Hello! This guide contains information and resources to help you complete your upcoming research assignments. If you need any additional assistance, please don't hesitate to contact Amy Gratz, the librarian for this class (information at right).
Need a Refresher?
Search Tips and Strategies - goes over both basic and advanced search tips and tools. The search operators explained here are extremely useful for some of our databases, such as JSTOR.
Scholarly, Popular, and Trade Publications - explains the differences between these types of sources, as well as why they can be useful.
Evaluating Sources with the C.R.A.P. Test - a basic strategy for evaluating sources and some questions to consider
How to Write an Annotated Bibliography - explains what annotations are, how they're different from abstracts, and some points to consider in writing them (this can also be useful when evaluating sources). Please note that Dr. Thomas's assignment guidelines are more important, however!
Discovery - limit your search to "catalog only" on the library homepage, advanced search page, or the results page. You may also need to limit specifically to books and ebooks if you see a large number of government documents, films, etc. Use the "type" and "location" filters (on the left of the results page) as needed. Click through to the Mercer University Libraries Catalog to access a map directing you to the book on our shelves, or to place a request for books at other locations.
Library Catalog - Searching here gives you some more advanced options for locating materials in our collection, such as subject browsing, which can be very useful. Try starting with the Advanced search page and adding limits for "location" and "material type."
WorldCat [books and publications owned by libraries worldwide] (FirstSearch) — Basically a library catalog with books and other materials from libraries all over the world. You may request items and have them sent to you here for free! If you're concerned about time, please try to select books held by other libraries in Georgia, as mailing items takes time.
Discovery Advanced Search - This tool allows you to search the library catalog and about half of our databases simultaneously. Recommended for: books, academic journals, magazines, newspapers, and many other sources. Try limiting by discipline to focus your search, or use the tools built into the results page to find more relevant sources.
Databases included in Discovery searches, but worth searching separately:
- Philosopher's Index (EBSCO) — Covers the fifteen fields of philosophy: aesthetics, axiology, philosophy of education, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of history, philosophy of language, logic, metaphysics, philosophical anthropology, metaphilosophy, political philosophy, philosophy of science, social philosophy, and the philosophy of religion.
- Religion & Philosophy Collection (EBSCO) — this collection covers topics in spiritual, ethical, philosophical, cultural, and historical aspects of the world's major religions.
- JSTOR — An online archive containing back issues of scholarly journals in many disciplines. Use the advanced search page to narrow by discipline.
- Web of Science (Web of Knowledge/Thomson Reuters) — Provides detailed citations and abstracts for the top scholarly periodicals in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities. Limit your search to the Social Sciences Citation Index and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index (under "More Settings").
Research Library (ProQuest) — A multidisciplinary database with sources that are not included in a Discovery search. This is another good database to check to make sure you've covered all your bases.
Most databases will help you format citations, but usually are not quite right. If you need more assistance, you can also check out the Purdue OWL's guides on Chicago style or check the full style guide, available at Tarver's Circulation Desk.
If you need additional help, librarians at the Ask Jack desk are ready to help you format citations!