Research Basics

Click on each section to learn more.

Why does UTC even have a library? Can't you just get everything online these days? We'll be the first to tell you that the Internet has changed research forever - and mostly for the better! But, there are still some things you just can't get with Google. You may have noticed that on the Internet, most magazines and journals require a subscription. Downloading articles requires a username and password - or a hefty fee. Books only have previews. And free movies without breaking the law? Forget about it.

That's where the UTC Library comes in. By providing free access to millions of articles, books, movies, and more, we provide the UTC community with the information resources it needs to be a thriving center for teaching, learning, and research. Google can get you to a lot of stuff, but only the UTC Library can get you the stuff you need.

Get started with your research

The default 'Quick Search' will allow you to find all of our books, movies, and music, as well as much of our journal and article content.

  1. Search by keywords

    Search by keyword, author, title, subject, ISBN, and more. To narrow your search results, try using 'AND' to combine keywords (like, "Plato AND the Republic")
  2. Pick a format (optional)

    By default, your search will return books, articles, movies, and music. Use the dropdown menu if you just want to search a single format
  3. Pick a location (optional)

    By default, your search will be limited to information available through UTC. You can expand your search to include other local libraries or even libraries worldwide!

Once you click "Search" your results will appear in the Library Catalog.

Search Box - Databases Tab
  1. The Databases tab allows quick access to our entire database collection.
  2. The select a Database drop-down menu allows you to select from an alphabetical list of every database to which the UTC Library subscribes.
  3. Limit by Subject allows you to narrow the list of databases automatically to the best databases in the academic discipline of your choice.
  4. Find a list of Multisubject Databases, good for general research on most topics.
  5. Find an in-depth guide to all subject areas taught at UTC.

Search Box - Subjects Tab

  1. The Subjects tab allows you navigate to a research guide for a specific academic discipline.
  2. Subject guides have suggested databases, journals, websites, citation help, and more. You can also access Subject Guides through the Databases tab.

Search Box - Journals Tab

  1. The Journals tab lets you search for and browse specific journals, magazines, and newspapers.
  2. Enter the title of the journal you’re looking for
  3. If you know the ISSN, you can switch to search for that rather than title
  4. When searching by title, the default is to retrieve all journals that begin with your term. For example, if you type in "Accounting" would return all journals that start with the word “Accounting.” If you want to be more specific, you can change the drop down menu to match your terms more exactly.

Search Box - Reserves Tab

  1. The Reserves tab is where you look for items placed on hold for your class by your professor. Most of these items allow you to check them out for a few hours while you stay inside the library.
  2. Search by course name or instructor. Don't remember your course name? Just type in what you remember (for example, just "engl" or just "1010")
  3. Drop down to switch to searching for the reserve item itself (for example, the title of your textbook)
  4. Broaden your search by switching to Match Any Words

Both the Library catalog and the many databases require searching by keywords by default. When you perform a keyword search, you are simply asking the database or catalog to give you a list of every item that includes those keywords.

For example, a keyword search for Republic will return everything that uses the word 'Republic'. A keyword search for both Republic and Plato will return just the things with BOTH 'republic' and 'Plato'. Keep in mind that the more words you include in your search, the fewer results you'll get.

Picking keywords for your search is fairly simple: just think about your research topic and identify which words stand out.

Illustration of Picking Out Keywords

If you wanted to find books and articles about Plato's theory of justice, you could search for the words Plato and justice. You could also search for Plato and "theory of justice". (Tip: Anytime you are typing in a phrase with multiple words, it helps to add quotation marks so that the search engine knows not to treat the phrase as a single search term.)

Finally, different scholars will often write about the same issue using different terminology. If your keyword search isn't giving you the results you want, try looking for synonyms or related terms to use instead.

Illustration of Related Terms

What is a database?

A library database is an organized collection of information in the form of articles, ebooks, videos, images, and more. The Library subscribes to databases covering just about any topic.

Multisubject databases will provide millions of articles on a wide variety of topics. Subject-specific databases will provide fewer articles, but will focus exclusively on one or two subject areas.

Using the databases
For the most part, all databases behave in pretty much the same way.

  • Most databases start with a Search page. This is where you will enter your keywords. Usually, you'll also be able to set search filters covering formats, subjects, date-ranges, and more.

Database Search Screens

  • After you enter your search terms and run your search, you will be taken to a Results page. This is where you can browse through article titles that meet your search criteria. If you don't like the results, just go back to the search page and try again!

Database Results Screen

  • To access an article, click on its title. This will take you to the Article page. Here you can usually read an abstract, get a citation, and view the article itself. To view an article, look for a link to download or view in full-text or PDF. If you can't find a download or view link, look for a link to "GetIt@UTC."

