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Public Administration - Local Government: Start Searching

A starting point for public administration and local government research.

Research Tips

Before You Begin - A Checklist

To successfully find information you will need:

  • a well-defined topic
  • a keyword list with at least 3-4 main keywords to use in your search
  • a list of questions to answer or an "information wishlist"
  • an understanding of the kind of items you hope to find (academic? media? reports?)
  • places to search (see below)

Strategy

Example

 Use "quotation marks" for exact-phrase searching
  • "video games"
  • "British Columbia
  • "freedom of the press"
  • "needle exchange"
Search for keywords within specific fields - use the drop-down list beside the search box.
  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Subject
  • Source Title
 Use suggested topics, subjects and thesaurus terms for more refined searching  
 Use the available limiter options (left side of results page)
  • Full text only (excludes books)
  • Peer-reviewed Articles (excludes books)
  • by Date
  • by Format
  • by Subject
  • by Geography
Use narrower keywords
  • video games > first person shooters
  • safe-injection sites > Insite
  • Vancouver > Hastings Street, Downtown Eastside
Check Catalogue Only to find just books, ebooks and media  

Strategy

Example

 Use "or" to look for versions of the same concept (synonyms, related words)
  • child or youth or teen
  • safe-injection or "needle exchange" or Insite
  • Vancouver or BC or "British Columbia" or "Lower Mainland"
  Use * [shift+8] after a word's root to search all endings
  • Canad* = Canada, Canadian, Canadians, Canadiana
  • "video gam*" = video game, video games, video gaming
  Use broader keywords
  • video games < media < entertainment
  • safe-injection < harm reduction policies < drug addiction
Uncheck “available in CapU Collection” in Discovery
If you find an item we don't have, get it via interlibrary loan.
 

 

Video Tutorial - Basic Search in Discovery

Video Tutorial - Finding Books with Discovery

What are Call Numbers?

Photo by Flickr User JenWaller

 

Each library book has a spine label with an alphanumeric call number. The call number is not just the book's "address", it also signifies what the book is about.

Books about similar topics are shelved together. For example:

  • Psychology books start with BF
  • Psychiatry books are in RC 321-571

You've found your book on the shelf. Here is another opportunity to find more books! Take a look at the ones shelved nearby, they may cover similar topics to the book in your hand.

Remember, we may also carry many ebooks on your topic - you'll find those online via keyword or subject search.

Many CapU Library online resources (databases, electronic books) want to authenticate you to ensure you're a CapU student before giving you access. When you try to access these resources off-campus, and occasionally when you are on campus, this screen will appear:

Just enter your CapU Network ID:

username: firstnamelastname
password: CapU password

Forgot your password?

If you are asked to log in to a page that doesn't have the CapU logo, something has gone wrong. Contact us to help sort it out.

There is no charge to bring in any article or book from outside CapU Library.

Remember to plan ahead - it can take a few days or a few weeks to get your item, depending on availability.

Visit the Interlibrary Loan information page for details.

Did you know you have borrowing privileges at other universities? 
Visit the Library Services counter to get a reciprocal borrowing card and start taking books out from UBC LIbraries, SFU Library and more!

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Browse the Shelves

A selection of titles, by location on the shelf.

What does peer-reviewed mean?

Peer-reviewed is the highest level of academic or scholarly publishing. The quality of the articles is maintained through a review process conducted by experts prior to publication. Not all academic journals are peer-reviewed, but all peer-reviewed journals are academic.

Articles submitted to a refereed or peer-reviewed journal are examined by one or more people with expertise in the field with which the article deals. This process gives the scholartic community assurance that the information in the article is credible and original. Some disciplines require peer-reviewed status more than others.

How can I tell if a journal is scholarly or not?

Are You Authenticated?

Many CapU Library online resources (databases, electronic books) want to authenticate you to ensure you're a CapU student before giving you access. When you try to access these resources off-campus, and occasionally when you are on campus, this screen will appear.

Just enter your last name and your ID and you'll get access.

Search Discovery

Discovery is the Library's one-search experience. Find articles, books, films, music and more!

Start your research here.

 

Learn more about Discovery with these video tutorials:

Best Databases

Search for full text articles, reports, book chapters and more in CapU Library Databases. Connect to the database and enter keywords that represent your topic. If the full text isn't available, click on the Where can I get this? button to find the item, or to request a copy of the item.