|Reference Sources||Journal Articles||Government Information||Books||World Wide Web||Citing Your Sources|
The purpose of this course research guide is to acquaint you with some of the resources in the University Library and on the Web useful for finding information on the topic you've chosen to research. Should you have questions, stop by the Reference Desk on the first floor. You may also call the Reference Desk at (334) 229-4110 during the hours the Library is open.
Sources in the Library's Reference Collection and similar sources online can help you find brief factual information quickly. Be sure to browse the shelves near the sources listed below to find others. You can also search HORNetCat, the Library's online catalog, for additional Reference books by limiting the location to Reference and typing in words that describe your topic.Subject Encyclopedias
Subject encyclopedias treat a subject or discipline more in depth than do general encyclopedias like the Encyclopaedia Brittanica. Here are a few examples. Ask at the Reference Desk for assistance with finding additional subject encyclopedias.
Each CQ Researcher (ASU) report focuses on a single topic related to social, economic, political, health, or environmental issues. They provide a chronological overview and detail recent developments and opposing viewpoints. Each report includes a bibliography that can lead you to other sources of information on your topic.
The best method for finding journal articles is to use one of the Library's online article databases. For additional information on the databases listed below and for others, explore our list of databases. Our databases are now easily accessible off campus by clicking on the database name and typing in the information requested. If you need additional assistance with accessing the databases, contact Randy Curtis (334 229-6968) or Cedric Davis (334 229-6998).
Some of the databases provide access to the entire text of articles. If the text of an article is not available in a database, check for the journal title in Serials Solutions (ASU) to determine if the article is available in another online database. Also check HORNetCat, our online catalog, for availability of journals in the Serials Department on the third floor. You may order those not available in the Library or via a full-text database through Interlibrary Loan.
Federal and state governments publish a plethora of information on many topics. Although the University Library is not a depository for government documents, you can request documents through Interlibrary Loan or visit the Library at Auburn University Montgomery, which is a depository. Also, many government documents are available through the Web.Federal Government Information
Books from the Library's Main Stax (third and fourth floors) can also be helpful for finding information on your topic. Since you'll need current information, check the publication date of the books you find here.
Searching for Books
The World Wide Web is an outstanding but often bewildering source of information. Not everything you find will be authoritative, accurate, and valid. Try searching one of these to find more reliable Web sites.
You'll use the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association to cite your sources. A copy of the Manual is available at the Reference Desk on the first floor of the Library. Additional assistance with citing electronic publications is available from the APA online site.
Course Research Guides | Information Literacy Program
Alabama State University | University Library & Learning Resources Center
Alabama State University