Finding Information

The first step in the research process is to think about what type of information and what formats are needed. Different tools are used to search for books, articles and other types of information. Review the categories below to select the right place to start.

Books and Other Library Materials

Use the library catalog, CityCat, to locate books, CDs, DVDs, videos, e-books and selected websites in all CCSF center libraries. Newspapers, magazines and journals subscribed to by the CCSF Libraries are also listed in the catalog, but individual articles from magazines, newspapers and journals themselves can NOT be found using CityCat.

Periodical & Reference Articles via Databases

Subscription databases provide access to citations and full text articles from magazines, newspapers and journals, as well as reports, country profiles, encyclopedia articles and radio and television broadcasts. Periodicals are often the best type of source for the most recent information. Periodical databases are the primary tool used to find academic and peer-reviewed journal articles.

Electronic Books

One advantage of electronic books (e-books) is that the entire text can be searched to find specific information. The library provides access to more than 11,000 e-books through EbscoHost and eScholarship. In many instances, these collections contain recent titles, as well as many books in the public domain. Access e-books through the Library's Webpage by logging in with a CCSF barcode number.

Reliable Web Sources

Information found on the Web must be evaluated to ensure it is authoritative and credible, and that the information is accurate, timely, and appropriate. Check the appropriate research guide for quality websites and relevant search engines, and also review our information about Evaluating Sources.