Publications like books, magazine, journals, newspapers, and television and radio programs, are generally considered to be reliable sources of information. They are usually written by professional writers, who often have expertise in their fields, and reviewed by editors who want to protect the reputation of their publications. However, it is always a good idea to use your judgement and evaluate every source of information for accuracy, timeliness, and bias.
The library has several research databases that let you search for information from a broad range of published sources.
The most current information on many topics can often be found in periodicals — magazines, journals, and newspapers. The library has databases in which you type in a topic, and get a listing of articles on that topic from many different periodical titles. This kind of tool is sometimes called a periodical index. Many databases also include pamphlets, book chapters, and broadcast transcripts.
Some databases provide full-text of articles, allowing you to read the article without having to locate a copy of the publication where the article originally came from. Not all publishers allow research databases to include the text of their articles, so databases that cover many topics with information from many sources often have full-text for only some of the articles they cover. When full-text is not available, the database will at least give you a citation (the publication details you need to track down the article), and will often give you an abstract (a short summary of the article).
If you only have a citation for an article you want to read, there are several things you can try:
- Check the online library catalog to see if the Leeward CC Library or another University of Hawaiʻi library has a print subscription to the periodical that the article appeared in. If it is available at another UH library, you can submit a request to have a copy of the article sent to you by clicking on "Get This Item", then "Request Article" (more detailed instructions available here).
- Check EBSCO A-to-Z to see if one of our other databases has full-text content from the periodical the article appeared in.
- Check the periodical publisher's website to see if they offer options for viewing or obtaining a copy of the article (usually for a fee).
EBSCOhost is a service that includes dozens of broad-coverage and specialized research databases that allow searching of thousands of periodicals and other sources. We usually recommend students start with Academic Search Premier, a database designed for college students, which covers more than 8,000 periodical titles and provides full-text from almost 5,000 of those periodicals. EBSCOhost now has an iPhone/iPod Touch mobile app available; look for a link on an EBSCOhost search screen to have a download link and activation key sent to you.
ScienceDirect provides access to over 10 million journal articles and book chapters from Elsevier, a major publisher of scientifc journals and books. To learn more about using ScienceDirect, view their tutorial. ScienceDirect mobile apps for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry are available.
The Hawaiʻi Newspaper Index and the Hawaiʻi Pacific Journal Index index Hawaiʻi and Pacific periodicals. They are not full-text databases, but do inform you about the existance of articles about local topics, which you can find in library collections, and in some cases, publishers' websites. ProQuest Newspapers is a service that provides full-text articles from The Honolulu Advertiser (2002 - present) and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin (1991 - present). See this page to learn more about these tools and about accessing articles.
Books are a good source for background information, or for comprehensive information about topics.
The library subscribes to Credo Reference, which provides full-text content from hundreds of reference books and other sources. We also subscribe to ebrary, an electronic book service that provides more than 82,000 books that can be read on your computer. You can also find ebrary titles by searching in the online catalog.
The EBSCOhost eBook Collection provides us with access to a number of titles published by the University of Hawaiʻi Press. We have access to these titles because of an arrangement made by the UH-Mānoa Libraries to have electronic access to UH Press books they have purchased. Access was originally through NetLibrary, which Ebsco purchased. Only one person can access a particular e-book title at a time. If you are denied access to an e-book, try again in 15 minutes.
The Gale Virtual Reference Library provides electronic versions of reference books published by Gale, a part of Cengage Learning.