Where to Find Resources

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A big part of researching is searching. Whether looking for books or articles or both, this guide shows you where to search. Before the internet, finding information took much longer. However, quality research still takes a lot of time. You can find more here on How to Search.


Discovery Service (from EBSCO) allows you to search both the catalog and most of the library databases for books, ebooks, articles, dissertations and much more.

Discovery Service is therefore the most comprehensive search, yielding the most results. Therefore, you will need to know how to limit your searches to a manageable level.

EBSCO Discovery Service is the main search box on the library website and can also be found here: EBSCO Discovery Service.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides an easy way to search for scholarly literature across many disciplines and resources.


Periodicals Defined

Periodicals are publications which are issued at regular intervals, such as journals, magazines, and newspapers.

Article databases provide you with 24-7 access to magazine, journal and newspaper articles.

It can be difficult to distinguish between the various types of periodicals when they are in electronic format. Luckily, many databases allow researchers to search or sort results by publication type.

On the search interface of the database, look for options to limit your results by scholarly journal, peer-reviewed journals, industry publications, or similar. 


Article Formats:

Depending on the database you are using, articles may be displayed in different formats:

  • Index: Includes only the article citation (i.e., author, title, date, etc.). Neither a summary, nor the full-text of the article are available.
  • Abstract: Includes the citation and a summary of the article's content. It does not include the full-text article.
  • Full-text: Includes the citation and full-text article. This may be in HTML, .pdf, or both formats.

​Full-text articles will have a link for opening the file -- usually in PDF format.  You can read, download, print out, or even email the article.

If you find an article that is not available in full text, check Find Fleece Library Journals and Magazines to see if we have access to the journal.

If we don't have the article in full text, you can fill out the online Interlibrary Loan form to get the article from another library.


Academic Journals

Also known as scholarlyrefereed, or peer-reviewed journals.

Appearance: Generally have a sober, serious look. May contain graphs and charts, but few glossy pages or photographs. Use scholarly language with vocabulary specific to their profession or field.

Audience: Written for academics and professionals.

Author/Authority: Articles written by researchers or scholars in the field who report the results of original research.

Citations: Articles include footnotes and a list of citations at the end of the article.

Content: Includes scholarly research for a particular profession or industry. Articles usually contain an abstract, methodology, discussion, charts or tables, results, conclusions, and references.

Frequency: Usually published bimonthly or quarterly.




General Interest Magazines

Appearance: Generally attractive and illustrated with color photographs.

Audience: Written for the general public.

Author/Authority: Articles written by staff or freelance writer.

Content: Includes current events and special features.

Frequency: Usually published weekly or monthly.




Trade Magazines

Also known as industry magazines.

Appearance: Generally attractive and are often illustrated with color photographs.

Audience: Written for industry professionals.

Author/Authority: Articles written by staff writers, though the magazine may sometimes accept articles from industry professionals.

Citations: Occasionally list references at the end of the article or provide footnotes within the text.

Content: Includes current events and special features within a particular profession or industry.

Frequency: Usually published biweekly or monthly.





Appearance: Generally printed on newsprint in black ink.

Audience: Written for the general public.

Author/Authority: Articles written by staff writers and freelance journalists.

Citations: Will sometimes cite sources, a scholar, or a freelance writer.

Content: Includes current events and special features.

Frequency: Usually published daily or weekly.




Searching Online



Searching the Shelves

When you search for a book in the catalog, you'll find a record with all the bibliographic information. Below the bibliographic information will be the holdings information:

Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due
Circulating Book (checkout times vary with patron status) G Allen Fleece LibraryCirculating Collection - First Floor Non-fiction BS2675.3.A12 1984 Available
  • Item type shows whether it can be checked out or only used in the library.
  • Current location shows where to find the book.
  • Call Number will indicate where it will be located on the shelf. We use the library of congress cataloging system.
  • Status will indicate whether it will actually be on the shelf. If the status is available, it should be on the shelf. If the status shows missing or lost, the book will not be available. If the status shows a date, the book is checked out and you can place a hold if you would like the book after it is returned.


The materials in the G. Allen Fleece Library are organized by the Library of Congress (LC) Classification System so that materials on similar subjects are shelved together. Each item is given a subject heading that corresponds to a call number which identifies the location of the item on a shelf. 

Items are arranged on the shelves from left to right, top to bottom, according to call numbers. Call numbers are read in this format:

  • The Reference section with books that can only be used in the library is in the front section of the library, with the Biblical Studies (BS) section on the right.
  • The Circulating books are on the shelves at the rear of the library.
  • The Faculty Authors section contains books written by CIU faculty members.
  • The Commentary section contains Bible commentaries from series recommended by CIU professors.
  • The Thesis and Dissertations section contains thesis and dissertations written by CIU students.
  • The Juvenile section can be found upstairs.
  • The Media section, containing DVDs and CDs, both educational and for entertainment, can also be found upstairs.


Other Libraries

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service that allows you to borrow materials from other libraries across the country. Please check that the book or article is not available at the CIU library. ILL book requests can take 1-3 weeks to arrive, though articles usually arrive within a week if they are sent electronically. You will receive an email when your item(s) are available for pick-up at the Circulation Desk (located on your right as you enter the library) or if they are unable to be borrowed.

This service is available to current students, faculty, and staff.


If you are a residential student, you are considered a Richland County Resident and can sign up for a card at the Richland County Public Library. The card will expire after a year and you will need to go back and renew it, but there will not be a fee. You will need to bring proof of residency, such as mail that has come to your box, or other official paper that you live in the dorms/on campus.


What is "Grey Literature"?

"That which is produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats, but which is not controlled by commercial publishers." (Fourth International Conference on Grey Literature, Washington, DC, October, 1999)

Grey literature includes:

  • Theses and dissertations
  • Conference papers and proceedings
  • Research reports
  • Government documents


Dissertations and Theses


Government Documents

Government documents are an important primary source of information on a wide range of issues. They can be found through a search of the library catalog and government websites.


Conference Papers and Proceedings

Conference papers and proceedings can be very difficult to find because they:

  • Can be published in different ways - as books, journal articles, abstracts
  • Take several years to be published or may not be published at all
  • May be deposited in an author or institutional repository


Research Reports

Research reports contain the results of research projects, investigations, and surveys, and are usually published by the funder or the body undertaking the research.

They can be found by searching the websites of subject associations and research organizations, in addition to the library catalog and databases.