You need to have a specific topic selected before you begin searching for information in the library. If you need help searching a topic there are a few ideas listed below. If you need additional help ask at a reference desk in the library.
Look in your course syllabus; your professor may have given you a list of suggested topics for your research paper.
Your textbook for the course is a good place to find topics that may be of interest to you. Look in the table of contents or index.
Talk with your professor she/he can give you some good suggestions for an interesting topic.
Come to the library and look in the Library of Congress Subject Headings. This is the set of "big red books" by the computer terminals near the reference desk. This list of terms is also available on the Library Catalog by doing a subject search.
Do a title or keyword search on the Library Catalog using various terms in which you are interested.
Narrow Your Topic At this point you need to select a topic that is specific enough for you to write a paper.
Once you have a specific topic selected, you need to begin finding and reading some sources about your topic. From your reading, formulate a specific question statement or hypothesis on which you intend to research and write. Using the words in your question statement and other related words you are now ready to search the periodical (journal) databases to find references to articles on your question statement.Return to Top
Most often the primary source of information is articles published in journal (periodicals). The key to finding references to journal articles is periodical indexes. Most periodical indexes are available in electronic format, or computer databases. Searching the appropriate database should be your first choice for finding references to journal articles. The following procedures will help you in finding journal articles on your topic.
Four steps to periodical literature research:
If the library has the periodical, you will find it by entering the full title of the periodical in the Browse Search box. Make sure that you change the pull-down option on the left of the search box to "Periodical Title" before beginning your search. Check you spelling if you have trouble locating the title. The BYU Library Catalog record will include the call number where you can find the volumes of the periodical. If the library has access to the electronic full text of the journal there will be a URL Link included in the journal description. There is also an option on the Library Homepage for e-Books and e-Journals this will provide a list of electronic journals either by title or by subject. Information concerning which volumes or issues the library owns (library holdings) will also be displayed. All the periodicals, both bound volumes and current unbound issues are in the Periodicals Room (PER) on level 2 of the new addition to the library. Ask for help at the Periodical Room Reference Desk if you cannot find the title.
If the library does not have the periodical you need, you can obtain a copy of the article through Interlibrary Loan, (ILL) which is at located in room 3421(Level 3) of the Harold B. Lee Library, south of the Circulation Desk. Books and articles should be picked up at the Circulation Desk, but inquiries and problems should be addressed at the Interlibrary Loan Office. You can submit ILL requests through a program called ILLiad. ILLiad can be accessed from the Library Homepage by clicking on Interlibrary Loan, then scroll down and click on New Users. After completing the registration form your personal information will be saved and you will not have to enter this information again. You can click on Registered Users which will only require you to provide the information for the article or book you want to obtain. The cost for ILL requests is $.10/page for copies and will take about two days to two weeks to get to the BYU Library. There is no cost for borrowing books.
All periodicals are located in the Periodicals Room on level 2 in the New Addition to the Library. Both bound and unbound volumes are in the Periodicals Room. If your volume is not on the shelf, look on the Cherry wood bookshelves by the concrete pillars in the Periodicals Room. If you still cannot find the volume you want ask for help at the Periodical Room Reference Desk.
Keywords can be combined in any of the following ways:
Examples= host? will retrieve
hostage, hostel, hostess, hostile, hostility
There are some other options on the Library Home Page that will provide additional information about the library services and locations; and also an option to search the Internet.
Some of the databases and a brief description are listed below:
ABI/INFORM (ProQuest) - Indexes and abstracts articles from 1971 forward in business and management with many articles appearing in full-text.
Academic Search Premier (EBSCO) - 1984+ Provides indexing and abstracts for nearly 2,880 journals and full text for over 1,250 academic, social sciences, humanities, general science, education, and multi-cultural journals. Over half of the journals are peer reviewed. Full text backfiles as far back as January 1990. Updated daily.
America: History & Life (EBSCO) - indexes and abstracts scholarly articles, book reviews and dissertations on the history of the U.S. and Canada from prehistory to the present. The index begins in 1964, and is updated three times a year.
Education Abstracts - indexes core group of 430 international periodicals, yearbooks, and selected books in education. Includes abstracts for citations after 1993.
ERIC (EBSCO) - Indexes and abstracts over 750 education journals and thousands of education related documents from 1966 to present. Combines (CIJE) Current Index to Journals in Education and (RIE) Resources in Education. On-line Thesaurus. Updated quarterly.
Gender Watch (ProQuest) - A full-text collection of international journals, magazines, newsletters, regional publications, special reports and conference proceedings devoted to women's and gender issues. Contains archival material dating back to the mid 1970s.
Humanities Abstracts- indexes 350 journals in archaeology, area studies, art, classics, communications, dance, film, history, linguistics, literature, music, performing arts, philosophy, and religion from 1984 forward.
