Long Island University C.W. Post Campus
C.W. Post Campus B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library

Library Workshop Manual : Section 3

Locate (lo´·kat) v. to discover where something is.

This is an older version of the manual. The newer version is at http://liu.cwp.libguides.com/officialcollege101guide


Locating sources appropriate for academic research requires time and a critical eye. It is also important to evaluate those sources, identifying the best ones for your research. Learning to apply criteria by which you can evaluate both print and electronic information should make it easier for you to choose good sources.

The type of research you are doing will determine how closely you examine your sources. You would probably be less critical of information gathered for your own personal interest than for a paper. Academic research requires accurate and documented sources.

This section will focus on locating, evaluating, and citing print and electronic sources.

After completing this section, you should be able to:

  • locate books in the library using call numbers
  • use the library's online catalog
  • recognize the different parts of a URL


Using the Online Catalog LIUCAT -- Locate It in Print

The library's catalog, LIUCAT, can be accessed on the Web from the library homepage or at the following address: http://liucat.lib.liu.edu

Help Button This is a brief introduction to using LIUCAT. For more in-depth help refer to the online user's guide which accompanies LIUCAT. You can access it by clicking on the Help button at any time during your search.


Types of Searches

LIUCAT has three different search types that you can use to find the material you want:

  • Basic. This allows you to combine terms.

  • Advanced. This allows you to specify and combine words in different fields and limit by campus, collection, or item type.

  • List A-Z. This displays an alphabetical list of authors, titles, subjects, series, or call numbers. You can scroll to any point in the list and choose the topic you want.
These buttons are available at the top of your browser so that you can quickly and easily switch from one type of search to another:

IPAC Toolbar


Basic Search

To do a Basic Search:

  1. Click the Basic button.

  2. Choose the type of search you want to do from the pull-down menu.

  3. Enter your search words and click the Go Button

Basic search allows you to do the following keyword searches:

  • general keyword
  • title keyword
  • author keyword
  • subject keyword
  • series keyword

A general keyword search looks for the words you enter in the entire record. It is often a good starting point for your search. The other types of keyword searches look for the words you enter only in the fields specified by the type of search you choose, such as title, author or subject.

For example, a title keyword search looks for the words you enter in the title fields only, so if you were to do a title keyword search for the words "internet" and "directory" your results would include the titles: Internet Tollfree National Directory and Directory of Internet Sources for Health Professionals.

After the results are displayed, Basic search also allows you to sort results by date, author, or title, and to limit the serach by campus, collection, or media type.


Advanced Search

To do an Advanced search

  1. Click the Advanced button.

  2. Use the field modifier (type of keyword search) listed on the left of the search text box and the Boolean operators listed on the right to narrow your searching scope.

  3. Click the Go Button

The advantage of an Advanced search over a Basic search is the ability to combine different kinds of keyword searches using the Boolean operators and, or, and not. This allows you to be much more specific in your search strategy.

  • AND: Narrows your search to items that contain both words you enter.
  • OR: Broadens your search to items that contain either word you enter.
  • NOT: Narrows your search to items that contain one word you enter, but not the other.

(For more information on using Boolean operators, refer to Combining Ideas -- Boolean Logic in Section 2.)

Advanced search allows you combine up to four of the following keyword searches in any combination:

  • general keyword
  • title keyword
  • author keyword
  • subject keyword
  • series keyword

Example: If you are looking for dictionaries about chemistry, you could use the following advanced search to narrow your search and retrieve the most relevant records: Do a subject keyword search for "dictionaries" and use the and operator to combine that search with a general keyword search for "chemistry".

Limiting
You also have the option to limit your search. You can limit by Campus (LIU Post, Brooklyn, Rockland, etc.), Collection (Circulation, Reference, Periodicals, Business, IMC, etc.), or by Media Type (books, videos, cds).

Sorting
You can choose to have your results sorted by date, author, title, or media type (i.e., videorecording, microform, book, etc.). If you don't, the results are automatically sorted in reverse chronological order which means the most recently published items will appear first. After your initial search you will also have the option to re-sort your results.


