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Environmental Resources Engineering:
A Guide to Doing Research in HSU Library


Before beginning your research project, it is recommended that you think about how comprehensive your research must be, how current your sources of information need to be, and your intended audience's level of expertise. Then define your research topic as specifically as possible and don't be afraid to refine your topic as you learn more about it. Suggested guidelines for doing library research follow and may be adapted to fit your needs:


Table of ContentsTable of Contents

How do I find background information?
How do I find books on my topic?
How do I find articles on my topic?
General Indexes and Abstracts
Appropriate Technology/International Development Technology
Education
Energy
Water Resources & Water Quality
Geotechnical Engineering
Mathematical Modeling
HELP!  I don't know what index to start with!
Another way to research -- via citations!
Keeping Current
Does the Library have the item I need?
If the Library doesn't have the item, where can I get it?
Critically evaluate the information you find!

How do I find background information on my topic?


Reference Materials -- can provide you with background information, major theories or researchers, and definitions of key terms. There are print and electronic reference sources in HSU Library.  Print and selected electronic reference materials are listed in the HSU Library Catalog and may be located by adding terms such as encyclopedia?, director?, dictionar?, etc. to your search. You might also try searching for electronic and print reference materials by choosing Reference Collection (including Eref) from the pull-down Optional Limits menu (Title and Keyword Searches Only).

Examples of reference materials appear below:

Dictionaries/Encyclopedias/Handbooks:
  • Coffel, S.  Encyclopedia of Garbage.  NY: Facts on File, 1996 (ref TD 785.5 C64 1996)
  • CRC Handbook of Energy Efficiency.  Boca Raton FL: CRC Press, 1997  (ref TJ 163.3 C73 1997)
  • Encyclopedia Britannica (includes Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary) -restricted to HSU faculty, students and staff
  • Encyclopedia of Energy Technology and the Environment. NY: Wiley, 1995 (ref TJ 163.235 E53 1995)
  • Environmental Engineer's Handbook, 2nd ed.  Boca Raton FL: Lewis Publishers, 1997  (ref TD 145 E574 1997)
  • Keller, H. and Erb,U. Dictionary of Engineering Acronyms and Abbreviations. NY: Neal Schuman, 1989  (ref TA 11 K45 1989)
  • McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Engineering, 2nd ed. NY: McGraw-Hill, 2003 - restricted to HSU faculty, students and staff
  • Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy. N.Y. : Macmillan Reference USA, 2001 (ref TJ 163.28 M33 2001) Online version restricted to HSU faculty, students and staff
  • Maidment, D.R. Handbook of Hydrology. NY: McGraw-Hill, 1993 (ref GB 662.5 H35 1993)
  • Standard Handbook of Environmental Engineering, 2nd ed.  NY: McGraw-Hill, 1999 (ref TD 145 S72 1999)
  • The Civil Engineering Handbook, 2nd ed.  Boca Raton FL: CRC Press, 2003  (ref TA 151 C57 2003)
  • Water Resources Handbook. NY: McGraw-Hill, 1996 (ref TD 345 H257 1996)
  • Scott, J.S. The VNR Dictionary of Civil Engineering, 4th ed. NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993 (ref TA 9 S35 1993)
Guides to the Literature:
  • Auger, C. P. Information Sources in Grey Literature, 3rd ed. London: Bowker-Saur, 1994 (ref T 10.7 A87 1994)
  • Humboldt State University Library - Resources in Environmental Systems
  • Katz, M. and Thornton, D.  Environmental Management Tools on the Internet: Accessing the World of Environmental Information.  Delray Beach FL: St. Lucie Press, 1997  (ref GE 32 K38 1997)
  • Lord, Charles R.  Guide to information sources in engineering. Englewood, CO : Libraries Unlimited, 2000  (ref T10.7 L67 2000)
  • Research Guides: Statistics - Several guides to sources of statistics related to the environment, etc.
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How do I find out if the Library has books on my topic?


