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Finding Academic Sources

How To Find Sources

Looking for sources to use for class assignments can be challenging. It's easy to rely on web sites like Google and Wikipedia. However, the library has a variety of tools that can help connect you to academic (also known as scholarly) sources. From the Tomlinson Library home page, you'll see a search box in the center of the page. There are four tabs at the top of that box:

  • Search All (formerly OneSearch) which also includes an Articles link
  • Books & Media
  • Databases
  • Journals 

Each one will connect you to resources -- some more helpful than others. A quick overview of the options may be helpful:

Search All is a great place to start as many results will be returned. The key is to use limits to home in on exactly what you want. Keep in mind that it can also be a bit overwhelming as many results are often returned. Clicking the "Full Text" and/or "Peer Reviewed (Scholarly) Only" boxes may help you limit. Article Search is also available on this tab and will search for just articles within the databases. Choosing only articles can also return many results and again, it's best to use the limiters.

Books & Media is helpful if you want to limit your search to books (both print and electronic) and media (CDs, DVDs, streaming content, photos, etc.) You can search what CMU owns as well as other libraries that loan material to CMU (Prospector and World Libraries).

Databases will give you direct access to specific databases such as Academic Search Complete, CINAHL, and JSTOR. If you have identified a database specific to your discipline this a quick way to access it. Use the drop-down menus to find a database by name or browse databases by subject.

Journals can help determine if CMU subscribes to a specific journal or magazine title. If not, you can always request an item via Interlibrary Loan. Remember that if you're looking for magazine or journal articles you'll want to search "Articles" mentioned above.