virginia montecinoeducation and technology resourceshome
Online Research at George Mason University Libraries
This is a guide for my students, not an official publication of GMU library. 

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Guidelines to help you evaluate resources
Evaluate NON Web Sources
Evaluate Web Sources
Search Options
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Many library catalogs and databases, including those in George Mason's Library system, can be searched via the Internet. Some library databases even have full texts that can be downloaded.  These library databases can be accessed from the Internet (generally using an ID or password), but the databases are not on the Internet.  Library databases have control over what is included in their resources.  Material on the Internet can be posted by anyone, whether he/she is qualified to address that subject or not. Credible organizations and individuals, however, are publishing more and more on the Internet. There is reliable and unreliable information on the Web and in print and other media; therefore, it is important to develop the skills to discern what information is credible and what is not. The Internet, because of its public nature and the fact that anyone with an Internet account may publish her/his own Web material, should cause all of us to question whether the information is valid or not.  Here are some guidelines to  evaluate the credibility of text sources and Internet Sources

GMU Library: (the entry point to the catalog, databases, references, help with research, Web guides and tools. 

GMU Ask a Librarian - a real-time "virtual reference" service for students, faculty, and staff to ask questions and be helped at home, at the office or in a computer lab

GMU Library databases
[The numerous library databases to which GMU subscribes have their own variations of search procedures, including boolean operators, which can help you effectively narrow your searches.]

To access the GMU Library databases from off campus, see: access restricted database information off-campus. You can click on the icon (see below) that appears to the left of each database. You will then be asked to insert your Social Security number, without the dashes.

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Other databases

Some resources at the GMU Library system: 

Help with Research - tutorials, classes, subject guides 

Services- your library account info, disability info, circulation info, reserve info, etc.

Search options for GMU Library Catalog Search 
for books, periodicals, media, course reserves and other resources. 
The system provides information about the Library's materials collection 
and information about materials placed on course reserve by our faculty. 
Search Options
Word and keywords
Use symbols like + for essential terms, * for important term" quotation marks for specific phrases Chesapeake Bay + pfisteria 
computer viruses *melissa 
"Star Spangled Banner"
Title / Author / Subject
If you know the author, for example, a search of the name will bring up all books by that author. title: Metaphysics of virtual reality 
author: heim michael 
subject: virtual reality
Guided Search
Allows you to search specific fields from "drop boxes."  You can also use boolean operators like: AND, OR, NOT. Drop box choices include publisher's name, publication date, author, title, subject, ISBN. computers AND viruses 

Shakespeare NOT MacBeth

Advanced Search
Use boolean operators ( AND, OR, NOT) to combine topics.  The boolean operators must be in CAPITAL letters."Nest" yoursearchterms with parentheses: ( ). You can also use quotes ( " " ) and ? to truncate a word root. Comp? AND (y2k or "Year 2000")
Truncated search
will call up all items with the same word root comp? will return 
computer, computation, for example
View search results
Click hyperlink to view holdings in brief or long view shows author, title, publisher, type of material, location, call number, status.
Search History
Review searches for the current search.  Can edit a search Shows number of "hits," database and search process
Course Reserves
Lists materials faculty put on reserve for courses Search by  faculty name, course, section, department
Printing and Saving Results: At the bottom of the search results list, you can click on the print or save icon or fill in the email name option to have the results sent to you via email.
Some other GMU library databases you can access online as GMU students/faculty/staff:

- WRLC - Washington Research Library consortium - American, Catholic, Gallaudet, GMU, George Washington, Marymount, UDC. (See list of WRLC participating libraries)
- Image collections
- Databases in humanities, science and technology, business, news, current affairs, social science , periodical abstracts
- Library of Congress

Reference Resources online

VIVA - Virtual Library of Virginia.  consists of the libraries of the 39 state-assisted colleges and universities (at 52 campuses) within the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Collections - special collections and archives, government documents, media, American type cultures 

Infotrac and Infotrac Onefile - (You can type this database name into the Articles and Index Databases (GMU Library databases) above.
[The numerous library databases to which GMU subscribes have their own variations of  search procedures, including boolean operators, which can help you effectively narrow your searches].  Infotrac has many FULL TEXT articles you can e-mail to yourself and format to print. 

Mark the article you want by clicking in the "Mark" box. Click on the "View" link. Click on the "Retrieve" Icon. 

Retrieve options: 
- Reformat to print from Web browser 
- Review and print from Acrobat Reader 
- Deliver via email 
While viewing full text, select the "Save as" option in your Web browser and save as a file to a disk or your hard drive in your local computer. 

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virginia montecinomontecin@gmu.edueducation and technology resourceshome
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updated Feb 2002