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Research tips & tricks

How to use SuperSearch and other library resources. Updated September 2017.

General library terms

Abstract: a short summary of an academic article’s (or book’s) findings, usually written by the author. Key words in the first sentence often indicate the kind of article; “study” suggests original research while “review” suggest a survey of research that has been done in the field.

Advanced searching: allows you to search for combinations of author, title, keyword, subject, and other criteria.

Archive: the department of the library that keeps institutional records and historical documents (on the sixth floor).

Basic searching: looks for materials using a string of words to be found in the text of the item.

Boolean operators: the words AND, OR, and NOT, useful to combine search terms in a database, to expand or limit results.

Call number: the series of letters and numbers (or just numbers, in the Dewey Decimal System) that indicate the location of an item in a collection.

Catalog: the list of books, articles, and other items in the library, cross-referenced so you can search in it.

Circulation: the department of the library where users can check out and return materials, pay fines, and retrieve books on reserve (on the first floor). Also responsible for shelving books.

Citation: a reference to a work. Sometimes, a database will have collections of citations rather than the full text of articles.

Classification system: the organization of information in a given collection. Most academic libraries use Library of Congress Classification, with call numbers that use letters and numbers (e.g., E 77 .W883 2016). Most public and school libraries use the Dewey Decimal System, with call numbers less than 1,000 (e.g., 576.82).

Collection: a group of books or items on one subject or kind, e.g., Women’s Studies, Oversized, Children’s, Maps.

Database: an online collection of articles, books, maps, citations, or other items, cross-referenced so you can search it.

Full text: the article (or book) is available in its complete form. See also citation.

Government documents: published material from federal, local, state, or foreign government. Federal publications are usually located together and separate from other call numbers.

Interlibrary loan (or ILL): the department of the library that borrows books and articles (and other items) from other libraries, when our library doesn’t have access to it.

Keyword: a significant word in the title or description of the item, sometimes provided by the item’s creator.

Librarian: a person with specific knowledge about the organization and retrieval of information. At CSU-Pueblo, librarians are professors/faculty with a specialized advanced degree from an accredited institution.

Limiters: tools useful for refining (or filtering) search results. Most databases allow for users to refine results by language, publication date, subject heading, and others. Sometimes referred to as "filters."

Morgan (+ Vet): Morgan is the main campus library at CSU in Fort Collins. Vet is the Veterinary Medical Center library, also in Fort Collins.

Natural language: language uses in everyday conversation.

Open access: refers to online material that is freely available, though still requiring citation when used.

Oversize: identifies material too large to fit on the a shelf with other books. Oversized books are in their own section on the fourth floor.

Peer review: sometimes called “academic” or “scholarly,” refers to the practice of several scholars examining an article to ensure its academic quality and value for the field.

Reference: research help, when referring to librarians. Also, identifies material useful in gaining background knowledge on a topic, or material that aids in finding information and resources.

Repository: digital research made available by the university. Contains theses and other works by faculty and students.

Reserve: identifies items that have been specially requested by instructors to be held for students’ use. Can be physical items or electronic (e-reserve).

Search (basic v. advanced): the process of finding items. Basic searching looks for materials using a string of words to be found in the text of the item. Advanced searching allows you to search for combinations of author, title, keyword, subject, and other criteria.

Stacks: the areas of the library where the physical collection is shelved for retrieval and browsing.

Subject heading: the specific word or phrase (or controlled vocabulary) designated for research on a given topic. Usually, these are narrowly assigned, and can be useful for finding related items. The most common kinds of subject headings are Library of Congress Subject Heading (LCSH) and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), though individual databases may have their own controlled vocabulary.

SuperSearch: a searching tool used at CSU-Pueblo to discover physical and electronic items (books, e-books, articles, and more) in the catalog shared with CSU in Fort Collins. Powered by Primo.

Thesaurus: a list of standardized words or phrases (similar to subject headings), useful for finding related terms for a topic.

WorldCat: a unified catalog containing records for over 70,000 libraries worldwide. Useful for finding materials to request through interlibrary loan.

SuperSearch terms

Active filters: SuperSearch shows what filters (or limiters) are currently active. Remove individual filters by clicking on the X to the right, or deactivate all filters by clicking on “Reset filters.”

Advanced search: Allows you to search for combinations of author, title, keyword, subject, and other criteria, such as material type

Author/creator: The person (or persons or entity) who produced the work.

Basic search: Looks for materials using a string of words to be found in the text of the item.

Browse: Look through the CSU-Pueblo catalog by call numbers, subject headings, and authors. Note that browsing is generally less effective than searching.

Chat with a librarian: During library hours, ask a librarian online. Note that you do not have to be on campus to use this service.

