CHOOSE A TOPIC - that
interests you (If you already have a topic in
mind, continue to #2). You may want to ask yourself, "What
kind of information do I need?" You may
need an overview, comprehensive research on a
topic, or a quick reference to a fact. Once you
decide what type of information you need, you
can select a source that will be likely to have
the information or plan a search strategy that
will include several types of sources.
.... I.. Choose a topic within
the subject area that is:
broad - with hundreds of books and articles about it
(Example: AIDS, drug abuse, South Africa, Civil War);
Not too narrow - with
nothing or only one or two articles written about it
(Examples: "The effect of drug abuse on the athletic performance of 18-year-old
hockey players in Argentina" or "A comparison of the marketing strategies
of two barber shops in Harrisonburg, VA")
.... II.Identify the main concepts of your topic as
Topic: Does smoking in teenagers affect social relationships?
.......... a. Smoking
...........c. Social relationships
.... III.. Review your list of main
concepts; think of synonyms for each concept.
Create a list of search terms for each concept as
in the example below:
and search terms:
- tobacco use
C. Social relationships
- social relationships
- interpersonal relationships
these search terms in Reference books, the LAMP Catalog,
and databases related to your research topic.
2.WHAT RESOURCES TO USE:
Use general sources,
such as encyclopedias or textbooks, to define and focus
the topic, develop an overview and gather background
information. The bibliographies in these sources are
usually excellent starting points for research, since
they provide a list of books and articles that are not
only pertinent, but also authoritative.
BASIC INFORMATION: Encyclopedia articles give a broad overview and background
information on many subjects. Each article, written by a specialist in
that particular field, generally provides a comprehensive introduction
to the subject. Articles usually summarize and synthesize information from
a variety of sources and include a selective bibliography of other authoritative
books and articles on the subject. A general encyclopedia is often the
best place to start research because it contains information on almost
every subject. Specialized encyclopedias are focused on specific subject
SEARCH STRATEGY FOR LOCATING ENCYCLOPEDIAS USING THE LAMP ONLINE CATALOG:
You may find additional encyclopedias in the Reference Collections of the
3 college libraries (Riverside City, Norco and Moreno Valley) by searching
the LAMP Online Catalog.
If you have a particular subject area in mind, you may find encyclopedias
on that subject by searching as follows:
by "Keyword" and typing Encyclop* and Your
Example: encyclop* psychology
Back to Top
SELECTED LIST OF GENERAL ENCYCLOPEDIAS:
World Book Encyclopedia, 2009 - located in Norco College Reference(AE5 .W55 2009)
World Book Encyclopedia
- World Book Encyclopedia online includes World Book Kids, World Book Students and World Book Advanced, as well as Enciclopedia
Estudiantil Hallazgos for beginning Spanish Speakers. Provides articles, multimedia, web links, periodicals, ebooks, and more.
Funk and Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia - This database provides
over 25,000 encyclopedic entries covering a variety of subject areas.
SELECTED LIST OF SPECIALIZED ENCYCLOPEDIAS:
Social Sciences (Psychology, Political
Science, Law, Sociology, Education)
of Psychology. Detroit: Gale, 1996. (Riverside Ref BF 31
of Human Behavior. San Diego, CA : Academic Press, c1994.
(Riverside Ref BF31 .E5 1994)
of Educational Research. New York: Macmillan, 1992. (Riverside
Ref LB15 .E48 1992)
of Multicultural America. Detroit, MI: Gale Research, c1995.
(Riverside & Norco Ref E184.A1 G14 1995)
of Marriage and the Family. New York: Macmillan, c1995. (Riverside,
Norco & Moreno Valley Ref HQ9 .E52 1995)
Encyclopedia of Russia and the Former Soviet Union. New York
: Cambridge University Press,1994. (Riverside, Norco & Moreno
Valley Ref DK14 .C35 1994)
of the Third World. New York: Facts on File, 1982- (Riverside,
Norco & Moreno Valley Ref HC59.7 .K87 1992)
of World Cultures. Boston, Mass. : G.K. Hall, 1991-1993.