List A-Z Search

Use the List A-Z Search option to retrieve various alphabetical listings to browse, such as authors, titles, subjects, and series. This is a good choice if you know the specific author, title, or subject that you wish to find. For example, you can enter "hemingway" to get an alphabetical list of authors whose last names begin with "hemingway."

To use the List A-Z Search option

  1. Click the Lists A-Z button.

  2. Choose the Available List that you want to browse (Title List, Author List, Subject List, Periodical Title List, Library of Congress Call Number List, Series List, ISBN).

  3. Enter a word or phrase to browse in the text box.

  4. Click the Go Button

    LIUCAT displays the List A-Z Summary.

  5. Choose the phrase you want.

    LIUCAT displays the Item Information screen containing the term you chose from the List.


Results Screens

If there are matches for more than one item, LIUCAT opens the Search Results screen. This is a listing of short entries for all the items retrieved by your search. You can go into the item information for an individual item by clicking on the hyperlink of its title.

Item Information
If your search finds only one item LIUCAT will take you directly into the item information screen.

The item information screen gives the following information about an item:

  • Complete bibliographic details including title, author, publication year, and Library of Congress subject headings
  • Which campuses of LIU own the item
  • Which collection to find the item in (circulation, reference, business, etc.)
  • Call number
  • Whether the book is checked in or checked out
  • The due date if the book is checked out
  • Whether the book is on reserve

When you find items that you wish to locate in the library be sure to write the title, author and call number down. You will need the call number to find the item on the shelf. Or you can use the My List feature.


My List and Emailing

Add to my list Button You can add items to My List as you search by clicking on the "Add to my list" button which appears to the right of the item.

My List Button When you've put all the items you want on your list, click the "My List" button and print the results or use the email option to send the items to a specific email address. You can also email an entire search to a specific address by scrolling to the bottom of the search screen and filling in the appropriate information before clicking "Email items". Be sure to enter a full destination e-mail address (for example, jdoe@wherever.com).


History

History Button Use the History option on the toolbar if you want to find and rerun a search that has been done before or use the same keywords while changing the search options.

If you can't find what you're looking for using LIUCAT, please ask a librarian!


Finding the Books -- Understanding Call Numbers

Have you ever wondered how library books are assigned their places on the shelves? Did you know that the call number -- the number placed on the spine of the book -- is a code which provides valuable information about the book?


What are call numbers for?

Each book in the library has a unique call number. A call number is like an address: it tells us where the book is located in the library.

Call numbers appear on the spines of books and in the online catalog:

Call numbers appear on the spines of books and in the online catalog

Note that the same call number can be written from top-to-bottom, or left-to-right.

The LIU Post Library, like many academic libraries in the U.S., uses Library of Congress Classification for call numbers. This system uses a combination of letters and numbers to arrange materials by subjects.


Reading Call Numbers

Read the call numbers line by line:

LB
2395
.C65
1991

Read the first line in alphabetical order:
A, B, BF, C, D … L, LA, LB, LC, M, ML ...

Read the second line as a whole number:
1, 2, 3, 45, 100, 101, 1000, 2000, 2430 ...

The third line is a combination of a letter and numbers.
Read the letter alphabetically. Read the number as a decimal, e.g. .C65=.65 .C724=.724
(Some call numbers have more than one combination letter-number line.)

The fourth line is the year the book was published. Chronological order: 1985, 1987, 1991, 1992 ...


Putting Call Numbers in Shelf Order

To understand how call numbers are put in order in Library of Congress Classification, look again at each section of the call number.

  

LA
2301
.M37

LA
before
LB

LB
2327
.M3

LB
2327
.Y53
1990

2327
before
2328

LB
2328
.B37

.B
before
.C

LB
2328
.C34

.34
before
.55

LB
2328
.C55

LB
2328
.C554

.554
before
.63

LB
2328
.C63
1992

LB
2395
.C65
1987

1987
before
1991

LB
2395
.C65
1991


What does the call number mean?

Remember that Library of Congress Classification arranges materials by subjects. The first sections of the call number represent the subject of the book. The letter-and-decimal section of the call number often represents the author's last name. And, as you recall, the last section of a call number is often the date of publication. Example:

Title: What You Need to Know About Developing Study Skills, Taking Notes & Tests, Using Dictionaries & Libraries

Author: Coman, Marcia J.

