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Research 101


Searching the catalog

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Library Catalogs

cat·a·log: noun: 1. a systematic, usu. annotated, list of books, merchandise, or the like that is available in or from a source such as a library or mail order merchandiser.

--Wordsmyth Dictionary-Thesaurus, 2003. [http://www.wordsmyth.net/]

When you don't find a needed source on the Internet, a citation can be used to find the source somewhere else, typically in a library. The source for discovering what a library owns and where they keep it is a catalog.

The library catalog is a database of everything a library owns; but its records don't include article titles, and rarely include chapter titles. So, don't search for article or chapter titles. Search for book, journal, magazine, or newspaper titles.

Sample periodical citation

Croley, S. P. & Jackson, J. H. (1996) "WTO dispute procedures, standard of review, and deference to national governments." American Journal of International Law, v90 n2 193-213

Don't search the library catalog for ...

"WTO dispute procedures ... " the article title. With what you have already learned about citations, you know where the article is published; it's in the American Journal of International Law, so ...

Search the library catalog for ...

American Journal of International Law. This will tell you whether the library can provide access to the journal and where it's shelved. When you get there, you will be looking for volume 90, number 2, 1996.

Using items from the last exercise, in the quiz on the right, see if you can tell which element you would search in a library catalog.

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