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Ohio State University @ The Lima Campus Library

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Log in to your Library Account. (Your log-in information is your name and your BuckID number)

Need to see if a book has arrived for you? Want to check your due dates? Need to renew a book or pay a fine? You can do all that directly from your library account!

How to...

Knowing how to cite your sources is a critical skill for college-level research.  Thankfully, there are a ton of great resources available to help make the process quick and painless.  Perhaps the best of those resources is called The OWL @ Purdue.  It's a free resource created and maintained by Purdue University that goes into a great deal of depth on almost every citation style out there.  Click below to be linked to their resources for a few of the most popular styles.

MLA Style Guide
APA Style Guide
Chicago Style Guide

How many books do you have in the Lima Campus Library?

We have about 70,000 volumes here on campus right now.

So, that's it? That's all we have?

Not at all! In addition to our many online resources, you can order - free of charge - books from any library in The Ohio State University.  About 6,000,000 or so.

How do we order books from other libraries?

Well, first you have to find the book you're looking for.  Once you've --

Wait, how do we find books, then?

On the 'Home' page (or in Find It!) you should see a box marked 'Find A Book'.  Within that box, you'll see a search bar for your library catalog.  Type in the most important words of whatever you're looking for and hit 'search'.  That will start the process.

How do I know what the most important words are?

If you have a title, do that.  There won't be many books called Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources, after all; that will give you a nice limited list. 

But if you don't have a title, think about what you want.  If you are trying to find books on nursing careers, searching for [Information on finding a nursing job] includes too many words that don't have anything to do with your topic - 'information', 'finding', 'on', 'a'.  Simply searching [nursing jobs] or [nursing careers] will do, as those are the most important words.

Once I do a search, what comes next?

There are a few things you want to look for one you see the results pop up.

The first is location, which will tell you what campus the book is on.  You can order books from any campus for free and they will arrive within 3-5 business days, but you can also look specifically for books at the Lima Campus.  Just click the box at the top that says 'Search Full Catalog' and change it to 'Lima catalog'.  Hit search again, and all the books that come back will be here on campus.

The second is Call No., or call number.  The call number is a series of letters and numbers that tell you how to find books in our library.  If you've never seen a call number before, that's fine! That's what we are for. Just snag a student worker at the desk or ask a librarian for help--we will be happy to help you out.

The last is Status, which tells you if the book is available or not.  If it says 'Available', the book should be on campus right now!  Otherwise, you may have to get it from another campus.

How do I get books from another campus?

See that little red button on the right hand side of your screen?  The one that reads 'Request this item'?  Click on that.  You'll be asked to enter your name and your BuckID number.  Select 'Lima' from the list of delivery locations, and the order should go through!

What if OSU doesn't have it at all?

If the book is checked out (or we simply don't own it), don't worry!  We're part of OhioLINK, which means we can order materials from schools all over the state, completely free of charge to you as a student.  On the Lima Campus Library Home page, or on our Find It! page,  you should see a box called 'Find Books'.  In it, click the tab that says OhioLINK and you can type your search right into that box.

Or, if you've already done the search in the OSU catalog, just click the blue OhioLINK button, and the computer will do your search for you!

And how do I order those books?

The process is pretty much exactly the same, but instead of looking for a red button marked 'Request', you want a green button marked 'Request This Item', then select Ohio State University from the pulldown list.  Remember: Have your BuckID ready - and don't forget to select 'Lima' from the list of campuses to have it sent to.

Help! My professor asked me to find three articles for a paper. Where do I look?

Deep breath.  Okay, so, there are different types of resources.  Books, articles, and web pages are the three major types of information that you'll use for many of your research projects as a student.

If your professor tells you that you need to find an article - academic, magazine, whatever - you are going to use a database.  Just like catalogs find books and search engines find websites, databases are built to make finding articles as easy as possible.

So there are different types of articles?

Yup! Most articles out there are not academic articles.  When you read something in Rolling Stone or Good Housekeeping, that's a magazine article.  They are written by a generalist and for a general audience - you don't need to be an expert in the music industry to understand a Rolling Stone article, and you don't need a degree in interior design to follow Good Housekeeping.

Academic articles, especially peer-reviewed articles, on the other hand, are written by professionals or academics in the field for professionals and academics in the field.  You need to know something about the subject to understand them, and the audience for these articles is typically very small.

How can I tell them apart?

There are a lot of ways you can tell these types of articles apart.  Here are a few questions you can ask yourself.

Who published the article?  Was it a media conglomerate?  Academic articles are typically published by academic institutions or professional organizations, not large corporations.

Who is the audience?  If you gave this to a younger sibling or cousin, would s/he be able to understand it? If so, you probably don't have a peer-reviewed article.  You want articles that use professional terminology and in-depth research.

Do they cite their sources?  Peer-reviewed articles pretty much always will do this, either with endnotes or footnotes.

Are there pictures?  Academic articles typically have few images other than charts and graphs. If you see a lot of pics - of celebrities, particularly - odds are, you aren't reading an academic article.

Okay, so I can tell them apart. How do I find academic articles?

To find an article, you want a database. You can go to either our Lima Campus Library homepage or to our Find It! page for the "Find Articles" search box, or to our complete listing of OSU databases.

There's more than one database?

As a student at the Ohio State University, you have access to an enormous amount of information, and that includes dozens of different databases. Many of our databases are subject specific, which means the journals and articles contained within are focused on a single specific area of study. That can be as broad as 'Nursing and Allied Health' or as specific as '20th Century African American Poetry'.

