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CRP 5072/LA 6940 Workshop: Ithaca Just and Resilient Study Guide: How to Conduct Research

This guide is meant to provide helpful resources and information pertaining to flooding and climate resilience in Ithaca, New York.

How to Conduct Research

Gathering and evaluating source materials is an important step in the research process. The Cornell Library is a great resource to efficiently and effectively find relevant information for your research. For more on how to conduct research, check out the library's Introduction to Research.

Cornell University Library

Cornell students have access and borrowing privileges from all Cornell libraries. Read more about Cornell Library services

Some libraries that may be helpful for your research include:

Finding Books

Cornell Library uses the Library of Congress classification system.


When you are ready to begin writing, the library has a guide for citing sources and using citation management tools.

Citation Management

Library Catalog

Cornell Library Catalog

The first place to begin locating sources is to use the library's catalog. When using the catalog, the "Limit your search" function provides options to help narrow your search results, including how you'd like to access resources (online, physical) and in which format (book, journal, microform, etc.).

What to do if an item isn't available

If the catalog record indicates that the material is "charged," it means that someone else has checked out the book. When you click on "request," the system figures out the fastest way to get the item to you. If it's a recall, that takes about two weeks. 

If the library does not have a book or if the book you need is already checked out: Borrow Direct

Click on the link to connect to Borrow Direct and search for the book. If it's available from another Ivy League university (plus Johns Hopkins, MIT, Duke, University of Chicago, and Stanford), we will have it shipped to Cornell. The borrowing period is for eight weeks, renewable once. Books arrive in 3-4 business days.

If the library does not have an item that you need (any item -- journal article, DVD, dissertation, etc.): Interlibrary Loan Services

Use ILLiad (InterLibrary Loan Internet Accessible Database) to request to borrow materials from other libraries or have articles scanned for you. Loan period is usually one month. Items can arrive in as little as a few days (or even the next day, in the case of scans) to a couple of weeks. Note: This service will not work for items that Cornell already owns, but are checked out by other borrowers.

Evaluating your sources

Evaluating the sources you find is a crucial step in the process of scholarly research. The questions you ask about books, periodical articles, or multimedia sources are similar whether you're looking at a citation to the item or have the item in hand.