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SLS-1402 Discover Your Major

Library Resources

The FIU Libraries have an enormous number of high-quality resources to help you with discovery, research, and citation management.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context -- Searching for a topic?  This database provides non-partisan information and opinions from many viewpoints about topics of the day.  Search and select a topic, read about it, then begin your research.

Research Tips

Go to the FIU Library home page.

Click here to search the catalog, connect to off-campus access, find course reserves, schedule group study rooms, research scholarly article databases, chat with a librarian on "Ask Us", & find guides on researching, programs of study, and specific courses.

To find books, journals, videos, etc., follow these steps:

  1. To access the library catalog, move your cursor over FIND, then click on BOOKS, E-BOOKS...
  2. Enter what you know about the book or material in the data field, and be sure to select the right kind of search by changing material type in the drop down box.
    • Looking for a book or an e-book?  Enter the title and change the search type to TITLE.  Do the same if you know the author or ISBN number.  You can also search for journal titles (not the article in the journals), videos, etc., and be sure to change the material type.
    • Don't know the title of the material you need?  Do a keyword search with 2, 3, or 4 words.  Omit words like "the", "an", & "a" from any language.  Keep the material type KEYWORD.
  3. Once you've found a book that you want, you need to know how to physically get materials off the shelf by remembering the 3 Cs -- Campus, Collection, Call Number:
    • Campus -- look at the record and see which campus library the material is located.  Not at that campus library, click on the link to have the book transferred to your campus.  This is a free service.
    • Collection -- there are dozens of collections in the library because each collection serves a unique purpose.  The General Collection is the primary collection for books you can check out and take home.  Be sure to pay attention to the location within the library of the collection in the record.
    • Call Number -- "Call" is British English, which means "go to", so this is the go-to number that will let you go into the stacks and pull that book off the shelf.  All materials have a label with a call number on the side binding or the front cover.
    • How do Call Numbers work?  Go hear for a quick 1-minute lesson.

So you need articles for your paper?  The FIU Libraries have over 1,100 professional databases for your research needs -- the same ones you may have on the job!  Learn now, not on the job.

First, you need to have a topic or area of interest.  Go to Research: Start & click on Opposing Viewpoints in Context.  This database provides non-partisan information and opinions from many viewpoints about topics of the day.  Search and select a topic, read about it, then begin your research.

Second, go to Academic Search Complete -- the perfect database for freshmen students!  Lots of topics covered, easy to search, peer-reviewed articles & more!

Not enough articles?  Need a better, more specific database?  No worries. 

  • Go to the FIU Libraries home page.
  • If you are off-campus, be sure to click on the LOG IN FOR ACCESS button on the home page.  You will be redirected to the library's secure off-campus page - it will look the same but this is where you need to be.
  • What kind of research do you need to do?  Begin by clicking on the RESEARCH: START page.
  • This page will give you the basic research tools you will need.  For example, a superb all-purpose database ACADEMIC ONE PLUS provides a number of articles on many subjects.
  • Need to do research in a specific subject?  Follow these steps:
    • Click on the RESEARCH: START page
    • On that page, select the subject area you need & click on the link to go to the Subject Home Page
    • All of the Subject Home Pages default to a list of resources specific to that subject, including resources for specific classes if the instructor has requested that a resource is developed by a librarian
    • When you are done reviewing this page, click on the DATABASE tab
    • You will see two groups of databases:
      • BEST BETS!  -- these databases are directly related to the subject area you selected
      • ADDITIONAL DATABASES -- these databases have information about your subject area but also other subject areas
    • Select your database and begin searching.  Searching tips:
      • Use 2 to 4 words
      • Don't write a question or a statement in the data search box
      • Sometimes multiple searches with varying words is necessary, so think up other words that may
      • Keep a list of the words that were successful, you may need to use them later.