WR 95 - Fall 2013

Essay 2 - Explaining Concepts

Learning More about Your Concept

Try a dictionary or an academic encyclopedia to start exploring your concept.

Finding Outside Sources

Explore Library catalogs to find books or article databases to find articles from scholarly journals, newspapers, and magazines.

Finding Books & Films

Access the Barber Library’s catalog by clicking on the “Books & More” icon on the home page and then choosing the link to the Barber Library’s Catalog:

Once in the catalog, you can search by keyword (important terms - your concept!), author, or title.

When you find a book in the catalog, you will see a location and a call number (outlined in red in image below). The combination of the location and call number tells you exactly where in the Library you can find the book, just like a street address tells you where to find a house in a town. If the location says "COCC Internet," that means the item is an e-book or streaming video, and you can read or view it on your computer rather than finding a physical copy in the Library building. You can request most physical COCC Library items and have them delivered to Redmond if you won't be in Bend to visit the Library.

If you have trouble finding a book in the Library, you can always ask library staff for assistance.

Click on the image for a larger view.

What if COCC doesn't have the book I want?

The COCC Library shares a system with Oregon State University, so you can also check their catalog. If they have the book you want, you can request it and have it sent here. If OSU doesn’t have it, you can try the Summit catalog. The Summit catalog searches 37 academic libraries in the Pacific Northwest. If one of those schools has your item, you can request it and have it sent to the Redmond campus.

It usually takes requested items between 3 and 7 business days to arrive, depending on where they’re coming from, so take that into account when deciding whether or not to request a book.

Finding Journal Articles

To find articles from scholarly and professional journals, you use tools called databases. Article databases are simply specialized search engines. Instead of searching the whole web, like Google, the Library's article databases search select collections of scholarly journals, professional publications, newspapers, and magazines.

To access the Library’s databases, click on the “Articles & More” icon on the Library’s home page:

This takes you to an alphabetical list of the Library's 200 databases. This might leave you asking yourself, "Now what do I do?"

Academic Search Premier is almost always a good starting point. It covers nearly every subject imaginable and has full-text content from about 6,000 journals. (To put that into context, the Library has less than 200 print journals on its shelves!)

Whatever your topic is, if you click on the “Resources by Subject” icon on the home page, you’ll find lists of resources selected specifically for certain subjects. This includes databases, academic encyclopedias, government information, and credible websites.

Interpreting Database Results

After you search a database, you get back a list of results. If you're not used to these kinds of search results, they can be confusing. Here's what you're seeing:

Take a look at the example search result below, from Academic Search Premier.

#1, highlighted in green, is the title of the article.
#2, highlighted in yellow, are the article’s authors.
#3, highlighted in pink, is the information about the journal – the journal title, the date of publication, and the number of pages and graphics present in the article.

To get the full-text of this article, you’d just click on the “HTML Full Text” or “PDF Full Text” links at the bottom of the citation.

Sometimes in a database, you will see this icon at the bottom of a result citation:

link resolver

This means that the full-text of this particular article is not available in the database you’re currently searching. If you click on this “Check for Full Text” button, it will search all of the Library’s other online databases to see if we have an online copy of the article. If not, it will direct you to request the article through Interlibrary Loan, a service where we will borrow the article from another library for you. It can take anywhere from 1 – 4 days to get an article through Interlibrary Loan, so plan accordingly if you need to request something.