Selecting the best or most appropriate finding aid for identifying sources depends almost entirely on the context of your research assignment. There is no single database or web search interface that will work for every research context; instead, you'll need to match your specific research needs to a variety of options.
Library catalog searches (i.e., Primo) can be the better choice when you are seeking in-depth, book-length treatments of a topic.
Multidisciplinary databases (i.e., JSTOR) cover a wide variety of subject areas and may include a mix of popular and scholarly sources. They can be the most appropriate choice when you just want to get a sense of what's available on a topic and when it isn't so important that you pay attention to disciplinary lenses.
Subject databases (i.e., MLA International Bibliography) cover a specific discipline and provide the widest range of access to scholarly sources. They are used for in-depth research. Which subject databases you search will be determined by who may be writing about your topic. Recommended subject databases for each discipline can be found on the "articles" tab in each library subject guide.
Books in Primo are assigned Library of Congress Subject Headings. In many ways, subject headings are a form of tagging, in that they represent the content of the material and provide ways for you to efficiently locate more materials that are conceptually related.
Here are several examples of the various ways you can use LCSH to help pinpoint what you need:
A sampling of potentially relevant books is listed below. Some titles available in print and in online format.
Keep in mind - it is not usually necessary to read a book from cover to cover to engage with the author's argument. Instead, you may focus on a particular chapter or use the index to find parts most relevant to your needs.
Collins Library uses the Library of Congress classification scheme to organize books on the shelves. Follow these tips to find the book you need.
Use the library map to find where the book is located.
If you're not sure yet what you're interested in, or you're interested in so many different aspects of the environment that you can't decide where to focus, you might want to browse through scholarly journals to see what catches your eye. Collins Library provides access to several relevant scholarly journals, including those listed below.
These subject databases may be especially useful for your research projects for this class. Depending on your topic and your angle, you may wish to search additional subject databases.
The databases listed below are examples of multidisciplinary finding aids.
Note: If you need discipline-specific resources, it is better to use the recommended subject databases under the "articles" tab in the library subject guides.
Try these strategies to become a better, more efficient searcher -- and help you find articles that you can actually use:
If your article is not available at Collins Library, you've got another option for getting it. Use Tipasa, our interlibrary loan service.
Tipasa is linked to your library account so you'll need to log in to use it.
Once you are logged in, either go directly to Tipasa and manually enter the information, or, if you're using a database, look for a shortcut link to automatically fill out the form:
Allow at least a week for the article to come. If your article is delivered in electronic format, you'll receive an email with a link to follow as soon as it's arrived.