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Frequently Asked Questions About Library Research

How can I identify journal articles related to my topic?
Beloit College Library subscribes to many article databases, and they're linked from the Article Indexes and Electronic Journals web page.
Some article databases have broad topic coverage, such as Academic Search Premier and Expanded Academic ASAP.
Some article databases cover specific subject areas, such as Art Source, BioOne and Philosopher's Index.
Databases also vary as far as the publication dates that are covered. Many cover the most recent twenty years or so. Some have coverage stretching back much further, such as the New York Times Historical database (back to 1851) and JSTOR.
Will I be able to get entire articles in the databases?
Some databases include the full articles. Examples are Lexis-Nexis news search for newspaper articles, PsycARTICLES in psychology, and AnthroSource in anthropology.
Many databases have a combination of full articles and citations only. Examples are Academic Search Premier and Expanded Academic ASAP.
In some databases, you can limit your search to documents with full text available. See the limit options in Expanded Academic ASAP and Medline (a medical journals database) for example.
An example of an article database that has some free content from science journals is HighWire Press.
If an article isn't available online, how can I get it?
Articles at Beloit College Library
The way to tell which articles (identified in library databases) are available through Beloit College Library subscription is to click on "Find It at Beloit"  Here you'll be linked to the full text if available, the library catalog if held by the library, or an interlibrary loan request form.

There are two ways to tell which articles (identified from any source) are available through Beloit College Library subscription:
1. Select Find Electronic Journals by Title and enter the magazine or journal title.
2. Search for the periodical title in the library catalog. Here you'll see which periodical titles are in the library, which dates are available, and the location of our holdings.

  • Print holdings in the periodicals collection are located on the main level (current issues) or on the lower level (back issues).
  • Online subscriptions show "internet" holdings. Follow the URL near the bottom of the catalog entry.

Remember to search for the journal title, sometimes called "source" of the article, NOT the title of the specific article.

Articles not at Beloit College Library
You can request articles that aren't at Beloit through interlibrary loan. Most articles arrive within 7-10 days, but some can take longer.
From the FindIt window, click on "Go" after Request via Interlibrary Loan.
In the FirstSearch database Medline, you can click on the ILL button to request the item via interlibrary loan. Fill in the information about yourself, and click on the Submit button.
Another way to request an article is to submit an interlibrary loan article request form.
How do I search for books and audio-visual materials within the Beloit College library?
Search the library catalog for books and AV materials at Beloit College library.
The "words or phrase" search is the easiest to use unless you know a particular author, title, or subject heading. Note subject headings of items retrieved to extend your search.
How can I identify books at other libraries?
WorldCat is a comprehensive catalog of books and audio-visual materials at libraries around the world.
In WorldCat, the list of items retrieved is generally sorted with the most frequently held items at the top of the list, going to the more obscure items at the bottom. You can request interlibrary loan delivery by clicking on the ILL button, filling in the form, and clicking on Submit. Allow about 10 to 15 days for books to arrive via interlibrary loan. You can also request audio-visual items, but these are more difficult to obtain because of lending restrictions at many libraries.
How can I check out items at UW-Madison Libraries directly?
You can search MadCat to see which items are available at the UW-Madison Libraries.
In order to borrow items at UW-Madison libraries directly, you first need to get a form letter filled out by staff at the Beloit College Library Reference Desk. This letter vouches for your Beloit student status. When you take a completed form letter to UW-Madison's Memorial Library card application desk (see hours), along with two forms of ID, their library will issue you a borrower's card good for the current academic year.
What other ways can I identify and obtain resources?
Beloit College Library reference staff are available most hours the library is open. It's our job to help students find resources, and we like doing it! Feel free to ask questions, whether broad or specific. The Reference Desk phone number is 363-2544.
Also, remember that one or two sources lead to others when you take into account the bibliographies and works cited in them. If you'd like help navigating bibliographies, ask at the Reference Desk.
Items identified in various sources can be searched in the library catalog to see if they're at Beloit College Library. If they're not, you can submit an interlibrary loan article request form or an interlibrary loan book request form.
How do I cite my sources?
Consult the library web page Tips on Doing Searches, Citing Sources This page includes links to examples of citation styles and further links to research and writing sites.