Open Brandeis University Library & Technology Services in another browser window to work through this tutorial side by side.
The text in this box contains directions for using the website to the right.
Use the arrows below to proceed through the tutorial.
The Library and Technology Services homepage is displayed to the right.
You’ll find many helpful resources on this page. We’ll start by looking at the OneSearch box in the center of the of the page.
Click the right arrow below to proceed to the next page.
The default option is the first tab Library Catalog. Use this to search for physical items (books, print journals, DVDs, etc.) and ebooks owned by the library.
How many results did you get?
The library has many ebooks. To limit your results to just ebooks, you can use the menu on the left side and select Available Online under Availability.
You can use the other facets on the left to refine your results. For example, you can narrow your results by Resource Type to CDs or DVDs. You can also refine by Subject or by publication Date.
If you were interested in focusing your research to zombies in literature, you could add additional keywords to your search.
With your original search for zombies, you should have found about 51-200 search results. How did the number of search results change when you searched for zombies literature?
You can use library call numbers to locate physical materials such as print books in the library. An example of a call number is circled in the image below below.
Library books at Brandeis are arranged by Library of Congress call number. This system arranges items by subject. This means you will find books on similar topics next to one another on the shelf.
Look through your zombies literature search results for the book Living death in medieval French and English literature.
What is the call number for this book?
The library also has a blue Map it button that shows you where print books and other physical items are located in the library.
Click on the Map it button to see the location of Living death in medieval French and English literature.
Where would you find this book in the library?
Each item in the library catalog links to an item record that includes more detailed information about it. When you enter keywords in the catalog search box, the catalog searches these item records for your keywords.
Try looking at an item record
In addition to a book’s title and author, item records will also show publication information as well as subject headings. For many books, you may also see a Table of Contents or summary. This information can help you evaluate a book’s relevance to your research topic.
Bear in mind the limits of keyword searching. The catalog only searches for your terms in the item records, not in the full text of every book. For example, if you had searched zombies novels, your results would not have included item records that contained the term literature unless they also contained the term novels.
On the other hand, don’t assume a book isn’t useful based only on the information in a catalog record. A book that seems too general may have a section that is more relevant to your research. For example, a book about monsters in literature might have a chapter specifically on zombies.
As you do research, you may notice that some authors use different terminology to describe your topic. For example, if you were reading about zombies, you might see that some authors used the term undead when writing about zombies and other types of living dead.
If you wanted to expand your search to include books that used either zombies or undead (or both terms) to describe your research topic, you could add the word OR between the two search terms. (Note that the word OR needs to spelled in all capital letters.)
Let’s look at another strategy for improving your search results.
When you searched for zombie apocalypse, the catalog looked for item records that contained both of these terms, but not necessarily the exact phrase “zombie apocalypse” with the words in that exact order.
To search only for items that contain an exact phrase, put quotation marks around the phrase.
How did the number of your search results change when you searched for "zombie apocalypse” with quotation marks?
Now we'll move from OneSearch's Library Catalog tab to the Articles & More tab.
After looking at some results about zombies, you might like to investigate the following research question: How are zombies represented in the media?
Rather than type your whole research question into a search box, start by figuring out the key concepts or the most important terms in your research question.
In this example, you might start with the key concepts zombies and media. We’ll use these as keywords in our searching.
The Articles & More tab searches across many of Brandeis' databases to find articles from journals, newspapers, magazines and other types of sources. These databases are important tools for college students and other researchers.
You may think that anything you find with the Articles & More search can be found by searching Google, but the free online content that Google searches is not the same as the material that an Articles & More search will find. Database content includes many scholarly sources that are only available to searchers who are affiliated with schools and/or libraries that subscribe to them. Brandeis pays for the library databases that provide access to many scholarly sources, sources you can't find with Google.
As with the Library Catalog search results, you can use the facets to the left of your search results to refine your results.
One of these options allows you to limit your search to articles from Peer-reviewed Journals. For many of your research assignments at Brandeis, your professors will ask you to use articles from peer-reviewed journals, also known as scholarly articles.
While the Peer-reviewed Journals facet can help you to limit your search results, you should also understand the characteristics of a scholarly journal article so you'll be able to recognize scholarly sources on your own:
Try using a facet to refine your results:
Look for the article in your search results titled "Zombie Media: Transmission, Reproduction, and the Digital Dead." The article is by Allan Cameron and was published in Cinema Journal in 2012.
In addition to OneSearch, you can use the library’s individual article databases to search for articles.
Click on the link below to view a complete list of databases:
This page is a portal to the library’s databases, including databases devoted to a single subject, like medicine or sociology.
If you scroll down the right hand side of the A-Z Databases page, you can see a list of "Popular Databases.”
When you are using the library’s databases, you may come across citations for articles that do not include the full text of the article.
Click on the following link to see an example (If you are not logged in, you may need to log in to view the example):
Simmons, Thomas E. "What Zombies Can Teach Law Students: Popular Text Inclusion In Law And Literature." Mercer Law Review 66.3 (2015): 729-780. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 July 2015.
To view the full text of this article, click on the blue GET IT! button on the left side of the screen. A new window or tab will open; you can return to this tab and the tutorial after you've looked at the new window or tab. If Brandeis has access to this article through other databases, you’ll see Full text available at links. In this case, Brandeis has access to this article through other databases.
Sometimes you might click on the GET IT! button and find that we do not have access to an article.
Click on the following article link to see an example of an article that we do not have access to:
Lawson, Jenny. "Eating Minds : Fantasizing Undead, Becoming Zombie In Performance." Studies In Theatre & Performance 34.3 (2014): 236-243. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 July 2015.
With Interlibrary Loan (ILL), you can borrow books, articles and other types of resources from other libraries.
In order to use Interlibrary Loan, you'll need to activate your ILL account:
Click the Interlibrary Loan link to activate your account:
You can log in to your ILL account with your Brandeis username and passphrase.
Did you activate your Interlibrary Loan account?
If you need help at any point during the research process or can’t find what you need, we are always happy to help.
Read about ways that you can ask questions
How can you get research assistance?
If you click on the Chat with a Librarian button, a chat box will appear and you can ask a librarian for help.
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