Research Guides: Introduction to Library Research

Finding Resources: Databases
Databases: Highly organized collections of content, such as journal, magazine, or newspaper articles; ebooks; audio/video/image files; conference proceedings; technical reports; patents; or dissertations.
To begin your research, try out these databases:

Academic Search Complete: For multidisciplinary, full-text searching of scholarly, peer-reviewed materials
  • Has 6,100+ full-text periodicals, including 5,100+ peer-reviewed journals, and offers indexing and abstracts for 10,100+ journals and a total of 10,600+ publications including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc. 
  • Need more assistance?  Follow this help tutorial
​CQ Researcher: For topic generation, background information research, and topic-specific vocabulary development
  • Explores a single "hot" issue in the news each week. Topics range from social and teen issues to environment, health, education and science and technology. There are 44 reports, each around 12,000 words, produced each year. The reports include a pro-con feature, a chronology, bibliographies and a list of contacts.
  • Need more assistance? Follow this help tutorial
LexisNexis: Access to national newspapers, including The New York Times, business and financial information, and legal materials
  • News resources: Full text of more than 350 newspapers from the U.S. and around the world, many same day of publication, including non-English news sources. Other news content includes: magazines and newsletters, broadcast transcripts, wire services (the Associated Press, Business Wire and PR Newswire), and college/university papers.
  • Business resources: Business and financial news, U.S. and international company financial information from government or private sources, market research, industry reports, and actual SEC filings. Search features permit comparison of companies based on criteria such as sales, income and number of employees. 
  • Legal resources: Primary source material such as case law, statutes and regulations or secondary source materials such as legal news or law reviews for background or analysis of a legal topic. Validation for case law research is supported with Shepard’s Citations for the Supreme Court.
Access World NewsFor accessing local, state, national, and international newspapers.
  • Newspaper articles are written by journalists and primarily aim to inform the public about current news and events. They are typically short in length and ‘currency’ is very important. Articles in newspapers include news reports, opinions and reviews, and local interest stories.
  • Includes access to The Advocate (1/1/1986 - Current), and The Times-Picayune (1/1/1989 - Current).
  • Need more assistance? Follow this help tutorial
Web of Knowledge: Access the world's leading scholarly literature in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities.
  • Includes journal citation reports to critically evaluate leading journals in a variety of disciplines
Finding Resources: Catalog
Library Catalog: Use the catalog to find what LSU Libraries owns or has access to, including books, ebooks, journals, archival materials, music, and DVDs.

Need more assistance? Follow these tutorials:
Types of Resources
Types of Resources: Depending on your research, you will need different types of resources.  Learn more about some of the different types of sources:
Search Tools and Tips: Boolean
Boolean Searching: A technique which allows search terms to be connected by using AND, OR, NOT in most library catalogues and databases. 
If you were looking for information on New Zealand’s nuclear free policy the Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT would have the followings effects:
AND – the results of your search will include both terms
           “New Zealand” AND “nuclear free”

OR – the results of your search will contain at least one of the terms
        “nuclear free” OR “anti-nuclear"
Tip: Using 'OR' will increase the number of possible results but they may not all be relevant.
NOT – the results of your search will exclude a term after NOT
        “nuclear power” NOT “nuclear weapon”
Group terms together in brackets ( ) when using combinations of ANDORNOT.

        e.g. “New Zealand” AND (“nuclear free” OR “anti-nuclear”) NOT “nuclear weapon”.

This will find information relating to New Zealand and the idea of nuclear free or anti-nuclear. It will not include any information relating to nuclear weapons.

Need more assistance?  Follow this help tutorial
Understanding and Evaluating Information
Once you find information, you need to evaluate it to determine its value to your research:
Citing Your Sources
To avoid plagiarism, citations are necessary to attribute and document your sources.

Need more assistance?  Check out these guides:
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Style Guide: This guide lists brief descriptions of major citation styles, call numbers for LSU Libraries copies and links to full-text versions, online catalog records, as well as other websites that provide how-to-cite guidelines. 
  • Citation Management Software: This guide defines of the term citation management software.  It briefly describes essential features of Endnote, Reference Manager 12, Mendeley, and Zotero.  Youtube overviews, how-to-use videos and links for downloading the software are included.
Trouble Accessing Resources
I can't access library databases:
  • Are you off campus?  If yes, make sure you’re logged on to your MyLSU account
  • Are you on campus?  If yes, contact us
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Finding Your Librarian
Each field of study at LSU has a dedicated librarian. Contact your subject librarian if you have any questions about finding and using resources or doing research. 

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