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Research Help

Research Guides

Our collection of specialized Research Guides is small but growing. Use this menu to see if we already have a guide for your major or course.

Getting Started

How do I log in to library resources online?

This page gives step-by-step instructions for logging in to library databases, catalog, and ILLiad (interlibrary loan platform), as well as tips for solving common problems. 

Does the library have any tools to help me brainstorm a topic?

The Mind Map tool from Credo Reference (see introductory video) can help you find concepts related to your original search term. You can use these to narrow your focus or find related terms to improve your search results.

How do I find an overview of a topic?

Look in Reference in our online resources (Credo Reference is a good starting point) for concise, academically credible articles that will help orient you to a topic or field of research. You can also ask a Research Librarian to show you print reference books related to your topic.

Journals and Periodicals

How do I find journal articles?

For best results, use our A-Z Database List and select your subject from the drop-down menu to find the best databases for your area of study. (PRO TIP: Some key databases, including Atla Religion Database, Business Source Elite, and APA PsycInfo, are NOT included in the Quick Search tab in the library search box. If you are researching in these subject areas, it's especially important to use the appropriate database.)

To cross-search multiple databases at once, use Discovery (aka Quick Search) to search for articles and other kinds of documents. You can also try ProQuest Central.

How do I find a specific periodical?

If you are looking for a specific periodical, such as The New Yorker or Christian Scholars Review, use Journal Titles search to find out what access (print and electronic) JBU provides for that publication. If we do not have full text access to the journal you need, you can request articles through Interlibrary Loan.

Books and eBooks

How do I find books at the JBU Library?

Use the JBU Catalog (the "Books" tab on the Library Search box) to find books in our collection and to find out where they are located in the library. If you're looking for a particular title, Discovery can tell you whether we have it. If we don't have it, Discovery can give you a link to request it from another library through Interlibrary Loan.

How do I locate a book that the Library Search says is available at JBU?

If Discovery says "At John Brown University Library," click on that link to get to the holding information and call number for that book. If following the link doesn't work, try searching for the title again directly in the JBU Catalog

If the record in Discovery is for an ebook, journal article, or other electronic resource, look for the button that says "Access Online." If you have trouble accessing materials that appear in our databases, please ask a Librarian for assistance.

Because Discovery is drawing from dozens of different databases that don't always work well with each other, sometimes it get things wrong. We apologize for the frustration when it says we have a resource but doesn't provide a working link or call number. Please let us know when this happens so we can try to get you the materials you need and improve your search experience.

I found the call number, now where do I find the actual book?

First, look at the "Shelving Location" in the library catalog to see which library collection the book is in. The great majority of JBU Library books are in the Main Collection. If a different collection is listed (e.g., Reference, Reserve, Oliver Room, etc.), ask someone at the research help or circulation desk for directions on where to look for your book.

Books in the JBU Library are shelved according to the Library of Congress classification system. For an overview of how to find books following their Library of Congress call numbers, see this video (from University of Arkansas). For books in the main collection, call numbers beginning with A-B are on the first floor; call numbers C-Z are upstairs. Feel free to ask for assistance if you need help locating a particular book in our collection.

Books in the Romig Juvenile Collection and the Oliver Room for Healthy Relationship Resources follow slightly different classification systems. Look for signage in those rooms or ask for assistance if you need help locating a book.

How do I find ebooks?

The library provides ebooks on a number of different platforms, all of which can be accessed from the database list. The overwhelming majority of our ebooks are on the two major platforms, ProQuest Ebook Central and EBSCOhost Ebooks, which can be searched using the "eBooks" tab on the Library Search bar on the library website.

How do I access or download ebooks?

See this guide for details about your options for downloading and viewing ebooks from the JBU Library.

"Academic" or "Scholarly" Sources

How do I find scholarly sources or academic journal articles?

See this summary for an overview of the distinction between academic and popular works. Consult your instructor or ask a librarian if you need help evaluating a particular source.

A shortcut for articles: In most of our databases (e.g., Discovery, ProQuest), look for the check box that limits your search to “Peer Reviewed” and/or “Scholarly Journals” to find publications that are generally recognized as scholarly sources.

For books and ebooks, the distinction between a popular publication and a scholarly publication can sometimes be a little fuzzy. Some of the library’s ebook collections (e.g., Springer ebooks) contain scholarly books only, but others (e.g. ProQuest Ebook Central) contain a mix of popular and scholarly publications. Some clues that a book is likely to be considered scholarly include: (1) it has an index and bibliography, (2) its author is identified by her or his academic credentials (e.g., Ph.D., affiliated with a university or research lab), (3) it is published by a university press. 

Academic Citation

Does the Library have resources to help with academic citation (MLA, APA, etc.)?

Yes. Copies of most of the major citation guides used by JBU programs are available for consultation at the Research Help desk, and there are online guides available on the Writing Center Eaglenet Page.

Specialized Resources

Does the Library have materials to help me prepare for professional examinations?

Yes. Practice tests and other study materials are available through LearningExpress Academic Library Edition for several major tests, including NCLEX, Praxis®, GRE®, LSAT®, MCAT®, and GMAT®. The library also has test prep books available in the reserve, main, and ebook collections, although we do not update these every year so some of them may be dated.

Does the Library have resources to help me learn another language?

Yes. You can sign up for Mango Languages using the link in the library database list for step by step lessons in 71 different languages.