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Mapping Your Research: 6. Retrieving Results & Saving Information

This guide helps with understanding and planning the research process.

For Books

Once you've started finding books in the catalog on your topic, you will need to retrieve a copy.  To do so, you will simply look at the book's location, call number, and availability.  If the book is at Columbia - Thomas Cooper and is marked as Available, then you will copy down the call number, come into the library, find the book on the correct level, and check it out at the Circulation desk using your Carolina Card.  You can also request to have books held for you at the Circulation desk by clicking the Request link in the catalog record.  

You may notice that your search retrieves materials from other USC campuses such as Aiken, Upstate, etc.  To obtain these books, you can use PASCAL Delivers, which can be accessed by clicking the PASCAL Delivers logo in the right corner of a book's catalog record.  You can also search directly in the PASCAL catalog by visiting the PASCAL website.  These requests typically take three to five days, but is an efficient means of gathering materials if you give yourself enough time before the assignment due date.  For more information on using PASCAL Delivers, please click here

In addition to retrieving the books you find while searching the catalog, you will also want to save the information provided by the books.  This will save you time when you start preparing your bibliography.  You can save a book's catalog record by clicking Add to Bag when viewing a book's record.  This will save the book to your library account.  To view books selected for your bag, simply click view bag and you will see a list of your saved items.  You will need to login to your library account before doing this.  It is a good rule of thumb to always login to your library account before searching the catalog.  You can also send a book's catalog record to your smart phone by clicking on Send to Phone and entering your phone number.     

The library catalog also provides you with full citation information for each book you find by clicking the Cite This link.  Upon clicking, you will be provided with the citation of the book in all of the major citation formats.

For Articles

When searching article databases, you will be presented with a few different options for retrieving the text of an article.  If the database provides the full text of the article, then you should see a PDF or HTML full text option (or Linked Full Text) that you can click and open the full article.  If the full text is not available through the database you are using, then click on the Full Text Finder link.  This will link you to the article if the full text is available.  If the full text of an article is not available, then you can search for the Journal's title in the library catalog, and if still not available, then you can request the article through Interlibrary Loan.  To learn more about using Interlibrary Loan, please click here.   

Article databases can also help you with saving and citing your sources.  Most of the online databases provide a way for you to mark your articles and save them to a folder.  This usually requires you to create a login for that particular database, but once you have a login you will be able to save search strategies and articles that you find.  You will often also have the option to email yourself articles and article information or save articles and information to your hard drive or a flash drive.  Some of the databases also provide citation information already formatted in the major citation styles.