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Research Tools

  • U.C. Berkeley Web Research Tutorial

    "This tutorial presents the substance of the web searching workshops formerly offered by the UC Berkeley Library, but now suspended due to budget reductions." A great college resource for how to get reliable resources from the Web! Deals with how to evaluate sources, how search engines work, and more!


  • Difference between scholarly (academic) journals and regular magazines

    This PowerPoint from a college library in Texas was sent to me by a student, and does a great job explaining what we mean by an "academic journal"
    and a "peer-reviewed" journal versus a regular periodical. Thank you, Sabrina!


  • Alameda County Public Library Databases



    Did you know you can find periodicals and academic journals through the public library website and read them on your computer without ever having to go to the library?


    Well, now you do! Here's how:

    Getting an E-Card at Alameda County:
     Go to:

    -Fill out the online registration form and submit. You cannot make any mistakes while doing this form, or you have to completely exit the browser and start over (it will not resubmit correctly once it has been submitted with errors). People usually make mistakes in the format of HOME PHONE which should look like this: 510-656-5711, and BIRTHDAY, which should look like this: 03/24/1997, so pay particular attention to these.

    -A response will return immediately with a picture of a library card showing your eCard number. There will also be an email sent with a New Customer Notification subject line, confirming your eCard number. eCards are valid for 3 years.

    -Once you have your eCard, you may immediately use library online resources and put holds on library items.You must replace your e-Card with a full-service card if you go to the library to check-out items.
    -Save the confirmation email, as the system will only let you get one card per email address.
    Now you can read academic journal articles and periodicals online, and also reserve books to pick up next time you're at the library!


    1. Go to
    2. Go to the Research dropdown menu at the top
    3. Click on A-Z Resources
    4. Click on "Magazine, Journal, and Newspaper Articles" under "I-Z Resources" to get to the general databases for everything. Otherwise, choose databases by topic.
    5. Try General One File, Power Search, and Student Resource Center
    6. It will ask for your library card number to search for articles. You only have to enter it once.

  • Research Paper Writing Tips from the Internet Public Library