|Office: FLITE 140C|
Social Work Policy Analysis - SCWK 310 (Vizina Raubal)
Books (print and electronic) will be very useful to you in the course of your studies at Ferris. In addition to print books, FLITE provides access to over 110,000 electronic books. Books can be located in FLITE's online catalog. FLITE homepage > Catalog tab or FLITE homepage > Catalog > Advanced Search You can search by title, author, keyword, and subject.
Check out this short (about 3 minutes) tutorial for more information - Using the Library Catalog
Books Owned by FLITE
As an undergraduate student, you check out a book for 21 days and you can renew it up to 3 times as long as it is not on hold for someone else. To renew an item, follow this path: FLITE homepage > Catalog tab > Advanced Search > Catalog Options dropdown > Patron Record and follow the instructions from there.
If you live at a distance (estimated to be more than 40 miles away from Big Rapids), books owned by FLITE can be sent to your home or work. You will have to then return them to FLITE or Kendall School of Art or mail them back to FLITE via UPS (or another traceable shipping method).
Books Not Available in FLITE - Try MelCat
If FLITE does not own a book (and even if it does but you are a student at a distance), you may want to try searching MelCat. MelCat is a statewide online catalog that provides patrons access to many materials a large number of participating Michigan libraries including the university libraries of Ferris, Michigan State, Wayne State, and Western Michigan and the State Library of Michigan.
You can initiate a request for items simply by going to the MelCat homepage. Once you find the item you are looking for, click on the Get This for Me link and follow the instructions. You normally receive the materials in 3 to 7 days. There are no fees associated with this service. MelCat items circulate for three weeks and usually can be renewed once for another three weeks.
If you are a distance education student, you can check here to see if your local public or community college library provides you access to this fantastic resource. Note: The greater Traverse City area is not well covered by MelCat service. Also, NMC does not appear to participate in MelCat either.
Books Not Available in FLITE or MelCat
If no library in Michigan owns the book or makes it available through MelCat or you do not have access to MelCat services, you can also request a book through Interlibrary Loan (FLITE homepage > Services > Interlibrary Loan). However, the book will be sent to the Big Rapids campus. Again, if you are a distance education student, it will then need to be sent on to you which will reduce the amount of time you can have the book.
FLITE provides access to over 110,000 e-books through the Ebrary interface and the Springer-Link interface. FLITE also has access to a large collection of e-reference books through databases such as Credo Reference, Oxford Reference Online, and Sage eReference encyclopedias.
Find E-Books Owned by FLITE
You can locate e-books available through FLITE by searching the online catalog - the same way you look for print books. Search as you normally would and then limit your search by material type. You can also browse the Ebrary collection by searching "ebrary" as an author search.
How to Use E-Books
When you locate an e-book in the catalog, click on the link that says "connect to an electronic resource". If it is an Ebrary title, the book will open in the QuickView. You can read and search the book in this view. However, you will need to create a free account in order to save, print, highlight, take notes, or save books to your bookshelf.
For more information:
- Check out this short (about 2 - 5 minutes) tutorial: Finding and Reading E-Books
- Take a look at this brief introduction to Ebrary books. FLITE homepage > Services > Research Assistance > Ebrary
- For more detailed information, this Ebrary (PDF) guide is very helpful.
FLITE's large collection of e-reference books includes general encyclopedias, subject encyclopedias, dictionaries, glossaries, and biographies. Two useful collections for the social sciences include Credo Reference and Sage eReference Encyclopedias. Sage titles provide information from over 80 Sage encyclopedias. The social sciences, including social work, are well-represented in this collection. Choose Advanced Search and limit your results to the subject "Social Work and Social Policy" for the most relevant results.
Follow this path for search e-reference books FLITE homepage > Online Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Etc.
Journal databases are tools for finding articles published in journals, magazines, and newspapers as well as other resources such as transcripts and statistics. Because they are electronic and can be searched by keyword as well as by title, author, and subject, they are very powerful tools. Some databases provide full-text access to all journals that it provides indexing for while others only have partial full-text access.
FLITE provides access to over 100 databases. Some databases are general, or multidisciplinary, covering a wide-range of topics. Others are specialized with coverage of a specific discipline or topic. These specialized databases usually cover a topic at a more in-depth level than the general databases and at a more scholarly level.
All journal databases will provide you with citation information for each article and some may include an abstract of the article. Some databases provide complete full-text access to every article and others provide some full-text access. Most, if not all databases, also provide a Find-It link where you can search for the full-text of the article in other library databases.
Finding the Databases
You can access FLITE's databases from the homepage by clicking on Browse by Subject or Academic Major or Select a Database by Title. You can also get to FLITE from MyFSU; this is not recommended, however, because the Find It (SFX) links do not always work correctly.
You can access the databases and the full-text articles from off-campus. After you click on the name of the database, you will be asked for your username and password. If, for some reason, this method of access doesn't work, you can also access the databases with your ID barcode, last name, and pin number.
Social Work and Other Social Science Databases at FLITE
The specialized database for Social Work at FLITE is Social Work Abstracts.
This is an excellent resource, but you will also want to search other social science databases, databases in related disciplines, and multidisciplinary databases.
Other Recommended Databases at FLITE include (but are not limited to):
- Academic OneFile
- Social Science Abstracts
- Sociology Collection - Sage Journals Online
- Urban Studies and Planning
FLITE databases include a Find It link for each article in the results list. The Find It link is a way to locate the article within other databases and/or in print or microfilm at FLITE.
Sometimes the Find It button will provide a link to the Library Catalog. This indicates that the journal is found in FLITE's print collection. If you are an off-campus student who can't easily come to FLITE, simply order the article through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and it will be scanned and sent to you electronically as a PDF.
