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Summer Research Program (Gordon): Library Resources

Google Scholar

We know most searches for information start on Google. It's important to remember though, that Google's results are ranked by popularity, not necessarily authority. To locate the best source for your research topic, you should narrow your results.

RefWorks

Citing your sources is one of the most important steps in doing research.  RefWorks will allow you to store and organize your citations as well as easily create your bibliography/references (whether annotated or not) and final paper in the correct style.  

You can use RefWorks to:

  • Organize references
  • Format bibliographies
  • Create a database of your own citations
  • Import references directly from library databases
  • Insert in-text citations, footnotes and bibliographies using the Write-n-Cite tool
  • Share your citations with a group

Database Search Strategies

Quotation Marks vs. Phrase vs. AND

"human growth hormone" will only retrieve results in which the words appear exactly as written

 human growth hormone will retrieve results in which human, growth and hormone are located in proximity to one another. Hormone could appear before growth The two words typically appear within 5 words of one another

Human AND Growth AND Hormone will retrieve results in which these terms appear somewhere in the fields searched. They do not necessarily have to be within proximity of one another or as a phrase. Human could  appear in the first sentence of the abstract and Hormonecould appear in the subject fields. 

Asterisk

Using an asterisk (*) at the end of a word will bring back variations of the word. 

Example: Hered* will retrieve results with the words heredity, heredities, hereditary etc.

How to find an article from a citation

When you have a citation in hand, it's tempting to go to the database with which you're most familiar and type in the title of the article. But since Fitchburg State provides access to over 100 databases, the article is very likely indexed somewhere else.

The fastest way to find out if we have the full text of an article is to use the library's Journal Locator tool.

Find the title of the journal in your citation and type it into Journal Locator. In this example the title is Foreign Affairs:

        Blight, J. G., Nye, J. S., & Welch, D. A. (1987). The Cuban missile crisis revisited.
               Foreign Affairs, 66(1), 170-188.

If we have access to the journal, Journal Locator will link you right to it. Then follow the rest of the citation - date, volume, issue, and pages - to find the specific article. (In the above example, it would be 1987, volume 66, issue 1, pages 170-188.)

Want to see what journals are available in a specific discipline? Go to Journal Locator, and instead of using the search box, use the drop-down menu under "Browse journals by subject."

Public Services Librarian

Connie Strittmatter's picture
Connie Strittmatter
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Contact:
HA-112A, Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library
Hammond Hall
978-665-4222

ILLiad: Get Articles, Books or A/V from Another Library