Call number: LB2395 .C65 1991

The first two lines describe the subject of the book. LB2395=Methods of Study, in Higher Education

LB
2395
.C65
1991

The third line often represents the author’s last name: .C65=Coman

The last line is the year the book was published.


Why is this important to know?

Because books are classified by subject, you can often find several helpful books on the same shelf, or nearby. For example, within the same call number LB2395, there are other guides for college study.

LB
2395
.C6
1960


A Student Guide to Efficient Study, by Luella Cole

LB
2395
.E45


How to Study Better and Get Higher Marks, by Eugene H. Ehrlich

LB
2395
.L447


Keys to College Success, by Minnette Lenier

LB
2395
.O54
1983


A Successful Student's Handbook, by Rita Phipps

In large libraries many items on the same subject will have similar call numbers. It is important to write down the entire call number in order to locate the item on the shelf.

Remember that the Library of Congress arranges materials by subject. The first section of the call number represents the subject of the book. The second section represents the author's name and the last section is often the date of publication.

The first line of a call number may begin with one, two or three letters. These letters should be read alphabetically. A call number that begins with A is shelved before one that begins with B, C, etc.; and a call number that begins with QE is shelved somewhere between the one that starts with Q and the one that starts with QL.

Single letters are filed before double letters.

P PN PS Q QA

The second line of a call number is made of a number that may have one or more digits. This line is read numerically. A call number with a smaller number in its second line is shelved before one that has a larger number for its second line.

QA
50
QA
55
QA
76
QA
76.15
QA
76.73

The third line is the trickiest part of the call number. The letter is shelved alphabetically, and the number following the letter is treated as if it were preceded by a decimal.

PN
6231
.E259
PN
6231
.E29
PN
6231
.E4
PN
6231
.E74
PN
6231
.F44

When the top three lines are identical, look to the fourth line. If it contains a letter followed by numbers, items are organized alphabetically by letter, and within each letter by decimal number. Note the number is treated as a decimal number even though there is no visible decimal point.

QE
862
.D5
L22
QE
862
.D5
L35
QE
862
.D5
L4571
QE
862
.D5
L461
QE
862
.D5
M3311
QE
862
.D5
M37

The final lines of the call numbers may include dates, volume indicators, issue numbers, copy numbers and other annotations such as supplement or index specifiers. These annotations are read after the call number.

Q
10
.C3
Q
10
.C3
1933
Q
10
.C3
1990
Q
10
.C3
1996
copy
1
Q
10
.C3
1996
copy
2
QD
1
.A5
Vol.
1
QD
1
.A5
Vol.
2
QD
1
.A5
Vol. 2
Plates
QD
1
.A5
Vol. 2
Supplement

Since Library of Congress Classification arranges materials by subjects, knowing the letter(s) for your subject area gives you a place to start browsing the shelves. Which letters represent your subject?


