Welcome to the USU Library (Utah State University). As a regional campus or distance education student. You have access to all the same library resources that students have in Logan. Today I will introduce you to some of these great resources.
As USU Library students – You will likely be assigned research assignments where you must find articles. As you might have found by searching for articles on Google. many journal and magazine articles are not freely available online. However, the library has a large collection of journals and articles. That you can access online through our library databases.
All you need to do to access these sources is to log into the USU library website with your A-number and banner password. Once you’ve logged in you can view articles from anywhere. You have an internet connection.
If you need an article that is not available in full-text online. You can request it through inter-library loan and we can email you a PDF copy of the article. Using library databases is a great place to do research for your papers. Because they not only include peer-reviewed articles or articles written and reviewed by experts in the field. Day professors are often require. but you can also find current magazine and newspaper articles and even encyclopedia entries for background information.
Another resource you will probably need throughout your time at USU is books. Our USU Library has a large collection of e-books. which you can access by logging in with your A-number and password. You can find e-books by searching our library catalog located at the top of the library website.
The Merrill-Cozier Library. on the Logan campus. will also send you books from our physical collection to your home. free of charge. along with a prepaid return label. All you need to do to request a book is to log into our inter-library loan system and make sure you select distance education as your campus location.
We know that research assignments can be stressful and it can be overwhelming to try to locate relevant information. But as USU Library students. You have access to many resources that will help make this process less intimidating. On the lower left-hand side of each of your canvas courses is a research help tab. This links to a guide filled with helpful research tips specific to that class. It also provides the contact information for your class’s personal librarian. who you can set up an appointment with to get help.
If you need quick live assistance from a librarian. You can always use our chat box. Which you can find on the library homepage. Here, you can get help finding and evaluating information sources, integrating library resources into your paper, and more.
Finally, if you need additional help, you can always reach out to myself or the distance-ed library, Erin. We are always happy to help you. Remember, the USU libraries are your libraries, no matter where you are located.
How can librarians at USU Library help you and your students?
Research skills are crucial for student success, yet the majority of first-year students find their research competencies in adequate for college-level work. Our library instruction opportunities go beyond introductory English courses, and help your students across every department and major develop effective research habits, and we have subject librarians for every USU major and field of study, so students get help tailored to their discipline. We work directly with both instructors and students.
USU Library can help instructors by: Working with you to identify your student’s research needs, then integrating library instruction throughout the course, and by helping you design effective research assignments that align with your student learning outcomes. Librarians can help students learn to: develop and focus their research questions and topics to find relevant resources, and to evaluate the information to ensure the sources are effective for their research needs, and effectively synthesize information within their assignments.
We can also adapt and build instruction for other research goals. It doesn’t matter if your class is face to face, online, or broadcast, librarians can help. Our face-to-face classes encourage students to get actively involved through hands-on activities and discussions.
In online courses, USU Library – librarians can create and participate in discussion posts in canvas, create course and assignment specific library research guides, and embed videos and tutorials tailored to your course learning goals. For broadcast classes we can work with you to incorporate best practices from both our face-to-face and online classes.
We can also answer student’s specific research questions through in-depth individual consultations. No matter your course or assignment librarians are happy to help. Contact the library instruction coordinator or your subject librarian to schedule an instruction session today!
USU Library Collection
USU libraries provide collections in support of the teaching and research mission of Utah State University, to students and faculty as well as researchers and online students on Logan, USA Eastern and Blanding campuses wherever they are located. The library’s collection includes about 2 million printed books and journals, 600,000 e-books (more than a million in the Elephant Trust Digital Library), and more than 20,000,000 electronic journals. In addition, libraries provide access to more than 100 databases, including general and versatile titles such as Academic Search Ultimate, Nexus Uni and Scopus, more specialized tools such as Medline, Early English Books Online, Source of Education, Sykinfo, Sifinder Scholar. , And the social sciences abstract. Students, faculty, and staff can access the library’s database and most of the electronic resources off-campus, wherever they are, studying, or working.
The main library on the Logan Campus, the Merrill-Cassier Library, also serves as the regional depository of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and approximately 1. maintains a collection of millions of government documents.
There are many more specialized formats and collections in the Merrill-Cassier Library. The US Special Collections and Archives contains a collection of regionally rare books, photographs and manuscripts, the University Archives of the USA and the Fifth Folklore Archives, one of the largest collections of American folklore in the United States. These thousands of historical items have been digitized as part of the library’s digital history collection.
The Library Media Collection contains audio and visual material that anyone with US affiliates can check out. Increasingly, the library is also acquiring streaming media, which includes streaming music and a large portion of film. The Art Book Collection contains materials from the bit generation of modern and contemporary American art and poets, especially from twentieth-century America and the West.
Digital Commons, the institutional repository of Utah State University, has more than 68,000 scholarly and creative works produced by USAU students, faculty and staff. Since its launch in 2008, the item has been downloaded 11 million times from Digital Commons.
For more information about the collection of USU libraries, read our Collection Development Guide.
