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Research Help

JBU Library Search

Search for articles and books in over 20 databases. Advanced Search

Tip: Use quotes for an exact match.

Search ProQuest ebrary or EBSCO for electronic books.

Search the JBU library catalog for books.

Search for journals, magazines, and newspapers by title. Results are for full-text availability. Browse by Subject

I need help brainstorming a topic or identifying related search terms

The Mind Map tool (from Credo Reference) or Topic Finder (from Academic OneFile) can help you find concepts related to your original search term. You can use these to narrow your focus or find related terms to improve the quality of your search results.

I need an overview of a topic

Look in Encyclopedias & Reference in our online resources (Credo Reference is a good starting point) for concise, academically credible articles that will help orient you to a topic or field of research. You can also ask a Research Librarian to show you print reference books related to your topic.

I need articles

OneSearch (the "All" tab on the library search box) searches our major multi-subject databases for articles and other kinds of documents. You can also try ProQuest Central or one of our other multi-disciplinary databases. For more focused and comprehensive results, use Resources for all Subjects to find relevant subject-specific databases. (PRO TIP: Some key databases, including ATLA Religion Database, Business Source Elite, and PsycINFO, are NOT available in OneSearch. If you are researching in these subject areas, it's important to use the appropriate database. For a full list of the databases included in OneSearch, see the Advanced Search page.)

I need books

Use the JBU Catalog to find books in our collection and to find out where they are located in the library. If you're looking for a particular title, OneSearch can tell you whether we have it and give you a link to request it from another library through Interlibrary Loan if we don't.

The computer says you have this book, but I can't figure out where to look for it

OneSearch tells whether we have a book, but doesn't give its location — for that, you need to look in the JBU Catalog. If the OneSearch says "Held by: John Brown University Library," click on the words "John Brown University Library" to get to the holding information for that book. (If following the link doesn't work, try searching for your title again directly in the JBU Catalog.) 

If the record in OneSearch is for an ebook, journal article, or other electronic resource, look for the button that says "Access Online." If you have trouble accessing materials that appear in our databases, please ask a Librarian for assistance.

I found the call number, now where do I find the actual book?

First, look at the "Shelf Location" in the library catalog to see which library collection the book is in. The great majority of JBU Library books are in the Main Collection. If a different collection is listed (e.g., Reference, Reserve, Oliver Room, etc.), see our collections list for more information on where to look for your book or ask someone at the research help or circulation desk where you should look.

Books in the JBU Library are shelved according to the Library of Congress classification system. For an overview of how to find books following their Library of Congress call numbers, see this video (from University of Arkansas) or this page (from Boston Public Library). For books in the main collection, call numbers beginning with A-B are on the first floor; call numbers C-Z are upstairs. Feel free to ask for assistance if you need help locating a particular book in our collection.

I need ebooks

The eBooks tab on the library search box gives easy access to our two largest eBook collections, EBSCO eBooks and ProQuest Ebook Central. For a comprehensive list of eBook collections available through JBU library, see Books under Resources For All Subjects. (PRO TIP: The "All" tab on the library search box gives unreliable results when searching for eBooks in particular. For best results search the eBook collections separately.)

I need a specific periodical (e.g. The New Yorker or Christian Scholars Review)

Use Journal Titles search to find out what access (print and electronic) JBU provides for that publication. If we do not have full text access to the journal you need, you can request articles through Interlibrary Loan.

I need “academic” or “scholarly” sources

See this summary for an overview of the distinction between academic and popular works. Consult your instructor or a librarian if you need help evaluating a particular source.

A shortcut for articles:  In most of our databases (e.g., OneSearch, ProQuest), look for the check box that limits your search to “Peer Reviewed” and/or “Scholarly Journals” to find publications that are generally recognized as scholarly sources.

For books and ebooks, the distinction between a “popular” publication and a “scholarly” publication can sometimes be a little fuzzy. Some of the library’s ebook collections (e.g., Springer ebooks) contain scholarly books only, but others (e.g. ProQuest Ebook Central) contain a mix of popular and scholarly publications. Some clues that a book is likely to be considered scholarly include: (1) it has an index and bibliography, (2) its author is identified by her or his academic credentials (e.g., Ph.D., affiliated with a university or research lab), (3) it is published by a university press. 

I have a different question that's not addressed here

Ask a Librarian for personalized advice.

I can't even figure out what question I need to ask to get started on my research

That's OK! Come talk to a librarian, even if you don't know exactly what you're looking for. We'll ask you about your assignment and figure out together some strategies to find the information you need.

Ask a Librarian


PHONE: 479-524-7202 (Circulation);

479-524-7153 (Research Help)

Quick Links

CREDO reference

Credo Reference
Nearly 800 reference ebooks covering the major areas of university study. See Encyclopedias & Reference for more online reference options. 


ProQuest Central
Academic journals and other authoritative sources for all disciplines. 20,000+ publications. See Multi-Disciplinary Databases for more interdisciplinary research options.


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