Research Planning 101


Now that you've explored the catalog, databases, and the web it's time to gather copies of what you have.

Materials in the Catalog

PolyCAT can be used to locate books and electronic and print journal titles (but NOT articles).

No matter the item it will list the title, location, and a call number or URL.

Locating Books and Other Resources

Book citations include

  • chapter title
  • chapter author
  • book title
  • book author or editor
  • publisher name and location
  • publication year

Understanding Library Call Numbers

  • There are several classification systems for organizing materials in libraries so that users can locate them by call number.
  • Library of Congress call numbers are a combination of letters, followed by numbers. The publication date is often the last element of the call number: E 449 .G67 1998
  • While the call numbers may look obscure to you, they actually correspond to the subject matter of the book or journal.


In the Library of Congress classification system, the book The Effects of Video Games on Children: The Myth Unmasked, by Barrie Gunter is assigned the call number GV 1469.3 G8 1998.

Call NumberWhat it means
GV 1469.3GV means Recreation; 1469.3 means Computer Games
G8G is the first letter of the author's last name
1998Published in 1998

Understanding Library Call Numbers, continued

  • A: General Reference
  • B: Philosophy & Religion
  • C: Auxiliary Sciences of History
  • D: History: General & Old World
  • E: History: America (General/US)
  • F: History: America (Canada/Non-US)
  • G: Geography, Anthropology, Folklore
  • H: Social Sciences
  • J: Political Sciences
  • K: Law
  • L: Education
  • M: Music
  • N: Fine Arts
  • P: Language and Literature
  • Q: Science
  • QE: Geology
  • R: Medicine
  • S: Agriculture
  • T: Technology
  • U: Military Science
  • V: Naval Science
  • Z: Bibliography & Library Science

Locating Online Journals

If the journal is available online, PolyCAT will include a link that says "Available online: Click here for full text."

Locating Articles

Use one of our resources from the Article Databases page. There are a few options for you and they are all available from the Article Databases page.

  • Use "Quick Search" to search our most popular databases
  • Try "Databases by Subject" to search databases that specialize in certain subjects
  • If you know the exact database you need (or if you simply want to see all of the databases we have), find the database from the alphabetical list

Many articles listed in articles databases are just a click away!

Not available as a PDF?

If not available as just pdf, click on the Library's "FIND IT" link to find out if the article listed is available online or in print at the library.

About Find It

Find It links to full text when it's available on the web. If only print is available, the record will state "We have a copy in print." The link will provide you with the item's location in the Library.

If the Library doesn't have full text or print, the FIND IT link will give you an option to request the item via our Interlibrary Services. This service is free and it usually takes 1-3 days to deliver a pdf version of the article to your email.

Need a book not at Kennedy Library?

We can probably get it for you. To request a book or journal NOT in PolyCAT, use Interlibrary Services

Find a Specific Article

FIND IT is a great tool to use if you already have a citation for an article and you want to find the full text. Perhaps your professor gave you the citation, or you're using a bibliography or works cited list as a starting place for your research.

At a minimum you need to type in the Title of the Journal and Year. Typing in the article title, year, author, or other information will improve the efficiency of FIND IT.

FIND IT is located on the library home page.

Now that you've gathered up articles and books for your research, it's time to choose which are most relevant to your research question.

Credits / Colophon