Citations: Shows options for viewing items that an article cites or other material that cites the article. Appears in the item’s full display.

Classification LCC: Use this to limit your results to a call number section. LC call numbers organize books by subject area.

Collection: The grouping of books or other materials of similar subject or kind, separated and identified to help find a particular item. CSU-Pueblo has many different collections, including Oversize, Curriculum, Government Documents, New books, and Microfilm.

Content provider: The entity that provides full text electronic access to the material.

Databases A-Z: The list of subscription databases paid for by the library, along with several useful open access databases.

Details: Information about the item, including author, subjects, and description, which may include table of contents or abstract. Appears in the item’s full display.

Expand my results: Looks for other records in databases and in the Primo Central Index, with no guarantee of full text linking. Use this feature to look for material that exists outside of CSU-Pueblo’s subscriptions, which you can request through interlibrary loan.

Find it in print: Shows locations of the item when available in print and the option for requesting through interlibrary loan. Appears in the item’s full display.

Full text online: Limit your results to materials that are available to you in full text online. (Available only when the results are also limited to Peer-reviewed journals.)

Journal title: The name of the periodical that holds an article.

Journals A-Z: A searchable list of journals available through library subscriptions, both electronic and in print.

Library: Morgan is the main campus library at CSU in Fort Collins. Vet is the Veterinary Medical Center library, also in Fort Collins. CSU-Pueblo is the university library in Pueblo.

Links: External links to records of the items. May include WorldCat. Appears in the item’s full display.

Material type: Limit the kind of material you want to search for. Types available are Audio Visual, Images, Journals, Books, and Articles.

Multiple versions: Appears in the item’s brief display when the library has access to a journal or book in both print and electronic media, or the book is available in multiple versions or in multiple libraries.

New search: Begin a new search, which clears all filters and search terms.

Online access: Shows options for viewing the item online. Appears in the item’s full display.

Online at CSU-Pueblo: Includes articles and e-books available at CSU-Pueblo, as well as journal records.

Peer-reviewed journals: Limit your results to materials that have been examined by several scholars to ensure its academic quality and value for the field.

Pin (or “Keep this item”): Use the pin on the lines of the results list to add the item to your favorites list, when you’re signed in. You can manipulate this list by adding labels to your items, and you can export the citations to a citation manager.

Primo Central Index (or PCI): An aggregation of scholarly e-resources, including journal articles, e-books, reviews, legal documents and more that are harvested from publishers, aggregators, and open-access repositories.

Print at…: Materials identified as Print at CSU-Pueblo or at Ft. Collins are physically available for use or checkout from that library.

Refine my results: Limit your results by using the filters that SuperSearch provides on the left toolbar. Include a filter (such as Show only Peer-reviewed Journals) by clicking on the text. Exclude a filter (if, for example, you want to see everything BUT Print at CSU-Ft. Collins) by clicking on the slashed-through red checkmark to the right of the text.

Request options: Shows options for getting the book from Morgan Library in Fort Collins, the CSU-Pueblo Library, or through Interlibrary Loan. Appears in the item’s full display.

Research guides: Starting points for researchers at all levels. Use these to get your research going, through sites organized and developed by librarians with awareness of research done in that discipline.

Save query: When signed in, you can save your search and access it again in “My Favorites.”

Search anything:  The main search bar defaults to a basic search.

Search for: In advanced search, you see the phrase “Search for.” Using these limiters allows you to search through material available through CSU-Pueblo or CSU-Fort Collins, material on Course Reserves, or Everything mentioned above.

Send to: Shows options for exporting citation, creating a permalink, printing, and emailing the item. Appears in the item’s full display.

Show only: Limit your results to materials that are Online at CSU-Pueblo, Peer-reviewed Journals, in Print at CSU-Pueblo, or in Print at CSU-Ft. Collins.  Note that this limiter includes an item’s status. That is, an item that has been checked out, is missing or lost, or is in processing will not appear. Only items that are available for checkout or access.

Sign in: Sign in to renew library materials, create favorites lists, export citations to Refworks and Endnote Web, and more.

Sort by: Use this tool to manipulate the arrangement of the search results on the page, to Relevance (organized through a proprietary algorithm), Date-newest (where the newest publication dates are first), Date-oldest (where the oldest publication dates are first), alphabetical by Author, or alphabetical by Title.

Source type: Similar to Material Type

Subject: The specific word or phrase designated for research on a given topic. Usually, these are narrowly assigned, and can be useful for finding related items.

Tags: User-generated reviews and keywords. Appears in the item’s full display.

View online: Shows options for viewing the material online. Appears in the item’s full display.

Virtual browse: Shows items with adjacent call numbers. Appears in the item’s full display.