Research Guide

  • Give yourself plenty of time to go through the Research Process
  • Gather background information and keywords for your topic in reference works like encyclopedias and dictionaries, found in the Library Catalog
  • Search for books, periodical titles, and reference and audio-visual materials in the Library Catalog
  • Search for journal, magazine, newspaper articles, essays and reviews in MU’s Databases
  • Recognize the difference between subscription databases and the open Web. For a helpful discussion, see University of Alaska at Fairbanks guide Online Subscription Databases vs. Web Sites
  • Evaluation is crucial to good research
  • Allow your topic to develop as you engage the resources
  • Take careful notes, differentiating your own ideas and those of others
  • Record citation information such as title, author, chapter or article title, volume and issue numbers, and paging for each source you use. See Citation Styles

Search the Library Catalog

When you use the Library Catalog, you are searching all holdings in OPALL Consortium of which Multnomah is a member. Holdings include books, periodical titles, theses, and audio-visual materials.

  • Search by keyword, author, title, subject, call number, journal title keyword and more
  • If you aren't sure what you're looking for, here is a good strategy for pulling up relevant results:
    • Using the Keyword Relevance search, experiment with a variety of search terms
    • Select a title that fits your topic
    • Click on the Detailed Record tab to identify Library of Congress subject headings
    • Click on one or more subject headings links that describe your topic
    • In the resulting subject heading list, select the hyperlinked number to the left of the desired heading
    • You will be taken to all titles with that subject heading
  • Remember, you can borrow from other OPALL libraries
  • If the title you need is not in OPALL, request what you need via Interlibrary Loan
  • For an in-depth guide to the OPALL catalog, see page 20 of the Library Handbook or contact a research librarian

Find Articles in Research Databases

Research databases like EBSCOhost are the best place to search for the citations and full-text to journal, magazine, and newspaper articles. Log into Databases with your MU username and password.

Borrow from other Libraries