Where to start- Reference Materials
Consulting reference materials is a great way to introduce yourself to elements of your topic.
Selected Books from the Pelletier Library
Which sources to use?
- Books - You can easily search for books using the online catalog, Allecat. Try using one or two keywords to describe what you are looking for. Once you've found something useful, locate it using the Call Number. If you want more books like the one you found, try clicking on one of the Subject links provided. Books are useful for providing a broad overview of a topic, or a survey of a specific field or subject of study.
- Journals- Links to some subject specific databases are provided in the box below. Try using a variety of key words including the words "AND", "OR" and "NOT" to limit your searches. Journal articles are useful for in depth studies on a topic of interest and have the benefit of providing more current support for your research as they are published in a shorter timeframe than books.
- Reference materials, (e.g. Encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc.)- Try using the Credo Reference box to search for information on your topic. It's a great way to get started on something if you don't know a lot about it because it will give you a brief overview which is an opportunity for you to pick out some great keywords to utilize in Allecat or in the journal databases.
Databases based on subject
You can try searching for eBooks using Google Books, which offers full or partial text of thousands of books for free. Make sure that you verify the author of the content to ensure they are an authority on your subject before citing the source!
Google Scholar is a great way to search for scholarly articles using the Google interface. There may be a link to the right of the article that reads "Find @ Allegheny" in which case it will link you to the journal article if we have it. If not you can use the citation to identify which journal the article comes from. Using the "journals" tab on the library homepage (http://library.allegheny.edu/home) you can find out if we have a subscription to the journal you want to access.
RefWorks is a web-based bibliographic software package that enables you to:
- Organize your research
- Include citations while you write your paper
- Import references from many data sources
- Create bibliographies in different standard formats