Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
WIU Home WIU Home WIU Home WIU QC

Illinois History Research: Find Articles & Books

This guide provides information on library resources that can be used to research topics related to Illinois History.

Finding Books

To find books, go to the BOOKS tab in the box in the center of the library homepage.

1. In the blank for finding books enter the name or topic you are looking for.

For example: college student personnel

2. Check to make sure you are doing an Any word Anywhere (Keyword search). This will give the most and widest results, although not the most focused.

3. ​Review the list of titles in the results.  Look at the titles to see the variety of perspectives the books reflect about the topic. Some titles will be closer to the topic than others.

Title: Culture of the university: governance and education.
Call Number: LD732.9 .A55 Status: Available

Title: Student development practices
Call Number LB2343.4 .S87 Status: Available

4. Find the titles that best fit the topic area you are interested in. In this case the book Student Development Practices is a better fit for a paper on the search topic because it shows both the practice and goals of college student personnel specialists.

5. Look under the title and check to see if the book is available.

6. Look at the call number to find the book in the library.

Finding Database Articles

 

Here are the basics steps using databases to search topics, sort results, and save content to write with.

Search

1. Go to the databases on the library homepage.

2. Enter keywords to the blanks. Nouns work best.
Example: student athletes

Adding quotations ensures phrase terms appear together in order in the results.
Example: “student athletes”

3. Put terms together by adding each idea to a blank. At the end of each blank is AND. The AND between terms means they both have to appear to satisfy the search conditions. When AND is between words (like it is between the search blanks), all the words must be somewhere in the results.
Example: student athletes AND community colleges

Sort

1. Limit the Results.
Limiting results helps reduce clutter, focus results, and adjust results to meet research and assignment requirements. You can limit results by type of material, by date, by subject and by oldest, newest, and relevance, and Subjects (aspects of a broader topic).

2. Check the settings for scholarly material. This may read peer reviewed academic journal, or refereed journal. Check this so the only type of results returned are scholarly research articles.

Scholarly

 

 

Many library databases include a box that you can check to filter out the non-scholarly articles. While these tools are useful, they are not foolproof. It's a good idea to evaluate each individual article you use to make sure that it comes from a scholarly publication.

3. Sort the results by Date. The last 5 or 10 years will give the most current research. In some cases, like history, you may want to see what the reaction was in in the field in earlier research, other fields like medicine you might want the most current.

4. Identify and / or select subjects. A subject heading applies the most focus to the search, results are fewer but should be the most relevant. You usually click a link to all items on a subject, or search for a subject from the search blanks at the top. You can also use the subject as additional keywords you can add.

5. Sort Relevance. At the top of the list there is usually also control for sorting the list by oldest, newest, or relevance. If the top results seem off, you can sort the list by switching to relevance to get items aligned with your topic appear closer to the top.

6. Search and review results. After adding the settings do the search and review the results.

Save

Figure out what to save
1. Read the titles. If your terms are bolded in the title, it is probably useful. When you find an article title that seems to fit, click to open the detailed record.

2. Read the abstract. This will summarize the research explain the purpose and tell who was involved and what happened.

3. Get the Full text of the article. You should see a link to download the full text if its available and tools or link to save the citation. This will often be under the title on the result list, or inside the detailed record of the title where the abstract is.

4. Get the citation.  Also in the detailed record, you will find the article citation. There is usually a tool on the side or top of the screen. After you open the citation tool, find the citation for the subject you are studying. For example, APA for psychology, or MLA for English. Paste the citation into a document or email it to yourself!

Search Tips for Books and Articles

1. Use AND to combine keywords and phrases when searching the electronic databases for journal articles.

2. Use truncation (an asterisk) and wildcards (usually a question mark or exclamation point).

3. Find out if the database you're using has a "subject search" option.

4. Don't limit yourself to just one database or one set of search results.

5. Choose whether you want to do a general “keyword” search, or be more specific by searching by title, author, or subject.

Can't Find It?

Determining whether or not we have the articles in a database or in the library can be confusing. We have a tool that can help you by using the FIND IT button or link in the database. This will tell you 4 things.

  1. We have the full text in another database.
  2. We have a print copy in the library.
  3. You can order the item from another library.

 

If you can't find an item, but your still not sure if we have it. You can contact the Reference Desk for assistance.

Find It @ WIU


How you can tell if we really have it or not? Most times you will see Full Text or PDF in the results. If you don't. Determining whether or not we have the articles in a database or in the library can be confusing. We have a tool that can help you by using the FIND IT button or link in the database.This will tell you 3 things.

  1. We have the full text in another database.
  2. We have a print copy in the library.
  3. You can order the item from another library.

Find it! button. You must click on it to see whether or not we have an article.


 

Example of an article that is available at WIU:

  • Full Text:  An online version that you can print off; just click on the Go button.
  • Holdings:  A print version.  It says we own 1986-2003, which includes the year you need.  The citation in Soc Abs is all you need to find the article on the 3rd floor shelves.  Journals are shelved by title, in this case Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology. Then use the date and page numbers listed in the Soc Abs citation.
 

 

Example of an article that we do not have immediate access to here at WIU.

  You would need to request a copy through Interlibrary Loan:

From the ground up

The library is a multi-leveled spiral rising up 5 floors above the ground. On each floor you will find specific resources and services that form the library information experience.

  • 1st Floor - Malpass  Mocha cafe, Media Room 180, Digital Commons
  • 2nd Floor (Ground level) - Circulation, LCC2 Classroom, Reference Desk and Reference collection, Multimedia Development Room, Interlibrary Loan
  • 3rd Floor - LCC3 Classroom, Print periodicals, magazines, journals, newspapers, (in alphbetical order)
  • 4th Floor - Government documents, Book Collection
  • 5th Floor - Book Collection
  • 6th floor- Archives and Special Collections, Book Collection

Database Short Tips

It can be useful to sort your results as you go, here are some tips.

  • Put terms together by adding each idea to a blank.
  • When you put terms together notice the AND between the blanks, this sorts the results so terms in all the blanks should appear.
  • Often you can tell a search worked by the title, if your terms are bolded in the title it is probably useful.
  • If the results seem to be way off, check at the top of the list and make sure the results are sorted by relevance.
  • Sort the results by Date, the last five or 10 years will give the most current research. In some cases, like history, you may want to see what the reaction was in in the field in earlier research.