Get the Most out of Your Online Library
By Ashford University Staff
When writing a research paper, you’ll need to find plenty of reputable sources. Many students automatically head to the Google search bar when they need to find information online, but there’s a better approach.
JSTOR, the digital library of journals, books, and primary sources, provides better results than Google searches. Here’s several ways you can make the most of your library.
Find Reputable Sources
Using JSTOR to find information means that all of the papers you cite have been published in peer-reviewed journals. The peer review process is designed to verify the research presented in a paper. In contrast, articles that you find using Google might not have undergone this process and may not be as reliable.
Get Access to More Content
When you log in to JSTOR, you can choose to restrict your search results to only those papers to which you have full access. This cuts out the frustration of not being able to access any of the content beyond the abstract. When you are using an off-campus computer, logging into JSTOR can give you access to many journal articles that would otherwise not be available to you.
Use Advanced Search Commands
Academic databases have advanced search functions that allow you to make highly targeted searches. For example, JSTOR advanced search commands allow you to search for an exact phrase or a broad keyword term. You can choose to exclude some words or phrases from your search results. You can also search by author, keyword, or publication, and restrict your search to a certain date range or discipline. These search functions make finding relevant resources as easy as possible.
Save Citations for Later
JSTOR allows you to save particular items so that you can easily cite them in your paper. Citing your sources is extremely important when writing any academic paper, as citations show where your ideas come from and offer evidence that your facts and figures are reliable. Not citing your sources properly can lead to accusations of plagiarism, so make sure you add a citation for every fact, statistic, or opinion that you take from a published work.
Written by Ashford University staff