Start with your topic: Choose Your Topic
Collect your research materials with the tools all around you in this guide and start your paper.
In-depth research? Try the F.I.N.D.S model.
Borrower ID: Your SPC Student/Faculty ID Number
PIN: the month and year (MMYY) of your birth date
SCIENCE DATABASES to start with are:
Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) (General)
Springer eJournal Collection
Applied Science & Technology Source (EBSCO)
eBook Collection (EBSCO)
words used to combine search terms
AND – limits the number of hits
OR – expands the number of hits
NOT – removes irrelevant hits
Searches for all different endings such as: s, ed, ing
Phrase searching: “ ”
Put quotes around the words and all words will be search as one.
Use Key Words:
Use one or two precise words instead of a string of words or a sentence as you would in Google. Avoid prepositions and abbreviations.
Define your topic:
What are you asking for?
Put what you think is your topic into a search box in one of the library's databases and then look on the left for all the subject headings. This will help you narrow down your topic. Opposing Viewpoints in Context (Gale) is a great place to do this because the main page is all topics with sub-headings listed below them.
Refine your topic:
Try alternative word forms, spellings and synonyms
Try a thesaurus. MS Word has a great thesaurus when you highlight a word and right hand click or any web thesaurus will do.
Research a smaller sub-division of your topic.
An example would be: you are interested in the Environment but narrow it down to "green cities" or "air pollution".
Login to Library Resources and Services
from your SPC Student Login Page.
To access the databases, without using the single sign-in, you will need your borrower ID and PIN. Your borrower ID is your SPC student ID number and your PIN is your birth month and year. For example, if you were born March 1980, then your new PIN will be 0380.
Identifying Scholarly Articles Online
2013 scholarly article
Topographic Representation of Numerosity in the Human Parietal Cortex
Google link to popular buzz in the media about the article above.
What's after the DOT?
Good sources are found at
.gov and .edu
What's wrong with .org?
Organizations have an agenda so they cannot be counted on to be objective.
With that in your mind, use the information cautiously.
What about .com and .net?
This is where you have to verify everything you find.
Who wrote/posted it?
Does the author have expertise on the subject?
Currency and Relevancy:
When did they write it?
When was it last updated?
What were their sources?
Can you verify the information several other places?
Is the author objective or is there an agenda?
"to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own without crediting the source."
To Avoid Plagiarism: