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Interpreting Search Results


The ability to interpret citations or references to various sources of information is a fundamental research skill. In order to be able to locate an item from a bibliography at the end of an article or book or from a database printout, you need to be able to determine what type of source the item is. Here are some possible types of sources:

Following are examples of the most common types of sources students find in bibliographies and in databases:



Book Citation

Note: Check the HSU Library catalog by author or title to determine whether the HSU Library owns this book.


Magazine Article Citation

Note: To determine whether the HSU Library owns a magazine, use the Journal and Newspaper Finder. Search for the magazine title, not the title of the article.



Journal Article Citation

Note: To determine whether the HSU Library owns a journal, use the Journal and Newspaper Finder. Search for the journal title, not the title of the article.



Government Document Citation

Note: See Government Information for help with finding government documents.



Chapter in a Book

Note: To find out whether the HSU Library owns this item, look for the title of the book not the title of the chapter in the HSU Library catalog.



Internet Source Citation

Note: You can locate an Internet source by typing the Internet address into your browser's address box.


Send comments to: Martha Johansen
Last Updated: January 19, 2007
© James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Modified and used with permission.

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