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Finding Sources

Subscription Databases

Google Scholar

Rod Library Google Scholar search bar

Google Scholar is a wonderful tool for your toolbox, but like any other tool, it cannot be the only one you use. Use Google Scholar with eyes wide open and 

  1. access it through the Rod Library homepage to also access UNI-accessible PDFs.
  2. evaluate the results (including checking the journal's credibility in which the article was published).
  3. Use it IN ADDITION to other databases, not in replacement of them. 
  4. do not pay for research! Utilize ILL or email your librarian for help.

Interlibrary Loan

Contrary to what Google would have you believe, most information is not free. Rod Library pays a lot of money for the resources you access through our databases. Unfortunately, budgets never go as far as we wish they would. If we do not have access to the material you need, our Interlibrary Loan staff will try to get it for you. 

In addition to filling out the form, many of our databases include a yellow "Find It" button. yellow find it button

This button will sometimes open the article's full-text from another product to which we subscribe. However, if we do not have full-text access, it will take you to a library catalog (OneSearch) screen where you can "Request from ILLiad."

NOTE: You must sign in to your Rod Library account using your CatID to see this option in the library catalog.

Understanding sources

Parts of the (typical) scientific research article

  • Title/Abstract: Do I care enough to read more?
  • Introduction/Literature Review: What is the topic, and why is it worth studying?
  • Methods: What did the researcher do (who, when, where, how)?
  • Results: What did the researcher find/say they found?
  • Discussion: What is the significance of these results?
  • Conclusion: What next?
  • References: Who else?

General reading tips

  • Discern what you need to look up to understand what you can skip (look to the article first for definitions).
  • Annotate your questions and reactions instead of just highlighting them. This makes your reading an active process.
  • This isn't a novel, and reading out of order is okay.

Using sources


Often conversations around citation practices are rooted in fear and accusation-based concerns. While there is certainly a place for those conversations, I find it enormously helpful to take a step back and think about the why. Why are citations important? What function do they serve in the scholarly conversation? What are the typical reasons citations and attribution go poorly?

Organizing and Storing

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