Research FAQ

How do I find a book?
How do I read a call number?
Where are the books in the Library?
How do I find a video or DVD?

How do I find an article?
Where's the Full-text?

How do I find periodicals (Magazines, Newspapers or Journals) in the Library?
What is a peer-reviewed journal?
What's the difference between a scholarly journal and a magazine?
What if the Library doesn't have the book or periodical that I need?
How do I evaluate the information I have found?

What is a citation?
How do I cite a book?
How do I cite an article?
How do I cite government documents?

How do I evaluate a web site?
How do I cite a web site?

How do I find UMD (and U of M) salary data? (requires login)
How do I find UMD (and U of M) salary data?

 


 

HOW DO I FIND A BOOK? Top
Search the Library Catalog find books in the Library available via the Library Home page.

If you know the title or author use the browse for box.
For a general subject or keyword search use the Search for box.
When you find materials that will work for you, record the call number and title of the material so that you can find the item on the shelf.


HOW DO I READ A CALL NUMBER? #top
the Library uses the Library of Congress Classification System. For the book:
Colorblind Injustice: minority voting rights and the undoing of the Second
Reconstruction
, by J. Morgan Kousser

The call number will look like this in the Library catalog:
JK1924 .K68 1999

But it will look like this on the spine of the book:
JK
1924
.K68
1999

a. The "JK" or beginning letters (anywhere from 1 to 3 letters), represent the subject area of the material. Books are arranged alphabetically by call number on the shelf.
b. The "1924" or next digits are whole numbers. 193 would come before 1924, and 1925 would come after 1924.
c. The ".K68" or decimal-letter-number combination should be read as a decimal, not a whole number. The letter will stand for the first initial of the author's last name or the first letter of the title if the book had an editor. .K675 will come before .K68, and .K7 will come after .M68.
d. The last number is the date of publication.

The important thing to remember is that you read the call number from the top down. Check with a Reference Librarian if you would like assistance.

 

WHERE ARE THE BOOKS IN THE LIBRARY? #top
Books can be found on all four floors of the Library. The main book collection is located on the third and fourth floor. Books in this collection can be checked out. Currently, any book beginning with a call number between A and K is on the third floor. Books with call numbers between L and Z are on the fourth floor. Reference books (dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.), found on the second floor, do not circulate. If you're looking for the latest best-selling books, they are located on the first floor near the newspapers.

 

HOW DO I FIND A VIDEO or DVD? #top
Search for a video the same way you do a book. The Library Catalog contains all the materials owned by UMD, so you can search it to find videos, books, periodicals (not the articles in them, just which ones we own), DVDs, CD-ROMs, audiocassettes, etc. To limit your search to the format you want:
1. Go to the "Advanced Search" screen.
2. Put your term(s) in the search box(es)
3. Scroll down the screen to the "Limit Search " section. In the "Collection" drop-down box you can select the type of material that you need.
4. Click on "Submit"

Record the call number and title of the material that you want and bring it to the 1st floor Reserve desk to retrieve it. You can check out a video for one week (videos on reserve may have shorter loan periods).

 

HOW DO I FIND AN ARTICLE? #top
Use an index or database to find an article. the Library subscribes to over 120 different databases that are designed to help you find scholarly and general interest articles.

**An index is a finding tool that helps you to locate articles available in thousands upon thousands of different journals published worldwide. the Library (and in fact, no library in the world) will own all of the different journals that are listed in the index. That means that sometimes you will find citations or abstracts to articles that you want, but we will not have the journal in our library. However, through our Interlibrary Loan service, we can almost always still get the article for you.**

1. List the keywords or terms that best describe your topic.

2. Go to the Databases page.

3. Select the subject area that best matches the topic that you are studying. You may want to try the "Good Place to Start" database that is recommended to you or you may select one of the other databases listed based on its description.