(Norco & Moreno Valley Ref GN550 .E53 1991)
Encyclopedia of Mankind. (1989 ed - Norco & Moreno Valley
Ref GN307 .I44 1989)
of the Nations. Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research (2001 ed -
Norco Ref G63 .W67 2001; 1988 ed. - Moreno Valley Ref G63
The New Palgrave:
a Dictionary of Economics. London: Macmillan, 1987. (Riverside
Ref HB61 .N49)
The New Palgrave:
a Dictionary of Economics and the Law. London: Macmillan
(1998 ed. - Riverside Ref K487 .E3N48 1998
Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. New York: Macmillan,
1968-1991. (Norco & Moreno Valley Ref H 40 .I5)
Science Encyclopedia. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 1996. (Moreno
Valley Ref H41 .S63 1996) and also 1985 edition in Riverside
Ref, Norco Main Stacks & Moreno Valley Main Stacks
of Social Work. Washington, D. C.: National Association of
Social Workers, 1995. (Riverside, Norco & Moreno Valley
Ref HV35 .S6 - AND - Ref HV35 .S6 1997 suppl.)
of American Social History. New York: Charles Scribner's
Sons, 1993. (Riverside, Norco & Moreno Valley Ref HN57
of Sociology. New York: Macmillan, 2000. (Riverside, Norco & Moreno
Valley Ref HM 425 E5 2000)
of Democracy. Washington, D. C.: Congressional Quarterly,
1995 (Riverside & Moreno Valley Ref JC423 .E53 1995)
of the American Presidency. New York: Simon & Schuster,
1994. (Riverside Ref JK511 .E53 1994)
of the United States Congress. New York: Simon & Schuster,
1995- (Riverside Ref JK 1067 E63 1995)
of the American Constitution. New York: Macmillan, 2000 (Moreno
Valley Ref. KF4548 E53 2000. The 1986 edition is available
at Riverside, Norco & Moreno Valley Ref KF 4548 E53 1986
Encyclopedia of Science & Technology. New York
: McGraw-Hill, 1997. (Riverside, Norco & Moreno
Valley Ref Q121 .M3 1997)
of the Environment. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co.,
1994. (Norco Ref GE10 .E53 1994)
of Endangered Species. Detroit: Gale Research, c1994-
(Norco & Moreno Valley Ref QH75 .E53 1994)
World Encyclopedia of Endangered Species. Danbury, Conn.
: Grolier Educational Corp., 1993. (Riverside, Norco & Moreno
Valley Ref QL82 .S4513 1993)
Animal Life Encyclopedia. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold,
1972-1975. (Riverside Ref QL3 G7813)
History, Religion, Philosophy, Art, Music)
Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. Princeton,
N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1993. (Riverside Ref
PN1021 .N39 1993)
Oxford Companion to American Literature. New York,
Oxford University Press, 1983. (Riverside, Norco & Moreno
Valley Ref PS21 .H3 1983)
Companion to English Literature. New York : Oxford University
Press, 2000 (Riverside Ref PR19 .D73 2000. The 1985 edition
is available at Riverside Ref., Norco Ref & Moreno
Valley Ref: PR19 .D73 1985 )
of the Middle Ages. New York : Scribner, 1982-1989. (Riverside,
Norco & Moreno Valley Ref D114 .D5 1982)
Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge, 1998.
(Riverside Ref & Norco Ref B51 .R68 1998)
of Religion. New York: Macmillan, 1986. (Riverside, Norco & Moreno
Valley Ref BL31 .E46 1986)
of the History of Ideas. New York: Charles Scribner's
Sons, 1973-1974. (Riverside Ref CB 5 D52)
and Magic ... New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1995. (Riverside & Moreno
Valley Ref BF 1407 .M34 1995)
of American Religions. 6th ed. Detroit : Gale Research,
1999. (Norco Ref. & Moreno Valley Ref BL2525 .M449
of American History. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons,
1976-1978. (Riverside, Norco & Moreno Valley Ref
E 174 D52 1976)
of African-American Culture and History. New York: Macmillan
Library Reference USA, 1996. (Riverside & Moreno
Valley Ref E185 E54 1996)
of World Art. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1959-1987. (Riverside
Ref N31 .E533)
Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Washington,
D.C. : Grove's Dictionaries of Music (2001 ed. - Riverside
Ref ML100 .N48 2001; 1980 ed. - Norco & Moreno Valley
Ref ML100 .N48 1980) The online version is available
through our LAMP system - See it listed on our Electronic
Foods & Nutrition
Encyclopedia. Clovis, CA: Pegus Press, 1983. (Riverside,
Norco & Moreno Valley Ref TX349 .F575 1983)
Encyclopedia & Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, & Allied
Health. Philadelphia: Saunders, c1997. (Riverside & Moreno
Valley Ref R121 .M65 1997)
of Mental Health. San Diego: Academic Press, 2001 (Riverside
Ref. RC437 .K34 2001). and the 1998 edition is available
at Riverside Ref., Norco Ref. & Moreno Valley Ref
RA790 .E53 1998
of Bioethics. New York: Macmillan, 1995. (Riverside Ref
QH332 .E52 1995)
3. IDENTIFYING SEARCH TERMS: Identify the main
concepts of your topic and generate a list
of search terms and
subject headings for each. Use these search terms
to search the topic in reference books, the on-line
catalog, and electronic databases.
