Skip to Main Content

Pre-College Trailblazer Library Orientation

IUCAT vs Onesearch


IUCAT is the catalog of items that IU Libraries owns. These are primarily books, but also include other items like musical scores, recordings, DVDs, etc. Ebooks are also found in this catalog. IUCAT includes holdings from all IU campuses.

This video tutorial shows how to access and search IUCAT, with particular emphasis on using limiters to select items that are available on the Bloomington campus.


OneSearch is a database that searches almost all of the IU Libraries Databases that IU subscribes to. It is often a good place to start your research.  Use OneSearch to get a general idea of different sources and materials that exist on your topic.  

This video tutorial shows how to access OneSearch and search effectively using filters including the use of the Peer-Review limiter.

Books vs Articles

Books Articles
  • usually cover a wider range of topics
  • shorter, usually focused on one aspect of a topic
  • longer time to publish (generally several years)
  • less time to publish (generally several months to 2 years)
  • found in IUCAT
  • found in OneSearch and other databases
  • used in research papers more often than are books

Guide to Research Sources



What are books and monographs, and why are they useful? 


Where do I find books?

Books are a great resource to use when you are just starting out on your assignment and need to learn more about your general research topic. 

Monographs are works (often published as a single book) written by a scholarly expert that discuss a specific subject in great depth and detail. In addition to providing useful overviews and facts on a particular topic, monographs also provide expert evidence from an academic scholar. 


Books provide:

  • Broad overviews of a general topic

  • Basic facts

  • Information on more specific areas within your topic, which can give you ideas on ways to narrow your research topic into something more manageable

Books usually do not provide:

  • Information on very recent or current events (because of the length of time needed to write and publish a book)


This is the library' s catalog. You can search for books here by title, author, or keyword. 




What are scholarly articles? When should I use them?


Where can I find scholarly articles? 

Scholarly articles (also known as refereed or peer-reviewed articles) are written by scholarly experts in a field and are aimed at an academic audience. These articles are usually reviewed by other experts in the same field to help ensure their accuracy and integrity. Scholarly articles are much shorter in length than a book and generally have a more specific subject focus.


Scholarly articles provide: 

  • Evidence from an expert scholar that has been reviewed by other scholars

  • Detailed information and research on very specific topics

  • Insight into current research, trends, and theories within an academic discipline


This searches almost all of the library's databases at once.


Academic Search Premier

This searches several databases at once - another good starting point.




When should I use newspapers? Why are they useful?

Where can I find newspaper articles?


Newspaper articles are particularly useful if you are interested in researching current events, public opinions, or media representations of an event or issue. 


Newspapers provide: 

  • Coverage of current or very recent events

  • Firsthand accounts

  • Information on public opinions about an event or issue

  • Insight into media representations of an issue


*Always keep in mind that newspaper articles are written by journalists, not scholarly researchers, and are directed towards a much more general audience than scholarly articles or monographs. Because of this, newspaper articles are generally not considered to be scholarly sources. 

IU Libraries Full-Text E-Journals

Search for a specific newspaper title.


Major U.S. Newspapers

This library guide lists major U.S. newspapers and where to find them.


Global News Sources

This library guide has information on where to find different global newspapers.


What are primary sources?

Where can I search for primary sources?


Primary sources provide direct or firsthand evidence about an event, person, or object. These sources are contemporary to the events and people described. In the context of historical research, primary sources are sources that were created during the specific time period being studied. In scientific disciplines, primary sources are often original research studies.


Some examples of primary sources include: 

  • Newspaper articles

  • Diaries 

  • Letters

  • Memoirs and autobiographies

  • Speeches

  • Works of art

  • Photographs

  • Scientific experiments 

  • Government documents (research data, laws, legislative hearings, etc.)


Read through this guide for examples of how to search for primary sources in IUCAT.


ProQuest Historical Newspapers

Search a variety of historical U.S. newspapers published from the 1800s to the present.



Search over 1.6 million digital images in art, architecture, the humanities, and more. 



What are secondary sources? 

Where can I find secondary sources?


Secondary sources were produced sometime after an event took place. Unlike primary sources, secondary sources do not provide firsthand evidence. Instead, they provide information that has been analyzed or interpreted in some way. Secondary sources often analyze information that has been gathered from various primary sources.


Examples of secondary sources include: 

  • History textbooks

  • Book reviews

  • Scholarly articles (those that interpret or analyze other sources)


Search for books that analyze or intepret historical events, artwork, or scientific studies. 



Search for analytical scholarly articles and book reviews on your topic. 

Google Scholar and Library Resources Tutorial

Google Scholar is a service that searches publisher webpages for information related to academic publications. Google Scholar and the Libraries work together to locate items free of charge.

This video tutorial give some pro-tips for maximizing your use of Google Scholar, including how to use Google Scholar to access Library resources.

Accessing Library Resources Remotely

This tutorial shows how to access resources when you are not on campus.

InterLibrary Loan (ILL) Tutorial

InterLibrary Loan (ILL) is a service where libraries across the country agree to share items with each other. This way, if the IUB Libraries don't have a book or article that you need, we can borrow it on your behalf from another library.

This video tutorial shows how to determine if an item is available or not, and how to make a request through ILL.