There are also general databases, which have information on a wide variety of subjects, making them ideal starting points. We like to highlight one called Academic Search Complete, which you can access here

Why should I use Academic Search Complete?

This database covers a lot of different topics. Its wide range makes it ideal to get started on regardless of your subject!

Now that I've picked a database, how do I actually find articles in it?

It's just like finding a book, or finding something on Google: Type in your search terms, the most important words in the topic you want to research.

How do I pick search terms?

Often times, you want to boil your search down to the simplest complete description of your topic.  So, if you wanted to write an article about, say, masculinity in film adaptations of superhero comics, a good search might be [masculinity AND superhero films].  Because you are writing about film, you don't need to mention the word 'comics'; because most superhero films are adaptations of comics anyway, you don't need to specify 'adaptations'. 

But be flexible!  If that didn't work, maybe [masculinity AND comic adaptations] might give you different results, or [gender AND comic book films].  Don't get hung up on a single word or phrase unless it is the only way to say something.  Synonyms are your friend.

Remember: Figuring out the best search terms is tough. It may take a few tries. If you're having trouble, stop by the library!  We can walk you through the process step by step and make sure you're getting the best possible information.

I have my search term. What do I do next?

Type it in to the search box! We posted a search box for Academic Search Complete on the homepage, but most database searches work the same way. From there, it's just a matter of finding the article you like.

What do I do once I see an article I like?

Click on the title of the article. This will take you to the item record.

What is an item record?

The item record is a collection of all the necessary information about the article. The authors, the title of the journal, the year of publication, even the abstract, the one-paragraph summary of what the article was about; it's all right there in that center section of the record.

On the right hand side, you should see a box that says Tools. The tools are some basic functions.  There, you can print, download, or e-mail the item record to other people - but this does not send the article itself!  You can also click Cite to pull up a citation of the article in every major format.  While I always recommend double-checking automated citations, this can be a huge help.

On the left hand side, you'll see the Detailed Record. Here, you'll be able to read the article itself.  If you see the phrase Full Text, click on that.  PDF Full Text is ideal, but sometimes you will see Linked Full Text or HTML Full Text, both of which will also get you fast access to the article.

Is there anything else I should know?

There are a few tricks you can use to make your searches more accurate.  These are a little more advanced, so you don't have to use them until you're feeling comfortable.

What are they?

Quotation Marks: If you keyword search [ hunger games ], you will get any book that mentions the word 'hunger' and the word 'games'.  Books on psychology, on obesity, on children's healthcare - they'll all pop up.  The computer reads the two words separately. If you ever want to search an exact phrase, put quotation marks around it.  Looking up [ "hunger games" ] gets you much closer to the results you need.

Web Source Evaluation is an incredibly important step in finding the best sources for your research. There are several techniques to consider when evaluating sources you find online in order to determine their reliability and usefulness for your projects:

DRAMA Method
D – Date (How Recent)
R – Relevance (Original content? Or repost?)
A – Accuracy (Are there sources cited?)
M – Motivation (Was this written to inform? Or persuade?)
A – Authority (Who wrote this? Author/s or an organization?)

SIFT Method
S – Stop (if you know the source is trustworthy, then use it. If you’re not sure…)
I – Investigate (Look for publication date, author/s, about page of a website, citations, etc.)
F – Find Better Coverage (Look elsewhere for a more reliable website)
T – Trace Claims (follow citation links to find that information elsewhere)
Further Reading:
1. Choosing & Using Sources (OSU eBook) – Chapter 6 focuses on source evaluation 
2. Kent State University – Criteria for Evaluating Web Resources
3. Indiana University East – Fake News Guide


The University Libraries' Undergraduate Research Library Fellowship of $4000 provides undergraduates the opportunity to see how scholarship is communicated and disseminated through work in libraries that is often invisible to the casual user.  It will position students with an interest in academic research to experience more deeply the type of partnerships many researchers have with libraries around projects that enhance the work of their discipline. Experience might be with scholarly communication, metadata, primary resources and artifacts (as found in our Archives or Special Collections), development of open education resources, knowledge discovery tools, bibliography/resource curation of a discipline, digitization, and more. Projects can result in learning objects, digital images, curated exhibits, or performances, depending on the project.

For more information, please either see us. Typically the fellowship is completed over the summer and takes 40 hours a week. 

How do I take books home?

You must have photo identification to check out materials. This can mean a driver's license or a student ID.

You are responsible for all the materials borrowed on your ID, and you can check out materials only on your own account.

Due dates of materials vary depending on the type of material and where it comes from. View your circulation record often to review the due dates and to renew items as necessary. Fines can be paid online from your record.

Click here to go to the OSU Libraries Circulation FAQ.

Here you'll find the terms of checking books out.  How long do you get to keep them, how many can you have out at once, how much are overdue fees - this is the place to go for your answers.

Active Program 60 students may check out books from the Lima Campus Library. A photo ID is required.

Residents of Ohio can sign up for a State Library of Ohio card to borrow OhioLINK circulating print materials. For more information, consult the State Library website at

Additional library privileges are also available for sustaining members of the Ohio State Alumni Association and members of the Friends of the Libraries. With these memberships, patrons will have a borrowing limit of up to ten items with a maximum of five OhioLINK items. Friends of the Libraries members are partners in the ongoing academic programs of the library. This vital support is acknowledged through invitations to special events, exhibition openings, readings and literary programs, borrowing privileges in the Libraries and a subscription to the library newsletter, FolioClick here for information about additional borrowing privileges.

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