Research Helps

FINDING INFORMATION

Each kind of information source has a different way to find things within it. However, the basic organization is the same. All information sources have the following:

  • A title
  • An author
  • A listing of the item for you to find by topic or subject in a catalog or record somewhere
  • A place that it is located, either in print or online (in a library, in a database, etc.)
  • An index, table of contents, abstract, or subject links that concisely tell what it is about
  • A date or time that it was created and/or accessed online
    With that in mind, use your information sources in the following way:

    • Books — Use the library catalog to locate a book, check the table of contents (front) or the index (back) of the book, and skim a few chapters to see if it will provide useful information.
    • Newspapers — Use the index on the newspaper, or use the newspaper database available through EBSCO host, check the article’s first paragraph to see if it will provide useful information.
    • Research Databases — Use the databases to locate relevant items, check item subject links and abstract to see if it will provide useful information.
    • Internet Websites — Evaluate the validity of the website by checking the reliability of who wrote the information, and for what purpose it was written, how current it is, and how credible the information is.
    • Personal interviews — Establish the credentials and background of the person being interviewed, prepare the questions to ask in advance, write or tape the interview and ask for the right to quote the person in your work.
    • Television and Radio Shows — You can get written transcripts of some of these from the EBSCO database, Newspaper Source. Review them to see if they will provide useful information.
    • Be creative in locating other sources, such as academic papers and historical documents.

DATABASE ACCESS

To access articles for class and to research thousands of academic sources, Family of Faith Christian University students are eligible to use SIRS Discoverer, EBSCO Host periodicals, and through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL). EBSCO Research Databases provide a broad spectrum of information sources for all levels of users, from elementary children to university professors. Each of the databases included with EBSCO Host has a particular level of user and a particular kind of information that it includes, and most are updated daily.
In order to easily access these resources, ODL has provided a web link from the ODL Digital Prairie main page. (www.odl.state.ok.us/prairie/index.htm)

  • Log on to the Internet and go to the website above. Be sure to add the ODL Digital Prairie main page to your favorites.
  • Select your database host option.
  • Enter the appropriate customer/user ID and password. You should remember that the passwords change annually. You can obtain the needed information from the Librarian or the university office.

AVAILABLE DATABASES

Take the time to become familiar with the key aspects of the different databases, as highlighted below for your benefit. You may decide to use a single database for your research, or you may decide to use several at a time.

Academic Search Elite – Academic institutions worldwide depend on this database as their core resource of scholarly information. Academic Search Elite contains full text for more than 2,000 journals, including more than 1,550 peer-reviewed titles. This multi-disciplinary database covers virtually every area of academic study. More than 140 journals have PDF images back to 1985.

Business Source Elite – This business database provides full text for nearly 1,100 business publications, including full text for nearly 500 peer-reviewed business publications. The rich collection of titles in Business Source Elite provides information dating back to 1985.

ERIC – or the Educational Resource Information Center, contains more than 1,194,000 records and links to more than 100,000 full-text documents.

MasterFILE Premier – Designed specifically for public libraries, this multidisciplinary database provides full text for nearly 1,750 general reference publications with full text information dating as far back as 1975. Covering virtually every subject area of general interest, MasterFILE Premier also includes nearly 500 full text reference books, full text from 86,017 biographies, 105,786 full text primary source documents, and an Image Collection of 341,655 photos, maps and flags.

Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia – This database provides over 25,000 encyclopedic entries covering a variety of subject areas.

EBSCO Animals – Provides in-depth information on a variety of topics relating to animals. The database consists of indexing, abstracts, and full text records describing the nature and habitat of animals.

Newspaper SourceNewspaper Source provides cover-to-cover full text for 35 national & international newspapers. The database also contains selective full text for more than 375 regional (U.S.) newspapers. In addition, full text television & radio news transcripts are also provided.

Professional Development Collection – Designed for professional educators, this database provides a highly specialized collection of 520 high quality education journals, including nearly 350 peer-reviewed titles. This database also contains more than 200 educational reports. Professional Development Collection is the most comprehensive collection of full text education journals in the world.

Military & Government Collection – Designed to offer current news pertaining to all branches of the military and government, this database offers a thorough collection of periodicals, academic journals, and other content pertinent to the increasing needs of those sites. The Military & Government Collection provides cover-to-cover full text for nearly 300 journals and periodicals and indexing and abstracts for nearly 400 titles.

Regional Business News – This database provides comprehensive full text coverage for regional business publications. Regional Business News incorporates coverage of 75 business journals, newspapers and newswires from all metropolitan and rural areas within the United States.

TOPICsearch – This current events database allows researchers to explore social, political & economic issues, scientific discoveries and other popular topics discussed in today’s classrooms. TOPICsearch contains full text for over 139,800 articles from more than 4,800 diverse sources.

Other databases that are available include Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, MEDLINE, and Health Source – Consumer Edition for medical information and Middle Search Plus, Primary Search, and MAS Ultra – School Edition for middle school and primary school readers.

Database website: www.odl.state.ok.us/prairie/index.htm

USING THE RESEARCH DATABASE

You can follow this step-by-step guide to use the research databases provided through the Family of Faith Christian University library.

  1. Go to the EBSCO Research Databases. Scroll down to and click on EBSCO HOST WEB.
  2. Select which database(s) you want to use. Each database title has a short description of what kind of information you can locate within it. Then click CONTINUE.
  3. In the FIND box, type in the topic search word. In the REFINE SEARCH area below, check the box, FULL TEXT (so that you only get hits with the full article and not just the bibliographic information). Click SEARCH.
  4. Looking at the results of the search, how many items were found for the topic? 1-10 of 101 means that there are 101 items found, and you are looking at the first 10.
  5. To arrange the items so the closest matches come first on the list, look to the right top to SORT BY, click on the down arrow, and click on RELEVANCE. (If information is time sensitive, select DATE). The database will resort the list for you.
  6. Look at the left sidebar for a subject that is more closely related to your specific topic. If you want to use this feature, click on NARROW RESULTS BY then click on your preferred subject area.
  7. Select one of the titles that looks promising. Quickly look at two areas: SUBJECT TERMS and ABSTRACT. These give you a short summary of what the article is about. If it looks useful, you will want to read the entire article below and keep it.
  8. Obtain the information for writing your bibliography:
    *The title of the article
    *The author
    *The source where it was originally published (magazine, newspaper, journal, including volume number, issue number, page number)
    *The database in which you have found it
    *The date you obtained it
  9. Click PRINT on the database top line (not print from your browser). Click ESTIMATE NUMBER OF PAGES so you know how many pages will be printed before you decide to print. You may prefer to email the article to yourself. Click on RESULTS LIST to go back to the ALL RESULTS for additional articles.