Mapped link area Chapman University on left Leatherby Libraries on right
Mapped link area Chapman University Mapped link area Leatherby Libraries
1) Where should I begin my research?

The first thing you must do is to decide on a topic for your research. The next step would be to determine what words or search terms might yield results that are relevant to your topic. It is a good idea to "brainstorm" and develop a short list of search terms. See Library Research Strategy.

Start your search by searching for books in the Leatherby Libraries Catalog. Here you will find both Reference books, which will be helpful in gaining a basic understanding of the subject area, and circulating books, which will provide further details about a chosen topic. Reference books may not be checked out, and can be used only in the Library, whereas circulating books can be checked out and taken home for further study. Some reference books are available online, allowing you access from any computer with your Chapman username and password. The Reference Librarian is available to help you with suggestions on how to effectively use the Leatherby Libraries Catalog.

After gaining a foundation of knowledge on your subject from the Leatherby Libraries Catalog, begin searching for periodical articles in some of the Electronic Resources online. There are several databases in each subject area, and most subject areas have at least one database that offers full-text periodical articles for you to print out. When comparing periodical indexes/databases to books, remember that the most current information comes from periodical articles and that in-depth coverage will come from books.

Remember to narrow your search with additional search terms when you retrieve too many articles, and to broaden your search by taking away search terms when you retrieve too few articles. Check our Boolean Searching explanation for a better understanding of how to narrow or broaden your searches or ask a Librarian! Reference Desk hours/phone.

2) Which is better for research, books or periodicals?

Each resource has its own advantages. Periodicals (magazine articles, journal articles, or newspaper articles) have the advantage of being the most current, while books offer more historical, in-depth coverage of the topic. Depending on your research needs and the assignment given, you will decide which resource better fits your research needs. Usually, a combination of periodical articles and books will be beneficial for the researcher. If, for example, you were conducting research on a new scientific discovery, periodical articles would have the latest up-to-date information on that discovery. For items on the Vietnam conflict, it would be more beneficial to locate books on the topic as well as periodical articles. Since the Vietnam conflict ended over 25 years ago, researchers and scholars have had ample time to write and publish many books on this topic.

Reference books are especially useful for their ability to provide a thorough overview of your subject. Reference books often explain the major issues surrounding your subject, focus on central themes, significant events or people, and provide ample suggestions for additional readings related to your topic. In fact, both books and periodical articles will have reference lists or bibliographies that may be helpful for conducting further research on a subject.

3) How can I find magazine or journal articles for my topic?

  • From the Leatherby Libraries home page, select the drop-down box under Databases
  • Select Search Database By "Subject".
  • Select the most appropriate subject area.
  • For example, if you were looking for human resources information, you would select the "Business" link.
  • Type your search terms into the "Search box" and perform a search for articles in the database you selected. "Advanced" features may be helpful in limiting and searching for specifics within your topic.
  • You can always ask for assistance from the Reference desk, if needed, by calling (714) 532 - 7714.
4) How do I find out if the Library has my particular magazine or journal?

  • From the Leatherby Libraries home page, use the "Journal Finder" search under the "Start Your Search" section.
  • Choose starts with...
  • Type the title of your magazine or journal in the search box and press Enter. If the Library owns your magazine or journal, you will receive links to access the periodical.
  • Select the most appropriate link based on date coverage, if more than one link is provided.
  • If the Library does not have the magazine or journal you need, you may request specific articles through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

5) How do I locate videos on my topic?

In order to be thorough, it is best to try both methods below when you are searching for videos in the Leatherby Libraries Catalog.
Method 1
  • Using the Leatherby Libraries Catalog, perform a "Subject" search for your topic.
  • Choose the "Limit Search" feature at the top of the results page.
  • Select to limit by "Material Type" - DVD/VHS

Method 2
  • Using the Leatherby Libraries Catalog, perform a "Keyword" search for your topic.
  • Choose the "Limit Search" feature at the top of the results page.
  • Select to limit by "Material Type" - DVD/VHS
6) How do I find and check out reserve materials?

  • From the Leatherby Libraries home page, Reserves / E-Reserves” under “Services” to the left of the page.
  • Select "Find Course Reserves"
  • On the right side of the screen you will see a choice to search for Reserve Materials by Course Name or Instructor Name. Select either of these search methods.
  • Type Course Name or Instructor Name in the search box and press Enter.
  • Select the matching entry/record.
  • After you have accessed the correct record, copy down the call number and request the item at the Circulation Desk.
7) Why don't you have any books on my topic?

The library attempts to support the curriculum with relevant materials. However, if you are unable to locate a book on your topic, please follow these steps:
1. Search the Leatherby Libraries Catalog from the Leatherby Libraries home page. The catalog is located in the center of the page under "Start Your Search."
2. Select "Subject" from the drop-down menu and type in your topic term(s). If you are unsuccessful, click on "Word Search" from within the catalog to broaden your search to a keyword search.
3. If you are again unsuccessful, return to the Library Home Page and select "Additional Research Links" to the right of the page under "Research." Select "Other Library Catalogs." Try searching the catalogs of Cal State Fullerton, UCI, or UC-Melvyl for the entire University of California System.
4. If an item is located in any of these other catalogs, you will need to request this item using an online Interlibrary Loan (ILL) form found on the Chapman Library home page.
5. If you still need further assistance, call the Reference desk for a Librarian during Reference Desk Hours.
You may suggest books/periodicals/videos that you think would benefit the Leatherby Libraries collection by completing a Request Form. The appropriate subject Librarian will review your request.

8) Your Library doesn't have the book/article, so where can I get it?

You may simply order the item online through the Leatherby Libraries Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Department, by setting up your personal ILL account. You must have an active account with the Library to use Interlibrary Loan services. If you are not sure of the status of your account, please stop by the Circulation Desk or call (714)532-7723. The ILL Department will locate the item and notify you when it is available for pickup at the circulation desk. Articles may be delivered electronically. The average request takes approximately two weeks. Please visit the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) page for more information or call (714) 532-6025.

9) Why can't I get into any of the Databases from home? Do I need a password?

Chapman University is now using EZ Proxy. You will be asked to provide a Username and Password when attempting to enter our subscription library resources such as indexes, databases, online encyclopedias, online dictionaries, and online full - text catalogs. To login you must enter your Username, which is the first part of your Chapman University email address, and your email password.If you have questions, please contact the Service Desk at (714) 997 - 6600 or the University College Library Assistant at (800) 344 - 5756, ext. 1, if you are a CUC student or faculty member.
For example:
Username: smith
Password: 123456
You may also find our electronic resource troubleshooting flowchart helpful.

10) Where can I get help from a real human being?

You can get help from a Librarian with any of your library related questions by visiting or calling the Reference Desk during Reference Desk hours or by completing a request for an Individual Reference Consultation.. If you are a CUC student or faculty member, please contact the CUC Librarian at or call (714)532-7736.

11) What are the Library's hours? What are the Reference Desk hours?

Check the hours periodically, because they may be subject to change.
Click here to access the Library's hours.
Click here to access the Reference Desk hours.
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