Pathfinder Finding Current Topics

. . . resources in the Drain-Jordan Library, West Virginia State University

Introduction: Cloning! Creationism! School choice! Gender gap! Media bias! Campaign financing! They're topics you've talked about, argued about, felt strongly about . . . or dismissed as crazy ideas. In many of your courses with a writing emphasis you can use today's current issues as topics for your writing assignments.
How can the Library help me? We have the facts. We have facts, opinions, background material, statistics, and a world of knowledge in journals, magazines, newspapers, books, and databases. We own nearly 230,000 books, and have access to thousands of full text periodicals (paper, microform and online index/database).
How do I get started? An excellent starting point is CQ Researcher? It's in our Reference Department at REF H 35.E3525. Each weekly issue of The CQ Researcher covers one topic of current or emerging interest. Each issue offers clear explanations of the featured topic, includes a chronology, and two bibliographies of current sources.
How do I find more current info? Newspapers and magazines are your best source for up-to-date information on almost any topic. To find those good articles in these periodicals you will need to use indexes (online, CD, and paper).
INTERNET INDEXES. We subscribe to two large sets of databases that index and provide you with full text of many periodical articles: EbscoHost and Infotrac. EbscoHost's Newspaper Source is a database of newspaper articles.
Connect to them from our home page ( Click on "Mag/Journal Indexes with FullText" from any Internet computer on campus and follow the instructions; all the indexes are available on campus. From your home or off campus you can search either EbscoHost or Infotrac after receiving one of the new campus IDs (library barcode on BACK) and registering at the library.
Access the indexes from the library web page not by typing in an address; the site occasionally changes and the library page will be kept current. You will be searching just these databases, not the entire Internet.
INDEXES (paper)

Readers Guide to Periodical Literature. Index tables, Lobby. Indexes a wide variety of magazines and some journals. An excellent, quick source.

New York Times Index, Index tables, Periodicals Room. The only source that indexes all articles in the New York Times.

for more scholarly articles or subject specific indexes, try:
Business Periodicals Index. Index tables. Indexes over 300 business periodicals, many of which are scholarly.

Education Index. Index tables. Excellent source for education issues.

General Science Index. Index tables. Indexes a wide variety of journals and news magazines in all science fields.

Humanities Index. Index tables. Mostly scholarly journals in history, literature, art, and related humanities fields.

Where do I find the periodicals? Use our "Periodical Holdings" list. We publish a list of our periodicals each semester and scatter them throughout the Library. This alphabetical list tells you what titles we own, the years and volumes, and what format they are in. Library staff will help you find the titles in our Periodicals Room. Periodicals cannot be checked out. You will have to make photocopies or copies from microfilm. An web version of the "Periodical Holdings" list in available at (midpage frame and non-frame versions).
What about some background information? Now is the time to use books in our library. Go to one of the internet computers to access the online card catalog -- the catalog can be reached via the library home page (top middle column) Chameleon Book Catalog Gateway. The catalog allows simple (Title Author Subject Keyword) searches and more complex boolean searches. The (search) type has a drop down menu for selection of the field type to search. Select subject and enter the subject for your presentation. Not sure of the subject? The Library of Congress Subject Headings, "Big Red", will help you turn your topic into the correct subject term.
You might also try:
REFERENCE BOOKS: Here are just a few of the many titles that may help you.

Encyclopedia of the American Religious Experience, REF BL 2525.E53 1987.

Encyclopedia of Bioethics, REF QH 332.E52 1995.

Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, REF E 184.A1 G14 1994.

Environmental Encyclopedia, REF GE 10.E57 1994.

Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, REF KF 8742.W567 1997.

Political Handbook of the World, REF JF 37.P6.

Need statistics? Try:

Statistical Abstract of the United States, REF HA 202.A36 1995

Information Please Almanac, REF AY 64 .I55 1997

Lost check the Library Tutorials & handouts on the Library Homepage.

this pathfinder located at

Library Homepage