1b. Develop Questions & Keywords1d. Find Background Information1e. Refine a Topic
2a. Find Books2b. Find Articles2c. Find Full Text2d. Find Reserves2e. Find Images2f. Find Films2g. Find Websites2h. Search Strategies
3a. Evaluate Sources3b. Primary vs. Secondary Sources3c. Types of Periodicals
4a. Paraphrasing4b. Notetaking
5a. Plagiarism5b. MLA Citation Style5c. Works Cited Examples5d. Copyright
This is the "Step 2: Locate Information" page of the "Olin Library: Research Skills" guide.
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Olin Library: Research Skills   Tags: assignments, evaluating, information_literacy, learning, presentations, projects, research, skills, writing  

Last Updated: Oct 29, 2015 URL: http://library.drury.edu/research Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Step 2: Locate Information Print Page


  • As you go through a list of titles, remember to check the items you are interested in and then choose Save Marked Records or just choose Save All On Page. Then you can email or print the list.
  • It is sometimes helpful to see if the author of a text on your reading list has written other books on the same subject. You can click on the Author's name or search by Author to find out.
  • If Drury doesn't have what you're looking for, check SWAN; if you don't find it there check MOBIUS.
  • Library catalogs are not easy to use at first, so always ask for help from library staff if you can't find what you want. At Drury, you can telephone the Reference Desk at (417) 873-7337 during library opening hours.  You can also send us your questions via Ask a Librarian

What Are Subject Headings?

Subject headings are used to describe the contents of a book. They are very useful for checking to see if the book is going to cover the topic you are researching.
Here are the catalog details for a book on global warming:

Title The economics of global warming / William R. Cline.
Publisher Washington, DC:Institute for International Economics, c1992.

Shelf Location Drury Main Collection HC79.A4 C55 1992

Subject Heading Air -- Pollution -- Economic aspects.
Subject Heading Global warming.
Subject Heading Greenhouse effect, Atmospheric

Description: xi, 399 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.

Library catalogs also give you a Subject search option, but to search by Subject or Subject/Keywords, you will need to know the exact form of the Library of Congress Subject Heading for your topic. Most people do a Keyword search, find one good book using this method, look at the Subject Headings, click on a relevant one or do another Subject or Subject/Keyword search on this term to find more items. Librarians can help you.


Other Resources

Sometimes you need to find a DVD, video-recording, map or kit on a subject, rather than a book.

First do a Keyword search and then when you have a list of items matching your keywords click on Modify Search. Here you will see several areas to limit your search.

For example, to search for videos or DVDs about global warming you can type the terms:

global warming

This will give you a list of items on global warming.

Click on Modify Search and choose VIDEO/FILMS in the Other Format box.

Then Click on SEARCH. This will retrieve a list of films about Global Warming located at Drury.



Searching a catalog for a subject

When you start to look for resources on a subject, you might want to check out the guide Finding Keywords. Thinking of alternative keywords for your subject means that you will be more likely to find all that the library offers on that subject.

For example, you may want to find resources on "global warming", but you could also search using the alternative term "greenhouse effect" to get more results.

If we do a Keywords search for "global warming" in the Drury Library catalog, we will find many titles. But if we are really interested in the economic effects of global warming we can add the term "economics" to narrow the search:

global warming economics

The catalog will then look for all items with the terms "global warming" AND (as well as) "economics". This will result in fewer titles, but they are more likely to be closer to what we want. If we narrow our search too far, and don't get enough results, we need to broaden the search again - just use "global warming" or try some alternative keywords. For example:

greenhouse effect economics


Types of Sources

Before starting your research, it's important to understand the types of information sources available. This video provides a broad overview of the information you can find in sources such as books, encyclopedias, almanacs, periodicals, electronic resources and more.


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