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IDS 300 — Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies - Issues of Representation: Class, Race, and Gender

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Contact Information

Caroline Bordinaro


Concepts and Questions for Beginning Research


Finding Books in the Library

Magazine, Journal and Newspaper Articles Online

Search Tips

Finding Quality Websites

LIBRARY GUIDES (.doc format)

Concepts and Questions for Beginning Research
  • Where to Start?
    • What's your research question? What information do you need to find? Write it as a sentence.
      • Separate out the keywords unique to your topic and use those to search.
    • Who cares about the same information? (e.g.: researchers, professional associations, government, etc.)
      • What information do they need? Where would they get it?
  • What resource are you currently using? Why is it important to know?
      • Is there a better tool for the job?
      • Are you using it in the most efficient/effective way?
  • Types of information available
      • Books, articles from journals, magazines and newspapers, websites
      • Newsletters
      • Reports

  • DATABASE: An organized collection of electronic information, such as photographs, addresses, or journal articles.
  • ONLINE JOURNAL INDEX: A database that contains magazine, newspaper and journal articles, e.g: Academic Search Premier. AKA Subscription Database.
  • SCHOLARLY JOURNAL: Also called academic or refereed journal. Articles usually reviewed by experts in the field before publication, published for a research audience, narrow focus, e.g.; Molecular Endocrinology
  • MAGAZINE: Publication of general interest: popular interest and broad subjects (e.g: Psychology Today)
  • SUBJECT HEADINGS : Also called descriptors. Official terms used to classify items in a database.
  • THESAURUS: List and finding aid for official controlled vocabulary terms. Also called Topic Index or Subject List.
  • ABSTRACT: a brief summary of the main content of an article
  • FULL TEXT: the complete article. Click on the FindItCSUDH button to see if the Full Text is available.
  • CITATION: The basic information you need to find the full text of an article. It includes the title of the article, the author, the name of the publication, the date, the volume and issue number and the page numbers.

Finding Books in the Library

Go to TOROFIND: the CSUDH Library Catalog and search on the title, author, subject or keyword. Look not only for that specific call number, but also check out the books in that section.

  • If you don't see the right item listed, or want more titles, try an on a few keywords (in separate boxes).
  • If you still don't find the right book, ask a reference librarian.

Magazine, Journal and Newspaper Articles Online

These indexes must be accessed through the library home page at library.csudh.edu. Under Articles, E-books, Online Scholarly Resources, you may either browse by subject area or go to your favorite resource using the alphabetical List .

NOTE: These are subscription databases, selected and provided specifically for CSUDH students. To access from home, please see our Remote Patron Access Instructions guide for login instructions.

Recommended indexes:

  • CQ Researcher: complete reports on controversial topics and federal legislation
  • Academic Search Premier: Our most popular general index. Many full-text articles. Easy search and retrieval.
  • ProQuest Databases: Excellent multi-subject index, with many full-text articles. Very easy to search.
  • OmniFile Full-Text Mega: Another multi-subject index. Lots of full-text.
  • JSTOR: is an excellent resource for finding full-text, scholarly articles in the social sciences and humanities.
  • Project Muse: Scholarly articles on a wide range of topics in the humanities and social sciences.
  • Factiva: Wide coverage and timely delivery of news information from most of the world. Provides coverage of business, business-related issues and political/general news.
  • eBrary and EBSCO Electronic Books: electronic (web-based) complete books on a wide variety of scholarly subjects.
  • Oxford Journals: A major international publisher of academic and research journals, the collections cover Life Sciences, Mathematics & Physical Sciences, Medicine, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Law, and include some of the most authoritative journals in their fields.
  • Lexis-Nexis: 100% full-text newspapers, magazines and journal articles on a wide range of topics.

Not sure how to search? Use our How To Find Articles help page for assistance or click here.

Search Tips

Creating an effective online search:

  1. Take your research question and circle the "action words"
  2. Think of at least three synonyms for each action word
  3. Use these words in various combination to get a good result (between 15-40 results is optimal)
  • Combining keywords
    • AND: broadcast AND media AND regulations
    • OR: television OR radio OR newspaper
    • NOT: New York NOT city
  • Phrase searching"" ( "Neil deGrasse Tyson", "Federal Communications Commission")
  • Advanced Search: Use this frequently to determine your search options. This will save you TIME and FRUSTRATION!
  • Remember, the more words you use to search or the more limits you place on a search, the fewer results you will get. (How can you get more results?)
  • Always use the Print and Save functions embedded within the screen. It is usually not a good idea to use the File-Print or File-Save As functions in the upper left hand corner of the browser.
  • Use the online HELP screens - they really are helpful!

Rules and advice

  • Find index descriptors attached to useful article citations- redo your search with these "Official Database Topic Terms"
  • Always use the E-Mail, Print and Save functions embedded within the database window. It is usually not a good idea to use the File-Print or File-Save As functions in the upper left hand corner of the browser.
  • All databases function essentially the same way and have similar features.

How to Find an Article On Your Topic: Click here for more tips, tricks and advice

Finding Quality Websites

These are indexes to quality web sites that have been reviewed by librarians. The sites have been checked for accuracy, expertise and stabilty and will generally conform to the standards of academic research. However, please be judicious in the use of websites in general, because anybody can put anything on the web.

  • Infomine (infomine.ucr.edu): A project from the Univeristy of California and other universities, it is a searchable index of websites specifically appropriate for university research. Click on SocSci & Humanities to search their specialized index.
  • Internet Public Library 2 (IPL2): Index of websites reviewed by librarians, geared toward the general public. Choose a topic from the index or use Advanced Search to search for keywords.
  • Evaluating Information on the Web: This is a very good checklist from the Pasadena City College Library for judging the quality of not only information on the Internet, but any information you may want to use for an assignment.

LIBRARY GUIDES (.doc format)