Library Catalog Basic Search
Starting from the Library Catalog Basic Search screen you can search by Keyword, Title, Author, or Subject by selecting the radio buttons and typing search words in the text box.
The default Limits setting will search the entire collection. You may also limit your search to smaller sub-collections: Ejournals (electronic periodicals--not specific articles), Ebooks, NCOD (National Center on Deafness), TCC (Teacher Curriculum Center), Periodicals/Serials (not specific articles), Videos, Reference Room, Special Collections, or Sound Recordings by selecting a collection from the drop-down menu.
Searching for a specific Item
Select an Author or Title search if you know the author (last name, first name) or at least the first few words of the title.
Searching for Items by Topic
There are two ways to search the online catalog for resources on a topic: by Keyword or by Subject.
- A Basic Keyword search will simultaneously look for words in titles of materials, in subject headings, and in notes fields.
- A Subject search will locate materials by Library of Congress Subject Headings, which is a controlled vocabulary or standard list of subject terms. The Oviatt Library assigns Library of Congress Subject Headings to all items listed in the online catalog.
- Another way to find the Library of Congress Subject Heading for your topic is to search the catalog by Keyword, display the record for a relevant title, and select one or more of the Subjects listed for that record.
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!
Finding Statistics on Specific Topics
Only a core group of organizations (most frequently government agencies, particularly federal agencies) collect, analyze, and publish extensive statistical data on a regular basis. Once you know the organization that collects the type of data in which you are interested, search their web site or catalogs of their print publications.
Tip: Think about who would have cared about statistics on the subject and how, as well as from whom, the data could have been collected; this often gives clues of where to look for statistics, whether from a government agency, a trade association, or some other source.
Go to statistical data sources.
Check for Full Text Using Find Text
If the article isn't available full text in the database you are searching, click the button to see if we have access to the full text through another database or in print. A new page opens that will have one or more of the following links:
- Full text available via [database name]: Click to access the full-text online. If the link takes you to a publication-level page, you can navigate to the article by first choosing the correct year, then the correct month or volume number, then the issue, and then selecting the article from the displayed table of contents.
- We have this. Check availability in CSU Northridge Catalog: We have the article in print. Click to view the catalog record for the journal or magazine. You'll need to note the call number and then go to the fourth floor to get the article.
- Request document via Interlibrary Loan: We do not have the article online or in print. You can request the article via interlibrary loan (takes approximately ten working days).
For more information, see About Find Text.
How to Cite Articles
- Determine which citation style to use; the two most commonly used at CSUN are MLA and APA. If your professor didn't specify, pick one and use it consistently.
- Check the sample style sheets (MLA or APA) to see what information the article citation should contain and how it should be formatted.
- Be sure to indicate where material you quoted directly or paraphrased came from.
For more information, see Citing Your Sources - Plagiarism.
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).