Buley Library Research Basics
• Ground Floor
Periodicals (Magazines, Journals, Newspapers), Theses, Microfilm,
• First Floor
Reference Books, Maps, Videos, DVDs, Music CDs,
• Second Floor
Circulating Books A-PN
• Third Floor
Circulating Books PN-Z, Juvenile Collection, Oversize Collection,
Curriculum Lab Collection, Special Collections and Archives
Finding Books, DVDs, eBooks, etc.
• On the library home page (http://library.southernct.edu/) enter your
search in the CONSULS quick search box and click on “Search”. The
default is keyword. Use the pull-down menu for other searches.
• CONSULS displays the holding of all four state universities – Central
(CCSU), Eastern (ECSU), Southern (SCSU), and Western (WCSU), and the
State Library (StLib).
Click here for Advanced
Use pull-down menu
to search by author,
title, subject, etc.
Enter search terms in the quick search box
How Books Are Arranged
• Books are arranged by the Library of Congress Call Number System.
• Each book has a call number which consists of letters and numbers as in the
• The letter in a call number represents a major subject area. Books on a subject
are grouped together.
• Use SUBJECT search to find information on a broad topic.
• In a SUBJECT search, only the subject/descriptor field of a record is
• Keyword search uses natural language search terms.
• Keyword searches retrieve many records, some of which may be
• In a keyword search the search term you enter may appear anywhere in
the record (title, subject, notes, table of contents, etc.).
Requesting items from another CSU Library
You can request items that are available at the other three state
The advanced search screen presents many more search options.
• Combine your main search concepts with operators
such as “and”, “or” or “not” to give your search focus
• Do not use phrase words in a search
• To search an exact phrase type the phrase in
Example: “Stand your ground”
• Look at the subject headings or descriptors in the
records in your results list to see what search terms are
being used in the database for your topic
Illustrating AND operator
Liberal education and success
Combine search terms with “and” to narrow your search and
get records containing all search terms. The shaded
overlapping area represents the number of records that contain
the terms, liberal education and success.
Illustrating OR operator
liberal education OR higher education
Combine search terms with “or” to get more results. An “or” search
retrieves at least one if not both search terms. The shaded area
represents the number of records that contain either liberal education
or higher education
Illustrating NOT operator
college not school
Not excludes search terms that appear after it. In this
example, only the term “college” is searched. The term
“school” is excluded. The yellow circle represents records
that contain the word college. The pink circle represents the
records that contain school.
Parentheses are used to group search words
for more complex or focused searches.
Example: higher education and
(success or failure)
In this search, documents that contain the
word higher education and either the word
success or the word failure ,or both, are
Finding Periodicals in the Library
Click on “Journals by Title” to see if the
library has the periodical you need
Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
If the library does not have the periodical you need we can get
the article for you through interlibrary loan.
Click on Library Services
to get to ILL. Then click on
ILL to access the loan forms. Fill
in the form and submit. First
time users will need to fill out a
Finding Journal, Magazine, and Newspaper Articles
• Search Databases to find periodical articles.
• Databases can be accessed from the “Articles” tab on the library home page.
• From the “Articles” page select “All Databases”
Click on “Articles”
To access databases
On the Articles page ,
select “All Databases”
Choosing the right databases
Click on “By Subject” to access
databases by discipline
Databases under this tab are good starting
points for research. We recommend you begin
your search on Academic Search Premier
Databases vs. Internet
Why use Databases?
• Databases, not internet search engines, should be the
first stop for any academic research assignment.
• Information in databases goes through a peer-review
process and is therefore more reliable
Why not the Internet?
• You may use the internet for browsing or getting
acquainted with your topic but use library databases to
find quality information for your papers.
• Information on the web needs to be evaluated
Scholarly or Peer-reviewed Journals
• Articles are written by a scholar or researcher in the field and are most
often published by a specific organization
• The language is that of the discipline covered and usually requires the
reader to have some knowledge of the subject.
• May often contain graphs and charts.
• Cite sources in the form of bibliographies
Some Scholarly Journal Titles
Energy and Environment
Journal of Social Issues
Nineteenth Century Literature
Social Justice Research
Popular and Other Periodicals
• Usually written by a member of the editorial staff, a scholar, or a free-lance
writer and generally published by commercial enterprises or an individual though
some may be published by a professional organization.
• Contain general interest articles aimed at a broad audience.
• Articles have illustrations or photographs.
• Articles usually do not cite sources.
Some Popular Periodical Titles
Evaluating Information in Print and on the
Web with the CRAP Test
When was the information published? When was it last updated? Is the
source current or out of date for your topic?
Is the information well researched? Is there supporting evidence?
Is the information too elementary, technical or advanced? Who is the
What are the author’s credentials? Is the author well known in
her/his field? Is there contact information? What are the
• Purpose or Point of View
Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda? Is it free from bias?
Is the author objective and impartial?
Dr. Chad Bauman has created an excellent music video
which is a humorous take on the CRAP test.
The video is available at
• Guides on various topics such as research skills, course specific
guides, citation styles, plagiarism, Google Scholar, etc., are available to
help students with their research.
• Click on “Research at Buley” on the library home page and select
“Research Guides” to access these guides.
Access database tutorials and help guides on Google Scholar, citation styles, and much more
Learn how to borrow and renew books, access course reserves, etc.
• Go to the Reference Desk on the main floor of the library for help during normal
• Schedule an individual appointment with your subject librarian.
• You can “Ask Us” a question, “like” us on Facebook, or “follow” us on Twitter by
using the relevant icons at the bottom of the library home page.
Schedule an appointment with a librarian
More ways to get help