Researching a Paper FAQs

Researching a Paper FAQs

Q.  How do I find scholarly journal articles?
A.  Use the Library databases to find scholarly articles, which are preferred by instructors. Go to the Library homepage, click Databases. Select a database such as ProQuest or EBSCOhost. Searches have an option to search for scholarly journals.

Q.  Can I access these articles from home?
A.  Yes, you can access articles from the Library databases from your home computer. You use our passwords to access these articles, which are obtainable from the Library or on myACC under the Library tab. Call us from home at 303.797.5090 and we can give you the passwords over the phone.

Q.  How do I find books to check out?
A.  Go to the Library homepage to access the Library’s online catalog. Click Catalog. Type in a title, author, or keywords, or subject. A book or list of books will appear, each with a call number (example: HV5825 .C437 2003). Write this string of letters and numbers down and take it to the shelf to find books. (They are arranged in alphabetical and decimal order. A librarian will be glad to help you find these items.)

Q.  How do I find ebooks (electronic books available online)?
A.  Go to the Library homepage, click Online Books. You have the choice of searching ProQuest's ebrary books or EBSCOhost's ebooks. ProQuest's College Complete is an ebook collection with over 23,000 titles available on a variety of subjects. From off-campus, you will need to enter your S number for access. EBSCOhost's ebook collection includes over 8,000 titles available on a variety of subjects. To access EBSCOhost's eBook Collection  from off-campus, you must enter the EBSCOhost username and password available on the Library tab in the myACC Portal or by calling us at 303.797.5090.

Q.  How can I find topics to write about, or background information on a topic I have selected?
A.  Look through the Taking Sides books at the Reference Desk (older editions are available for checkout—look under Taking Sides in the catalog on the Library homepage). Or go online on the Library homepage, then click Databases. Use CQ Researcher or Facts on File to find information on topics. You can also use the Points of View database under EBSCOhost. Other good sources of background information include general encyclopedias (such as World Book, Encyclopedia Britannica, print and online), as well as specialized encyclopedias of countries and cultures, criminal justice, literature, medicine, philosophy, psychology, religion, science, technology).

Q.  The article I found in a database is only a summary (abstract). How do I get the full article?
A.  Not all articles in our online databases are available in their entirety (full text). You have several options to obtain the full article. The ACC Library may carry the print periodical (journal, magazine, newspaper). Type in the name of the periodical in the ACC Library catalog, or check our periodical listings binder in the Reference Area. If our library does not carry the hard copy periodical, you may have to go to another library in the area to make copies from their collection. To find out which library in the area has the periodical you need, go to these library catalogs (linked on our Library databases page): Prospector or Colorado Virtual Library. These catalogs also list books that our library may not own. Another option, if you have a couple weeks’ time, is to place an Interlibrary Loan request. Ask for an Interlibrary Loan request form from the Circulation Desk and provide the article citation that you found online. You can also order hard-to-find books through Interlibrary Loan.

Q.  What are primary sources and how do I find them?
A.  Primary sources are first-hand accounts and documents of lives, events, phenomena—letters, diaries, journals, memoirs, reports, studies, newspaper articles, audio-visual materials. Secondary sources, on the other hand, are works that analyze or interpret these events or phenomena. Primary materials can be found in the library collection as well as on the Web. Autobiographies are primary sources, but biographies are not, except for primary documents and quotes included within the biography. Books with primary materials can be searched in the ACC Library catalog, as well as on the Web in Google Books and Project Gutenberg. The Library’s EBSCOhost History Reference Center database also can be searched for primary sources. Various history sites on the Web contain primary sources, as well as Google Archives.

Q.  My instructor doesn’t want me to use the Internet to get articles on my topic. Where do I find them?
A.  By “Internet,” the instructor probably means do not use Web sites such as those found through Google. Instead, use the Library subscription databases for scholarly journals and reliable information, databases such as ProQuest and EBSCOhost. These databases are found on the Library homepage. Pick up passwords at the Library to use these databases off-campus.

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