1. Can I read articles on the New York Times web site through Oberlin’s account?

Go to nytimes.com/grouppass from a computer connected directly to the campus network and register using your oberlin.edu email address. Once registered you’ll be able to access nytimes.com from any computer/tablet/device you use. Although the page says “24 Hours of access,” access is for a full year. You’ll need to re-register yearly, as long as you’re a student, faculty, or staff member at Oberlin College.

2. How can I get help with research?

Check out our Ask A Librarian page to find out all the ways you can get in touch with librarians in all of our campus libraries -- drop in, call, email or schedule a research appointment.

3. How do I access library resources off campus?

From the library home page, click on Off-Campus Users. You will see options for using either VPN (Virtual Private Network) or proxy server authentication. Either way, you will be authenticated as an Obie and shouldn’t be prompted to log in to resources.

4. How do I cite sources correctly?

Our Citation Help page lists several online resources that you can use to find out how to cite books, journal articles, web pages and other sources correctly, no matter what citation style you are using. Ask A Librarian if you need additional help with citing sources.

5. How do I find an article? What databases does the library have?

Try searching Summon, which provides access to the resources in many of our databases. To choose subject-specific databases click the Databases tab in the search box on the Library web page to view the hundreds of library databases alphabetically or by subject. For help deciding on the right search tools, consult a librarian.

6. How do I get started researching a topic?

We recommend:
  • Summon; searches most of what you would have access to through the library, including books and articles in all disciplines
  • Subject Guides; created by our librarians and list the best resources and top databases in a subject area
  • Consult a librarian; plan a research strategy

7. How do I know if an article is peer-reviewed?

Ulrichsweb (also accessible through databases tab on the library web site) indicates if a journal uses a peer-review process.  This is typically limited only to articles reporting new research findings that are written by the individuals who conducted the research (rather than a review article, which may only summarize research findings reported in dozens of other sources).  Letters, commentaries, news reports, obituaries, book reviews are generally not peer-reviewed, even if the journal uses a peer-review process for the primary research articles.

8. How do I manage a large research project?

Talk to a librarian to get advice on managing research projects and using citation management tools. Citation management tools help researchers gather, manage, store and share information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies in a wide variety of styles; the library provides access to RefWorks and Flow.

9. What is a research appointment? How do I schedule one?

Research appointments are one-on-one consultations with a librarian that will help you become a better researcher. We can work with you to map out a research strategy, search databases effectively and find and evaluate sources. Use the Appointment Request form to schedule appointments with a librarian in any campus library.

10. What is microfilm? How do I use it, and where are the machines?

Microfilm is film that contains tiny photographic reproduction of documents that can be viewed using a microfilm reader machine. The Main Library has machines in the Academic Commons that can read and print, and one of them can create PDFs to save to a flash drive; read-only machines are available on the 2nd floor. Instructions are posted and for more help stop by the Research Desk.

11. What is OBIS? What is Summon?

OBIS is the library catalog.  Search it to discover ~2.5 million holdings within the library system -- books, DVDs, CDs, journal titles, scores and more.  Summon is a search engine that can search across the full spectrum of library content from a single search box.  It draws from OBIS, many of our databases, as well as digital repositories from colleges, universities, research centers, and other open-access archives on the web.

12. What is the Writing Center?

The Writing Center is a service located in Mudd where students can drop-in to consult with highly trained peer writing associates during all stages of the writing process, from topic selection through final editing. See Writing Center web page for more info on services and hours.
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