About this guide:
This guide provides you with a starting point for the major subject areas for the College of Business and Economics. However, the library has many more resources available for your research. For questions or additional research assistance, please e-mail me at email@example.com .
If you need immediate assistance, use the Ask the Librarian link on this page.
You can also look at my video tutorial library for help on researching a particular topic or using a particular database.
Need to schedule a library instruction class?
If you need to request library instruction, you can do so here.
Ask a Librarian
At reference desk most hours the library is open.
Finding Articles in Magazines, Journals, and Newspapers
Pick a database recommended for your subject from Databases by Subject and then search using keywords.
To locate the full text of an article:
- If full-text is available in the database, click on the link to full text (HTML or PDF).
- If full-text isn't available in the database, click the button to see if we have access to the article in another database or in print in the library
- If no Find Text button is available or you didn't find the article through our databases, search for the magazine or journal title using the Journals tab in the library catalog.
- If the full text isn't available through the Library, you can request an Interlibrary Loan for the article(s) that you need. However, you must allow about two weeks for this!
Access Databases from Off Campus
Only current CSUN students, faculty and staff can access our databases from off campus. To access the databases from off campus, click the name of the database. You will then see a screen asking you to log in, using your CSUN User ID and password (the same ID and password you use to log in to the portal).
Search for Articles
Choose keywords that represent the important ideas you want the articles to contain. Given the topic the effect of television violence on children, you might choose television, violence and children as your keywords.
For more information, see Developing a Search Strategy.
Combine Keywords Using AND and OR (Boolean Operators) to Refine Your Search
Tell the database how to combine your keywords using Boolean operators.
- If you want all of the keywords to appear in every article, put AND between them in the search box. Example: television AND violence AND children
- To have the database search for articles where either of two terms appears, put OR between the terms in the search box. Example: teenagers OR adolescents
For more information, see Boolean Searching and Truncation.
Refine Your Search Using Limits and Field-Specific Searches
There are two options for refining your search beyond specifying keywords.
- Field-specific searches: the database looks for a keyword in only a specific field, such as author, title, abstract, or publication title. Look for a field drop-down box next to the search box.
- Limiters: additional fields that appear on the search page such as scholarly (or peer-reviewed), date of publication, and article type. For example, you can select the scholarly limiter and the database returns only scholarly articles.
Printing and Saving Articles in PDF Format
If you are viewing an article in PDF format, use the print and save icons in the Adobe Reader frame. Do not use File > Print, File > Save, Ctrl+P, or Ctrl+S because these commands cause the file to print or save incorrectly.
- Use keyword when your term may be very new, very distinctive, or jargon, e.g. "instant messaging", "XML".
- Use a variety of keywords. There may be additional items on your topic that use different terms.
- Be aware that you may retrieve items not related to your topic (called false drops)
- When you cannot remember the exact title of an item, do a keyword search using the title words you remember.
Viewing Results in the Library Catalog
Select a title to see more information.
Information includes publication information, location, call number and checkout status. Click on the various links to find more items by the same author or in the same subject area.
- New topics may not yet be included in the database's controlled vocabulary.
- Using the appropriate subject heading for a topic will retrieve all items in the database indexed under that topic.
- If you do not know the appropriate subject heading for your topic, conduct a keyword search first and look at the subject heading(s) of a relevant item.
Types of Resources
Primary sources are original materials on which other research is based. It includes documents such as poems, diaries, court records, interviews, surveys, fieldwork, and some newspaper articles. It also includes research results generated by experiments, which are published as journal articles in some fields of study.
They are also sets of data, such as census statistics, which have been tabulated, but not interpreted.
Secondary sources describe or analyze the primary sources.
Examples of secondary sources include: dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks, and books and articles that interpret or review research works.
Examples of tertiary sources includes indexes and abstracts which serve to locate secondary and primary sources. An index will provide a citation which fully identifies the work: author, title of article, title of journal or book, publisher and date of publication, For a journal it will include the volume, issue and pagination. An abstract is a summary of the work being cited. Many indexes and abstract are available now online.
|Subject Area||Primary Source||Secondary Source||Tertiary Source|
|Art||Original artwork||Article critiquing the piece of art||Art Index|
|History||Slave diary||Book about the Underground Railroad||American: History and Life|
|Literature||Poem||Book on a particular genre of poetry||MLA|
|Computer Science||Original research published as a journal article||Introductory textbook on programming||Computer Database|
|Sociology||Indian Education Act of 1972||Journal article on Native American education||ERIC|