Home: ALS 103

Search Tips

Does the Library Have the Book or Journal?

Creating Citations

Evaluating Web Sources

Career Information Resources

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ALS 103: Library Resources

General Library Information and Overview of Library Services

Hours for NCSU Libraries (including D. H. Hill Library)
Food and Drink Policy
D. H. Hill Library Map (pdf), including Locations of Service Desks; wireless access
NCSU Libraries Virtual Tour
Ask a Librarian
Photocopying and Printing

Finding Journal Articles on Your Topic:

From the NCSU Libraries home page (http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/), under Find, select Databases. Then select a subject-- Example: Biology. You'll see a long list of databases from which to choose. The databases listed at the top that include short abstracts are the ones most recommended for that subject. The ones listed below as Related Databases are additional resources you can try if the recommended databases do not yield enough results.

As an example, try the database called Biological Sciences.

Other databases you may want to explore include the following:

Agriculture and related literature indexed by the National Agricultural Library (NAL). Indexes journals, books, theses, patents, software, audiovisual materials, technical reports, and agricultural experiment station reports held by the NAL. Coverage: 1970-present.

BIOSIS Previews
Issued as a part of the ISI Web of Knowledge, the database covers original research reports and reviews in biological and biomedical areas. Coverage includes traditional areas of biology such as botany, zoology, and microbiology, as well as related fields such as biomedical, agriculture, pharmacology, and ecology. Also included are interdisciplinary fields such as medicine, biochemistry, biophysics, bioengineering, and biotechnology. The database covers content summaries, books, meeting abstracts, papers, and posters. BIOSIS also combines the content from Biological Abstracts and Biological Abstracts/RRM. Coverage: 1969-present. Updated weekly.

CAB Abstracts
Worldwide index to agriculture, forestry, and allied disciplines, including animal and human nutrition, veterinary medicine. From the Centre for Agriculture & Biosciences International. Coverage: 1972-present.

Zoological Record
Provides the most comprehensive coverage of worldwide animal literature. Over 6,500 international journals, review annuals, monographs, meeting proceedings, books and reports are monitored for inclusion. All major areas of zoology are represented, including: behavior, ecology, evolution, habitat, nutrition, parasitology, reproduction, taxonomy, and zoogeography. Coverage: 1978-present. Updated monthly.

Search Tips

To search by keyword Type the words or phrases you wish to begin your search and press [Enter]
lung cancer [Enter]
Retrieves records with the phrase lung cancer
To truncate terms
(wildcard searching)
Type the word you wish to search followed by an asterisk (*)
vaccin* [Enter]
Note: The truncation symbol varies depending on the search software.
Retrieves records with terms beginning with vaccin such as vaccine vaccines vaccination vaccinating vaccinated
AND narrows your search lung cancer and
Retrieves any record that contains both the phrase lung cancer and the term prevention.
OR broadens your search aids or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [Enter] Retrieves any record that contains either the term aids or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
Set searching #1 and #2 [Enter]
Note: May not work in all databases. Does not work in WWW search engines.
Retrieves records that contain both a term from set #1 and a term from set #2.
Nesting (Aids or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) and prevention [Enter]
Note: Used when set searching
isn't available.
Retrieves records that contain
either the term aids or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and the term prevention.

Does the NCSU Libraries Have the Book or Journal?


A. While you are searching a database.
Many of our databases are enabled to provide links to the libraries' journal holdings. If you see a red and white rectangular button that says Find Record Button within a record for a journal article, click on the button. A new window will pop up, containing information that will tell you if the library has electronic access directly to the article or if we have the journal in print.

B. If you have already left the database.
After using one of the indexes/databases above to find references on your topic, you can search by title in the NCSU Libraries' Catalog to find out if the library has the journal or publication that you need; search for the journal title (not the title of the article).

From the catalog:
  1. First, at the search box labeled "Search for words:," select "in Journal Title" from the pull-down menu.
  2. Then type in the complete title of the journal-- Example: nature and click on the Search button.
  3. Scroll through the list of results until you find the journal you are looking for, and click on the journal's name to get to the journal's catalog record.
  4. The catalog record will have a link for available online access if we have the journal electronically and the call number for locating the journal in the library if we also carry it in print. Example: Nature's call number is Q1 .N2.
  5. To view the volumes available in print for a publication held in the libraries, click on the "Display print volumes" link.

From the Journals List: You can also use the Journals List to see if we have the journal you need electronically, in-print, or both.