For example: Expanded Academic Index

4. Search the database by using the terms you have identified.
For example: gender and voting behavior (notice that the terms are combined using the word "and". You will want to do this too)

5. From your results list, record the citations that look useful. Using the following citation as an example, a citation includes:

"The developmental theory of the gender gap: women's and men's voting behavior in global perspective."
Ronald Inglehart, Pippa Norris.
International Political Science Review Oct 2000 v21 i4 p441 (23)

a. The title of the article
"The developmental theory of the gender gap: women's and men's voting behavior in global perspective."

b. The author of the article
Ronald Inglehart, Pippa Norris.

c. The name of the periodical (magazines, journal or newspaper) that the article appeared in
International Political Science Review

d. The date of the publication
Oct 2000

e. The volume and issue of the article and its page numbers
v21 i4 p441 (23)


It's important to record citations by writing them out, printing them or saving them for two reasons: 1) they help you locate the full-text of the article; and 2) you will need the citation when it comes time to cite your research

Some databases are considered "full-text" databases and provide the entire article online. Other databases are citation and/or abstract only, and will give you access to only a summary or citation of the article. To find out how to get the whole article, visit our "Where's the full-text?" section .

 

WHERE'S THE FULL-TEXT? #top
Some databases are considered "full-text" databases and provide the entire article online in either html or PDF versions. Other databases provide access to only citations and/or abstracts, and will give you just that - only a summary or citation of the article. When this is the case, you can search our Library Catalog (link) to see if we own the print or microfilm version of the periodical. If we do, all you have to do is make a photocopy or printout.

For example: If you have the following citation, and there is no online full-text available, check the Library catalog to see if we own the print version of International Political Science Review.

"The developmental theory of the gender gap: women's and men's voting behavior in global perspective."
Ronald Inglehart, Pippa Norris.
International Political Science Review Oct 2000 v21 i4 p441 (23)

1. Visit the Library Home page and click on Library Catalog. Enter the title of the periodical in the search box and then click on the "Periodical Title" button. (Remember: check the catalog for the title of the JOURNAL, not the title of the ARTICLE).

2. If a record comes up for the periodical title, then you can scroll down to the bottom of the record to view the "Holdings" portion of the screen. This will tell you the dates that we own the journal. Make sure that the date that you want matches one of the dates that we own.

3. The most recent 10 years of paper periodicals and all microfilm are located on the 3rd floor of the Library, arranged alphabetically by title. Periodicals older than 10 years are located in the Library Annex, arranged alphabetically by title. During the school year, a student will be available to assist you on the 3rd floor of the Library at the Periodicals Help Desk.

If we don't own the paper copy of the journal that you need, you can submit an Interlibrary Loan request and usually receive the article that you need within 10 days.

HOW DO I FIND THE PERIODICALS (Magazines, Journals, or Newspapers) IN THE LIBRARY?#top
Periodicals are magazines (Time), journals, (British Medical Journal) and newspapers (Duluth News Tribune). The periodical collection is located on the third floor where you will find magazines and journals collected since 2000. Older journals and magazines are shelved in the Library Annex - just off the second floor. Current newspapers can be found on the first floor. If you need a paper printed in the past month, go to the circulation desk. If you need an article from an older newspaper we may have it in our microforms collection. For assistance go to the Research & Information Desk on the second floor.

WHAT IS A PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL?#top
When an instructor requires students to find journal articles he/she will usually expect articles from peer-reviewed journals. Peer review is the process by which an author's peers read a paper submitted for publication. A number of recognized researchers in the field will evaluate the manuscript and recommend its publication, revision, or rejection. Articles accepted for publication through a peer review process implicitly meet the discipline's expected standards of expertise.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SCHOLARLY JOURNAL AND A MAGAZINE? #top
The following guidelines are meant to assist students in determining whether a journal is scholarly or popular. These are guidelines only, not absolute criteria. Please note that many of these criteria have been qualified by the word "tend"; although this element is usually there, it can't be counted on always to be there. Other criteria are listed as "always" present. When in doubt regarding the quality of a resource in any format, consult a Reference Librarian or your professor.

