Ask (A Librarian) and You Shall Receive

Spring has sprung and the spring quarter is already almost half over – have you reached out to a DePaul librarian yet? Whether you need help narrowing down the topic of your research paper, identifying the best research guides to consult for your subject, brainstorming keywords, or finding scholarly sources to support your argument, DePaul’s Ask A Librarian service has a myriad of ways you can ask for assistance! Having trouble while researching online resources from home? Send us a chat! Getting frustrated while studying in the library? Stop by the Research Help Desk (and check out our new signage at the John T. Richardson Library — pictured below)! Need some in-depth, one-on-one assistance? Make an appointment to sit down for a research consultation with one of DePaul’s expert research librarians. Remember, research is a PROCESS of learning about your topic and the best searching is done over days and weeks, not hours, so don’t delay in reaching out to Ask A Librarian for help today!

Research Help Desk

Here are some recent questions asked in our Ask A Librarian chat:

  • Hello! I am having a little trouble finding meaningful sources on Heian Period Japan with online access. I am specifically looking for articles or books about kimonos during that period, but I have been having no luck.
  • I am looking for a specific article, but it says it is only available at the library, is there any way to access it without being there physically?
  • Can you help me find some articles on the United States and it being either secular or not?
  • Hi, I’m looking for a book: Hatred of Democracy by Jacques Ranciere. All I can find in the search is an article (book review), not the book itself.
  • Hello! I’ve been trying to find scholarly sources and e-books about sexism and wage gaps in the music industry. Would you be able to recommend any sources? Thanks so much!
  • I need to find a qualitative article for a research paper I’m working on.
  • I want to get the text of the choral music The last seven words of Jesus Christ by Hernrich Schutz.
  • Hello! I have to do some research for my environmental conservation class. What are the databases that would work best with this topic?
  • Hi, I’m working on a research paper for one of my classes. Do you know where I can find the number of first-generation students currently at DePaul University?
  • I was looking at ACM Library and found this article and was wondering if it was peer-reviewed. Because it was from a conference, I wasn’t sure.

Here’s a recent conversation a DePaul student had with one of our librarians:

Student: Hello, I was wondering if I could get some help finding articles within my research paper topic?

Librarian: Sure, what is your topic?

Student: Thanks! My topic is on how anxiety affects the physical body.

Student: I’ve been having trouble finding articles that talk about both anxiety and physical health.

Librarian: Sure, let me set up a search.

Student: Ty!

Librarian: I am doing a combined database search using the following EBSCO databases: Academic Search Complete, APA PsycArticles, Health and Psychosocial Instruments, Health Source – Consumer Edition.

Librarian: Is obesity or body weight a specific issue to try? Or over all physical health? I see that “physical health” is a subject heading, which is good.

Librarian: Let me send you a link to where I am currently at with the search.

Student: It could be, I wanted to find articles pertaining more to how anxiety/depression affect the physical self (like how it affects the heart, breathing, headaches, etc.)

Librarian: Got it. Let’s name those things! Databases like specifics. One sec.

Student: Great! Thank you


Librarian: This is where I am at now. Let me know if we are getting anywhere.

Student: Yes! This is much better. The approach you used with () is a lot more effective

Librarian: Yeah, the hard part of using the databases is always coming up with keywords, so sometimes supplying more keywords connected with an OR is good

Librarian: When you find an article you like, look at the “Subjects” line — that IS the language that the database is using, and what the article is ABOUT, so it can give you some other clues.

Student: Okay thank you so much. This was very helpful! And yes, subjects line is great because these articles can be pretty hefty

Librarian: Or doing some Googling or background research to come up with alternate keywords is also helpful

Librarian: Good good good!

Student: Yes, great idea. Ty! Ty! You’re a lifesaver. I’ll be back if I need some more help 🙂

Librarian: Great! We’ll be here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.