Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Library Tips for IPE Students

Happy Fall, IPE students!

You’re probably starting to write some papers for class about now. Here are a few tips on how you might best use the library resources.

  • Use a reference book to find the historical context of your topic and to choose search terms. (Search your topic by keyword in Simon and limit to reference.) You might also search your topic in CQ Researcher or CQ Global. Reference books and the CQ databases contain a wealth of background information and will provide relevant citations to quality sources for further reading.

  • Check to see if there is a course web page for your class (listed on the right side of the subject gateway page). Library course pages give you helpful search strategies and relevant resources for course assignments.

  • Don’t just stick with the full text you find in Academic Search Premier and Research Library. These are great databases, but be sure to click the limit for ‘academic journals’ to find scholarly materials. PAIS International (my personal favorite for IPE), EconLit and LexisNexis Academic are other great resources. Specialized subject databases may not have the fulltext, but clicking the Journal Locator link within the records will either take you to the article, the journal, or provide a link to interlibrary loan.

  • Take advantage of Summit and Interlibrary Loan. We have a great library, but we can’t collect everything. Summit books and ILL articles generally take only 3 days to arrive.

If you need help researching your senior thesis topic or locating that critical article, don’t waste your valuable time. Talk to your liaison librarian (for IPE, its Donna Bachmann). She can help you narrow your topic, choose the most relevant databases and improve your search strategy. If you’re having trouble locating the elusive statistic, can’t figure out how to navigate RefWorks, or you need materials for a complex research topic, librarians can help. Stop by the library and ask for Donna for help with IPE research, or email bachmann@ups.edu with your question or information need.

I hope to hear from you!

Donna Bachmann

Liaison Librarian for International Political Economy

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