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END 350: Library Basics

Last Updated: Apr 30, 2024 12:31 PM

Key Library Links:

  • Libraries' Catalog – to locate any item that is available in our libraries, including books, journals, newspapers, and audio/visual materials.
  • Everything – is a great place to start searching through the library’s resources in one simple multidisciplinary search interface. The results will display books, articles, government documents, etc.
    **To find full-text articles that are not available in other databases or online, use Everything and select Everything UB + SUNY + Worldcat, type in the title of the article (title in quotes), then Search, on the left side check Under Refine Your Results, click on Expand My Results, then Search - this will expand your search and your article will appear indicting it is not available but you can use Delivery+ to obtain it. (make sure you are logged in). 
  • Journals- is a database of electronic journals that are indexed in databases or found online. (Cannot search for articles, citation is needed)
  • Reserve - or Course Reserve: a collection of books or articles (pdfs) set aside at the Circulation Desk by your professor.
  • Environmental Design Research Guide
  • Research Tips – an online guide designed to help you perform research at the University at Buffalo’s University Libraries, includes citation help. Center for Excellence in Writing - 209 Baldy Hall
  • My Account & Delivery+ –  use for book renewal and interlibrary loan. Journal articles and book chapters are delivered electronically to your email and physical items are made available for pick-up at the UB library of your choice. (free of charge)

Borrowing/Loan Periods: Your UB Card serves as your library card. Current UB students, faculty and staff may use their cards to check out books and other materials at any campus library.

Self-check out kiosk/Check-out App - instructions for downloading the app and using the self-check out kiosk.

UB Print Anywhere: UB students receive a semesterly quota of free pages to print assignments at any of 40 print station kiosks. Learn how to easily print your assignments from any computer, a computing site, your smartphone, a USB drive and more.

Keyword searching:

Keywords break down your topic or research question into the overall main ideas; these main ideas become simple keywords which you may use to search a library database. The keywords you choose for searching have a large impact on how many relevant records are retrieved.

TIP : Use a thesaurus to help you find synonyms for your keywords

Combining your Keywords Ven Diagram of Boolean Operators A and B A or B A not B

Research framework is the underlying structure or approach to a research question. Using framework examples can make sure you have a clear understanding of your research and are able to communicate it fully.

Frameworks for research question:


  • Setting (where: location)
  • Perspective (users, stakeholders)
  • Interest (action taken: what)
  • Comparison (to what: topic)
  • Evaluation (outcome/results)
  • Sample (group studied)
  • Phenomenon of interest (reason)
  • Design (type of study: survey...)
  • Evaluation (outcome)
  • Research type 


  • Who
  • What
  • How

What was done? (intervention, exposure, policy, phenomenon) How does the what affect the who?


Best Starting Points:

Background info:

Gale Virtual Reference Library - includes subject encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference works in broad subject areas, including issues related to planning.

Oxford Handbooks Online - a collection of Oxford Handbooks in four subject modules - Business and Management; Philosophy; Political Science; and Religion. Each handbook takes an aspect of its discipline and unpacks it, explaining the key issues, the classic and contemporary debates on those issues, and setting the agenda for how those debates might evolve.

Best Basic Resources Guide (created by UB Libraries)

What Words to Use (Keywords & Synonyms)

Thanks to McMaster University


Thanks to Caity Selleck


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Rose Orcutt
Architecture & Planning Library
303 Abbott Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214