4. SEARCHING LAMP: Search the LAMP Online
Catalog under the appropriate subject headings and keywords to find books
and audiovisual materials in the RCCD libraries. Be sure to see if there
are any bibliographies listed. These should be examined first. Also,
when you find a good book in the online catalog, check items with the
same subject or browse through books nearby on the shelf to find additional
The LAMP online catalog does several things:
It identifies materials
actually owned (or on order) by the Library & Learning Resource Center
(LLRC). The LLRC consists of the 3 college libraries of the Riverside
Community College District. These materials include books, journals,
newspapers, atlases, video recordings, reference materials, software,
It tells you where
items are located within the LLRC
you if items are currently available, checked out, lost,
overdue, on reserve, in processing, or on order
you access to electronic indexes which permit you to
bring up on the screen and print the full-text of some
electronically available journal articles by clicking
on the title and following the links. For articles which
are not available in full-text, citations are provided.
You may access the online catalog from:
The public workstations
located in any of the LLRC's facilities (All 3 of the college libraries)
in Riverside Community College District's Computer Labs
in remote locations, such as your apartment.
Searching the LAMP Online Catalog
Online Catalog is a user-friendly system, allowing
most users to find what they need by following
directions on the screens. Within the online catalog,
each individual catalog record is interactive,
offering active links to quickly lead to similar
items. For example, in a catalog record, a user
may click on an author's name for a list of other
books by that author, or click on the subject headings,
for a list of other books with that same subject.
catalog permits several types of searches, including:
author, title, subject, keyword, and call number. (See
LAMP Search Tips for more information on searching
the LAMP Online Catalog) In addition, several advanced
searching techniques are offered.
Four search capabilities that you might find especially useful are:
Keyword Search - allows
you to search by significant words in the title, and contents notes,
subject headings, author field, etc.. The Boolean operators AND, OR and
NOT may be used in keyword searches.
Examples: Entering the search global
warming AND forests will retrieve records containing
all three terms (global and warming and forests).
If a search is entered with no Boolean operators,
the system automatically places the Boolean operator
AND between each word.
Entering the search counseling OR psychotherapy will retrieve records
containing either the term counseling or the term psychotherapy.
Entering the search apartheid NOT South Africa will retrieve records
containing the term apartheid but which do not contain the terms South
and Africa. Caution is advised concerning the use of the Boolean operator
You may also perform a more complex search combining two or more operators.
See the section on nesting for more information about this kind of search.
Limit function - is used after a search
by clicking on the Limit this Search button. Limiting
allows you to restrict the results by:
item is located
in the Title
in the Author
in the Subject
The Limit command is particularly useful in refining a search that has retrieved too many titles.
Browse by order on shelf - allows you to see a list of related items in call
number order as they would appear on the shelf. When you find an especially useful source, click on the highlighted call number.
Show similar items - prompts you to find items by the same author or on the same subject.
When you find an especially useful source in the online catalog, click on the highlighted subject headings or author.To find materials on a particular
subject in the online catalog, you could first do a Keyword search using the words you think best describe the idea.Then, look through your results
until you find an item that seems to match your request. Click on the title to view the full record for this item, then scroll to the bottom of the screen
and click on the highlighted subject heading that seems to best describe your topic.
Finding Sources on the Shelf
Copy the location and call number of the source you want and find the material on the shelf using this
If the source you wanted is checked out, you may place a hold on it at the circulation desk. The library
will notify you when the item is returned.
5. LOCATING PERIODICALS:
Locate periodical indexes that list useful scholarly journals, popular magazines, and newspaper articles on the topic.Be sure to consult a reference
librarian to identify appropriate indexes for your topic. Periodicals may be checked out for seven days.
