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Germanna Libraries

SDV Library Orientation: Get to Know the Library Catalog (QuickSearch)

This is the library orientation tutorial for SDV 100/101.

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     The library provides access to a large selection of scholarly books that can be immediately accessed online.

     *TIP* To narrow your search, change the dropdown menu to "Show Me: Multimedia," as in the example below.

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Are Electronic Books (eBooks) "Credible" Sources?

  • The eBooks available to you in the library catalog contain the same information as the physical (print) versions.
     
  • Many of the eBooks in the library's collection are scholarly, and are excellent sources of information for a research paper. You can learn more about what makes a book scholarly in the box below.

Characteristics of Scholarly Books

I. Author

  • The authors of scholarly books hold advanced degrees in the field (or related to the topic) about which they are writing.
     
  • Frequently, these authors have also published other scholarly books or articles within their field of study.
     
  • The authors of scholarly books are often affiliated with a college or professional association. 

II. Publisher 

  • Books published on a university press tend to be scholarly. So, if the book in question was published by Yale University Press, or Temple University Press, the odds are high that it is scholarly. (As a note of caution, some university presses also publish non-scholarly books. Accordingly, even if a book is published on a university press, you will want to check for other indications that the book is scholarly, such as citations.)
     
  • Some scholarly books are published by non-university presses. Such publishers--such as Rowman & Littlefield--usually have a well-established reputation for publishing scholarly books. However, just like university publishers, these publishers may publish both scholarly and popular books.
     
  • The name of the publisher should be listed on the title page of a book, or the back of the title page.

III. References / Works Cited / Notes / Bibliography

  • Scholarly books go through an intensive editorial process to ensure that the information contained within them is accurate and complete.
     
  • Scholars meticulously document their research in the form of citations, which show readers where their information comes from.
     
  • You will find citations throughout the text of a book, and at the very end of it. The citations at the end of a book are usually on a page with a name such as References, Bibliography, Works Cited, or Notes.