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AGED 102 - Introduction to Agricultural Education

Using the Library - Top 10 Things You Need to Know

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There are several ways to get help at the library. 



The ability to critically evaluate information is an important component of research and information gathering. This video discusses using the CRAAP Test to evaluate the quality of information and sources. (Video courtesy of New York Institute of Technology Libraries)

Use OneSearch to find books that are available at Kennedy Library. You can also use OneSearch to find books available through CSU+, the sharing network of all libraries within the CSU system. 

The videos below will show you how to:

  • Search for a book using OneSearch
  • Locate a book on the shelf in Kennedy Library
  • Find Course Reserves at Kennedy Library

Learn more about the three common types of articles: popular (substantive news), trade, and scholarly. The document below contains the characteristics of each of these types of articles. The video provides additional information and introduces conference proceedings as another type of article you may encounter in your research.

The process of peer review is one way in which credibility is established in scholarly literature. Peer-reviewed journals submit manuscripts for critique by scholars in the author's field before publication. This peer review is intended to ensure the articles reflect solid scholarship and advance the state of knowledge in a discipline.

This video explains peer review and its importance in the research process. (video courtesy of North Carolina State University Libraries)

How to tell if an article was peer reviewed? 

    1. Look for limits/filters
           Many databases allow you to specify that you want to search only in “peer reviewed” or “refereed” sources.    

    2. Search the web for information about the journal. Publishers maintain a website for each journal.  Look for sections like “about this journal” or “editorial policies” to read whether the journal is described as being peer-reviewed/refereed. 
               An example can be seen under Overview on this journal's webpage.  

Looking in the Right Place

Kennedy Library has over 200 different article databases to choose from, and it's important to choose one that includes journals related to your topic. Some article databases are very broad and cover a wide variety of disciplines, while others are very narrow and only cover specific disciplines.

An example of a broad article database is Academic Search Premier (EBSCOHost).  This database/index covers almost all disciplines (e.g. psychology, business, biology). An example of a narrower, subject-specific article database is AGRICOLA. This database/index covers topics in agriculture and related disciplines.

Kennedy Library's research guides contain lists of recommended article databases for your discipline. There is also an alphabetical list of databases that includes all of Kennedy Library's article databases. 



Searching Basics

This video shows the basics of using an article database to search for articles on a topic (Video courtesy of UCLA Library)

Plagiarism is a serious academic offense with consequences that may follow you well beyond your studies at Cal Poly. The resources below will help you to understand plagiarism and learn how to avoid it. (video courtesy of Clemson University Libraries

Citing your sources is an important step in the research and writing process. The resources below explain why and how to cite your sources and provide examples for you to follow when constructing citation for the sources you use. (video courtesy of North Carolina State University Libraries)

Parts of a Citation


If the article (or other library material) you need is not available at Kennedy Library, you can use Interlibrary Loan to request the item at no cost to you.