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Library Guides

Choosing your research tools: How to: decide, find and use the right tool

This information about how and what research tool to use will help you begin your research with confidence.

Deciding where to begin

You've got a research project and need to find and use scholarly resources. Making the right decision about where to search can help make the process go much easier. See the information below for helpful tips about selecting and using academic resources. 

Tool: the Library catalog

Use the Library catalog when

  • you wish to find books about a specific topic (monographs) that Drew Library has in print on the shelves.
  • subject headings in the catalog can help you focus (or expand) your search.
  • you need resources that will provide an overview or introduction to a topic
  • you need to search for Reference materials -- the catalog allows you to limit results to only Drew's Reference sources. This feature is not available in other search engines.
  • you wish to search comprehensively for Drew's print and electronic book resources.

Go HERE for tips on where to locate Drew's Library catalog.

Please go HERE for basic search tips for using the catalog and HERE for advanced search tips. 

Please go HERE for tips on understanding catalog results. 

Tool: academic databases

Why use an academic database? Take a look at the short video below for good information.

Video source: Yavapi College Library 

Please go to the Subject Guides located HERE to locate suggested databases for use in finding resoures about your subject of interest. Confused? Contact for help.

Watch the short video below for some helpful tips for searching academic databases. Still confused? Contact for help.

Searching Library Databases.

Tool: GoogleScholar

GoogleScholar is an easy-to-use tool that has value when doing scholarly research. Note: It should NOT be your only place to search for scholarly resources and be careful...take time to vet each source thoroughly.

Use GoogleScholar when:

  • Citation searching
  • Looking for additional research by author 

Please go HERE for excellent information about accessing GoogleScholar. 

Please go HERE for excellent information about using GoogleScholar effectively.

Questions? Need Help? Email

Drew University Library,