Library of Congress Classification System and Stack Level Designations

A GENERAL WORKS Level 3
AE General Encyclopedias
AY Almanacs
B PHILOSOPHY, PSYCHOLOGY, RELIGION Level 3
B-BD; BH-BJ Philosophy
BF Psychology
BL-BX Religion
C HISTORY Level 3
CC Archaeology
CT Biography
D GENERAL AND OLD WORLD HISTORY Level 4
D World History
DA-DR Europe
DS Asia
DT Africa
E AMERICAN HISTORY Level 4
F U.S. LOCAL HISTORY, CANADA, LATIN AMERICA Level 4
G GEOGRAPHY, ANTHROPOLOGY, RECREATION Level 3
G Geography
GN Anthropology
GR Folklore
GV Sports and Recreation
H SOCIAL SCIENCES Level 4
HA Statistics
HB-HJ Economics & Business
HM-HX Sociology
J POLITICAL SCIENCE Level 4
JA-JC Political Science
JF-JQ Constitutional Law and Public Administration
JX International Law
K LAW Level 4
KF U.S. Law
KFN New York State Law
L EDUCATION Level 3
LA History of Education
LB Educational Theory and Practices
LC Social Aspects and Special Education
M MUSIC Level 5
N FINE ARTS Level 5 *
NA Architecture
NB Sculpture
ND Painting
* Art books are arranged in two alphabets: one oversize, one regular size.
P LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE Level 5
P Philology & Linguistics
PA Classical Languages and Literature
PC Romance Languages
PE English Languages
PN Literary History and Criticism; Theatre, Film and Television
PR English Literature
PS American Literature
Q SCIENCE Level 2
QA Mathematics
QC Physics
QD Chemistry
QH Biology and Ecology
R MEDICINE Level 2
RA Public Health
RS Pharmacy
RT Nursing
S AGRICULTURE Level 2
T TECHNOLOGY Level 2
TA General Engineering
TR Photography
TT Handicrafts
U MILITARY SCIENCE Level 2
V NAVAL SCIENCE Level 2
Z BIBLIOGRAPHY AND LIBRARY SCIENCE Level 4


Finding Articles by Using the Catalog

Periodical titles can also be found using the online catalog. Let's say you had this citation for an article:

France, Mike. "Free speech on the Net? Not quite." Business Week. Feb 28 2000: 93-94.
By searching the library catalog for the periodical title Business Week, you could see if your library owns that magazine and what the holdings are for that title. Once you have the location, you can find the periodical in the appropriate department. If you don't find the article or periodical you are looking for, be sure to check with a librarian for other options.


Locate It on the Web

Just as every item in the library has its own call number, every image, file, page, or program on the Web has its own individual location. To find these online sources, you need the Web address called a Uniform Resource Locator or URL. The URL identifies the computer, directory, and file where an item is located and the type of protocol needed to read that item. Capitalization, punctuation, and spacing must be exact for a URL to work.


Anatomy of a URL

You might use the URL to identify information about the source of a Web page.

Let's look at some URLs to find out more about the structure and organization of addresses on the Web.

http://www.dollarsR_US.com/
http:// The first part of the address indicates what type of protocol you need to view this item. In this case, "http" means hypertext transfer protocol which is the standard protocol of a web page.
www The "www" stands for World Wide Web. Many URLs start with these letters.
dollarsR_US This part of the address usually contains the name, or abbreviated name, of the organization sponsoring the information.
com This is the domain name and indicates what type of organization is sponsoring the site. In this case it is a company.
http://sis.liunet.edu/~bob/Paper/Bio.html
http:// This indicates that this page uses the Web protocol. Some other protocols are telnet or news.
sis This page is on a server, or "host" computer, called "sis". URLs do not have to start with www.
liunet This name indicates that this page is coming from Long Island University.
edu This domain name means that the sponsoring institution is an educational institution.
~bob The "~" indicates that this is a personal account, probably for someone named Bob. It is always wise to be more critical when evaluating information from a personal site since it is more difficult to determine the reliability of the information.
Paper This is the name of the directory in the "bob" account.
Bio This is the file name. Capitalization and punctuation are important in URLs.
html This is the file extension and indicates the file's format. In this instance the file is HTML or hypertext markup language -- the predominant format found on the Web.


Let's take a closer look at some of the parts of the URL:


Protocols

In the online world, protocols make it possible for different types of computers -- Macintosh, PC, UNIX -- to communicate with each other. They are standards or rules that enable one computer to understand messages sent from another and then act on those messages. They always come before the URL. There are many protocols for communicating on the Internet. Some common ones are:

  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) : transmit information on the Web

  • Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) : send and receive electronic mail

  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) : transfer files between computers

  • Telnet protocol (telnet) : login from a local desktop computer to a remote server and use its resources

Without protocols, computers would have no idea what to do with our email messages or how to display a Web page.


Groups on the Web

The information you find on the Web is as varied as the people who put it there. Groups that publish information on the Web include:

Libraries
That's right, libraries are major producers and purchasers of quality information on the Web. For example, The Library of Congress puts copies of important historical photographs and documents called "The American Memory Project" on its site.

