Planning to come to the library to research?
Make your visit a successful one by reading this first:
- Library Basics: The 8 Campus Libraries
- Who can help me?
- 24/7 Access to databases
- Study spaces: Individual & Group
- Using my laptop in the Libraries
- Library Computers: Email, Word & My flashdrive
- Printing & Photocopying in the Libraries
- Important Rules
- Lost & Found and Safety of your Belongings
The Research Process:
- Step 1 - Get Organized
- Step 2 - Choosing a Topic
- Step 3 - Where do I begin?
- Step 4 - Identifying Search Terms
- Step 5 - Search the Libraries' Catalog to find books
- Step 6 - Search Research Port to find articles
- Step 7 - Cite Your Sources!
- UM Libraries' home page: www.lib.umd.edu
- Ask Us!
- Campus map of library locations.
- Library hours for the summer.
The University of Maryland Libraries are rich in print, online, and nonprint resources, as well as in U.S. government documents and a variety of special collections. These materials are housed in seven libraries on the College Park campus, as well as one located in Rockville, MD:
Houses collections in art, art history, history, archaeology, studio arts, including photography and graphic design.
Houses collections in architecture, urban studies & planning, historic preservation.
Chemistry (White Memorial) Library
Houses collections in chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, enzymology, immunology, microbiology, & molecular genetics.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Library
Houses collections for biomedical engineering, physics, mathematics, civil, chemical & environmental engineering, physical sciences, electrical & computer engineering.
Houses the Maryland Room, University Archives and many special and rare collections.
McKeldin Library (Main campus library)
Houses collections in the life sciences, humanities, social sciences. The life sciences collection is divided between McKeldin Library and the Chemistry (White Memorial) Library.
Performing Arts Library
Houses collections in music, theatre, & dance materials, as well as some special collections.
Shady Grove Library (Located in Rockville, MD)
Houses collections to supports the Universities at Shady Grove (USG)
Research can be challenging. Library staff are available to help you find what you need. Come to any campus library for help in-person or seek help online at: http://umd.libanswers.com/.
The Libraries' online resources are available 24/7. Find articles using one of the Libraries 300+ databases by starting at the Libraries' homepage: www.lib.umd.edu, click Research Port then choose a subject area.
In McKeldin Library, Group Study Rooms (that accommodate about 10 people) are available on the 2nd floor. All campus libraries offer many quiet individual study areas throughout each building.
Yes. Bring your laptop to the library, plug it in and go! Note: Wireless access to the campus' Internet connection is limited to those students who have been issued a UM I.D. card. If you have been issued an I.D. card, logon to the campus network using your Directory ID and Password. Need help? Contact the campus' Office of Information Technology at 301-405-1400.
Library computers come loaded with Microsoft Office installed on them, which means you can use Word, PowerPoint and Excel, as well as get access to the Web to check your e-mail. We advise that you carry a flashdrive with you since you cannot store you work on library computers.
Since library photocopiers and printers do not take $ bills or coins, you will need to purchase a Visitor's Card (also called a Photocopy or Copy Card). These cards look like this:
Visitor's Cards may be purchased in any campus library using a Copy Card ATM Machine (typically found on the main floor). These machines look like this:
It costs $1.00 to buy a Visitor's Card and when received comes with a balance of only 20 cents; this is enough to print/photocopy 2 black & white pages at 10 cents per page. Add additional money to your card in order to print/copy additional pages.
Copy Card ATM machines accept $5, $10 and $20 bills. There is a Bill-to-Bill Changer machine in McKeldin Library stationed next to the Copy Card ATM Machines.
Campus libraries are places for work and study. We assume that you possess the appropriate levels of maturity to be productive in a scholarly environment. Abide by the Code of Conduct Policy for Library Users when visiting the libraries.
Lost & Found:
In McKeldin Library, the Lost & Found is located at the 1st floor Information/Reference Desk. The University Police house the campus' lost and found.
Safety of your belongings:
Campus spaces (including libraries) are public spaces. The theft of personal items is sometimes a problem. Keep your personal items with you at all times. Bring as little as possible with you to safeguard losing items or having them stolen
If there is a fire drill or should another another emergency occur that requires you to evacuate the building, please follow the directives given by campus police and library staff without delay.
The Research Process
Know the Assignment, Plan Ahead, & Take Clear & Accurate Notes
- Understand the requirements & goals of the assignment
- Unsure? Ask your instructor for clarification so you don't waste valuable time
- From time to time, review the requirements of the assignment to make make you're on track
- Researching & writing a good paper takes time and effort
- Start early to avoid stress
- Do not be surprised if your research takes longer than you think!
- From the start, keep accurate notes of where you are finding information
- Before handing in your paper, accurately & completely cite all sources used.
This step is crucial for success:
- Choose a topic that fits the assignment and that interests you
- Don't choose a topic so recent or so narrow that little information is available
- Don't choose a topic so broad that the amount of information available is overwhelming
- If you not sure if your topic fits the assignment, ask your instructor before proceeding
What is your research topic about? Here's a sample:
|Can eating tomatoes reduce getting cancer?|
What are the terms you would use to search for this topic?
Sometimes, you will need to use more than a few words to find information on your topic. Think about what other words could be used to describe your topic. Use various combinations of these words to find information:
|tomatoes > vegetables, fruit, lycopene,
anti-oxidants, beta carotene, nutrients
reduce >curb, limit, lessen, stop, prevent
cancer > disease
Start at the Libraries home page and enter your search terms in the WorldCat UMD search box.
WorldCat UMD is your gateway to books, e-books, articles, journals, maps, government documents, and more. It provides access to the holdings of the UMD Libraries along with other libraries across the nation. Begin your search here to find information on your topic.
Here's an illustration of a basic search in WorldCat:
Start at the Libraries home page and click Research Port located under Research Tools.
Research Port is your gateway to periodical literature and more! To find articles on your topic, search a database keeping in mind that our 300+ databases are grouped by subject. Depending on the database you select, it may contain articles from scholarly publications, popular magazines, trade publications, newspapers, and more. Some databases also provide access to book reviews, primary source materials, biographies, statistics, maps, legal documents, technical reports, surveys, and other works.
Here's an illustration of how to use Research Port's left-side features:
Here's an illustration of how to use Research Port's right-side features:
Avoid inadvertently plagiarizing by doing this:
- Take complete & accurate notes about where you are finding information.
- Write down the full citation for each source used. Or, keep track by emailing articles to your account.
- Use quotation marks when using an author's exact words.
- Forget how to cite, or don't know how? Use style manuals.