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The State University of New York at FredoniaReed Library

Frequently Asked Questions: Research

Questions on Research

Q: If I’m not at the library, or a librarian is not available, how do I get help?
A: You may find our research guides helpful. In addition, you can use any of the resources shown in the "Ask a Librarian" box at left. The live chat service is available 24 hours a day.

Q: What are peer reviewed sources?
A: Many academic journals use a process called peer review, in which articles are examined by experts in the field before they can be published. An article is only published in the journal once these experts agree that it is worthy of publication. As a result, peer reviewed articles are very high quality and trustworthy sources.

Q: What is the difference between different kinds of journals?
A: Popular magazines are magazines you can buy in a bookstore, like Time or Psychology Today. They aren't necessarily incorrect, but they don't offer the level or quality of information necessary for college-level writing. Trade journals are published by associations working in specific fields to provide information to help people learn about what is going on in their professions. Academic journals are the publications you will use the most in academic research. They are written and edited by experts in their fields about the results of their research.

Q: What are MLA and APA? How are they used?
A: MLA and APA are two common formats for citations. Your professor will usually specify which format they would like you to use. For more information on how to apply MLA or APA format, see our guide on citations.

Q: How do I avoid plagiarism?
A: We recommend reading these guides:
Avoiding Plagiarism from Purdue Online Writing Lab
Plagiarism: What It Is and How to Recognize and Avoid It from Indiana University Bloomington

Q: How do I know what database to use?
A: You can consult our research guides to see which databases are recommended for your subject area. In addition, some excellent general databases are listed on the Library homepage under the Articles tab.

Q: I have the citation for an article. How do I find the full text?
A: Use our Article Linker. Fill out the form with as much information as you have. If we have digital access to the article, Article Linker will redirect you to it; if we don't, it will link you to request it over interlibrary loan.

Q: How do I access Library resources from off-campus?
A: When trying to access a database through the Library website, you will see a login screen prompting you for your eServices ID and password (the same ID and password you use to log in to campus computers and other services like FREDmail). If you have problems logging in, please see our database access help page.

Daniel A. Reed LibraryThe State University of New York at Fredonia • 280 Central Ave., Fredonia, NY 14063 • 716-673-3184 • Fax: 716-673-3185 • reedref@fredonia.edu