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Rosen Research Guides

Quick Steps Library Guide

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This guide is designed to introduce you to the basic steps of library research. For more detailed information, please see our Rosen Research Tutorials, Rosen Research Guides, or contact us.

A printable version of this guide is also available: Quick Steps Library Guide PDF (111 KB)

Step 1: Accessing Library Resources

Access to the Libraries' electronic resources is limited to faculty, staff, and currently enrolled UCF students. You must have a UCF ID card in order to check out library materials or to access library databases from off-campus.To access these resources from off-campus, you must login using your PID or Library number (on the front of your UCF ID) and your password (the last 4 digits of your PID).

For more information:

Step 2: Starting Your Research

Your topic should: 1.) fulfill the parameters of the assignment, 2.) be of interest to you, and 3.) be researchable. Ask a librarian or your professor if you are having difficulty formulating a good topic.

Once you have a topic in mind, try writing it down in the form of a statement or question. Pick out the most important phrases and keywords, and make a list of terms similar to your keywords. For example:

  • Research topic: What are managers doing to improve employee retention in the lodging industry
  • Keywords and related terms:
    • Employee… personnel... staff... workers or workforce...
    • Retention… retain... turnover...
    • Lodging… hotels… resorts...

You will use these words when searching for articles, books, and other materials on your topic.

For more information:

Step 3: Finding Books

Use the UCF Library Catalog to find books and other materials, including:

  • Reference Books
  • General Collection (Circulating) Books
  • Electronic Books
  • Audiovisual materials (DVD, VHS, etc.)
  • Print journals, magazines, newspapers, etc.
  • And more!

Begin with a keyword search. If you get too many results, use the menu options above and to the left of your search results to narrow by subject, or location, or other means.

Once you find an item you want, write down the citation (author, title, etc.) and the location information (example: Rosen Gen Coll G156.5.E26 C62 2009). Don't forget to check the circulation status (availability, due date, etc.). If the book is located at another campus, or you need a specific book that UCF does not own, you may request it through Interlibrary Loan.

For more information:

Step 4: Finding Articles

While the library features many print journals, if you are looking for an article about a specific topic, you will want to use the library's databases. Did your instructor want you to find scholarly, peer-reviewed articles from academic journals, or do you need up-to-the-minute newspaper and magazine articles about a current hot topic? If you are not sure which databases to search, Ask a Rosen Librarian.

Database Tips

  • Truncation: Some databases, such as Hospitality & Tourism Complete, allow you to use truncation to search for variations of a word. To truncate a root word, place an asterisk where you want the variation to begin. For example, manage* will search for manage, manager, managers or management; employee* will search for employee or employees; and so on.
  • Boolean operators (and, or, not): Use these operators to link your keywords:
    • AND requires all terms connected with an AND to be in the article (narrows search)
    • OR specifies that either term (or both terms) is present in the article (broadens search)
    • NOT specifies that a term not be present (narrows search)
  • Example: employee* AND (retention or turnover) AND hospitality industry

For more information:

Step 5: Finding Information Online

The Internet is a good place to search for background material, to formulate keywords and search strategies, and to narrow your focus before looking for scholarly sources in the library. However, when using a general search engine, remember that anyone can publish anything on the Internet, with little of the kind of editorial control and fact-checking that occurs for most printed information. One way to evaluate the quality of information you find online is to use the CARS criteria: Credibility, Accuracy, Reasonableness, and Support.

You can often find quality information online by using trusted portals, such as the Rosen Library's Helpful Websites page, the FedStats database, or Google Scholar (if using Google Scholar from off-campus, be sure to adjust your Preferences to establish your affiliation with the University of Central Florida Libraries; this will ensure that you receive free access to resources licensed by UCF).

For more information:

Step 6: Citing Sources

Now that you have found information to support your research topic, it is time to write your paper and cite your sources. Always cite your source (and include the page number) when giving a direct quote. Also cite your source(s) whenever you paraphrase another’s ideas or whenever someone else’s work has been important in the development of your ideas (to paraphrase is to restate a passage in your own words). Remember to reference your sources using the style (APA, MLA, or Chicago) that your instructor requires.

For more information:

Go to: Rosen Research Tutorials page

Go to: Rosen Research Guides page

Go to: UCF Main Library Research Guides page

Questions? Contact Us!

A printable version of this guide is also available: Quick Steps Library Guide PDF (111 KB)

Rosen Research Guides  •  Quick Steps Library Guide
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Last Updated: March 2014 TB

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