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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about the Reference Department

What hours is the library open?

Here are the library hours for today. See the link below for more calendar options.

What hours is a Reference Librarian available?

Please see the current Reference Services hours for Reference Librarian availability at John Vaughan Library

Reference service at the NSU-Broken Arrow library is available all hours the library is open. See previous answer for those hours.

You may contact a Resource Coordinator directly to set an appointment for in-person, phone, or Zoom reference.

Where are the dictionaries?

Unabridged dictionaries are on stands at the end of the reference shelving aisles. Other English-language dictionaries are at the reference desk and in the reference shelving at PE 1625. You can also access the Oxford English Dictionary online.

How do I find articles?

Use the Discovery search on the library's web page to find articles in electronic databases. A good general journal database is EBSCO’s Academic Search Premier. A good magazine database is EBSCO’s Masterfile Premier. For specialized databases, use the Subject Database listing. Use the search guides and help screens on the database. For further assistance, ask the librarian that works with that discipline.

Indexes are pointers to where articles or other resources can be found. The indexes can be in paper format or electronic, which we call databases. Print indexes, like Readers Guide to Periodical Literature and Book Review Index, are on the first floor between the scanners and the magazine browsing area.

How do I find a peer reviewed article?

As in the previous question, select an appropriate database from the Subject Database page. Look for a way to limit the search to peer reviewed. In Academic Search Premier (a good general index to journals), under “limit your search,” there is a button to check for “scholarly (peer reviewed) journals.”

What is microfilm/microfiche?

Microfilm/microfiche is a storage device. Books, articles, historical documents, newspapers, and other materials can be found on microfilm. There are no separate indexes to the microfilm. It is referenced through Discovery and indexes.

Microfilm reader/printers are available on second floor. Each machine has directions for how to use it. Most machines thread the microfilm with the film coming off the top. It goes between glass plates to a take-up reel. There are knobs for adjusting the size and focus of the image. The film can be automatically advanced. There are guides on the film to show the user how to advance to the correct page. Film must always be rewound and returned to the box.

Assistance is available by picking up the phone near the machines. Copies are free.

How do I choose a database?

Many of the databases cover specific fields or disciplines. Our databases were selected to support the curriculum at NSU. One database cannot contain all of the information that is published. It would also be an unwieldy and difficult database to search. A good general journal index is Ebsco’s Academic Search Premier. A good magazine database is Ebsco’s Masterfile Premier.

For specialized databases, use the Subject Database listing. Use the search guides and help screens on the database. For further assistance, ask the librarian that works with that discipline.

How can I find articles from off-campus?

Remote access to most of the library's electronic resources is available through the library's web page. If it is a subscription database, an NSU user ID is required. See Remote Access to Library Resources FAQ for more information.