Intro to Library Research
MFNERC Graduate Student Cohort

Kyle Feenstra
Education Librarian
Elizabeth Dafoe Library

The Information Landscape



Academic Databases




Pay Wall

the Library 






the Internet


Websites & non-academic articles

What are scholarly journals?

  1. The journal publishes current research in a particular academic field.
  2. Articles are written for an academic audience in a scholarly community.

Identifying scholarly articles

  1. The article presents original research or analysis that is new to the field.
  2. Resources used to write the article are adequately cited with a bibliography and/or footnotes. 
  3. The author has academic credentials.

What do we mean by "peer review"?

  1. Articles submitted to the journal are reviewed by independent scholars prior publication to ensure they meet the standards for research in that field. 

Identifying Peer Reviewed Journals

  1. The catalogue or database where it is found identifies the journal as a peer reviewed source. (Example)
  2. The journal editors identify the publication as
    peer reviewed. 
  3. Peer review claims are confirmed by Ulrich's Web

Library Catalogue Search

Database Search

Subject Terms show us how published information within a domain of knowledge has been categorized in library or database.


Subjects are useful for identifying related materials. 

Keywords appear in the record and text of a document. Keywords represent the language used in a domain of knowledge. 


Keyword search results are based on frequency of word use in a document. 

  • Searching with subject terms enables you to find literature pertaining to a particular field of research.
  • Combinations of subject terms and keywords often produce most precise search results.

Using Subject Terms to find Books & Articles

Library catalogues use "controlled vocabularies" to organized materials by subject area. For monographs we call these subject terms.

Using Subject Terms to find Books & Articles

Databases also use controlled vocabularies often arranged in the form of a thesaurus. ERIC has one of the most widely used thesauri for research in Education.

Finding Subject Terms

Use the subject heading search to find the appropriate subject terms for books.

Use the ERIC Thesaurus (in the advanced search) to find the appropriate subject terms for articles.

Keeping Track of Articles (Two Options)

E- Shelf  (Library Catalogue)

  • Keep a list of books/articles
  • Create APA citations 


Zotero (Recommended)  

  • Keep a list of books/articles
  • Create APA citations
  • Generate bibliographies
  •  Word Integration


APA Style Guides

UM Library copies of recommended APA Guides

Additional Services

Document Delivery


Mail a Book
(Off Campus Students)


Contact Distance Education to have a book mailed to an off campus location.






Kyle Feenstra
Education & Librarian
Elizabeth Dafoe Library