Off-campus Access to Library Resources
Before you can access Library resources from off campus make sure you have configured your computer with proxy server settings.
After you make a one-time change in your web browser settings, the proxy server will ask you to log in with a CalNet ID or Library PIN when you click on the link to a licensed resource.
Campus Library Map
Click on the image below to see a larger interactive version of the campus library map.
Is it a scholarly source?
Your instructor wants you to use scholarly [or 'peer reviewed'] sources. What does she mean?
- Authoritative- written by a recognized expert in the field. How do you know? The PhD is one sign; employment by a university is another.
- Peer reviewed- before publishing, the article was vetted by other scholars in the field. How do you know? Try searching the journal title in Google and read the publisher's blurb.
- Audience- written for scholars and experts in the field. How do you know? The level of the language is usually a give away. It will be technical and formal.
- Includes a bibliography and/or footnotes with citations of sources used.
Scholarship is always changing. Try to find the most recent scholarly sources you can.
The Research Process
1. State your problem as a question as succinctly as possible.
2. 'Brain dump': Write down what you already know about your topic, including
- Names of people, organizations, companies, time period you are interested in, places of interest [countries, regions, cities], conceptual terms...
3. Decide what disciplinary methodologies you plan to use: e.g., sociology, political science, literature, psychology...
4. Fill in the gaps in your knowlege: get background information from specialized encyclopedias or other secondary sources. Wikipedia can sometimes be good here, or Google News.
5. Select the best places/ databases to find information on your topic from the Library's list of databases by subject. Or use a catalog like Oskicat or Melvyl to search for books and other resources.
6. Use nouns from your brain dump as search terms.
7. Evaluate what you find. Change search terms to get closer to what you really want.
8. Refine Your Search Words - Using the information you have gathered, determine if your research words should be narrower or broader. You may need to search basic resources again using your new, focused topics and keywords.