  1. From the Libraries' homepage (www.lib.ncsu.edu) under Find, click on the Journals link.
  2. Enter the title for the journal you are looking for and click Search.
  3. Locate your title in the list and note whether it is available Online, in Print, or both. The results will also show you which volumes and years you have access to.
  4. If your journal is available online, click on the title of the journal to connect to the electronic version.
  5. If your journal (or particular issue that you need) is available in print, click on the link that says "detailed holdings."


You can also use the NCSU Libraries' catalog to search for books available in the library. You can search the catalog by author, title, subject or keyword. Examples:

  • Look for books on the subject of pollution
  • Does D. H. Hill Library have a book titled Animal Minds?
  • What other books does D. H. Hill Library have by Donald R. Griffin?

Satellite Shelving Facility.

Sometimes, the catalog record will state that the book or journal you need is located at the NCSU Libraries' Satellite Shelving Facility. You can request the item(s) through the catalog by clicking on the "Display print volumes" link and locating the volume(s) that you need in the list. To the right of the volume information click on the "Request item" link. Select the volume you need from the drop down list and click "Place Request". You will be asked to log into the system with your Unity ID and password. When the Tripsaver page comes up click the "Submit Request" button. The item will be sent over from Satellite Shelving to the D.H. Hill Library (unless you indicate you want it sent to another branch library for use). You will receive an e-mail when the item is available for use. You can pick it up at the D.H. Hill Library main circulation desk. For more information on getting items from Satellite Shelving, see Requesting Materials.

If the NCSU Libraries does not have the book or journal that you need:

Fill out an Interlibrary Loan request through Tripsaver. (Contact a librian through Ask Us if you need assistance with this process.) Through the Tripsaver service, books and articles from Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and NCCU can be obtained within 2-3 days. Books and articles from other institutions will take longer to obtain. Requested articles are generally sent as PDFs.

Creating Citations for Research Paper Bibliographies

There are several different style guides, including the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, and others. Each has its own rules for the proper way to cite a publication as you're writing your research paper.

To get help in creating citations:

LOBO's Citation Builder (http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/lobo2/citationbuilder/citationbuilder.php) can help you create MLA or APA style-compatible citations for books, articles, and Web sites.

A guide for Citing Electronic Information is available from the Internet Public Library.

Copies of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, and other style guides are available at the D. H. Hill Library Reference Desk.

Evaluating the Quality of Information on the World Wide Web

Accuracy. Is the information provided accurate? If you're not sure, can you contact the author? Is the information cited correctly?

Authority. Who published the document? Who is the "Webmaster"? What are their credentials? Check the domain of the document to find out what type of institution publishes the document. For example: .edu .com .org .gov

Objectivity. Is the information presented objectively? Is there bias? What type of information is presented? What is the purpose or goal of the site?

Currency. How current is the information presented? When was the site last updated? Do all the links on the page still work?

Let's evaluate the AgNIC Agriculture Network Information Center Web site using these criteria.

Web sites for your homework assignment (see syllabus):

The Tree of Life Web Project (http://tolweb.org)

National Food Safety Database (http://foodsafety.ifas.ufl.edu/indexNFSDB.htm)

For a list of additional Web resources, try the Agriculture research guide or one of the other following research guides: Food Science, Zoology.

Career Information Resources: Books and Web Sites


  • Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance D. H. Hill Reference HF5381 .E52
  • Career Information Center D. H. Hill Reference HF5382.5 .U5 C32
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook D. H. Hill Reference HF5382.5 UF O28. Produced annually by the U.S. Department of Labor. Also available at Occupational Outlook Handbook (http://www.bls.gov/oco/home.htm). You can search for a particular occupation -- for example, Agricultural and Food Scientists -- and find out about training and other qualifications, the outlook (expected future trends) for that career, average earnings, etc.

Web Sites

  • America's Career InfoNet (http://www.acinet.org/acinet/)
    Part of the CareerOneStop portal, operating as a federal-state partnership, this site allows one to find wages and employment trends, occupational requirements, state by state labor market conditions, and other information. One especially helpful feature lets one create a customized report of the requirements for a particular occupation, so they can decide if the job is right for them. For an occupation, one can find out
    • the most important knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) needed.
      The source for this section is the Occupational Information Network, available at O*NET™ OnLine (http://online.onetcenter.org/).
    • education and training
    • occupation-specific tasks and the most important generalized work activities

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