Define your topic as clearly as possible. Before you begin looking for information, take some time to brainstorm your topic. Write down the main concepts as keywords, and then write down some synonyms for these keywords.
Reference Sources (such as Encyclopedias and Dictionaries) present an overview of a topic and will also include links and lists of additional sources. Many reference sources are available online, while other paper volumes are located on the first floor in Buley Library and are marked with “Ref” before the call number. Here are some examples of art reference sources in the stacks and online:
SouthernSearch is the shared library catalog for CSCU libraries. Use the SouthernSearch pull down menu to search for books and collections, articles, ebooks and course reserve material. Take note of the location of the book and the call number. SCSU students can request materials from other CSCU libraries by signing in with their username and password.
For a complete guide to finding articles see the Research Guide: Finding Articles in Periodicals.
The library subscribes to indexing tools in paper form as well as in the form of online databases. There are general as well as subject-specific databases and indexes. Refer the database tab above for links to the databases available through Buley Library. If you need retrospective materials from pre-1980's, then you will need to use some of the paper indexes in the library, for example Art Index, since it will lead you to citations of articles back to the 1920's. Ask a librarian for assistance with selecting the appropriate databases or if you are doing retrospective searching.
General Tips for Database Searches:
Once you have found the citations to the articles you need, the next step is to locate the articles. Some databases will include full-text documents, however in other cases you need to retrieve them from our collection, or from interlibrary loan. In our library, journals and newspapers are located on the ground floor (basement) level and are shelved alphabetically by the title of the journal.
Search the journal finder by the title of the journal to find out whether the article is available in full-text from any of our online databases, or if it is available in our print or microforms collections. Note that not all of the articles will be available in the full text format.
If you need to request materials outside of the CSCU system, you may request these through the Interlibrary Loan department. There are forms available for this on the library homepage.
Citing Books, Articles, Online Resources, and Information on the Web
When researchers and scholars use books, articles, and other electronic sources, they need guidelines for formatting citations to those documents. Sometimes your instructor will indicate which guidelines they want you to use. There are printed style guides (such as the MLA Handbook or the APA Publication Manual ) available at the reference desk. These are some easy tools as well as links to more information about citing sources.
Sample citations from Chicago Manual of Style (A style chart from Purdue)