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Distance Learning Library Services: Beginning Your Search for Sources

This guide is intended to help students who are taking classes at a regional campus and/or online to more easily access library resources and services.

Beginning Your Search for Sources

When you're ready to start looking for books, articles, and other sources, try these tools first.

Everything Search: This is a single search of the combined resources provided by the IUP Libraries.  What that means is that the Everything Search will search almost everything that the library has access to, both print and digital collections.  It's like Google for the library.

Academic Search Complete: A comprehensive, multi-disciplinary full-text database with more than 5,300 full-text popular magazines and scholarly journals.

Library Catalog - The Library Catalog tab allows you to search the IUP Library collection.  This is a great way to find books that are available from the IUP Library, but the catalog will also link you to E-Books, videos, journals, and many other types of media that the library owns.

Still need more sources? Find the Research Guide in your subject area for more suggestions on where to look.

Brainstorming keywords

The words that you type into library databases like I-Search, Academic Search Complete, and the Online Catalog will completely determine the kinds of results you get.  That's why brainstorming keywords, concepts, and phrases that describe your topic is so important.  

Use your research question to identify your first keywords.

Research Question: Are children who play video games more likely to be violent?

Keywords: children - video games - violent

Those words are a great start, but you'll need to develop a longer list of synonyms and other concepts that are related to your topic to perform the most effective searches.  We can take each of our starting keywords and brainstorm broader, narrower, and related terms.

Children: youth, adolescents, teenagers

Video games: Grand Theft Auto, World of WarCraft, media

Violent: hostility, aggression

Finally, combine these keywords in different ways to locate a wide variety of sources.

youth and video games and hostility

children and grand theft auto and violence

aggression and teenagers and video games

Online Catalog Searching

Choosing Keywords

Get Help

Or call:

Indiana Campus Library: Reference Desk
724-357-3006 or 1-866-836-8815

Punxsutawney Campus Library
814-938-4870 

Northpointe Campus Library
724-294-3300