MEDLINE (EBSCO) - this database is produced by the National Library of Medicine. It indexes articles form about 3,400 biomedical journals for the years 1983 to present. The articles are mostly on technical medical topics, written by physicians and other medical practitioners; but there are some less technical articles. BYU Lee Library has about 40% of the English language journals indexed in this database. Many of these journals are also available at UVRMC, or the Eccles Library at the U of U. Ask at the Science Reference Desk for a list of journals at the above two locations.
- 1986+ Indexes and abstracts articles from 1986 forward in both popular and scholarly periodicals and selected newspapers in all disciplines with many articles appearing in full-text. Table of contents by sources is available.
ProQuest Research Library - ABI/INFORM Global; PA Research II; ProQuest Newspapers. ABI/INFORM Global searches 1000 premier worldwide business periodicals (many articles available in full text), and provides information on 60,000+ companies. PA Research II searches over 1800 popular and scholarly periodicals and selected newspapers in all disciplines with many articles appearing in full text. ProQuest Newspapers indexes the full text of over 300 U.S. and international news sources, including over 150 major U.S. and international newspapers.
PsycINFO (EBSCO) - 1967+ Indexes and abstracts journal articles and chapters in books in psychology and related fields from 1967 forward and is updated quarterly.
SocioFile - 1974+ Indexes and abstracts articles in sociology and related fields. Updated quarterly.
Sociological Abstracts (ProQuest) - 1974+ Indexes and abstracts articles in sociology and related fields. Updated quarterly.
Web of Science (ISI) - The Web of Science accesses the Science Citation Index (SCI), Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), and Arts and Humanitites Citation Index (AHCI) databases, gathered from over 8,500 scholarly journals. Searches for records by topic, author, source title, author address, cited author, citedwork, cited year can be performed separately or combined. Articles are linked to other articles of the same topic.
Food Analyst Plus
Food Analyst Plus is a CD-Rom that analyzes your diet, giving you the Recommended Daily Value of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. The program is in DOS form and you must use the keyboard to do all your owrk. The CD contains thousands of entries for different types of foods, and lets you use those entered foods to create recipes so you can get values on your favorite dish. It also allows you to enter in a new food, with its nutrition facts.
The database includes more than 10,000 monographs from the 12th edition of the Merck Index. The monographs cover human and veterinary druges, biologicals, natural products, agricultural compounds, commercial and laboratory chemicals and environmentally significant compunds. Monograph records contain two broad types of information: 1) Data that identify a specific substance by name and chemical properties; 2) Data that identify a group or family of closely related compunds.
The Merck Manual CD-Rom is a compilation of three books: Merck Manual (17th ed.), the Merck Manual of Geriatrics, and the Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary. Of the three, the Manual is most likely to be used. The Merck Manual is designed to provide useful clinical information on hundreds of diseases to practicing physicians, medical students, interns, residents, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals. The 17th edition is available on this CD-Rom and is also available in print from the Science Reference desk (RC 55 .M4 1999).
Through the subject librarian you can have a search done which will provide references to articles in scholarly and technical journals, proceedings, and other publications. A subject librarian can search through a potential of hundreds of databases which are loaded on very large data banks that are not located at BYU. Information obtained through a search can be printed or downloaded to a disk (or both). From the results of your search you must then look on the BYU Library Catalog to see if the BYU Library has the publications you need; if not, you can use ILL. Anyone can have a librarian assisted search done by contacting Kathy Johansen in room 2217 HBLL or phone 422-6779; you can leave a message on my phone mail and I will return your call. There is a cost for doing these searches, but all of the searches for students are subsidized so you will not usually have to pay any money. The first $5.00 of each search you do is free; most searches will be less than $5.00; if the search is more than $5.00 the student must pay the additional amount. Some advantages to doing a librarian assisted search are that many databases can be searched simultaneously; the duplicates between the databases can be removed from your search results; and these searches only take about 15 to 20 minutes to complete. You will recieve a printed or disk copy, of each of the references; or they can be sent to your email address.
If you need to find more information on your topic there a number of printed resources in the Reference Collections that may be helpful. Ask at any of the reference desks for help in finding these additional resources and using them.
There are some good Internet sources where you can find information that may be useful. You need to use CAUTION and GOOD JUDGMENT with these Internet sources; not all of them are of academic quality. Some sources are very opinionated and some are not accurate. You must also be sure you give complete, accurate information in your references so that someone can get to the same source without any problems.
REMEMBER!!!! IF YOU NEED HELP IN ANY WAY WITH YOUR RESEARCH OF FINDING REFERENCES YOU ARE WELCOME TO ASK FOR HELP AT ANY OF THE REFERENCE DESKS IN THE LIBRARY!!!