Starting Your Research
Library resources are vast and variant and do not lend themselves to simple organization. Unless you have experience with identifying and locating the resources you need, it may be difficult navigating the library website to find what you need to perform library research, and even with experience it may be taxing as research resources are ever changing. This page is meant to help with taming any confusion that may be had when starting research. Below you will find several starting points for performing library research. Use this as a guide for navigating the many sources we have available at Thomas Cooper Library. For help with designing a plan for your research and to better understand the research process, take a look at our Mapping Your Research Libguide.


LibGuides are research guides designed by librarians to help with the particular research materials and processes that work best with specific subject areas and classes.

Library Catalog(s)

Books, articles, films, and more can be found by searching the library catalogs. If you are searching for specific materials or just starting out with your searching, you may want to try a Quick Catalog search. If you are searching for a specific topic, it will probably be more efficient to utilize the Classic Catalog and perform an Advanced Keyword search.

Article Databases

If you are looking for articles from scholarly or popular sources, this will be your best starting point. Note that you will be able to get a list of databases according to subject area or document type. For more information and help with databases, please see our Using Electronic Resources page.

Article Search

This system searches through multiple Ebsco databases at once.


Our E-Journals collection is great for finding articles when you already have the citation of a journal article. To use this, you will go to E-Journals and search for the title of the journal that contains the article. Then you will click to view our electronic holdings and then follow the citation, i.e. volume, issue, page number until you locate the article. To access E-Journals, go to the library homepage and click on the E-Journals link at the top of the page. For more help with using E-Journals, click here.   

Online Reference Materials

Reference materials, such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. can be great tools for finding background information on your topic. We have many electronic reference materials that you can access from home. For a list of these materials select Reference Sources from the Type category on the Article Databases page.

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