USU Library Service
US Libraries provide a full range of educational library services on USU Logan and regional campuses and centers. Research support is provided face to face as well as through chat, email and phone. Library instruction is provided in the library’s technology-enhanced classrooms, through face-to-face and broadcast classroom visits, and through library research guides and online tutorials within the university’s learning management system. Librarians act as subject liaisons in academic departments throughout the college, providing support to faculty and students through museum development, personalized research advice, and library guidance.
Resource sharing and document delivery services enhance the library’s ability to support faculty and student research by retrieving materials not available in local collections from other organizations worldwide. Course reserves provide course materials in print and electronic formats so that heavily used items are available in a timely and efficient manner. The Library’s Data Services team assists USU researchers with data management needs, including creating data management plans, meeting the data management requirements of research funders, and identifying repositories for data storage. The library is heavily involved in various open access initiatives, including Open Access Publications, Open Data Initiatives, Open Educational Resources (OR) and Digital Humanities.
USU Library Consortium membership
US Libraries is a member of the Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC), a consortium of 14 academic libraries across Utah, and a consortium of 38 research universities spread across the United States, the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA). Libraries are also active in collaborative preservation efforts as members of the Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST). Access to specialized collections and archives content is supported through membership in the Mountain West Digital Library, an Discovery Portal for Digital Collection and an online Finding Aid platform Archives West. Members of the library staff serve on the administrative board and committee of this consortium.
Finding Books in the USU Library Catalog
This article will cover how to search the library catalog for print and electronic books. To get to the library catalog from the library homepage at library.usu.edu, click the Library Catalog in the upper left corner. If you have a topic you’re interested in, you can run a search here for some keywords.
For example USU Library,
Let’s say we’re looking for books about women who were pioneers in the west. We can enter “pioneer women” in our search bar. This will pull up a list of books we have on this topic. We can scroll through the list of results and look for any books that look interesting. “The Pioneer Woman: The Lives of Women on the Frontier” looks interesting, so let’s click the title. Under Location, I can see that it’s in the Merrill-Cozier Library in Logan and I can see the call number.
If you’re a regional campus student and you live outside of Cache Valley, you can request any print books through Inter-library Loan and we’ll send you a book free of charge. The record page will also give you other helpful information about the books such as the author, date it was published, summary, and subjects or main points of the book.
If you already know the title of the book you’re looking for, you can do a search by title. To search by title, select Title from the drop-down menu and enter the title in the search bar. Finally, you can also search the library catalog for e-books. To do this, select Search Only Electronic Books and enter the information you’re looking for in the search bars. And if you have any questions, remember to ask a librarian!
Finding E-Books in the USU Library Catalog
From the library homepage at library.usu.edu click “FIND” in the upper left-hand corner, then select “Books and Media.” On this next page you’ll want to click on “Search only electronic books” at the bottom of the page.
This will bring you to the search page where you can enter your search terms. If you know of an exact title you’re looking for, you can type that in here and select title. You can also search by keywords for a general topic. So let’s say I’m looking for books about current theories on leadership in business, so I’ll type in the keywords “leadership theory” and “business” and click “search” and you’ll see that we have 48 results for this topic.
Most of these will be e-books, but you might also come across electronic government documents, electronic journals, or encyclopedias that contain the words leadership, theory, and business. You can now scroll through the list of results and find a book that might look useful to you. So let’s say we decide the sixth result looks interesting, so let’s click the title to learn more.
This will take us to the record page which will give us a summary of the contents. Or if we know that we want to dive right into reading this book, we can click the “online access” button. Now we want to click the “read online “button to pull up the full text. On the left, we can select a chapter to go directly to, or at the very top of our page we can use the arrows to navigate to the next page, or go directly to a specific page. If you have any questions, you can always ask a librarian!
How to read a scientific article?
Reading scientific articles can be tricky–they are often long and full of complicated procedures and terminology. So, why read them? Scientific articles provide current or up to date information, whereas your textbook might be out of date.
Scientific articles also explicitly state their methodology –which allows you to replicate their study. And they share a summary of their data and findings (helpful if you need exact results for your own research). You can critically evaluate their conclusions based on the data presented and determine if it is credible or relevant research. But… how do you read a scientific article…efficiently?
You don’t want to read a scientific article straight through… Instead you want to break the article down into specific sections and read in the following order. Your first step is to read the abstract –this brief summary at the beginning of the article will provide you with a concise summary of the author’s research, results and interpretations. This will help determine if the article is relevant.
Your second step is to read the discussion section–this section summarizes important results & formulates conclusions based on the data. They also mention how the results fit into the larger context of the field. Here you want to note if you agree with their conclusions –are their alternate conclusions? Weaknesses in their study?
Your next step is to read the introduction: this will briefly explain the background of the research –why it was conducted, how, etc.? In this section you need to identify the big question. What’s the point? What are the authors trying to answer with their research? This will help you understand the author’s research story.
Now read the results–This shares the study’s findings and author’s analyses which can help you determine the study’s significance. Pay close attention here to the charts and graphs -these are quick summaries of the data they collected and sample size they used! Ask yourself, do the results answer the author’s questions?
