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Murray State University
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FAQs

1. How do I log-in from off-campus?  I’m having trouble.

2. How do I find the article?  It’s not full text on this database.

3. I take a class at XXXXX extended campus.  How do I get this article or book?

4. What’s ILLiad?

5. How do I find my article again?  I have the citation, but I can't figure out how to find it on the database?

6. Who do I ask for help?  I’ve really never used a library.

7. My professor says I can’t use the Internet for my assignment. Does this mean I’m not permitted to use the library’s online databases?

8. The library provides many online databases from which to choose. How do I know which ones are most appropriate for my topic?

9. My professor says we are not allowed to use ‘encyclopedias’ for our research. Many of the books in the Reference section of the library include the word ‘encyclopedia’ in their titles. Am I allowed to use these?

10. My assignment says to use only “scholarly sources” when researching the topic I’ve chosen for my course paper. How do I know which sources are scholarly?

11.I’m supposed to locate “primary sources” for my research paper. What is a primary source?

12. How long does it take to receive an item I request through the Interlibrary Loan service?


1. How do I log-in from off-campus?  I’m having trouble.

Well, that’s a real problem.  We apologize for the delay in your research!  Let’s try a couple of things.
(1) Since the library databases are licensed, they require a log-in.  So, the library uses the MSUNet2K Account Log-in to check for authorized users.  If you were using some other log-in username / password, then that may be the problem.  For students, this is normally:
Username: your MyGate username
Password:  the password established for the MSUNet2K Account log-in (this is the account you use for wifi on campus, or campus computer labs)
(2)If you have not established an MSUNet2K account, and are a current student at MSU:

  • go to MyGate (http://campus.murraystate.edu/mygate/login.html )
  • click on “Change/Activate MSUNET2K Network password”
  • follow the directions and then return to the library and use this account
  • >the username will be your MyGate username
  • the password will be the one you just activated>

Every student must do this every academic session, including summers.
(3) Sometimes it is a simple problem, like you’ve left your cap-lock key on.  The passwords are CAse-sEnsitiVE. So, check your cap-lock key!
If you continue to have problems, please call us at 270.809.2053


2. How do I find the article?  It’s not full text on this database.
One of the library’s services will help you. Let me tell you about the yellow icon called Find it at MSU . 

I bet you noticed that and wondered what it was, right?  A streamed tutorial for this service is available on every Library Guides page.  You might watch that.
If an article is not available electronically in the database, the yellow icon helps.  It provides options when you click on it:

(1) It may provide a link to full text of the article somewhere else.  Click and the article should open up in another pop-up box.

(2) It may provide information on print copies in the library.  The dates we have available should be listed under the RacerTrac link.  You can come to the building with all the information about that article, and we’ll help you find it.  Or look at the next option:

(3) If the article is not electronic, then you can request a copy, if you have time to wait to receive it.   Give yourself at least a week to receive it.  If you have that time, click on the ILLiad link, register once as a New User.  Then every time you need to, you can click on the ILLiad link in the Find it at MSU pop-up window, and “submit” your order.

ILLiad is primarily for ordering articles from other libraries.  But if you do not have the time to come to the library to find an article in a print journal or are taking classes online or at an MSU extended campus, the library will scan and send that article to you.  So, ILLiad can be used to order anything not available in electronic form.

The library calls this “document delivery.”

ILLiad articles come to your ILLiad account.  When the PDF article shows up, you log-in to ILLiad from the library’s home page, and “retrieve the electronically received article”.  Easy.


3. I take a class at XXXXX extended campus.  How do I get this article or book?
The library provides a special service to extended campus students. 
The library does not expect students to drive to Murray for their research.  If you are taking a class at an extended campus, then it’s just logical that you don’t have time to come here, right?  Here’s what you do.
Go first to the library’s homepage or look on a Library Guides page for your class, and find the ILLiad link.  Open up the First Time Users registration for ILLiad.  Register.  AND THIS IS IMPORTANT – when it asks for your primary campus, list your extended campus.  This flags every request you make through this system with your campus name.
Then, when you use the databases for articles, or WorldCat for books… and you see something you need, but it is not available electronically…just click on the yellow “Find It @ MSU” icon.
For extended campus students, you can now take advantage of two options.

  1. The article may be full text somewhere else, and the pop-up window will provide a link to that full text article.  Click and the article will open up in a new window.  Download or print.
  2. If it’s not electronic somewhere else…then, for you, it only matters that it’s not electronic.  At this point, simply click on the ILLiad link in the pop-up box, check all the red asterisked required boxes in the order, and submit the order for the article.  You do not need to check RacerTrac for a local copy of the journal.  Just skip directly to the ILLiad option on the pop-up window.
  3. If the ILLiad option is there, click on it and order the article or book.
  4. If the ILLiad link does not appear, then keep a copy of ALL the article information from the databases hit list.  Each hit is a complete citation.  Copy it all down.  At some point, return to the library page, log-in to ILLiad from there, and select a blank form from the sidebar.  Fill it in and submit the order.

In brief: we are treating you as if you were a student at another library.  Everything not available electronically, we will supply from here.
IF the article is available at the Murray State Library in hard copy, we will scan and send it to your ILLiad account.  If it is not, another library will do that.  Simply put, you will get the article from somewhere.  It will come to your ILLiad account.  You just log-in to that account from the library’s home page, and “retrieve the electronically received article” from the sidebar.  Easy.
Another note: if you need a book, use WorldCat, not RacerTrac.  The yellow icon appears by each book title.  Click on it, order it from ILLiad.  If MSU owns it, we send the copy to the extended campus office.  Pick it up there.  If another library owns it, we will order it, send it on to the extended campus when it arrives, and you pick it/return it there.  This will take time!  Books come in hard copy through the mail, and often take weeks.  Use only if you have the time.


