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Macdonald-Kelce Library

Introduction to Library Research

Library handouts and a video presentation on starting your research using the resources at the Macdonald-Kelce Library at The University of Tampa.


Library Reference Quickstart

A brief overview for using the library’s resources for research.

I. Finding Books
Search for books in Summon or in the Online Catalog. Search by Title, Author, or Keyword. Click on a title to check for location and availability.

  • Main Collection books are on the 2nd floor.
  • New Books are on the first floor.
  • Reference books are on the first floor.
  • The Curriculum Room is on the 2nd floor (ask for the key at the Circulation Desk).

Browse the shelves: The Macdonald-Kelce Library uses the Library of Congress Classification System which organizes books on the shelf by subject. It is alphanumeric and arranged in sequential order. Make sure to browse nearby books for more titles on your topic.

II. Finding Scholarly Journal Articles
Log in to MyUTampa and choose the library resources chiclet to have full access to library databases and ebooks.

Academic Search Complete and ProQuest are comprehensive databases. Search by keywords and synonymous terms. Keep your search as clear and concise as possible.

Consider using the Scholarly/Peer Review limiter to restrict your search to academic sources.

Use the library’s Research Guides for help in finding databases and web resources specific to your topic.

III. Citing Sources
Style Manuals (APA, MLA, Chicago) are available on reserve at the Circulation Desk.

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) from Purdue offers excellent guides complete with sample papers and sample Works Cited pages.

Use RefWorks to export your citations. Many Databases have a citation feature. Be sure to double-check these for accuracy!

IV. Scholarly (Journals) vs. Popular (Magazines)
Scholarly publications are written by and for scholars, subject to peer review prior to publication, use discipline specific jargon, are advertisement free, and provide extensive citations. For these reasons they are considered to be authoritative and reliable.

There is sometimes confusion about using resources from the databases because, technically, they are “on the Internet.” Most of the scholarly articles in databases originally appeared in print, but have been digitized for convenience. If you are expected to avoid getting materials from “the Internet” double check to make sure using articles from databases is acceptable.

V. Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
If there is a book or article not available in the library’s collection submit an interlibrary loan request and we will almost always be able to borrow it for you from another library. It may take approximately one to two weeks to receive items.

Macdonald-Kelce Library - The University of Tampa - 401 W. Kennedy Blvd. - Tampa, FL 33606 - 813 257-3056 - - Accessibility