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Research Process Guide

Helpful Handouts

These handouts can easily be printed or saved for future reference.


Now that you've refined your topic, you're ready to start gathering information and finding sources.  Refer to your assignment to determine what kinds of sources you can or may be required to use. 


If you need books, you will want to use the library's catalog.  Mouse over the Gather Information tab at the top right side of the screen and choose Find Books and Media to get to the catalog or click here. Books may be available at the A&M-SA University Library or if not, they can be borrowed using a TexShare card or through interlibrary loan.  


For journal articles, you will use the library's online databases, which are arranged both alphabetically by database title and by subject.  General research databases can assist with an overview of the topic while subject databases use terminology specific to the discipline.  Full text articles are available for downloading, e-mailing, and printing.  To get to the library's online databases click here


The library also has many different databases that include short videos on several topics such as history, education, and counseling and therapy.  Mouse over the Gather Information tab at the top right side of the screen and choose Find Videos or click here and search by database types.


Take what you find on the Internet with a grain of salt.  Remember, most information on the Internet does not go through any kind of a review process before it's posted and just about anyone can publish something online.  Websites that end in .edu, .gov, or .org are usually more trustworthy than those that end in .com.  Google Scholar provides an easy way to search for scholarly literature across many disciplines and resources.  Be sure to check out the tab at the top titled Evaluate Your Sources to determine if the website you've found is a good one.

Off Campus Access

Remember, if you are off campus trying to access the online databases or electronic books, you will need to login in order to view them. 


Students: Use your Jaguar Login. Your username is your K Number or a combination of your name (jsmith34).

Faculty/Staff: Your username is your network ID.


Students: Your password is what you use to log in to the computers on-campus.

Faculty/Staff: Your password is your network password.

Students – Having trouble logging in?

  • New students, use the password that was mailed to you. If you have changed your password, log in using the new password you created.
  • Returning students, use the last password associated with your Jaguar Login.
  • If you are still unable to log in, please call the Help Desk at 784-HELP (4357).


Still have questions?  View these tutorials for more information on the different types of sources that are out there and for some extra searching tips.

10 Reasons to Use the Library

1.  Not everything is on the Internet.
2.  Not everything on the Internet is free.
3.  The Internet is not very organized.
4.  There is no quality control on the Internet.
5.  Sources on the Internet can be harder to verify.
6.   The Internet is too new for some things.
7.   Library online resources are available 24/7.
8.  The Internet is a mile wide and an inch deep.
9.   You're already paying for the library.
10. Real live people can help you use our library.

This list is adapted from Mark Herring's 10 Reasons Why the Internet Is No Substitute for a Library, which originally appeared in American Libraries, April 2001, p. 76-78.  Borrowed with permission of Patricia Watkins of Hazy Library and Learning Center at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.