4. What’s ILLiad?
This is our interlibrary loan service.  Every library that participates in interlibrary loan is inter-connected.  That is, we can try to get material we do not own from another library, for you and for free, if possible.
Three important considerations –

(1) We can “try.”   Sometimes the item is simply not available, or the lending library requires payment for the loan, and you don’t want to pay.

(2) We try to get it for free.  This happens most of the time, but not always.  Sometimes we have to go outside our region.  If you don’t want to pay anything ever, make sure all your orders indicate “zero” for the amount you are willing to pay.

(2) If it has to come in hard copy, it can take time.  So, use interlibrary loan only if you have time to wait (not the day before the assignment is due!)
Need more information?  Click here for a streamed tutorial on ILLiad.


5. How do I find my article again?  I have the citation, but I can't figure out how to find it on the database?
If you know which database you used:
In each database, there is a pull-down menu right next to the search box.  That menu will allow you to search specific parts of the information in the article.  If you know the article title, then just type the first 3 or 4 words of the title into the search box and change the default to "Title" and search.  The database will pull up every article with that set of words in it.  The usually works the best, but if you get a lot of hits, you can add the author's last name in the second search box;  change the default to "Author"; and the machine finds just that one article by that one author.
This pull-down menu is really useful for this kind of search.  Plus, if you have found a really important author, or your teacher has mentioned a specific author or theorist, you can find everything written by them in the database this way.  Type in their full name backwards – last name first.  Then change the pull-down menu to "Author" and search.

If you don't remember which database you used:
Try using the "CitationLinker" found on the "Find-a-Journal" section of the library's page.  Go there -- http://sfx.murraystate.edu:9003/sfx_local/az -- choose the CitationLinker tab, and complete the blanks using your citation.  This should take you directly to the full text of that article on the database. 


6. Who do I ask for help?  I’ve really never used a library.
Check out the “Ask Us” icon on the home page.  It provides chat, email, phone and other direct links to people that help.

In the library itself, the Information Desk is the place to go.  The people there are trained to help answer questions, find materials for an assignment, and generally assist with any research problem.

Subject librarians are people that know how to find information in special areas.  They focus on the assignments and information sources needed for specific departments or subjects on campus.  They are great resources!  Think of them as research tutors in your major field.


7. My professor says I can’t use the Internet for my assignment. Does this mean I’m not permitted to use the library’s online databases?
Generally, by the “Internet” your professor means the World Wide Web. For your research projects, your professor may not want you to search for information on the Web using search engines like Google or Yahoo. This is very different from using your computer to access the many databases that the library provides for your research. You should clarify this with your professors.


8. The library provides many online databases from which to choose. How do I know which ones are most appropriate for my topic?
The Library Guides link from the library’s home page lists the best databases for your specific area of research. Simply select your program area. You are also encouraged to email the subject librarian who provides program support in each discipline for further guidance.


9. My professor says we are not allowed to use ‘encyclopedias’ for our research. Many of the books in the Reference section of the library include the word ‘encyclopedia’ in their titles. Am I allowed to use these?
Your professor is probably talking about sources like the World Book Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Americana, and other general encyclopedia sets. Many reference resources in the library have the word “encyclopedia” in their titles but, unlike generic encyclopedia sets, they are geared to specific subject areas. These are often very appropriate for use in researching a college paper. Check with your professor to make sure this is ok in your class.


10. My assignment says to use only “scholarly sources” when researching the topic I’ve chosen for my course paper. How do I know which sources are scholarly?
Most of the online journal databases have a simple method of eliminating sources that are not research based -- usually by clicking a box marked “peer reviewed” or “scholarly journals” or “academic journals” before conducting your search.  For a resource you may be using in the library, ask a librarian to help you determine whether the source is scholarly.  NOTE: If you are using ThoroSearch, you will not be able to limit to scholarly only.  We recommend you use the databases in your subject area directly.  These will be listed under "Finding Articles" on every Library Guides page.


11. I’m supposed to locate “primary sources” for my research paper. What is a primary source?
This refers to something that was created or written during the actual period of time being studied. For example, if you are looking for sources on the U.S. Civil War, the material should have been created by people who actually lived during that time.  While this might seem to include only the really old publications we have on microfilm, it can include books that have published the letters, journals, correspondence, and other kinds of writing by a person who lived during a historical period. Primary sources can also include digital collections from special libraries or archives found on the Internet. The History Library Guide includes a lot of suggestions for these digital primary source collections.


12. How long does it take to receive an item I request through the Interlibrary Loan service?
Some items may arrive quickly while others may take up to two weeks. You need to allow enough time for the system to process and fill your request. Turnaround time often depends upon the library that owns the item.  If we are able to order from a small library, it will come quickly.  But if we have to go to a big library, with thousands of requests coming in, it may take longer. The sooner you can submit your requests the better.  Never wait until the last minute before requesting items through the ILL service. A good rule of thumb is to allow a minimum of one week for receipt.  When you consider reading, taking notes and writing the report…give yourself a month to prepare, if you plan on using interlibrary loan.

 

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