HSU Library Catalog - the guide to books, periodicals, videos, compact discs, DVDs, etc. in the HSU Library. Most government documents are not included in the library catalog.  Beginning in 1998, U.S. government documents are in the HSU library catalog.  California state documents published after mid-1999 are also in the library catalog. For information on how to search HSU Library Catalog, see Help Contents. The default screen is for the Basic Search. You may conduct more complex searches using the Advanced Search option.

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How do I find articles in journals on my topic?


Articles in journals may be found by using Indexes/Abstracts/Databases.

Listed below are the indexes/abstracts/databases most appropriate for research in environmental resources engineering. In addition to journal articles, indexes/abstracts/databases may also index articles/reports published in conference proceedings, government documents, technical reports, dissertations, and other sources. Indexes/abstracts/databases vary in scope, depth and breadth of subject coverage. The Search Strategy Worksheet gives a step-by-step description of how to develop a search strategy for electronic indexes. There are also search strategy guides tailored to engineering: Identifying Concepts and Generating Search Terms and AND, OR, NOT (Boolean Operators).


Most electronic indexes and abstracts are available only to HSU faculty, students and staff.  You will need to identify yourself in order to search them.  See Off Campus Access to Databases for more information.


HSU library has print and electronic indexes covering each of the environmental engineering subfields.  If you need a more detailed description of a database, please click on the  icon next to the name.


GENERAL- These indexes cover all areas of environmental engineering (water quality, water resources, energy resources, geotechnical, and hazardous waste management).

Academic Search Elite More Information This comprehensive database features full text for over 2,000 journals, including ~1500 peer-reviewed journals, with many dating back to 1995, abstracts and indexing for over 3,400 scholarly journals, and coverage of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor. It also includes coverage of over 2,500 peer-reviewed journals. See the Title List for more information on what is included.

*Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (1971-). Covers all aspects of the world's aquatic resources. Indexes all types of source documents dealing with the science, technology, management, and pollution of marine, brackishwater, and freshwater environments and organisms.

CE Database(1970- ).  Index to all American Society of Civil Engineering publications -- journals, conference proceedings, books, standards, manuals, magazines, and newsletters.  HSU Library has online access to all ASCE Journals.  Simply select the journal of interest from the pulldown list and the journal's home page will appear.  You may then access all the electronic full text available for that journal.  For years prior to 1970, you will need to use Cumulative Index to ASCE Publications (abstract TA 1 A58 A5) which covers 1930-1969.

Engineering Index (abstract TA 1 E62) 1945-1995. Published by Engineering Information, this is an extensive index to U.S. and foreign literature in all fields of engineering. HSU only has 1945-1995 in print form. Over 150,000 references with descriptive abstracts are included annually. Sixty percent of the references are to papers selected from 4,500 journals and serials and 25% are to papers selected from 2,000 engineering conferences. Other references include technical reports, standards, and books. The guide to subjects used in the index is Ei Thesaurus (abstract TA 1 E63 1992).

*Environmental Engineering Abstracts MoreInformation (1990- ). Has some citations as old as 1973. Covers the world literature on technological and engineering aspects of air and water quality, environmental safety, and energy production. Thoroughly indexes over 700 primary journals and selectively indexes over 2,500 additional sources, such as monographs and conference proceedings. Updated monthly. The database is a subset of Engineering Index.

Environmental Sciences and Pollution ManagementMore (1967- ).   Broad ranging index to environmental science and pollution research from over 5,000 journals and other literature, mostly from 1981 to the present.  Represents a combination of 16 separate indexes which may be searched individually or collectively.  Other databases on this page that are preceded by an asterisk (*) are part of the Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management package.

GrayLIT Network, Full-Text Scientific Report Literature More GrayLIT Network is a portal for technical report information generated through federally funded research and development projects. GrayLIT Network Database Descriptions tells you what collections may be searched using this portal.  Gray literature is defined as "foreign or domestic open source material that usually is available through specialized channels and may not enter normal channels or systems of publication, distribution, bibliographic control, or acquisition by booksellers or subscription agents."

