When you begin a research project, it is a good idea to take a moment to reflect on your prior knowledge of the topic area. How much do you already know about this topic? How confident are you in moving forward with this topic?
In most cases, you will need to do a bit of research to get some general information on your topic. You can think of it like you are scaffolding a learning assignment for your students. To truly learn a new concept or skill, you need to create a solid base or foundation.
A great way to create this base is by conducting research in encyclopedias. Encyclopedias are arranged alphabetically and contain a general overview of a term or subject matter.
You can also access encyclopedias online through our reference databases like these:
To look for books in the Milne Library catalog, navigate to the library homepage and click on 'Advanced Search.' If you wish to only find online books, leave the search scope to 'Online Access' and change the 'Material Type' to 'Books'. Then enter your search terms. If you desire print volumes, change the search scope to 'Library Catalog', limit to 'Books', enter your search terms and click 'Search'. Once in the results list, click 'Held by Library' to limit to print volumes only.
If you are planning to take books out of the library, please see the library's Online Library Guide for information on the procedure for checking out books.
Find scholarly articles by using one of the databases listed below. These can also be found from the 'Databases' link on the Library's homepage.
Interlibrary loan can be helpful if you are looking for resources the library does not currently own. This is a service free of charge to all SUNY Oneonta students and faculty. Digital documents, such as PDFs, can be delivered in as little as a couple of hours whereas physical items, such as books, can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, depending on availability. It is a good idea not to wait until the last minute to do your research in case you need to use ILL.