Database Articles Screen

You've found an article that may be useful for your research. Here's how to read the full text:

Finding an article using a library database:

Finding the Article

  • From your Results list, look for a PDF Full Text link. Depending on what database you are using, you may need to click on the title of the article in order to see this link.
  • Sometimes you may see a red Get It @UTC button. This means that the article’s full text may not be inside the database you are using, but don’t worry! Click on that button to see if we have that article somewhere else. Take a look below:

Finding the Article

  • If the library owns a copy, you’ll see a blue View Full Text link. If not, you can always request a copy of that item, free of charge, by clicking on the Borrow from Another Library button.

Finding an article using a citation

  1. Identify the title of the journal, magazine, or newspaper in which your article appears. (Hint: in most citation styles it's in italics)

    Citation Example of Journals by Title

  2. Select 'Journals' from the Library search box.
  3. Search for your journal title.

    Journal by Title Search Box

  4. Look for your journal title in the results. IMPORTANT: Pay attention to the date ranges. Many journals are available through multiple databases, but with different coverage dates.

    WorldCat Local Results for Journals by Title

  5. When you have found your journal, the link will take you to a page where you can browse through a table of contents.
  6. You will need to know the year, volume, issue, and page numbers from the citation to successfully find your article.

Sometimes you may across a book or article unavailable at the UTC Library. When this happens, you may want to try requesting the item through Interlibrary Loan (also called ILLIAD). Interlibrary Loan is available to all UTC students, faculty, and staff as a free service. Requests are limited to no more than 10 per week.

Requesting books

Whether the book you want is checked out, or we just don't have it, you can use Interlibrary Loan to request books from another library.

  • Look for a link that says Request item via ILLiad (Interlibrary Loan)

Request A Book

  • Log in with your UTC ID and password

Sign in to ILLiad

  • If you've never set up your Interlibrary Loan profile, you will need to enter your name, email address, and status within the university (student, staff, faculty, etc.) IMPORTANT: after registering, you will need to go back to step 1 and click 'Request item via ILLiad' again. Then, click 'OK' in the confirmation window that pops up.
  • The Book Request form should automatically fill. The Library will order a copy of the book you need from another library. You will receive an email when your book arrives; you can pick it up at the circulation desk.

Book Request

Requesting articles

Sometimes, while using the Get It @ UTC link, you'll find an article that is not available at UTC. When this happens, just click the link to 'ILLiad'

GetIT Article Screen

  • After logging-in, an article request form should appear. Verify that the information on the form is correct and click 'Submit request' to order your article.

ILLiad Article Screen

  • Most article requests are filled within three business days. When the article you requested is received, you will be sent a notification email containing a link to the Interlibrary Loan website. Log in and click "Electronically received articles".

Electronically Received Articles

Catalog Search Help

Click on each section to learn more.

The default search in the UTC Library catalog is a keyword search. You will start your search on the library's homepage, under the Everything tab. Just type in title, author, subject, or combination of these and hit Search. Your results will appear, sorted by relevance. You can use the filters on the left hand side to narrow by "Books". When you see a book you like, notice the item's location, call number, and availability listed under the book's title.

Help Results Screenshot

To find articles using the library's catalog, start on the Library's homepage under the Everything tab. Do a search for your subject, author, title, or combination of these and click Search. Your results will appear, sorted by relevance.

Help Results Screenshot

  • On the left hand side, you can limit your results to just show Articles/Chapters.
  • Choose an article that interests you & click on the title for more information.

Help Results Screenshot

  • Now you can see the article's full information on the right, while your results have shifted to the left.
  • Click View Online or View full text to get to the full text of the item.
  • To return to the main Results screen, click Close Item Detail in the upper right hand corner.

The library has tons of great movies for you to borrow. To find movies, do a search from the Everything tab on the Library's homepage. On the left, select Video on the list of formats to narrow your results. You should see the item's location, call number, and availability on the list of results.

Help Facets Screenshot

Effortlessly switch between the UTC Library system, other area libraries, or libraries worldwide using the handy drop-down menu located just beneath the search bar. Our local holdings will still rise to the top of your results.

Help Libraries Worldwide Screenshot

You can access your library account by clicking 'UTC Library Account Sign In' in the upper-right corner of the catalog. Important: If this is your first time in the new catalog, you must select "Establish password for the first time" to access your account.

Library Account Sign-In Screenshot

To take full advantage of the new Library catalog, you will want to create an account with WorldCat. Your WorldCat account is free, private, and you won't be put on any mailing lists.

WorldCat Local Sign-In Screenshot

Once your account is created, you will be able to add books to lists, create tags, share with students and faculty, and more!

When using the new catalog off-campus, you may be prompted to enter your UTCID and password. If you do not have a UTCID and password, just click on "Continue as guest". Searching as a guest still gives you access to all of our physical holdings (i.e., books, movies, etc.) as well as information about thousands of articles. However, a UTCID is required to access electronic articles discovered in the new catalog.Off-Campus Log In Screenshot

Don't hesitate to ask a librarian for help if you need it: we're happy to cover the new catalog in more detail. Call us at (423) 425-4510, leave a note via our contact form, or stop by the reference desk.