Start Here: The Library
The Library maintains collections of current and interesting resources suited to your research. From a large print collection to dedicated databases with peer-reviewed journal articles, the Library is the go-to place to start your research! If you need any help with research, please feel free to consult the librarian stationed at the reference desk.
Moving image of a book with fluttering pages
Find Books in the Library
  • Use the Library Catalog to locate books in the library on your topic:
    • Perform an “All Fields” search using keywords such a “travel tourism” or “hospitality”. Word or phrase searches will search the entire record of all the items in the catalog, including author, title, and subject areas. The call number identifies its location in the library.
  • WorldCat is an online catalog of over 10,000 libraries worldwide. Find books in other local libraries. Use Worldcat to find what has been published on a subject and use the OCC Interlibrary Loan Service to get it!
  • Interlibrary Loan is a way to have materials sent to the OCC campus from other libraries. Requested journal articles can be delivered electronically to your email. Use the link on the library webpage. It’s free, easy to use, and can be done completely online!
  • Print Reference Sources can be found on the first floor of the library by the Reference Desk and are perfect for beginning your research
Digital Resources
  • eBooks are available through the OCC Library Database. To access them, log into Ocean Connect and click on the tab for Library Services. The link “search for e-books” (near the top) will open the EBSCOhsot eBooks database.
  • Electronic Reference Sources can be found in the library databases. A few examples are:
    • Oxford Reference Collection
    • Encyclopedia Britannica
  • A database is a serachable collection of information. In library research, a database is where you find journal, newspaper, magazine articles, and more. Each database contains thousands of articles which can be searched for with keywords and subject terms.
    • Newspaper Articles can be found in our searchable databases. Try:
      • U.S. Major Dailies: Access to The Los Angeles Times, New York times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and more.
Source Types
Popular Sources are sources such as magazines or newspaper that are written for a mass audience. They are generally not written by experts and are widely available. Good for an overview of a subject and current events.
Scholarly Sources are source such as articles published in subject specific journals or books written by experts in their field. Typically written in more technical language and generally only available through subscription. may have gone through the peer review process.
Government Sources are reports and documents prepared by government agencies and are freely available to the public. An excellent source for policies, statistics, and legal material. Can be found on .gov websites of departments and agencies.

TIP! Most library databases allow you to filter your results to only retrieve scholarly (peer reviewed) sources! Peer review is the evaluation of scientific, academic, or professional work by other working in the same field.
TIP! When using Google, enter you search terms followed by to get only .gov results!
Find Articles
The Library subscribes to many article databases, each suited to different field and levels of study. If you are away from campus, you will need to access these database through Ocean Connect, under the Library Services tab.

The Full Text Journal Directory allows you to find out if the OCC library has full text access to a particular journal, as well as which database it is located in. The link can be found on the library webpage or through the Library Services tab on Ocean Connect. To begin general research, try these multifaceted databases:

  • Academic Search Premier: Provides full text access to a very broad range of topics: computer science, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and many more.
    • TIP!: Select “Choose Databases” at the top of the search bar to serach ot her databases, such as PsycARTICLES or MEDLINE, simultaneously.
  • Academic OneFile: A comprehensive resource for serious academic research. Home to nearly 13,000 index journals. Extensive coverage of the physical sciences, technology, medicine, social sciences, the arts, theology, literature, and other subjects, makes Academic OneFile both authoritative and comprehensive.
  • General OneFile: A one-stop source for news and periodical articles on a wide range of topics: business, computers, current events, economics, education, environmental issues, health care hobbies, humanities, law, literature and art, politics, science, social science, sports, technology, and many general interest topics.
  • Opposing Viewpoints: Offers comprehensive analysis of contemporary issues through viewpoints essays, topic overviews, statistics, and articles.
Tips for Reading Articles
Peer review is the evaluation of scientific, academic, or professional work by other workings in the same field, and it contributes to the authority of the research. Elements of a peer reviewed article include:

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Methods
  • Resutls
  • Discussion/Conclusion
  • References/Bibliography

Read the abstract first: The abstract is a summary of the article and should give you enough information to know whether to continue reading or keep searching.

Read the introduction or conclusions next: These sections will give you the main arguments of the articles which will help determine its relevance.

Read the Literature Review next: This is meant to discuss previous work on the topic and relate the research to existing literature. You may find other relevant sources here.

Check the References: See what sources the author used to expand your own research!

Is it Popular or Scholarly?
Time, Newsweek, National Geographic
Short (1-5 pages)
Journalists, Professional Writers
General Public
Rarely gives full citations of sources
New England Journal of Medicine, PNAS
Length (5-50) pages
Scholars, Researchers
Other Scholars or Researchers
Includes full citations of credible sources
Proximity Search
A Proximity Search allows you to search for two or more words that occur within a specified number of words (or fewer) of each other int eh databases. Proximity seraching is used with a Keyword or Boolean search.

  • The proximity operators are composed of a letter (N or W) and a number (to specify the number of words). The proximity operator is placed between the words that are to be searched, as follows:
  • Near Operator (N) – N5 finds the words if they are within five words of one another regardless of the order in which they appear.
    • For example, type tax N5 reform to find results that would match tax reform as well as reform of income tax.
  • Within Operator (W) – In the following example, W8 finds the words if they are within eight words of one another and in the order in which you entered them.
    • For example, type tax W8 reform to find results that would match tax reform but would not match reform of income tax.
  • In addition, multiple terms can be used on either side of the operator. See the following examples:
    • (baseball or football or basketball) N5 (teams of players)
    • oil W3 (disaster OR clean-up OR contamination)
Search Tips
  • Limiters let you narrow the focus of your search so that the information retrieved from the databases you search is limited according to the values you select. You can use more than one limiter if more than one is available.
    • Full Text – Click to limit results to articles with full text accessibility.
    • Peer Reviewed – Limits search results to articles from peer-reviewed journals.
    • Date Published – Use this option to search for articles within a specified date range.
  • Thesaurus of Subject Terms is an option at the top of most EBSCOhost databases that allows you to browse for subject t erms you can use to search the database. Enter you search terms in the Browse field, and then select from: Term Begins With, Term Contains, or Relevancy Ranked radio buttons and click Browse.
    • Example: Searching for “Self-Driving Cars” suggests: “FULLY autonomous automobile driving”
  • Expanders let you broaden the scope of your search. They do this by widening you search to include words related to your keywords or including the actual text of the full text results in your search.
    • Apply related words – Select this option to expand results to include true synonyms and plurals of your terms.
Boolean Logic
Boolean logic defines logical relationships between terms in a search. The Boolean search operators are and, or, and not. You can use these operators to create a very broad or very narrow search.

  • AND combines search terms so that each search results contains all of the terms. You can use this to link two or more concepts together.
    • For example, travel AND Europe finds articles that contain both travel and Europe.
  • OR combines search terms so that each search results contains at least one of your terms. You can use this to link synonyms or similar concepts.
    • For example, college OR university finds results that contains either college of university.
  • NOT excludes terms so that each search results does not contain any of the terms that follow it. You can use this to remove unwanted results.
    • For example, television NOT cable finds results that discuss television but not cable.

When you enter (mouse OR rat) AND trap, the search engine retrieve results containing the word mouse or the word rat together with the word trap in the field searched by default.

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