Colleges and Universities
Universities put entire classes online as well as provide space for their faculty and students to produce Web pages. Much of the practical information you need to enroll and register for classes can be found on the Web.

Government Agencies
In order to make information available to more people, federal, state, and local governments are publishing many documents on the Web. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) puts copies of tax forms on the Web.

Companies
Many companies publish financial documents and press releases on their sites. The Web is also a major marketing tool for many companies to provide information about their products. For example, Nike produces a popular site full of sports information. Do you think the information in a company web site is reliable if they are trying to sell you a product?

Organizations
Organizations have agendas and opinions that they want you to know about. The American Lung Association educates about the dangers of smoking on its Web page. Do you think some organizations may have a particular bias in the information their websites display?

People in foreign countries
The Web has global representation. With a computer and a phone connection, anyone can publish on the Web.


Domains

Top Level Domains

Most URLs include the name and type of organization sponsoring the page. The type of organization is identified by a three-letter code called a "top level domain name." Here are some of the most common top level domains you will find. Each indicates something about the nature of the site.

.edu educational institution
Even though a page comes from an educational institution, it does not mean the institution endorses the views expressed there. Students or faculty members may publish pages in their account on the school's computer.
.com commercial entity
Many companies advertise and sell products, as well as publish annual reports and other company information for their customers, stockholders, and potential investors on the Web. Much of the quality information you can purchase such as online newspapers or journals have .com names.
.gov federal government
Government agencies use the Web to publish legislation, census information, weather data, tax forms, and many other documents.
.org non-profit organization
Non-profit organizations use the Web to promote their causes. These pages are good sources to use when comparing different sides of an issue.
.net network provider
Network providers administer or provide connection services to the Internet. The .net group is an odd mix of companies, associations, and Internet service providers. Information on these sites can look similar to sites from .com, .org, or even personal pages.

Recently the division between these top level domains became blurred. Sometimes non-profit organizations and educational institutions are now found under .com or .net. This makes it more difficult to determine the organization that is publishing the page.

The number of top level domain names can be increased. Some new top level domain names recently approved are:

.aero aviation industry
.biz business
.info general use
.name individuals


Country Codes

Sometimes you will see a two-letter country code at the end of the URL instead of the three-letter organization code. The origin of some international sites can be determined by country codes found in the URL. Country codes are also top level domain names. Most URLs in the United States do not use the .us country code. Some other country codes are:

.au Australia
.cl Chile
.br Brazil
.de Germany
.ca Canada
.eg Egypt
.ch Switzerland
.jp Japan
.mx Mexico
.nl Netherlands
.nz New Zealand
.uk United Kingdom


File Name Extensions

Files on the web can be in many different formats. The extension of a file name can tell you a lot about the file. Most documents on the Web are written in HTML (hypertext markup language). HTML consists of standard text and pictures marked by tags which tell your browser how to display them. So most of the files you find on the Web will have the extensions .html or .htm. However, there are many other types of files out there. The way you can identify the type is by looking at its extension. Some common file name extensions are:

.pdf Portable Document Format
allows formatted documents (including brochures or other documents containing artwork) to be transferred across the Net so they look the same on any machine
.exe Executable
a DOS or Windows program or a self-extracting file. If this is an executable (self-extracting) file, then it can usually be launched by double-clicking on the icon on your desktop. These can also carry viruses, so be careful when opening them.
.zip Zipped
a compressed file. It can be a document, program, graphic, etc.
.gif Graphics Interchange Format
a common graphics file format on the Internet
.jpg Joint Photographic Experts Group
another graphics file format
.midi Musical Instrument Digital Interface
an audio file
.mov Movie
common format for QuickTime movies
.avi Video
the standard video format for Windows
.swf Shockwave Flash
enables web pages to include multimedia objects
.wav Wave
audio files in the native sound format for Windows

Now that you are able to locate information, the next section will cover how you can evaluate the quality of both the print and electronic information you found.


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This material has been adapted from TILT, a site developed by the University of Texas System. Additional content created by : Mary Kate Boyd-Byrnes, Laura Manzari, Linda McCormack, Dona McDermott, and Andrea Rylander. Go to Next Section >

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