MathSciNet More(1940- )  The electronic version of Mathematical Reviews provides comprehensive international coverage of literature on mathematics, statistics, and computer science and their applications, including mathematical modeling, in a wide range of disciplines. Bibliographic data from retrodigitized articles dates back to 1864.

NTIS Search (1990- ).  Produced by the National Technical Information Service, this is the central source for indexing of U.S. government-funded technical reports.  HSU Library has very few of these indexed technical reports, but most are readily available via interlibrary loan in microfiche format from several research libraries in California.  You can also link to the full-text of many publications on an agency's web site or download it directly from the NTIS archival copy for a nominal charge.

*Sustainability Science Abstracts(2003-) An index to articles from over 400 journals, as well as papers, reports, books, conference proceedings, and reviews on the sustainability of natural resources. This is a subfile of Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management. Has some older references back to 1995.

U S Government Publications Monthly Catalog (Firstsearch version) More or US Government Publications Monthly Catalog (Marcive version with links to local holdings) (1976- ) Produced by the Government Printing Office (GPO), this index covers the publications of federal government agencies.

* This database is one of 16 in the Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management  package.

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APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY/INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT TECHNOLOGY (Note: this link takes you to another page so use the BACK button or the GO function for your browser to return to this page.)

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EDUCATION

ERIC (Firstsearch Version) MoreInformation (1966- ) or  ERIC (Open Access Version)  Produced by the Educational Resources Information Center, ERIC is the premier national bibliographic database of education literature.  ERIC consists of two files: Resources in Education (RIE), which covers the document literature, consisting of research reports, curriculum and teaching guides, conference papers, and books; and Current Index to Journals in Education (CIJE), which covers published journal literature from over 775 periodicals.  Most RIE documents/reports (indicated by ED numbers) are available in microfiche prior to 1996. The Firstsearch Version has links to full text of reports. Full text of many reports covering 1993-2004 are also available in the Open Access Version. CIJE citations may be found by using the Journal and Newspaper Finder or by using the links within the ERIC record.

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ENERGY

DOE Information Bridge  (1994- ).  According to the home page, DOE Information Bridge "provides free public access to full-text documents and bibliographic citations of Department of Energy (DOE) research report literature. Documents are primarily from 1994 forward and were produced by DOE, the DOE contractor community, and/or DOE grantees. Legacy documents are added as they become available in electronic format."

* EIS-Digests of Environmental Impact Statements More (1985- ). Indexes and abstracts the hundreds of environmental impact statements issued by the federal government each year. Updated bimonthly.

Energy Citations Database  (1948- ).  According to its home page, "Energy Citations contains bibliographic records for energy and energy-related scientific and technical information from the Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies, the Energy Research & Development Administration (ERDA) and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). The Database provides access to DOE publicly available citations from 1948 through the present, with continued growth through regular updates."  Energy Citations is a component of EnergyFiles.

EnergyFiles - Energy, Science, and Technology Virtual Library  A portal site of  "Virtual Library Collections of Energy Science and Technology" which is "Sponsored, developed, and maintained by the Department of Energy's Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)."  Has access to over 500 databases and Web sites containing information and resources pertaining to energy science and technology, with an emphasis on the physical sciences.  Allows for an EnergyPortals Search across over 25 databases and collections;  including Alternative Fuels Data Center, and Bioenergy Feedstock Information Network.

Science Accelerator   Allows you to search via a single query across important collections of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) scientific and technical information.

*This database is one of 16 in the Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management package.

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WATER RESOURCES AND WATER QUALITY

*Ecology Abstracts More (1982- ). Indexes journals, books, conference proceedings, and reports focusing on interaction between organisms and their environments as well as each other. Covers aquatic ecosystems and water resources. Updated monthly.

