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Education Research: Tools & Techniques

Finding a Specific Book

Imagine this scenario. You have a great book or article and you scan the list of references at the end and see a reference to a book or a chapter in a book that you would like to get. For example:

Patterson, G. R.; Reid, J.; and Dishion, T. (1992). Antisocial Boys. Eugene, OR: Castalia.
Mannuzza, S., and Klein, R. G. (1999). "Adolescent and Adult Outcomes in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder." In Handbook of Disruptive Behavior Disorders, ed. H. C. Quay and A. E. Hogan. New York: Plenum.


The best way to find out if we have these books here in our library is to look up the BOOK TITLES on OSCAR. In these two examples, those titles are in italics:

Antisocial Boys

Handbook of Disruptive Behavior Disorders


In the case of Antisocial Boys, an OSCAR title search would lead to this message:

Your entry antisocial boys would be here

meaning we do not have it. However, you are also provided with a link to LINK+.

Click that button, and you will automatically do the same title search in the LINK+ catalog. Odds are that a library in LINK+ will have that book. It is very, very rare for a book to not be available through LINK+. You can then just follow the instructions on the screen to request that book. It will arrive at the Circulation Desk in the library in a couple of days and you can check it out for 3-weeks and renew it for 2 more.

For more tips on searching OSCAR for books on a particular, topic, click the tab above.

Can't Find a Specific Journal?

Imagine this scenario. You have a great book or article and you scan the list of references at the end and see a reference to another article that you would like to get. For example:

Carlson, E. A.; Jacobvitz, D.; and Sroufe, L. A. (1995). "A Developmental Investigation of Inattentiveness and Hyperactivity." Child Development 66:37–54.

To get this article, you need to follow these steps:

STEP 1  Go to the library homepage & click JOURNALS & MAGAZINES tab:


STEP 2   Type the title of the JOURNAL (in this case Child Development) in the box:

STEP 3  With luck, you'll get a response telling you what years are available in what database:

 Child development  (0009-3920)

in University Library Print Holdings
from 1930 to 2006 in JSTOR Arts and Sciences IV Collection
from 02/01/1985 to 1 year ago in Academic Search Complete


STEP 4  Look again at the specific year you need. In this case, that is 1995. According to the above, that should be in both JSTOR and Academic Search Complete. So, click on either of those. The link labeled University Library Print Holdings will take you to the OSCAR description of the years of the print journal available in the library.


STEP 5   Inside the database, look around the screen for a SEARCH BOX or SEARCH LINK where you can type in keywords from the title of the article you want. The article title in this example is "A Developmental Investigation of Inattentiveness and Hyperactivity."  So, I would type in this:

developmental investigation inattentiveness hyperactivity

It's usually best to avoid punctuation or little words like articles or prepositions. You should then be presented with the fulltext of the article or a button saying PDF, which you can click to get the fulltext.

If you follow this procedure and search a journal, but you you do not find it at all or the year you need is not available, then you can request the article through our interlibrary loan service, .  They will get a PDF of the article and send it as an email attachment. That can take anywhere from one day to several days. They will evaluate your request and let you know what to expect as soon as they get your request.