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CUR 519 — Advanced Study in Curriculum Research

Contact Information

Carol Dales


Using the CSUDH Library in person---where is everything?

Finding Journal Articles

Finding a Specific Article

Finding Journal Articles on a Topic


Books and Ebooks

Inter-Library Loan

The Internet

Citing your Sources

How to Use ERIC (long version)

Using the CSUDH Library in person---where is everything?

For a visual guide to locations of services and resources in both wings of the CSUDH University Library, click this link : http://library.csudh.edu/info/guides/prezi.shtml .

(Note: put your cursor over "More" on the RH side of the screen to enlarge the display by clicking on "Full Screen".

Finding Journal Articles

To find journal articles, use one of the journal article databases on the library home page.

To use CSUDH databases when you're off campus:

  1. You must be a current CSUDH student, faculty member or staff member.
  2. Adobe Acrobat Reader software (v. 10.0 or later) must be installed on your computer. As many articles are available only in .pdf (portable document format) format, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read and/or print them . Get the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader free at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html
  • For detailed information on how to log in to CSUDH Electronic databases, click here.
  • For an overview of how to use CSUDH databases to find journal articles, click here.
  • To limit your results to peer reviewed articles, look for the words "scholarly" and/or "peer reviewed" and place a check in the box beside these words.
  • Click on a link below to access the database of your choice or use our comprehensive list of Journal Article Databases to see all available CSUDH databases .

Finding a Specific Article

When you already have a reference or citation to a specific journal article, find out if the Library subscribes to the journal you need by consulting the CSUDH University Library Journals List. The CSUDH Journals List helps you locate both online and print journal articles as well as older articles that may be available in the CSUDH Library in bound volumes.

For more detailed help finding a known article, visit the Find a Specific Article tutorial.

Finding Journal Articles on a Topic

When you don't already have a citation or reference to a specific journal article , find articles by using one of our journal articledatabases.

For a detailed review of how to use the databases to find journal articles, click here. To limit your results to peer reviewed articles , look for the words "scholarly" and/or "peer reviewed" and place a check in the box beside these words before you begin searching.

  • ERIC: Comprehensive database covering a wide range of education subjects; includes both journal articles and miscellaneous educational materials.
  • Education Full Text: covers varying runs of almost 600 education publications.
  • Academic Search Premier: Multi-disciplinary database with full text for more than 4,600 publications, many of which are peer-reviewed journals; a good starting point because it covers a wide range of subject areas.
  • PsycINFO: citations and abstracts to scholarly journals in psychology and related disciplines; many references to education-related topics.



A database thesaurus lets you locate correct descriptors/subject headings to use in search.

  • Locate a Thesaurus button or link on the screen (sometimes called "Subject Headings" or "Subject Index", depending on the database you are using.)
  • Type a word or phrase for which you would like to identify a subject heading into the appropriate box .
  • Sometimes you can click on the suggested search term to see a note that defines the term as it is used in the database, as well as a list of narrower , broader and related terms.
  • Either copy down useful descriptors/subject headings or cut and paste them into the search screen where you are working.
  • You can also find valid descriptors listed after the abstract in many ERIC search results (look after the word "Subjects").

Books and Ebooks
  • If you will be borrowing print books from the CSUDH Library, take a close look at the regulations on the Circulation /Borrowing Books page.
  • Use the Library's ToroFind online catalog to search for books by author, title or subject.
  • The library owns many books on education topics.. For example, try the following search in the library's online catalog:

    • In the drop-down menu to the left, select "Subject".
    • In the text area to the right, type "reading comprehension" and click "Search".
    • Note that in addition to books on the subject you searched for, you also see books listed in over 20 subdivisions of reading comprehension.
    • For a list of general books about reading comprehension, click the Reading Comprehension link.
    • Once you have a list of books on the screen, you can sort your results with the drop-down menu at the right.
    • Under "System sorted, select "Sort by year - newest to oldest" and click "Sort" to see a list of books with the most recent books first.
    • The library also has thousands of electronic books (ebooks), books that have been scanned in that you can read on your computer or electronic device screen on or off campus using the library website. Many of the newest books on most subjects you search will be ebooks.
    • If off campus, read ebooks on your screen after logging in with your campus username and password.
  • You may also directly request printed books through Interlibrary Loan from other libraries by using the Search All CSU Libraries Catalog if the CSUDH Library does not has the book you need or Search Worldcat if the CSUDH library does not have the book you need. Worldcat include journals and books from 70000 libraries Worldwide buttons


Inter-Library Loan

If the CSUDH Library does NOT own a specific journal or book you need, fill out an appropriate online ILL form at http://library.csudh.edu/services/ILL/ and submit an electronic request. You will be notified by email when the item you need has been received.

A print or electronic copy of the requested item will be obtained from another library, but may take as long as 7 to 14 days to arrive.


