Library Research Techniques

Honors Workshop: Advancing Library Research Techniques*

*This Library Guide is updated regularly. Be sure to come back soon and revisit it!

In this workshop we will discuss advanced search strategies and resources that you can use to find the information you need for your research projects.

• Activate your City Tech ID at the Circulation Desk in the library every semester, so that you can use library databases and eBooks from off-campus and check out books from any CUNY library. (Visit our website for questions about off-campus access)

On the Internet:

Google: Do your search. Under Settings, select Advanced search to narrow your focus to more relevant sources. Search on a specific domain, for example, .gov for government websites or .edu for education websites.

• Search Google Scholar to find more academic, scholarly sources. Click the gear (Settings) on the top of the screen and select Library Links, enter New York City College of Technology to connect Google Scholar to library databases. Click off the boxes and don’t forget to save your choices.

• Not sure whether you’ve found a credible, reliable source? Use the library’s RECAP guide to evaluate it for RELEVANCE, EXPERTISE, CURRENCY, ACCURACY, AND PURPOSE.

In the Library:

• To find articles in the library databases, visit the library’s website: Select the Find search tab and select Articles from the drop-down menu (default is Print and eBooks).

• Library databases cover many topics. To see a list of databases by subject or department, go to Start Your Research > Find Articles and browse the Find by Subject list or the alphabetical list:

• Many databases allow you to limit your search to peer-reviewed articles, which is a good idea if you’re looking for scholarly research.

• If the article is not available in any of our library databases, you can request it through
Interlibrary Loan. Sign up for an interlibrary loan account on the library’s website.
• Remember that you can borrow books from any CUNY library. Select the Find search tab. The default is Print and eBooks. Run your search. If you need to expand your search to include books outside of City Tech, select All CUNY at the top of the list of results. If you’d like to have a book from another CUNY library delivered to you at City Tech, click Request below the book’s title and log in with the library barcode from your City Tech ID. Be sure to record the call number of the book you’re interested in so you can find it on the library shelves. Use the subject headings listed on the detailed information for a book to find more sources.

• Yes, you can download and read many of our eBooks on your mobile device! Visit our website for instructions on Downloading EBooks.

Citations and Writing:

• Consider using a citation manager to keep track of your library and internet sources. Once you create an account with these tools, you can also use them to export a works cited or reference list (in the style of your choice) when you’re finished with your project.
o There is a free, student-focused citation manager called EasyBib. Create an account from at and use it to manage your citations from anywhere – even your mobile device.
o Other popular citation managers are Zotero and RefWorks — try them out and use the one that works best for you. Both have add-ons for in-text citations.

• Find more information about citation and writing on the library website.

The library has many resources to help you in your research for your honors projects or other coursework. For help finding information in the library, ask a librarian at the Reference Desk, or visit our Ask a Librarian page on the library website.

Remember that you can make a one-on-one research appointment with a librarian, too!