Reference Books (Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, etc.)
- Use for basic background information.
- Search the online catalog for sources. Example: "Sociology Encyclopedias" as a Subject Keyword search.
- Search the online catalog for other material. Try keyword, title, and subject searches.
Decide if you need current or historical articles, then:
- Search multiple databases in your discipline with Power Search--mid-90s forward.
- Find specific databases in your field with Power Search's subject categories, or the library's Subject Guides.
- Use subject specific print indexes (shelved on the first floor in reference)--pre-90s.
- Use JSTOR for older material, if this full-text database covers your area.
Excellent material in agriculture, criminal justice and law, education, political science, and statistics.
- Government information on the Web
- From 1995 forward: Search the online catalog.
- From 1976 forward: Search the GPO Monthly catalog.
- Pre-1976: Go to the second floor and ask the Government Documents staff for assistance.
- Reference tools such as dictionaries, almanacs, etc.
- For high quality, subject specific sites, check Web guides such as ipl2, Scout Report Archives, and INFOMINE: Scholarly Internet Resource Collections.
- K-12 textbooks (and teacher's editions): go to the Instructional Resource Center on the first floor. Material is arranged by grade and by subject.
- Children's fiction:
Confused about doing research? See steps in the process.