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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:

Usually you will want to conduct a title search, or perhaps keywords from the title and the author's last name, and search in OneSearch to see if SMSU owns the book. If SMSU doesn't own it, use the dropdown menu in OneSearch to search "All MnPALS Libraries."  (See Search Scopes on the OneSearch tab for more information.)

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 search by the title Six secrets of change: What the best leaders do to help their organizations survive and thrive OR I would search for six secrets change Fullan.

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, or search in OneSearch by article title or journal title. 

  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 EBSCO Database Selection Menu and Proquest Databases - ALL. From those lists, you can select to search in all of the databases from those vendors at one time. 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 using the OneSearch option on the library homepage. If you search for the article title and multiple results are returned (especially if your title isn't unique), you may want to use the filters on the left to narrow your options.  This route is most useful and efficient if you have a unique article title or if you have no idea which database(s) to search in.
  4. Using the Journals search in OneSearch.  When you are in OneSearch, you'll see a Journals option across the top of the page. Using the Journal Search allows you to look by Journal Title or ISSN. After typing in the journal title, you'll get a list of results indicating if SMSU holds the title in print or electronic format. 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 show you the holdings so you can see the publication 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.). 
  5. You could also use the eJournals tab on the library's homepage to type in the journal's title or ISSN and follow the trail for that title (if available). Unless you have a very unique article title, choosing option 4 or 5 is an 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 through SMSU, I would go to OneSearch, choose the Journals search, and type Education Week (the title of the journal) into the search box.   This is what my results would look like:


Screenshot of Education Week journal results in OneSearch

From there, I can select one of the titles to see where the journal is available online.  Here's what my results would look like for the first entry:
Full Text Availability for Education Week Journal
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. 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.  I would have better luck using a title/author search (stress test kamenetz).