GEOBASE  More (1980- ). This is a broad-ranging index to literature in the fields of geography, geology, ecology, oceanography, and international development. Includes 3,000 references annually on "Climatology and Hydrology." The majority of the references are to journal articles but also indexed are conference papers, books, and technical reports. for the literature prior to 1980, you will need to use the print source Geographical Abstracts (abstr G 1 G335).

GEOREF More(1785- ) Covers the literature of geology, including hydrology and hydrogeology, for North America (1785 to date) and the rest of the world (1933 to date). It has over 2.1 million references and is updated bimonthly. This is the most comprehensive of the geological indexes. Please read the guide GeoRef on the Web before using the web version.

*Pollution AbstractsMore(1981- ). Covers the worldwide technical and non-technical literature on pollution research, sources, and controls. Indexes 2,500 sources including journals, books, technical reports, conference proceedings, and government documents. Updated monthly.

*Sustainability Science Abstracts(2003-) An index to articles from over 400 journals, as well as papers, reports, books, conference proceedings, and reviews on the sustainability of natural resources, inlcuding water resources. Has some older references back to 1995.

*Water Resources Abstracts More (1967- ). This electronic index includes literature on all aspects of water. The majority of the 12,000 references indexed annually represent journal articles selected from 500 journals plus conference papers and technical reports, including those of the 50 state-based Water Resources Research Institutes.

*This database is one of 16 in the Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management package.

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GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING AND HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT

*Agricultural and Environmental Biotechnology Abstracts More (1993- ). Indexes research on biotechnological techniques and products. Subjects covered include soil microorganisms, bioremediation in oil and chemical spills, biopesticides, treatment and disposal of wastes and sewage, and nonpolluting industrial lubricants. Updated bimonthly.

BIOSIS Previews (1969- ).  Comprehensive index to field, laboratory, clinical, experimental and theoretical studies in all fields of biology.  The print counterpart is Biological Abstracts (1927-1995) (abstr QH 301 B37).

Chemical Abstracts Online [CAS Online] More(1907- ). Produced by Chemical Abstracts Service and the American Chemical Society, CAS Online is the most comprehensive index to the world's literature of chemistry and chemical engineering. Subjects covered include air pollution, water pollution, water quality, and waste treatment and disposal. Updated weekly. NOTE: Hours of availability are limited.

*Health and Safety Science Abstracts More(1981- ). Comprehensive index to the literature of public health, safety, and industrial hygiene. Subjects covered include nuclear safety and safety issues related to pollution, waste disposal, radiation, pesticides, and epidemics. Indexes government reports, journals, conference proceedings, books, patents, and dissertations. Updated quarterly.

*Industrial and Applied Microbiology Abstracts More(1982- ). Contents include microbial toxins, biodegradation of materials, hydrocarbons, methane production, pollution, waste, sludge, etc. Updated monthly.

The QUAKELINE Database is a bibliographic database produced by the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER) Information Service. The database contains bibliographic information on earthquakes, earthquake engineering, natural hazard mitigation, and related topics. It contains over 44,000 records.

*Risk Abstracts More (1990- ). A broad multidisciplinary index to literature dealing with the identification and alleviation of risk. Topics include nuclear safety, pollution source analysis, radiation exposure, transportation and storage of hazardous materials, seismic risk evaluation, and radon. Updated quarterly.

* Toxicology Abstracts More (1981- ). Covers all aspects of toxicology, including toxicity testing methodologies, industrial chemicals, hydrocarbons, radiation and radioactive materials, etc. Updated monthly.

*Toxline More(Last 5 years to date).  Produced by the US National Library of Medicine, Toxline covers all areas of toxicology including pesticides, environmental pollutants, mutagens, and teratogens.

*This database is one of 16 in the Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management package.

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Mathematical Modeling (Note: this link takes you to another page so use the BACK button or the GO function for your browser to return to this page.)

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Help! I don't know what index to start with!HELP!  I Don't Know what index to start with!