Your final step is to read the methodology section. How did the authors approach answering this question? Do the methods seem appropriate for the question? Are their explanations thorough enough you could confidently recreate their research?
Other helpful tips for reading scientific articles include: Having a scientific dictionary ready to look up terminology you are unfamiliar with, skim the article once, then go back through and do a thorough read and take notes this time! Look up what other researcher’s in the field have to say about this study. Remember if you need help, you can always ask a librarian!
Empirical Studies: Qualitative vs Quantitative
The goal of an empirical study is to answer research questions through observation or experimentation. Empirical studies can be quantitative or qualitative, and it’s important to understand the difference. In this video, we’ll explore characteristics of quantitative and qualitative scholarly articles.
In order to understand these different approaches to research, let’s start by comparing the goals of quantitative and qualitative approaches. When you think quantitative, think experimental and statistical. The goal here is to measure, test, predict, and describe using statistics.
If you conduct a statistical analysis of the correlation between a child’s participation in a Head Start program and their likelihood of going to college, you’re taking a quantitative approach, but if you go into a preschool classroom, observe children playing, and conduct open-ended interviews with children and teachers about classroom behaviors, you’re taking a qualitative approach. Qualitative approaches are naturalistic and interpretive.
You might hear terms like ethnographic or phenomenological to describe qualitative research. The goal here is to richly describe people’s behaviors and realities, rather than to quantify or measure them. Since the goals of quantitative and qualitative studies are different, their methods and data are different too. A quantitative study might use experiments, surveys, or questionnaires, analysis of large datasets, like US census data, or structured interviews and observations where questions and observation criteria are exactly the same for each participant.
Data in a quantitative study is numerical in the first place, or is quantifiable. The qualitative study might use field research case studies or more open-ended interviews and observations where there is more room for flexibility, and follow-up. The data in a qualitative study might be interview or focus group transcripts, observation notes or journal entries. Because methods are different, data analysis techniques also vary.
Between quantitative and qualitative studies, quantitative studies will feature statistical analyses while qualitative studies might use text analysis and a coding for themes in order to interpret data. While you’ll probably see more numbers, charts, and graphs in a quantitative study, be careful, just because you see these doesn’t automatically mean the study is quantitative. Qualitative studies might report basic demographic information numerically before diving into qualitative analysis, so it’s always important to read the study for additional information.
Let’s take a look at some examples: here are three studies about adolescent mental health. We’ll focus on their goals, methods, data and data analysis techniques to determine if they are quantitative or qualitative. Our first study is about depression in female adolescents.
According to the article, the goal of this exploratory study was to gain an understanding of female adolescents own experiences of depression, and give voice to their experiences. The method for doing this was 6 open-ended interviews regarding participant’s experiences of depression. The data consisted of interview transcripts, and the article includes quotes from the interviews.
The data analysis technique was interpreted phenomenological analysis in which researchers distilled themes from the interview transcripts. This is an example of a qualitative study. Our second example is about sleep issues as a risk factor for suicidal behavior in depressed children and adolescents.
According to the article, the goal of this study was to investigate the association between sleep complaints and suicidal behaviors. In this population, the method for doing this was through a structured interview about sleep. The same questions for every participant, plus two tests, the children’s depression rating scale, and the children’s global assessment scale. The data consisted of frequency of sleep issues from the interviews as well as a numerical score.
For the two scales the researchers used statistical analysis to analyze the data and presented the information about the correlation between variables using tables. This is an example of a quantitative study. Our last example is about self-labeling among adolescents with mental disorders or the impact of mental illness labels on teens psychological well-being.
According to the article, the goal of this study was to investigate associations between self-labeling and perceived negative treatment by other clinical and demographic factors. The researchers had the hypothesis that many teens wouldn’t self-label, and those that did would have worse psychological well-being. The researchers combined the methods to test this hypothesis.
They did semi-structured interviews with some open-ended questions where teens could express their thoughts and emotions. They also use rating scales to quantify teen’s experiences, like the Rosenberg self-esteem scale, and clinical information about each patient, like their type of disorder and age of first treatment for mental health issues. The data in this study consisted of interview transcripts, scores from the scales, and clinical information.
Because researchers combined two methods they also needed to use several data analysis techniques. The researchers used textual analysis to find themes in the interview transcripts and they ran statistical analyses for relationships between the variables on the scales and the clinical information. The articles included quotes from the teens, as well as statistical tables.
Because this study uses both qualitative and quantitative methods, we call it a mixed methods study. So what makes a better empirical study? Quantitative studies aren’t automatically better or worse than qualitative studies, these two approaches are just different.
Sometimes researchers even combine approaches to present a fuller picture through a mixed method study. When you’re evaluating a study’s approach ask yourself, how well do the methods and analyses fit the research question? If you need help with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method studies, you can always ask a librarian!
USU Library and their Librarians is always ready to help you and this is the place where you can gain knowledge in easy way and also you can express your research to the world.