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Research Guides

  • An icon for searching through for books.


  • An icon for searching through a database.


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  • Conducting Research

    This will help you find books at the Long Beach City College Libraries.

    Basics of Research at the Library

    At Long Beach City College you have access to academic resources. 

    Your professors will often ask that you use these resources in your research. 

    These resources can include books, peer reviewed articles, and other media. 

    Information in the LBCC Library will be in a few places. 

    • When you are searching for books you will search the LBCC Online Public Access Catalog. 
    • When you are searching for peer reviewed articles you will search the LBCC Academic Databases. 
    • When you are conducting research online you will use search engines, like Google, to search millions of webpages on the world wide web.

    Use this Research Guide to learn about the services at the library and how you can access those resources for your research.

    Search Types

    The Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) and databases allow searching by keyword, author, title, journal title, subject, as well other advanced option located on the advanced search page. Additional tips:

    • Keyword searches are the broadest search, as they search all information in an item record.
    • Subjects are a very specific set of terms that are helpful for precision searches. Often, the easiest way to find subject terms is to do a keyword search first and then look at the subject terms for those that are good matches for your topic. There is more about subject heading searching later in this section.
    • The Advanced Search screen allows a several additional search capabilities, such as multiple search fields to narrow the scope of a search term. You can also limit by year range, language, location, or format.

    When doing author or title searches in online catalog there are few things to keep in mind:

    1. Searches are truncated, i.e., you only need to enter as much information as you think is needed to find what are you are looking for;
    2. Omit the first articles ("a," "an," "the,"  "el," "las," etc.) in titles, but all words following must be entered exactly as they appear on the book's title page;
    3. Enter author names with the last name first (e.g., "tain, linda"). Capitalization is not important.

    KEYWORD searching is very useful for combining different concept into one search, for restricting searching to geographic areas, and for identifying unfamiliar Library of Congress subject headings, especially from known catch-phrases.  To make a search more precise you can limit the searching to specific fields.  Keep flexible in your searches, using broader of different terms, when your results are small, and narrower terms when results are large and include irrelevant title.

    To search the online catalog by keyword, enter essential keywords preceded by the "plus" sign; enter phrase searches  in "quotes," or enter phrase searches in "parenthesis," + to mark an essential term, * to mark an important term, or ? to truncate a word.  Command searches allow adding Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT to keyword searches as shown below

    • plagiarism AND cheating
    • "pop music" OR "hip hop"
    • writing +MLA
    • "homeland security"