The following table may help you to choose an index to start searching for information on your topic. The table shows each index and which subfield(s) of environmental engineering it covers:

Index
Water
Quality
Water 
Resources
Energy 
Resources
Geotech
Engineer
Hazardous 
Waste Mgt.
Academic Search Elite
x
x
x
x
x
Agricultural and Environmental Biotechnology Abstracts
x
 
 
 
x
Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts
x
x
x
x
x
BIOSIS Previews/Biological Abstracts
 
 
 
 
x
CE Database x
x
x
x
x
Chemical Abstracts Online [CAS Online]
x
 
 
 
x
DOE Information Bridge
 
 
x
 
 
Ecology Abstracts
 
x
 
 
 
EIS-Digests of Environmental Impact Statements
 
x
x
 
x
EnergyFiles - Energy, Science, and Technology Virtual Library

 
x
 
 
Environmental Engineering Abstracts
x
x
x
x
x
GEOBASE(Geographical Abstracts)
 
x
 
 
 
GEOREF
 
x
 
x
x
Health and Safety Science Abstracts
x
 
 
 
x
Industrial and Applied Microbiology Abstracts
x
 
 
 
x
MathSciNet (for math modeling)
x
x
x
x
x
NTIS Search
x
x
x
x
x
Pollution Abstracts
x
 
 
 
x
QUAKELINE Database
 
 
 
 x
x
Risk Abstracts
x
 
x
x
x
Science Accelerator    
x
   
Toxicology Abstracts
x
 
 
 
x
Toxline
x
 
 
 
x
US Government Publications Monthly Catalog
x
x
x
x
x
Water Resources Abstracts
x
x
 
 
x
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ANOTHER WAY TO DO RESEARCH -- CITATION SEARCHING!

NOTE: Due to severe budget constraints, only HSU graduate students and faculty may directly access the citation index databases, SciSearch and Social SciSearch. Undergraduate students may ask for assistance at the Information Desk (hours) if they need to use SciSearch or Social SciSearch. Google Scholar may also be useful when searching citations - please see How to Use Google Scholar and the HSU Library. More sources may be found in the Citation Searching section of Searching the Scientific Literature.

If you know of a particularly relevant or "classic" article on your topic, you may use Science Citation Index (abstract Q 1 S34 1969-1997) or Scisearch (1974 to date) to locate more recent articles which cite that relevant article. The principle here is that the citing article is on a subject closely related to that of the earlier article. Use the Citation Index portion of Science Citation Index  or the Citation Searching section of Scisearch to look up the author of the highly relevant or "classic" article. If any of the author's works have been cited or listed in the bibliography of works published during the time frame of the index, it will appear in the Citation Index along with a listing of the current authors citing it. This is a way to search the literature forward from an earlier article to the present time as opposed to the more familiar practice of finding a recent article and following its bibliography or list of citations backward in time. More detail may be found in Cited Reference Searching: An Introduction or ask for assistance at the Information Desk (hours).

Social Sciences Citation Index (abstract H1 S62 1966-1997) or Social SciSearch (1974-) might be useful for topics related to developing countries and social aspects of engineering, energy, etc..

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KEEPING CURRENT

Listed below are several databases that will send you the table of contents when a new issue of a key journal is available.  Some of these databases will also run your stored search strategy periodically and send you any new references that result from the search. Also see Current Awareness in the Sciences for more ways to keep current.

ACM Digital Library - The database of Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) publications has fulltext of every article ever published by ACM. You may sign up to receive the table of contents via email as new issues become available.

ACS Publications - This database contains the full text of articles in 37 journals published by the American Chemical Society.  You can sign up for free email alerts which are of two types: (1)  ASAP  (As Soon As Publishable) Alerts of articles posted to the web before being assigned to an issue; and (2) Table of Contents Alerts sent when the complete issue is posted on the web.

Blackwell Synergy Premium Journals - You may sign up to be notified of journal tables of contents, new articles by topic or author, OnlineEarly and OnlineAccepted articles published ahead of the journal issue, and alerts when a selected article is cited. All of these notifications are available as RSS newsfeeds or as e-mail alerts

CSA Alerts - Receive weekly notification of new research indexed in the Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts, BioOne, Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management or GeoRef databases. To set up your profile, click on the Alerts link in the upper right side of the screen.

