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Research Tips and Tools

Page history last edited by T. Thompson 10 years, 2 months ago

Getting Started: PINS, the PAC, off campus vs. on campus, etc

Here are some tips on using the library resources and google scholar.

 

1. LIBRARY RESOURCES & Getting a PIN

  • If you are on campus, you should be able to access library resources no problem from the library web site.http://infodome.sdsu.edu/index.shtml
  • You may want to focus on the main databases - here's proquest: http://proquest.umi.com.libproxy.sdsu.edu/login/ipauto (But note that this database includes all kinds of materials, from newspapers to scholarly journals to magazines and business data.) Can be a good place to start, but you will probably need to figure out how to drill down, plus be aware of the kind of text it gives you - many are non-scholarly.
  • The library's research guides are helpful: http://infoguides.sdsu.edu/ They let you begin with a subject area (education, sociology, engineering, etc.) and select genres - e.g. books, journals, etc. 
  • If you are off campus, you will need to set up a PIN number to access a lot of resources (this is because the library pays various publishing companies for a lot of the services it provides.) This page explains how to set up a PIN: http://infodome.sdsu.edu/howto/pin.shtml
  • SEARCH OR A JOURNAL NAME: You may want to go straight to the library page that lets you search for a journal name: http://infodome.sdsu.edu/research/ejournals/ssolutions/ssolutionsmain.shtml (this can be useful to have bookmarked, especially if you have to work "backwards" from the research guide or google scholar - i.e. they give you the journal name, but not a link).

 

2. USING GOOGLE SCHOLAR

Google scholar is more basic than the library search tools, but it is simpler, and it also lets you search and look inside books that google has scanned, which can be handy.  The only real drawback with using google scholar is that once you've located a useful text, you may then have to go back to the library site to access the full text version of the text since google doesn't pay the publishers (this is especially likely if the text is a journal article). If you are on campus, you usually don't have to worry - you can often (not always) click on the google link and it will automatically take you to the SDSU version of the text. But not always.

 

 

Research links - how to find texts

 

 

Go to the library and talk to the research librarian

That's right, use your feet and talk to a human being. Watch what they do - ask them what they are doing - take notes, and try later on to do it yourself. Have them guide you through a key word search – show you some slick librarian tricks.

 

 

Talk to your professor

Another good place to start? Talk to your professor. Ask her what some of the key journals or databases are in your discipline. Ask her if she knows any journals or academic publications that are particularly good for undergraduates 

 

 

SDSU Online Library Resources

 

 

Internet Research Tools

 

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