University of Oregon

OLIS 607 Professional Paper Seminar
Course Research Guide

Contact Librarian: Kathy Stroud,; 541-346-3051

Kathy Stroud

Useful Links

off-campus access limited to UO = on campus use or UO authentication required

Scholarly Articles | Books | Citing Sources | Evaluating Sources | Other Useful Resources

Search for Scholarly Articles

The UO Libraries subscribe to a number of databases that may be searched to find scholarly journal articles. Each database uses a carefully constructed list of index terms.  Once you find a good article on your topic, you can look at the index terms for that article and search for others in the same database using those index terms.  Index terms are also good for expanding your list of keywords for searching other databases.

The databases come in two types, General and Subject Specific.  General databases typically include information about articles from many disciplines, but don't cover any discipline as comprehensively as a Subject Specific database. I have listed some useful General databases, followed by suggested Subject Specific databases to use if you want a more complete search.

General Databases

Web of Science off-campus access limited to UO (AKA Web of Knowledge) searches articles published in the top scholarly journals in the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. A special feature of Web of Science is the ability to find articles that cite an article or author.

Academic Search Premieroff-campus access limited to UO is an interdisciplinary database that has a mix of popular articles, scholarly articles, and news. If you are having difficulties finding articles in Web of Science, try this database to find scholarly articles and expand your keyword list for further searching in Web of Science. You will need to determine if an article in this database is scholarly. DO NOT rely solely on the limit to peer-reviewed feature. It is not reliable.

Subject Specific Databases

PAIS off-campus access limited to UO Covers public affairs, public and social policies, international relations - journal articles, book chapters, government documents, statistics, grey literature, research reports, and more, from 1914 to present.

Agricola off-campus access limited to UO Covers all aspects of agriculture including plant and animal sciences, forestry, entomology, soil and water resources, agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, agricultural products, alternative farming practices, as well as food and nutrition.

GeoBase off-campus access limited to UO Covers worldwide literature in physical & human geography, including environmental science and policy. Includes citations to journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings from 1980 to the present.

Review Articles

Review articles are a great way to get an overview of a subject and find many references to scholarly and research articles.

Annual Reviews off-campus access limited to UO is a collection of critical reviews written by leading scientists. Annual Reviews volumes are published each year for 29 focused disciplines within the Biomedical, Physical, and Social Sciences

Web of Science off-campus access limited to UO may be searched limiting the results to document type "reviews"

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Finding Books

UO WorldCat searches for books and many other types of items such as articles, maps, videos, music, etc. To limit to books, click on 'book' under format on the left side.

UO WorldCat searches the holdings of many libraries at once. Items owned by the UO Libraries are listed first, followed by items owned by Summit Libraries and then all othe WorldCat Libraries. You may request items from non-UO Libraries using the request button in the full record. It may take up to 10 days to get the book.  

Click on the subject heading links in the full record display for a book you like to get more like it. Also look at the subject heading links for ideas for keywords.

When searching for books, use more general terms than when searching for articles. For example, if you want books about the politics of the marbled murrelet and logging old growth forests, you may want to expand your search to forest policy + endangered species + Pacific Northwest.

UO WorldCat automatically sorts results based on whether UO owns it and then relevancy. In the upper right corner of your search results there is a drop-down box that allows you to change how the results are sorted. You can change it to relevance only.  This will show you the top items in your search regardless of location of the book. This may help you identify books you want to get through InterLibrary Loan. It is also a way to find free, online electronic resources (such as US federal government publications) that you may access even though the library doesn't "own" it.

If you want to search only what is available at the UO immediately, try the UO Local Catalog.

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Citing Sources

Citing sources strengthens the authority of your work. It demonstrates that you have considered others' opinions and ideas in forming your own. Also, accurate citations help others locate the materials you used in your research. This helps create a strong, more defensible scholarly paper. Additionally, writers have an obligation to indicate when they have used someone else's ideas or words. If you don't properly cite other people's research and ideas, you are stealing the credit for someone elses work.

The locations of Commonly Used Citation Guides are listed on the Library's Citation Guides and Tools webpage. The Chicago Manual of Style off-campus access limited to UO is availabe online.

Information about software available to help track references you have discovered may be found on the Bibliographic Management Software web page.

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Evaluating Sources

It is important to critically evaluate the information you are using for your research. Not all resources are of the same quality. This is especially important when dealing with databases that index both scholarly and popular works. Even with scholarly works it is important to assess the objectivity of the author/publisher, currency and relevance of the work.

At times, it may be appropriate to use popular works, or works with a certain bias in your paper if you are presenting differing public opinions on a subject. However, it is important that you distinguish opinion from research and clearly represent your sources as what they are. Remember, you need to include at least 10 pieces of scholarly literature in your annotated bibliography.

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Other Useful Resources

Other online databases and resources may be useful for you in writing your professional paper, even if they are not needed for your annotated bibliography. I have listed some of these below.

Proquest Congressional off-campus access limited to UO Is a good source for information and opinions on national issues and concerns. It searches all U.S. Congressional publications and retrieves full text; plus information on individual members and committees. Provides access to information of the US Congress. It includes information and oftern full text of Federal bills, laws and legislation.  It also indexes Congressional hearings, reports, documents and prints published from 1789 to 1969. Where full text is not available in Proquest Congressional, consult with Document Center, first floor of Knight Library.

CQ Researcher off-campus access limited to UO is a collection of reports covering political and social issues at the national level, with regular reports on topics in health, international affairs, education, the environment, technology and the U.S. economy. The reports often have extensive bibliographies which may be good starting places for research.

Major Acts of Congress. off-campus access limited to UO Macmillan Reference USA, 2004.
Examines landmark pieces of legislation, explaining the historical factors that led to the proposal of each act, looking at the adoption process and assessing each act's impact. Includes most (but not all)  major environmental legislation, e.g. NEPA, CERCLA (Superfund Act), TSCA, Clean Air Act, more.

The Library has developed a number of web pages about Newspaper Resources at the UO Libraries. Newspapers can be a valuble resource on current events and public reaction to them.

The UO Libraries' Government Information pages have extensive information on how to locate local, state, federal, and international government information.

The Libraries' page on Starting Research in Planning and Public Policy provides links to many more resources.

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Created by kstroud on Jan 7, 2014 Last updated Aug 24, 2015
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