is an online database listing materials in U.S. libraries and selected libraries throughout the world, including for Milne Library and the Stevens-German Library at Hartwick College. You can search by author, title, subject, and keyword. If Milne Library does not own an item, you can request items by following the Request via Interlibrary Loan link provided on the record for an item in WorldCat. Locate WorldCat in the alphabetical list of databases.
You can also check materials out of  the Hartwick College library with your SUNY Oneonta ID card.

Finding Periodical Articles - General

All of the following databases are linked from the library home page under Databases. Note that most of the database content is also found using the EDS (Search Everything) search.

Some databases are not directly indexed in Ebsco EDS or are not complete. For instance, the New York Times is only available from 1985 to the present in EDS.

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

To take advantage of the richest features of a database, including the subject thesaurus or specialized limiters, you may choose to search a specific subject relevant database.  For example, Business Source Complete, PsycINFO, and Lexis Nexis Academic have powerful features only available in their unique interfaces

Finding Periodical Articles - Subject

All of the following databases are linked from the library home page under Databases.

Finding a Copy of a Periodical Article

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 360 Link to Full Text 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.

Finding an Article from a Citation:

If you have the citation for a periodical article, click on the Journals tab on the library website and enter the title of the journal or magazine. The resulting list will indicate which database(s) include the periodical. Follow the databases, then either follow the links to the specific issue of the periodical, or enter the title article in a search box. If the library subscribes to the periodical in print or microform, the holdings will be indicated by linking to Oneonta Local Collection.