Energy Citations Database (ECD) - Sign up to receive weekly alerts in topic(s) of interest via email.

National Academies Press - Sign up to receive e-mail notices of new titles published in subject categories that interest you as they are released.

Oxford Journals - Use the My Account link to set up keyword, author, or table of contents alerts for individual Oxford journals. You may also set up a citation alert to be notified when a specific article has been cited by another author.

ScienceDirect - Elsevier's full text database of over 1800 journals in 24 fields of study has three types of alerts: (1) Search Alerts of articles added that match a saved search strategy;   (2) New Issue Alerts which send tables of contents as issues are published; and (3) Citation Alerts which send a notice when new articles that cite a specific article of interest are added to the database.

SpringerLink - Complete contents of more than 1100 journals published by Springer and Kluwer in subjects including science, technology, humanities, and law from 1996 to the present. You can sign up for table of contents alerts and/or keyword search alerts to keep up in your field of interest.

Wiley Interscience - Wiley's full text database of 363 journals has a Contents Alerting service which sends tables of contents as issues are published.

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HOW DO I FIND OUT IF THE LIBRARY HAS THE ITEM I NEED?

Once you have a list of citations or references on the topic you are researching, you must determine if HSU Library has the article, book, report or document cited. While you are searching a database, click on the  icon next to each citation and a link to full text availability of that article or book will appear.

If there is no  icon, see if there is another link to full text.  If not, check the HSU Library Catalog if the reference is to a book, report, dissertation, or other non-serial publication. If the reference is to an article in a journal or other serially published title, the best way to determine if it is available is to use the Journal and Newspaper Finder, a searchable guide to the 15,000 journals, magazines, newspapers and other serials accessible online (fulltext) as well as to the periodicals  & serials in HSU Library.T he Journal and Newspaper Finder has been enhanced with common periodical abbreviations. Using the contains search option you can search an abbreviation, e.g.,jacs, and retrieve Journal of the American Chemical Society.

If you have a full reference to an article that includes at least the year, volume, issue and starting pages of your article, you may use the Citation Linker to locate it if the Journal and Newspaper Finder indicates that the full text of the journal is available in electronic format for the date(s) of interest.

Indexes and abstracts often use abbreviations in their citations which you *may* need to decipher. Many indexes and abstracts publish separate lists of the abbreviations used. Consult a reference librarian at the Library's Information Desk (hours) to locate an appropriate list of abbreviations or use the reference book Periodical Title Abbreviations: by abbreviation (ref Z 6945 A2 P47) located behind the Information Desk on the first floor. You may also use All That JAS: Journal Abbreviation Sources to locate abbreviations and their full titles.  Do not guess at what abbreviations mean!

Remember that most government documents prior to 1998 are not listed in HSU Library Catalog. If you wish to find a government document, consult the brochures: Finding Federal Documents and Finding California State Documents. You may also ask a reference librarian for assistance at the Information Desk on the first floor (hours) or in the Humboldt Room, room 308 (hours).

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WHAT IF THE LIBRARY DOESN'T HAVE THE ITEM I NEED?

If the Library does not have the book, report, document, article, etc. which you need, you may request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). See Interlibrary Loan Frequently Asked Questions for more information.  Requests may be placed by logging on to the Interlibrary Loan System. There are also links to the ILL System from Image of SFX button pages when the HSU Library doesn't have full text. This process can take as long as TWO WEEKS for books and ONE WEEK for articles so it is a good idea to begin your research early.

Books available in other CSU libraries may be requested using the CSU Catalog/Pharos Interlibrary Loan Service.

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A FINAL CAVEAT:

You must critically evaluate the resources found online (as well as in the Library) by asking yourself the following questions:

More detailed information on how to evaluate resources may be found in the following:

Be especially careful when surfing the Web!!  The following references are especially helpful and tell you what to look for (and look out for):

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