If the Find It link only shows the ILL option, then you will need to request it through your ILL account. When you order an article through ILL, it will always be scanned and available as a PDF. The articles do expire eventually from your account so be sure to save a copy to your computer.
For more information on Find It, check out this quick tutorial: Using Find It (SFX) Links tutorial
Databases are great for looking for articles on a specific subject or topic. But sometimes you already have a citation or at least part of a citation and you just want to find that one article. Or maybe you would like to browse a specific journal cover-to-cover. You can do that!
Searching for a Specific Article
Already have a citation? Use CitationLinker. FLITE homepage > Journals tab > Use CitationLinker.
CitationLinker enables you to quickly locate specific articles by journal title, article title, author, date, volume, and/or issue information.
Sometimes less is more in this search. For example, just use the author's last name and if you're not sure of the article title, you might want to leave that out. You may also just want ot use keywords from the journal title if you're unsure of the exact journal title.
Sometimes this search will only take you to the journal and note the article itself, so you may have to do a little digging once you get there.
To see how CitiationLinker works check out this tutorial: Use Citation Linker to Track Down an Article
Searching for a Journal
You can also search for a journal if, for example, you want to browse the full contents of a particular issue. Follow FLITE homepage > Journals tab > Search by Title. Enter the title of the journal here and follow the full-text links, if any. You'll want to pay attention to the date range because different databases have may have different ranges of availability.
All levels of government - international, federal, state, and local - produce a large range of documents, policy and research reports, and statistics. In fact, the federal government is the largest collector of statistics in the country.
Many if not most government documents are now distributed on the Internet. Some, especially older government documents are availabe in print. FLITE has a government documents collection since 2001. Most of FLITE's print government Documents are housed on the second floor.
Government Documents available at FLITE can be searched through the Online Catalog.
FLITE homepage > Collections tab > Government Documents
Other resources to locate government documents include:
- Google Advanced Search
Limit your domain search to .gov sites
another centralized place to find information from U.S. local, state, and federal government agency websites
- CRS Reports
"This site is not affiliated with the Congressional Research Service, but aims to provide integrated, searchable access to many of the full-text CRS reports that have been available at a variety of different web sites since 1990."
As you beging to locate information and resources that look promising, you need to evaluate the articles and documents to determine the credibility, reliability, and usefulness to you. Your literature review search should be comprehensive so you can conduct a literature review that is highly relevant, selective, and critical. It is possible that only a few resources will be highly relevant to your topic and many others will only be tangentially relevant.
Read with purpose
Read the abstract. It should contain critical informaton about the study, its purpose, the methods used, and major findings. Also, scan the introduction and conclusion.
Summarize the major concepts, conclusions, theories, arguments, and methodologies
You may find it useful to set up a table easily idenify major concepts, conclusions, theories, and methodologies from each article.
Also, ask yourself: How is this study similar or dissimilar from other studies? Are there other studies using similar sampling and methods? Are the findings consistent? Are the data colleciton methods and anlysis valid and reliable?
Show relationships between the work already done and your work.
Tips for finding more
Once you begin to find useful information in relaible resources, you can:
- Use Citation Linker to find articles cited by those studies
- Use an author search in the different database to find other articles by him or her
- Use the "cited by" function if avaialble in the databases
Whenever you are quoting or using information from a source, you must credit or cite that source. Failure to do so is plagiarism and can lead to expulsion from the University. Even if you choose to use citation management software or other citation generating software, you will still need a fundamental understanding of APA citation styles.
To learn more about citations, check out this FLITE Citations page.
Print out the FLITE APA Citation Guide and use it to properly format your citations.
Another good resource for APA help is The Owl at Purdue University
Don't forget! Ferris' Writing Center will critique your papers including bibliographies. Find more information at their website.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service where Ferris State University students, faculty, staff, and emeriti can request library materials not owned by FLITE. All requests are entered and managed through an online system known as ILLiad. First time users will need to register for an account.
The ILL Department has developed extensive information about their services and you will find more information here. FLITE homepage > Services > Interlibary Loan > FAQ
Plagiarism is the act of presenting another's work or ideas as your own. Plagiarism is often unintentional, but it occurs whenever you use someone else's ideas or words without giving them credit. It can be obvious - purchasing a term paper or turning in a project done by someone else. It can be putting other's ideas into your own words. It can be cutting and pasting text from a web site. A simple rule: Do not copy text from Web pages or other sources without identifying and giving credit to the original author.
To avoid Plagiarism:
- Take clear, accurate notes about where you found specific ideas
- Write down the complete citation information for each item you use
- Use quotation marks when directly stating another person's words
- Always credit original authors for their information and ideas
For more information about Plagiarism, please explore the Plagiarism web page provided by the Ferris State University Writing Center.
FLITE offers many ways to get in touch with a librarian. You can can call, email, and chat with us. FLITE homepage > Get Help
Of course, we'd also love to see you in person! If your question is research-related, it may be best to set up an appointment with a librarian. You contact the librarian directly or you can complete the reference consultation form. Either way, someone will get back with quickly and set up a time to consult with you. This can be done in person, over the phone, via email, or through chat. Setting up an appointment allows the librarian to prepare for your specific consultation which makes for a less time-consuming and more relevant conversation.
One of our missions at FLITE is to offer all off-campus students access to the high-quality research materials available through the library. Our Distance Education web site should help you with any questions you may have about reaching FLITE from wherever you are. If you experience problems logging on, please call (231) 591-2669 or (800) 4-FERRIS (ext. 2669).
Contact: Stacy Anderson / Email / Phone: 231-591-3635 / Office: FLITE 140C
Don't forget, you are welcome to come to the Oval Information Desk and ask for help any time. You can also call us 231-591-3602 or chat with us.
Last update: February 16, 2012