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Seminar 101: Perspectives on Learning: Using the Library

Resources for Chenthu's FIG seminar

Article Databases

Google Scholar

Search Google Scholar for scholarly articles and books. You can see what item are in Western Libraries by setting Scholar Preference Library Links to Western Washington University.

Library Catalog

What can you find in the catalog? books, journals, CD, DVDs, etc.

What can't you find in the catalog? Journal or magazine articles. If you are looking for an article, try looking in one of the article databaes, like Ebsco's Academic Search Complete.

Books can be checked out for twenty-one days, DVDs for seven. More information on lending policies can be found here.

You can see your library record (what you have checked out and when it is due) online. You can renew material online, too.

Summit Catalog

Summit is a catalog that searches other academic libraries in Washington and Oregon. If Western doesn't have a book you need, you can request an item from Summit and have it delivered to the circulation desk in Haggard Hall.

Use the same search tips you used for the catalog. You can duplicate a search in Summit directly from Western's Catalog by clicking on the "Repeat search in Summit link at the top of the page.

Type of Articles & Journals

You will often be asked to search for academic or scholarly articles and journals. What does that mean? How are they different from other articles and journals?

Academic Journals and Articles

  • An academic article is created by academics for academics.
  • The research and information is considered to be trustworthy and well-researched.
  • Academic journals often have the word "journal" in the title, like Journal of Business Communication.
  • Academic articles are long. A short academic or scholarly article is five pages long; most are 15 to 20 pages long.
  • Academic journals rarely feature color picutres; most will feature charts and graphs, but not pictures.
  • Authors often have an affiliation with a university or research institute.


General-interest Magazines

  • General-interest magazines include titles like Time, Newsweek, Forbes, and Rolling Stone.
  • Articles are often shorter and written for a general audience.
  • Articles feature color images and the magaiznes are slick and glossy.
  • Don't dismiss an article in a general-interest magazine, but be aware of who it is written for and where it is coming from.


Subject Guide