Strategies for finding LIS information
The first step in finding information is knowing what you need. This pathfinder is arranged according to common information needs that students in LIS have.
You've got a citation and need to find the actual publication.
You have a citation to a book.
Use the online catalog to search by author, title, keyword, ISBN, etc.
If you don't find it in the online catalog, try, I-Share, and/or WorldCat to find a copy at another library.
You have a citation to a journal article.
Use the Online Research Resources (ORR) database to locate an electronic version of the journal in which the article appears.
- or -
Use the online catalog to locate a print version of the journal in which the article appears.
NOTE: Often the ORR provides a link to a record of print holdings in the online catalog, and often the online catalog includes a linked URL to an electronic version of the journal. But this is inconsistent.
You have a citation to a recent report from a research center or advocacy group, or some other form of "grey literature."
Use a web search engine, such as Google. If you don't find it on the web, try the online catalog, I-Share, and/or WorldCat.
You've got a topic, and you need to find citations to sources about that topic.
You're looking for books on a topic.
Use the online catalog to discover books that the UIUC owns. Search by keywords, subject headings, etc.
Use I-Share to discover books held in more than 65 libraries in Illinois that are members of the CARLI consortium. You may request inter-library loans directly through the I-Share catalog.
Use WorldCat to discover books held in libraries around the world. You may request inter-library loans directly through WorldCat.
Use Amazon.com, Books in Print or similar sources to discover books that may not be held in libraries, including forthcoming books.
NOTE: If you feel that the UIUC Library ought to purchase a book, submit a recommendation.
You're looking for journal articles on a topic.
Consult a bibliographic essay or overview of the topic. A good source for such overviews is The Annual Review of Information Science & Technology. Volumes earlier than 2002 are available only in print. LIS Library Reserves 010.78 An78.
Use an index or abstract database to discover articles. Some indexes & abstracts also include online full-text of articles. The leading indexes in LIS are:
Library Literature and Information Science Full Text. The oldest and best index to the periodical literature of library science and related fields, with some full-text articles. Goes back to 1984 online and to 1921 in print.
Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA). The best index to the periodical literature of LIS, broadly defined. Goes back to 1969 both online and in print. Links to full-text articles in other sources.
Library, Information Science, and Technology Abstracts (LISTA). A new index that claims to index all the journals covered in both LISA and Library Lit. Based on Information Science Abstracts, which goes back to 1966 both online and in print. No full-text articles.
NOTE: A side-by-side comparison of Library Lit, LISA, and LISTA can help you decide which one to start with. Their coverage is similar but not identical, so it's often fruitful to search both.
Other useful indexes, depending on your topic, include:
Book History Online. An international database of books and articles on the history of books and libraries. Corresponds to the printed Annual Bibliography of the History of the Printed Book and Libraries (ABHB), LIS Library Reference 016.655 AN7.
Ebsco. A general source for full-text periodical and newspaper articles, including good coverage of LIS in its LISTA, Academic Search Elite, Business Source Premier, Communication & Mass Media Complete, and Professional Development Collection sub-files.
ERIC. A comprehensive index to articles in education and related fields, including good coverage of school and public librarianship.
Expanded Academic ASAP. A general source for periodical and newspaper articles, including LIS-related topics. Many records link to full-text articles.
LexisNexis Academic Universe. An index to full-text newspapers, news magazines, and industry publications.
ACM Digital Library. Full-text articles in periodicals published by the Association for Computing Machinery. Good coverage of many topics in information science, including societal issues.
IEEE Xplore. Full-text articles in periodicals published by the IEEE, a leading association in the field of electronic and information technology.
Current Cites. A free, searchable, annotated bibliography of print and digital publications on information technology.
You need definitions, answers to factual questions, or background on a topic.
There are numerous sources for these types of information -- some in print, some online, and some in both formats. Here are a few of the most often consulted:
The Bowker Annual: Library and Book Trade Almanac. LIS Library Core Reference 027.21A5112
Dictionary of American Library Biography. LIS Library Core Reference 020.92 D554.
Dictionary of Information Technology, 3rd ed. LIS Library Reference 004.03 C692d 2002.
Encyclopedia of Communication and Information. LIS Library Reference Q. 302.203 En 19.
Encyclopedia of Information Systems. LIS Library Q. 004.03 En195.
Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, 2nd ed. Also available in a 4-volume print edition: LIS Library Reference Q.020.3 E5642003
Encyclopedia of Library History. LIS Library Core Reference 020.3 En19.
Information Technology Encyclopedia and Acronyms. LIS Library Reference 004.03 K123i.
International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science. LIS Library Core Reference 020.3 In 82003.
ODLIS: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Also available in a print edition, Dictionary for Library and Information Science:: LIS Library Core Reference 020.3 R278d.
You need statistics.
Relevant statistics often appear in journal articles, books, or reports on a topic. Here are some additional sources for statistical data.
ARL Statistics. Data on member libraries in the Association of Research Libraries, including UIUC. Various ARL publications are also available in print in the LIS Library Core Reference area.
ISI Journal Citation Reports. Data on the relative importance and impact of journals in LIS and other fields.
Lexis-Nexis Statistical Universe. Statistics on all sorts of topics from federal agencies, states, and intergovernmental organizations.
National Center for Education Statistics: Library Statistics Program. Data on public, academic, school, and state libraries in the U.S.
You've got a book and you need reviews of it.
Book reviews are indexed in LISA , Library Lit., and LISTA. In addition, the following indexes can be useful:
ARBAOnline (American Reference Books Annual).
Children's Literature Comprehensive Database.
And of course, Amazon.com and similar booksellers' sites.
You've got a citation to a conference paper and you need to find the actual paper.
Conference papers are among the most difficult sources to locate. Here are a few hints:
Search in the online catalog, I-Share, or WorldCat using keywords from the conference name and/or the sponsoring organization.
Search the web using a search engine such as Google, using keywords from the paper's title and the author's name (for direct links to the paper) or keywords from the conference name and/or sponsoring organization (for links to conference web sites).
Search Proceedings First, a database of records for published proceedings, using keywords from the conference name and/or the sponsoring organization. (Proceedings First does not index individual papers, although they are listed in the record for a volume of proceedings.)
You're looking for dissertations.
The UIUC libraries own copies of UIUC dissertations, which can be located by searching the online catalog.
The LIS Library has an extensive microfiche file of LIS dissertations from other US and Canadian universities between 1979 and 2003. These are arranged alphabetically by author, and they are also included in the online catalog.
Dissertation Abstracts (via ProQuest), also known as Digital Dissertations, is an online index to US and Canadian dissertations. References since 1980 include abstracts, and full-text dissertations from UIUC and other CIC member schools, from 1997 to the present, may be downloaded.
Created Sept. 27, 2004
Last updated May 11, 2006
by Susan E. Searing