Types of periodical articles
Popular magazines - Written for the general public for the purpose of informing and entertaining. Newsweek, Time, and Ebony
are examples of popular magazines. Because of their easy reading style, magazines may be a good starting point in understanding a topic.
- Typically have articles written by authorities in the field. They
may report new
research developments or provide a scholarly discussion of a topic. They
usually include bibliographies. For most college level papers, you should
rely more heavily on articles from scholarly journals.
Newspapers - Sources
of valuable information often not found in other resources. Not only
do newspapers provide accounts of current events, they also show
changing trends in public opinion. Older issues of newspapers provide
a record of past ideas, problems, and events.
Finding periodical articles on my topic
Look in an index - The most efficient way to locate periodical articles is to use periodical indexes.
Simply put, these indexes are guides to articles that can be found in several hundred magazines or journals. Depending on which index you select,
and the date of the desired article, the index might be available in electronic form or on paper. Be sure to choose an index that covers your topic.
You may select from the list of electronic indexes. If you need help choosing or searching a database, see the section on Searching Indexes.
Look in the bibliography of an article or book - If you already have a good article or book
on your topic, the easiest way to find additional articles is to look in the bibliography.
The photocopy machines located in the three college libraries accept
change and one dollar bills. Both photocopies and printouts cost 10 cents.
6. USING THE CATALOG:
Use the online catalog to determine whether periodicals are
available at any of the RCCD libraries. Remember to search
the online catalog by periodical title and type in the
name of the journal, not the title of the article.
7. LOCATING GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS:
published by the U.S. Government. These sources provide
various types of information and data, and can
be found in government-produced reference sources,
monographs, or periodicals.
8. LOCATING BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL:
material, when appropriate, by using biographical
indexes.There will be many times during your years
here at Riverside Community College and later in
life that you will need to find biographical information
about individuals. You may wish to check the credentials
of authors and scholars, find out about the past
of an international or political figure in the
news, or just find out more about a person or family
out of pure curiosity. The Library and Learning
Resource Center (LLRC) has dozens of biographical
sources in the Reference area. A researcher often
doesn't know which one will contain information
on the person of interest. Fortunately, the index
described below makes a search for biographical
information quick and easy.
Biographyand Genealogy Master Index
This resource is a great time saver. It will lead you to biographical
information in over 600 biographical sources, such as Who's Who in America,
Dictionary of National Biography, Contemporary Authors, and American
Men and Women of Science. All 3 college libraries have this resource in
the Reference Section. Call# Ref Z5301 .B614 2001 I
In addition you may use the following techniques to find biographical
1. Look in an encyclopedia for a brief summary of the person's life.
2. Do a subject search in the LAMP Online Catalog to find entire books
written about him or her.
3. Look in electronic resources to find articles about the individual.
Click on: BiographiesPlus Illustrated; AccessScience; or, Landmark Documents
in American History.
STATISTICAL MATERIAL: Locate statistical
resources when appropriate, to provide statistics
on your topic. Statistics are a valuable kind
of information in research because they can provide
data for making comparisons and determining historical
trends. When you write a term paper, your argument
will, in many cases, be more convincing if you
can use statistics to back up what you say. The
United States government is one of the largest
and most important publishers of statistical information.
Many of its agencies and departments have statistical
divisions which regularly publish statistical abstracts
and digests of basic socio-economic data about
the United States. One of the best sources of statistical
information published by the U.S. government is
Abstract of the United States (Ref HA202 .U5) <at
all 3 college libraries>
Published annually since 1878 by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical
Abstract presents quantitative summary of statistics of the U. S.
government as well as some private agencies. It covers social, economic,
and political aspects of the country such as population, vital statistics,
immigration, education, labor, and transportation. Statistics given in
the tables cover a period of several years, usually about 15 or 20. To
find if a particular subject is covered in Statistical Abstract, use
the detailed index in the back of the book.
10. SEARCHING THE INTERNET:
When searching the internet, be sure to keep a copy of what you find if you refer to it or cite it;
it might not be there when its existence must be verified!
RESOURCES: Evaluate all sources
Resources) carefully, especially information
you find on the Internet. This strategy should
help as you begin doing library research. You
may not always need to consult all of the above
types of resources for every project or paper you
write. It is important, however, to keep the
variety of resources available in mind.