Using Library Resources Saves You Time and Money

by Karen Kostner

When that research paper is assigned do you ever wish you had better resources than those Google often retrieves? While you may get about 30,000,000 hits, seldom are they of much substance for academic research. Sure, sometimes you hit the jackpot right away, but other times you end up wasting your efforts sifting through an endless number of websites or you’re asked to pay to access that perfect article. How can you tell if that article is even good enough to include in your paper, when you know anyone can publish anything on the web? And what if your professor says you cannot use the internet? Then what? Shouldn’t research be easier?

Well it can be easier and quicker if you have the right tools-and the Melville Library has those tools for you. The library subscribes to many, many article indexes and full-text databases where perhaps the exact article/s that you were looking for can be found quickly and easily and probably in full-text. That means the whole article is there for printing or downloading free of charge to you. These databases are often searched differently* than Google, retrieving results that are much more focused and precise thus saving you time and money. We also have e-books and many other resources. Excited? To learn more, read on and also check out our website.

The library not only provides the resources, but also gives you the know-how to use them. Throughout the semester there are many opportunities to take workshops that increase your awareness of what the library has and to help make your lives easier when conducting research. Whether you want to know how to find articles in the databases, how to use the internet more effectively, how to avoid plagiarism or how to manage your research using a software program called EndNote, we have a workshop just for you. If you do not see a workshop convenient to your schedule, we can arrange one for any group or class of 5 or more. In addition, we are dedicated to providing help on an individual basis at the reference desk or through a private consultation.

Any finally, for those do-it-yourselfers out there, we have an in-depth tutorial describing the whole research process, step-by-step. You may also check our Instruction page for links to other resources like research guides and tutorials.

Hope to see you at the library! We always welcome questions or comments:

Karen Kostner, Assistant Instruction Librarian.

* Just remember when using the databases think in terms of concepts and keywords. Do not type in a sentence. Join the keywords together using Boolean operators: AND, OR and NOT.

AND retrieves records that contain both terms, therefore it narrows your search.
For example: cats AND dogs. All articles retrieved must contain both cats AND dogs.

OR retrieves records that contain either term; thereby broadening your search.
Example: cats OR dogs. Results are all articles with cats and all articles with dogs.

NOT omits records that that you do not want, narrows your search.
Example: cats NOT dogs, retrieves all articles with cats but omits those that also contain dogs.

Janet Clarke

Janet Clarke

Associate Dean, Research & User Engagement at Stony Brook University Libraries
Janet Clarke
Posted in Library Science