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Distance learning presents new challenges and issues for students, faculty
and the library. Davis Memorial Library has a designated Librarian for Distance
Education who is here to help bridge the gap between the Library and it's
many off campus users. Feel free to contact the reference desk with any questions,
comments, concerns, etc. during normal business hours.
This page was created to give distance education students and their
instructors a general overview of how to conduct research and obtain electronic
and non-electronic materials in the library via the web. To start, take
a look at Library
Terminology, a guide which defines words often-used words such as Boolean
operators, databases, and truncation.
Library Catalog contains records for the various types of materials available
at Davis Memorial Library: books, videos and DVDs, music CDs, cassettes,
computer CD-ROMs, maps and posters, and music scores. The catalog can
also be used to determine which journals and magazines the library owns. gives tips on how to use the catalog.
See a book in the Davis Memorial Library collection that you need? It can
be sent to you. This is called Document
Delivery , and the service is free of charge to Methodist University students.
Additionally, if you need an article or book the library doesn't own, it can
be borrowed from another library. Because these items have to be sent from
another library, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to get
the materials, so don't wait until the night before a paper is due to start
your research or request materials via Document Delivery. Carefully read the
section on Document Delivery to find out how to do this and the time it takes
to obtain books/articles.
Journal and Newspaper Articles
If you are off-campus and need to access resources, go to Remote
Access to obtain instructions on how to do this.
To find articles use the databases found on the Electronic
Resources Page . Some databases have full-text articles, meaning that
the whole article is available on the computer. Others give you the information
to find the print copy of the article. This information is called a citation.
You can determine if we have the journal or magazine the article is in by
using the library's Journal Finder program. If you've found a citation for an article in a journal owned
by the library, you can request a copy of the article via the Interlibrary
Loan/Document Delivery department.
There are a few databases that are frequently used. Academic
Search Complete (user
guide) is a general database that covers a wide variety of subject areas.
It has many full text articles and images, but not everything is full text.
It contains articles from scholarly journals, popular and trade magazines,
and newspapers. The newspaper citations are often not full text. For full
text newspaper articles, use Newspaper Source Plus. Westlaw Campus Research also contains full-text news articles, as well as
business and legal information. To see all the available databases,
visit the Databases
by Title page.
There are things you can do to effectively conduct your research. Since many
of your sources will be articles from periodicals, the Locating
Periodicals and Periodical Articles research guide will help you as you
Subject Specific Research
There are a number of subject specific guides available. To see a complete
list of the subject guides, go to Research
Guides. Electronic titles are also accessible via subject at Journals
by Subject. Below are links to guides prepared specifically for Distance
Education students in Master's level programs:
of Business Administration - Resort Management Concentration
Master of Business Administration
of Justice Administration
Once you've accessed the resources that will be most useful, you want to
effectively search them. The electronic databases are computer programs, and
you can't search for information in the same way you would ask a human a question.
For instance, you wouldn't do a search on "what influence Michelangelo's
Sistine Chapel had on Nazi Germany's eugenics policies." Instead, you
would pick a couple of key words, connect them with the word and, then
perform your search. For the above topic, for example, an effective search
would be something like: Michelangelo and "Sistine Chapel" and Nazi and
Resources For Writing Papers
Once you've finished your research, you're ready to write your paper. If
you don't know where to start take a look at A
Guide to Writing a Research Paper . This guide will give you an overview
of the process of writing a paper. While writing, you want to make sure to
use your sources to support your ideas, but you don't want to repeat exactly
what your sources say. The library guide Avoiding
Plagiarism can provide you with tips to incorporate your sources ideas,
while using your own words. When you are finished writing your paper, you
will need to cite the sources you used. There are many citation styles, so
check with your professor to see which one to use. MLA and APA are the most
common styles used by undergraduates. The MLA
Style for Citing Print Sources, MLA Style for Citing Internet Sources, or the APA
Style Guide will cover most of the more common types of sources you would
use when researching a paper. If you need assistance writing your paper, contact
University Writing Center
We are here to help! Davis Memorial Library's reference librarians can assist
you with simple or complex queries. When e-mailing a query, make sure to include
your full name, the class title, and the name of the instructor. This information
will assist the librarian in obtaining the correct information for you. Additionally, you may sign up for Individualized Research Assistance.
for accessing the library's databases from off-campus.