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Research Process: Find Information

Adapted from a 2002 Sonoma State University Research Process tutorial, Red Deer College LibGuide, and

Search for Books

Search for Journal Articles

Off Campus Access

You must be currently registered as an OU student or faculty and have an e-mail account and password to access the databases.  These databases provide scholarly, full-text articles for research and study.  Simply go to the library’s database page. Follow the instructions required. Contact OU Help Desk at if there is any difficulty in accessing the databases.

Locate and Retrieve the Information

  • What is the type of information needed?
    • Do you need books, journal or newspaper articles, statistics, government hearings or other types of media such as sound recordings, images, or videos?
    • Do you need primary or secondary sources, or does it matter?
    • Do you need resources from the scholarly literature (peer-reviewed) or can you use items from the popular press or professional literature?
    • Do you need current or retrospective information or a combination of both?
  • Identify the likely and unlikely sources or places to find the information.
    • Check our catalog and
    • Identify appropriate periodical databases for citations and full-text.
    • Are there Web sites with useful and credible information?
    • Are there special collections in libraries or archives?
    • In addition to libraries, who else might be collecting these types of materials-specialized booksellers, collectors, corporate sources, museums, etc.
  • Make sure you have all the information you need.
    • Carefully note the full citation for each item you retrieve, even if you're not sure you'll use it. It can be difficult to reconstruct this information later.
    • Make a note of where you found each citation, just in case you need to tack it down again.
    • Keep track of where you've looked and what terms you've used. A search log or notebook can be useful.
  • Accessibility
    • Is the information available in this library, through interlibrary loan, the Web, an electronic database or some other source?
    • What is the time frame for getting the information to you? Do you have time to wait? Is there another source that would also work?
  • Keep notes/make records

Interlibrary Loan

ILL Online Form

Oakwood University students, faculty, and staff may request books and articles from other libraries. Before placing an interlibrary loan book request, please search the library catalog External link and EBSCO ebook Collection or Ebrary to verify that the Eva B Dykes Library does not already own the item you need.  For journal articles, please search Journals A-Z  or view our list of print journals before placing a request.

To request an item complete the online form or contact Stella Mbyirukira via email or at 256.726.8389. Please give sufficient information for the book and/or article requested.

Every effort is made to provide this service at no cost to you. However, there is a $10.00 charge for RUSH(within 24 hrs.) requests. Items arrive via fax or mail/courier service and may take up to 10 days.

Once you have been notified of their arrival, pick up interlibrary loans at the Circulation Desk. Return books to the Circulation desk on or before the due date. Book loans may be renewed at the discretion of the lending library. Articles are yours to keep.


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