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Grad Students’ Guide to the Library Fall 2010. Agenda GMU Libraries Overview Arlington Campus Library University Libraries’ Website Finding Course Reserves.

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Presentation on theme: "Grad Students’ Guide to the Library Fall 2010. Agenda GMU Libraries Overview Arlington Campus Library University Libraries’ Website Finding Course Reserves."— Presentation transcript:

1 Grad Students’ Guide to the Library Fall 2010

2 Agenda GMU Libraries Overview Arlington Campus Library University Libraries’ Website Finding Course Reserves Starting Your Research Using the Library Catalog Search Strategies Requesting Materials Finding the Full-Text Using Your Information Further Help?

3 GMU Libraries Overview Arlington Campus Library – European Union Documents Fenwick Library (Fairfax) – Periodicals, Government Documents Johnson Center Library (Fairfax) – Media, Music and Education materials Mercer Library (Prince William Campus) – Biotechnology, Health & Fitness, Criminal Justice Law School Library (Arlington Campus)

4 Arlington Campus Library’s Resources The library collects materials that support the programs available on this campus, excluding Law: – Current journals – Reference/Circulating materials – DVD/VHS/CD-Roms Liaison Librarians are here to assist students in their designated fields of study – Beth Roszkowski: Public Policy and Nonprofit Management – Gretchen Reynolds: ICAR – LeRoy LaFleur: Initiatives in Education Transformation

5 Arlington Campus Library’s Resources Computers: – 30 research-only terminals (no word-processing) – 1 CD-ROM station and 1 Data Stream station Media: – 3 televisions with DVD/VHS players – 2 Microform readers Assistive Technology Room: – Equipped with software to help patrons with disabilities conduct library research. – Contact: Korey Singleton, Assistive Technology Initiative Manager, at or (703)

6 University Libraries’ Website Search the catalog from the main page or click on: “Library Catalogs” OR

7 Course Reserves In the catalog, click on the “Course Reserves” tab. Pick your instructor, class, and section Find the call number and take it to the circulation desk. Most reserves are only checked out for 2 hours.

8 E-Reserves Click on the “E-Reserves” tab from the library’s website and enter your course information. You will need a password from your instructor in order to access materials.

9 Starting your research Pick a topic that interests you, if possible. Start making a list of keywords that you will use by thinking of synonyms and alternate phrases or spellings. Gather background knowledge on your topic from books or news sources. Once you have an understanding of the topic, start to focus on a specific area to shape your thesis.

10 Searching GMU’s Catalog Using the advanced “Builder Search,” use Boolean operators such as and, or, not. “Set limits” to limit your results to a particular location or medium, such as Arlington Campus or videorecording.

11 Search Strategies: Boolean Use Boolean Operators to create different combinations of your search terms: AND – will result in a set of records containing all of the terms you specify OR – will result in a set of records containing any of the terms you specify. They will not necessarily be contained in the same record. This will be a larger set of records. NOT – will result in a set of records excluding terms that you specify.

12 Search Strategies: Truncation Use truncation, which allows for variant endings of a term – Truncation symbols include: ?, *, $, # Beware! Truncating too soon may result in false hits! – Examples: Good: – Teen* = teen, teens, teenage, teenaged, teenager, teenagers Bad: – Viol* = viola, violent, violence, violet, violin

13 Search Strategies Advanced Search Example: (conflict resolution or arbitration or mediation) and (Darfur or Sudan or Africa) and (peace and (agreement? or negotiation? or accord?)) nesting Boolean operator truncation synonym

14 Getting materials Once you find an item, open the record to view its details. Check an item’s location to see if it’s available. Reference materials cannot be checked out but can be photocopied.

15 Requesting GMU materials If a book/article is not available at this campus but is at another GMU library, submit an Document Delivery request. Open a new tab but keep the item’s record page open. Click on “Interlibrary Loan” at Fill out your profile if it’s the first time submitting a request. Be sure to specify your default pick up location. Choose the type of request on the left hand side of the screen. Materials usually arrive within 3 business days. Use this same form to request books that are not available at GMU nor the WRLC.

16 Searching the WRLC catalog Search the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) to find materials that are NOT available at a GMU Library. Books can be delivered to most libraries (not Law) within the WRLC. You can also go to any WRLC library and physically get a book/article, but you can’t place holds on materials. Journal articles can be sent electronically to your “MyAladin” account. Log-in at: https://www.aladin.wrlc.org/Z-WEB/PATPagehttps://www.aladin.wrlc.org/Z-WEB/PATPage

17 Requesting from WRLC Once you find an item that’s available, click the “Request through Consortium Loan Services” icon and follow the directions. Requests usually take 3 -5 business days.

18 Searching Databases OR

19 Searching Databases Use databases to search many journals at once by using keywords and Boolean operators, just like the catalog. The databases are arranged alphabetically and by subject for easy navigation. GMU has access to 500+ databases. Recommended databases to start with: – Proquest Research Library – Academic Search Complete – LexisNexis- News, stats, business, congressional, reference To access subscription databases from off-campus, you will need to log in with your GMU username and password.

20 Searching Databases Not all databases contain full-text articles. If you find a citation of an article that interests you, search the E-Journal Finder to locate its full-text. Click E-Journals tab on library’s website.

21 Finding the Full-Text If GMU has the journal electronically, a list of databases will appear with the dates available. If a journal article is not available in the E-Journal Finder, search the GMU and/or the WRLC catalogs. – Request the article through Document Delivery or CLS as previously described. If neither GMU nor WRLC carries the journal with the article, you will need to submit an ILL request.

22 Using Information Avoid plagiarism! – Keep careful records of all sources you use Note the dates that you accessed materials online. You will need them for your citations. Consider using Zotero to help with your record keeping, citations, and bibliography. Important – Give proper credit – Use the citation format specified by your program (APA, MLA, Chicago, or Turabian)

23 Questions?

24 Finding Further Help If you find yourself at a roadblock: – Call the reference desk: or – Call me at or – Send an IM to iMasonLibraries (AIM, MSN, Yahoo!) Consult the Liaison Librarian for your program – Contact the Writing Center for help writing your paper. – Check out our blog! Our website:


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