The Internet

Google is an helpful search engine, but unless you know exactly what you are doing, it may lead you to millions of web pages on your topic and hundreds of subtopics.

Three tips:

  1. Use Google's Advanced Search page to do a more precise search.
  2. When using information from the web for projects and research papers, remember to evaluate the quality and reliability of the information.
    For help evaluating web pages, try Five Criteria for Evaluating Web Pages (Cornell University Library).
  3. The Library home page link to Google Scholar lets you search some scholarly literature, including many peer reviewed articles. However, but you will probably not find all of the important articles on your topic unless you try other stragies too. If you need scholarly literature, the Library databases listed above are usually a better option for beginning your research.

Citing your Sources

When writing a paper or completing a project for a class, you will be asked to provide a bibliography of all of the materials that you used. Make notes as you are doing research to keep track of sources of information you use.

The Purdue Online Writing Lab will help you determine what information to gather and show you how to cite books, articles, and web resources in APA, MLA, and Chicago/Turabian formats.

Check with each professor to find out which citation format to use for papers in that class.

How to Use ERIC (long version)

                                 How to Use ERIC 

  •  What is ERIC?

    • Educational Resources Information Center, U.S. Department of Education, a huge database with citations and abstracts, but almost no full text articles.

    • free online. gives educators access to education literature (both journal articles and 300,000+ misc. documents), 1966 to date; searchable by keyword, author, title, etc.

    • publisher / vendor EBSCO sells us their value-added version of ERIC; searchable and has many links to full text of articles.

    • NOTE: If you try to avoid using EBSCO ERIC by searching for your assigned articles through Google, you may miss out on important articles on your topic and obtain a lower mark on your literature review :(

  • What is a citation? 

    • A citation is a reference to a work (such as a journal article or a book) that provides all the information needed to locate the work. An article citation includes author(s), article title, journal title, volume, pages and date.

  •  How to use ERIC to find a journal article when you already have the citation:

     If you think an article you need may be in a journal indexed by ERIC, search for it by entering pieces of information you already have into the ERIC search boxes.

Find an article entitled “A comparison of two direct instruction reading programs for urban middle school students” by M. E. Shippen, D. E.
, & C. E. Steventon
in the Vol. 26, No 3, May-June 2005 issue of
Remedial and Special Education:
         1. type a distinctive phrase from the article title ( e.g.: direct instruction
           reading programs
) into the top search box.              
2. type the major author’s last name only ( e.g.: Shippen) into the
              search box on the second line. 
        3. (optional) type the journal title into the Search box on the third line. 
        4.  Click the blue Search button.  

 If you're not sure which database contains the journal, try entering the title
of the article into the "exact Phrase" box on the CSUDH Library version of
Google Scholar.

  • Use ERIC to find articles on a topic in the field of education:

* Analyze your question or topic looking for its unique concepts and vocabulary:
    - Write down the most important key words or phrases.
    - Develop a list of synonyms for each word or phrase.
      The resulting words or phrases are your search terms.  

* Use connector words to combine your search terms:
      AND will narrow search results    e.g. cooperative learning (on 1st line) AND mathematics
                                                                           (on 2nd line)
      OR will broaden search                  e.g. middle school OR junior high (type on one line)
      NOT will narrow (limit) search.     e.g. mathematics NOT algebra

  • ERIC contains two different types of content:

    Journal articles: citations & abstracts of over 1 million articles from 1000+ professional    journals, 1882 to date (ERIC Journal numbers all begin with EJ)
    ERIC Documents: unpublished materials of all kinds, archived by ERIC; includes     conference papers, books, speeches, government reports, teaching guides, lesson plans
        and other education literature. (Eric Document numbers all begin with ED)

    NOTE: for most assignments that ask you to find JOURNAL ARTICLES only, eliminate unwanted Document (ED)
    results BEFORE you search by limiting your results (under the green Search Options bar: Journal or Document / click on Journal articles).
  • View and Print your Search Results in ERIC:

    • Results (each result is called a record) appear with the most relevant first.
    • Each record includes a
    citation and an abstract with your search terms highlighted.
    • Subject headings assigned to articles in your search
    appear below the abstract of each record.
      Use subject headings in subsequent searches to obtain better or more precise results.
    To see more information about an article, click on the article title.
    • To see the complete article (full text), click either "PDF Full Text” or "HTML Full Text".
    records have a red and white  "Find it @CSUDH Library"
     button at the end of the abstract. 
     Be sure to click on it to see if the article is in a different database or in printed form.

  • Get articles (or books) the CSUDH Library does not own:

    • Use the online ILL form (click Inter-Library Loan / ILLiad login to submit an online request for an article or a book (Note: if it’s your first ILLiad request, you will be asked to set up a user account).   

    •  Print or electronic copy of that article will be obtained from another library and emailed to you, but will usually take at least a week or longer to arrive !!!