 

SCHOLARLY JOURNALS
POPULAR MAGAZINES
Articles always have bibliographies and end/footnotes. Articles may lack bibliographies or references
Authors are always named, and their institutional affiliation is given. Authors may be anonymous.
Articles may be peer-reviewed or refereed. Articles are not peer-reviewed.
Journal title may include terms such as "journal," "review," or "bulletin." Journal title lacks such terms.
Journal cover and pages tend to be plain in design, without advertisements. Non-text elements may be limited to charts, graphs, and tables showing numerical data Journal tends to include advertisements,graphics, color photos, etc.
Issues tend to be successively numbered. Each issue tends to begin with page 1
Articles tend to be longer. Articles tend to be shorter, some only 1-2pages.
Issues tend to be published less often (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually). Issues tend to be published more frequently (monthly, weekly, daily).

 

 

WHAT IF THE LIBRARY DOESN'T HAVE THE BOOK OR PERIODICAL THAT I NEED? #top
After you have checked the Library catalog to confirm that the Library doesn't have the item that you want, you can submit an Interlibrary Loan request. ILL is a totally free service for UMD students, faculty and staff. The ILL Department searches many libraries to find the book, video or article that you need. It usually takes about 10 working days to receive the material, so make sure to start your research early enough that we can get the material in time for your project.

 

WHAT IS A CITATION? #top
An article citation includes the title of an article, author, name of the publication / source (journal, magazine, newspaper) that the article appeared in, volume, issue, pages and date. It's important to record citations by writing them out, printing them or saving them for two reasons: 1) they help you locate the full-text of the article; and 2) you will need the citation when it comes time to cite your research

Example of an article citation:
"The developmental theory of the gender gap: women's and men's voting behavior in global perspective."
Ronald Inglehart, Pippa Norris.
International Political Science Review Oct 2000 v21 i4 p441 (23)

a. The title of the article
"The developmental theory of the gender gap: women's and men's voting behavior in global perspective."

b. The author of the article
Ronald Inglehart, Pippa Norris.

c. The name of the periodical (magazines, journal or newspaper) that the article appeared in
International Political Science Review

d. The date of the publication
Oct 2000

e. The volume and issue of the article and its page numbers
v21 i4 p441 (23)

HOW DO I CITE A BOOK? #top
First consult your instructor to determine if a citation style has been designated for writing assignments in this course. If a citation style has been selected there are several options. Citation style guides are available at the second floor Research & Information Desk. If you can't get to the Library, help is still available. The library's Citation Guide and Style Manuals  includes a category listing for citation style guides.

 

HOW DO I CITE AN ARTICLE? #top
When you read an article and then use the author's words or ideas in your paper you must give the author credit in the form of a citation. To cite a journal article, you must first select a style to use. You can find specific examples of citation formats by browsing the citation manuals at the second floor Research & Information Desk. You can find similar information at the Library's Citation Guides and Style Manuals web page.

 

HOW DO I CITE GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS?#top
Government documents can be more difficult to cite properly than standard books and journals, due to the specific nature of some of the documents. Fortunately, most citation style manuals include information relating to government documents. Check the index of the manual to determine whether it contains the information you need. 

 

HOW DO I EVALUATE A WEB SITE? #top
The Internet can be a great source of information. It can also misinform. Before using Internet information ask your instructor if Internet sources can be used in the course. If so, you must evaluate any web source before including it in a research paper. Some of the main focus of the evaluation should be authorship (who is responsible for this web page ?), publisher (what organization developed this site?), currency (is there a date on the page?), etc. For more information on web site evaluation access see UMD Library - Web Site Evaluation.

HOW DO I CITE A WEB SITE? #top
Here are the basic pieces of information to collect about a Web page in order to cite its use in a research paper:

-Author and/or Sponsor
-Title of the individual "article" or information page
-Title of the main home page -- look for a link on the information page to "HOME" or "MAIN"
-Date the page was posted/updated
-Address URL (location)
-Date you accessed the page -- pages can be here today, gone tomorrow

For additional information and examples of web site citations go to the Library's Citation Guides and Style Manuals web page.


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