From Nutritional Supplements to Symbiodinium Microadriaticum, Librarians Welcome All Questions

photograph of multicolored vitamins in a glass on a table













Whether you’re hanging out at the beach or huddled over a textbook (or both!), we hope you are having a safe and relaxing summer. DePaul Librarians are available this summer, and all year round, to help answer your research questions. What kinds of questions can you ask? We welcome all kinds! Here are a few we’ve helped with recently via Ask a Librarian.

  • What is the habitat of symbiodinium microadriaticum? My search results are coming up with research articles that are too specific. I am just looking for general information about this organism’s habitat. 
  • What effects has Covid-19 had on the movie industry? Can you help me find information about how people would rather stream a movie than go to a theater?
  • How have Indigenous voices been marginalized or omitted from high school history curricula? 
  • Can you help me find information about patient advocacy within nursing practice?
  • I need information on the arrests of Lenny Bruce.
  • I need statistics on gender and cultural diversity within the sciences. 
  • Where can I find data on smoking and vaping in the United States? I’m interested in many kinds of data. Anything from price to demographics.
  • How can I find books about the Etruscans in Rome between 300 BCE – 10 BCE?
  • I’m looking for primary sources from advertising in the 1940’s in the United States.
  • I’m doing a research paper on marketing and I am using Netflix as my company. Where should I look for sources?
  • Where can I find examples of newspaper op-eds?
  • Which databases may be best for researching educational philosophies?
  • I’m doing a research project on the photographer Terry Evans and need 2 book or article sources.
  • Where can I find information about the economic setback our nation faces by racial profiling candidates in the work setting?

Here’s an in-depth look at a recent Ask a Librarian conversation:

Student: What would be the best resource to use to find reports on current trends? I am specifically doing research on dietary supplements and teas.

Librarian: Well, you could try one of our business databases, such as ABI/Inform or Business Source Complete. Within them, maybe look at trade magazines. Let’s take a look. One sec while I set it up.

Student: Okay, thank you!

Librarian: I set up a combined database search in both of the above mentioned. Here’s Business Source Complete and here is ABI/inform .

Librarian: We could also look for the NAICS industry code, that might be useful.

Student: Oh wow, okay! So would the resource be EBSCO? And from there I search for what I need?

Librarian: So, EBSCO is a vendor of databases, a brand, and they have many databases that are subject specific, such as Business Source Complete, that we subscribe to. Same with Proquest, that is the brand name, and we can search multiple databases that they have at the same time.

Student: This is very helpful, I saved our conversation so I can reference it.

Librarian: Oh good. I am going to see what happens when I limit to trade publications.

Librarian: Interesting. Here’s the same search in Business Source Complete, but limited to trade publications.

Librarian: and the same thing in ABI/Inform .

Student: What is the term NOFT?

Student: Is it a term I have to be familiar with to do research?

Librarian: It means “anywhere but full text”…it is a little confusing, it is basically the code the database uses to search. Don’t use it to search with. I’ll send you a pic of what my search terms were.

Student: Okay just checking.

Student: The search results look like great data, thank you!

Librarian: You will see that NOFT is the default. You can also change that to search by subject or many other options, but I go with the default normally until I get a real feel for the specific results.

Student: Okay great, thanks!

Librarian: Sure.

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