Levin College of Public Affairs and Education

Academic Resources for Students

Library Tools for Research:

Diane Kolosionek
Education, Political Science, & Urban Affairs Librarian

Use CSU’s Michael Schwartz Library as the starting point for your research. Google and Wikipedia are not recommended for research at the university level. Professors expect you to locate, evaluate, and properly cite information from a variety of credible sources, including peer-reviewed journal articles and scholarly books.

Please create a Library PIN if you do not have one already. You need a Library PIN to access your Library account and to search the research databases from off-campus.

Scholar is the online catalog of the CSU Libraries. Use Scholar to search for books and for other items available at the Michael Schwartz Library or the Law Library. You can search for items a number of ways, including by Title, Author, Keyword, or Subject.

The Michael Schwartz Library is a member of OhioLINK, which is a consortium of 88 Ohio college and university libraries and the State Library of Ohio. The OhioLINK Library Catalog is the online catalog of the member libraries. As a CSU student, you can borrow books and other materials from OhioLINK member libraries.

The Library provides many collections of Electronic Books (eBooks). These books can be searched and viewed online.

Research Databases contain citations to articles published in journals, magazines, and newspapers. Many articles will be available full text in the databases in PDF format. Use the Research Databases, such as Academic Search Complete, Business Source Complete, Environment Complete, Public Administration Abstracts, and SocINDEX with Full Text, to find articles. You can limit your search results to articles published in Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed Journals.

The OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center contains the full text of journal articles. You can browse journals by Title or by Subject.

JSTOR (Journal Storage) provides full text access to scholarly journal articles back to the 1800s.

Use the Newspaper Databases, such as Lexis-Nexis Academic, to find news articles.

Contact Diane Kolosionek, the Urban Librarian, for assistance with your research. You may schedule an appointment with her online using the Ask Your Personal Librarian service.

The Urban Studies Research Guide contains links to resources and services to help you with your research.

The Law Library at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law provides an extensive legal collection.

Cleveland Public Library offers alternative research resources.

City, State, National & Federal Information:

If you are conducting research on a city, state, national or federal level, take a look at these Internet sites for Rresearch material.

Neighborhood Link -supplies information on the Greater Cleveland area.

Cuyahoga County has a very informative site that deals with a wide variety of county wide issues and information.

The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development has information that deals with social and economic change in Cleveland and Ohio.

American FactFinder provides data about the United States.

United States Census 2010 offers census data on a variety of research data topics; This data is collected every 10 years, and gives information regarding household income, education, and more.

The Economic Census provides statistics on the US Economy every 5 years, from a national and local level.

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a survey conducted by the US Census Bureau that provides profiles of selected communities every year. Current Population Survey (CPS) is a joint project between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau.

The Urban Institute is a nonpartisan economic and social policy research organization.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is a nonpartisan research organization and policy institute that conducts research and analysis on a range of government policies and programs, with an emphasis on those affecting low and moderate-income people.

Evaluating Sources:

All sources are not created equal! Make sure to evaluate sources using specific criteria. For example, look at the date of publication, the geographic location of the study, and the credentials of the author.

Apply the CRAAP Test (developed by the Meriam Library at California State University, Chico) to evaluate your sources. The CRAAP Test Criteria are: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose.

Learn the differences between scholarly and popular sources. Professors will require scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles in your research.

Citing Sources:

To avoid plagiarism, you must give proper credit to all sources you use! Whenever you paraphrase or directly quote information, you must cite the sources of the information using a specific citation style.

In the social sciences, the APA Citation Style is used most often. The rules of APA Citation Style are found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (“APA Manual”). The current version of the APA Manual is the 6th edition, 2010.

Please take the time to become familiar with APA Citation Style since you will use it a lot in your courses! There are many rules to follow when citing sources in APA style, such as order of the elements, capitalization, and punctuation.

The APA Manual is only available in paper format. If you do not have access to a print copy, then refer to the Library’s Citation Guides page. It contains links to web sites to help you format your citations. A good starting point is the Purdue OWL site.