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ED 622: Research in Education: Using References

Finding References

As you find books, articles, eBooks, websites, etc. to support your research, you'll want to take advantage of the research that was used to write those sources. Looking for a Bibliography, Works Cited, or References list is an efficient way to research. In books, you may find the resources listed at the end of the book, at the end of a chapter, or at the end of sections within a chapter.

Using Book Sources

If you are looking for a book:

Take the citation information provided for books, and look in the online catalog, MnPALS, to see if SMSU owns the book. If SMSU doesn't own it, can you find it in other MnPALS Libraries by using the "All Libraries" search?  You may want to do a title search when you look for the book, or often a combination of major words in the title and the author's name in the All Fields search is effective.  For example, if this is the citation I found:

Fullan, M. (2008). The six secrets of change: What the best leaders do to help their organizations survive and thrive. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

I would either change the search to Title and type six secrets change into the search box, or I could use the All Field search and type Fullan Six Secrets.

Using Articles

If you want to find a full-text article:

There are many options to search for full-text articles. For example, you could choose to search in a specific database, search multiple databases at once, search in OneSearch, or use the Journals A-Z list on the Library homepage. Let's break down those options.

  1. Searching in a specific database. This option works great if you are lucky enough to get the correct database that the journal is indexed in. As you've seen by using the databases, not all publications are indexed in all databases. If you choose to do this option, you could either type in the article title into the search box or look for a Publications tab or search option where you can determine if the journal you need is in that database. While you may have luck with this route, it might not be the most effective.
  2. Searching multiple databases at once. If you look at the A to Z Database List, you'll see entries for Gale Database Selection Menu and EBSCO Database Selection Menu. From those lists, you can select to search in all of the databases at once. Once you get to the search screen, you could either search by the article title and/or part of the title and the author's name, or you could browse a Publications list (in most databases) to see if the publication is available in the databases.
  3. You could also try this using the OneSearch option on the library homepage, but know you may get multiple results (especially if your title isn't unique and/or you don't use the narrowing options to search by article title) and that you'll want to sift through them carefully.  This route is semi-effective and would be most useful if you have a unique article title.
  4. Using the Journals A-Z list.  As you look at the SMSU Library homepage, you'll see 2 tabs: one called OneSearch and one called Journals A-Z.  Clicking on Journals A-Z will bring up a search box that searches all of our nearly 70 databases as well as our Print and Microfilm Holdings for specific journal titles we have full-text access to. If the journal you are interested in is full-text in a database, it will tell you which database(s) have it. If it is a print title we have at SMSU, it will refer you to the MnPALS catalog to check holdings for the date you are interested in. If we don't have it available full-text, it will let you know that as well. (Note that doesn't mean you can't get a copy of the article, but you'd need to request it via Interlibrary Loan.).  Choosing this option is the most efficient way to find if SMSU has a journal article available in full-text.

For example, this is the journal article I'm trying to find:

Johnson, R. C. (2000). As studies stress link to scores, districts get tough on attendance. Education Week, 20(7), 1, 10.

If I wanted to see if I have access to this article via SMSU, I would go to the Library homepage, click on the Journals A-Z tab, and type Education Week (the title of the journal) into the search box.   This is what my results would look like:

Education week
ISSN: 0277-4232
Full text available from:
01/11/1995 to Present in
Academic Search Premier | Education Research Complete | MasterFILE Premier and Professional Development Collection
01/07/2004 to Present in
Educator's Reference Complete and Opposing Viewpoints In Context
From there, I can see that Academic Search Premier (as well as several other databases) has full-text available beginning in 1995. Since my article was written in 2000, it should be full-text in those databases.  
In this example, I do have a unique article title, so I could also have success using the OneSearch box on the library homepage. In that case, I'd type in studies stress link scores districts tough attendance and be able to find the title relatively quickly, either through the default search option or by Articles & More - by Title, However, if the title I'd been looking for was something more generic like Stress Test I may have to sift through more through more articles to find my specific citation for Kamenetz, A. (2005, May). Stress test. The Village Voice if I do a general search in OneSearch.