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Life Hack: Library Research: Home


Library Research

Welcome to conducting research at the Fogler Library! Regardless of which stage of research you're in, we can help you find information and incorporate it into your work.

Find Information Fast!

Did you know Fogler Library provides research guides for all areas of study at the university?  Check them out and find suggested article databases, reference materials, starting books and browsing areas, and helpful websites. 

Access Online Material At Home

You can use Fogler Library's online journals, books, and databases from home!  Use your  MaineStreet username and password to get access to library resources.

If you are having problems, see our troubleshooting guide, or Ask A Librarian.

Get Expert Help

Every subject area has a librarian who is an expert in that field.  Find your librarian and make a research appointment for one-on-one help finding the best research for your topic!

Cite Your Sources

One of the most important parts of academic research is properly citing your sources. This is important for many reasons, including

  • Giving credit where credit is due
  • Allowing others to evaluate your information sources
  • Give people a roadmap to the great sources you found
  • Provide a basis for your own work

There are several different styles for citations and general formatting for your work depending on your subject area, and we've provided a collection of resources to help you learn how to use them.

Video Tutorials

Fogler Library has put together video tutorials for many types of searches and recommendations for how to use the library's resources. Visit this YouTube playlist to view them!

Common Questions

How do I know what type of material to look for?

So you're starting your research and aren't sure what you're looking for.  What you will look for depends on what type of research you're doing. Most students will want to look for both scholarly articles and books, as each will cover the topic differently. Some subjects have more material in journal articles, and others rely more on traditional books. Fogler Library also provides a wide range of materials, including e-books, music recordings, maps, government documents, microforms, data sets, and primary sources. To see some recommendations for which sources to search for your subject, take a look at your subject guide.

You will probably find that the most recent material is available in the format that is published the most quickly - current events will be found in newspapers, scientific research from the past several years will be in journal articles, and more historical or in-depth analysis may be in books.

If you've started your search and are having trouble finding the information you need, ask a librarian for assistance.


I'm using OneSearch on the Library homepage

Great! That's a good place to start looking for sources. Check out our tutorials for using OneSearch.

If you're looking specifically for articles or books, we recommend you take a look at our pages on Finding Articles and Finding Books, as those will be more comprehensive for you. 


My professor wants me to find scholarly / peer-reviewed articles. What does that mean?

Scholarly articles are written by scholars in the field that they are writing about. You will typically find these articles in journals that are well-respected in the field. Journals that are peer-reviewed use a rigorous system to evaluate articles by asking panel of experts read, comment, and make suggestions about the articles before they're accepted for publication. Learn more about the difference between scholarly and popular articles.


How do I check out a book?

Your MaineCard is also your library card! You can find a book by searching our catalog and writing down the call number of the book you're interested in, or by asking a librarian to help you find a book. Once you know what you're looking for, find the book in the stacks and bring it down to the circulation desk. They will use your MaineCard to check out the book. If you're having any trouble using your MaineCard online and have not checked out a book from the library before, it may need to be activated. Visit the circulation desk and they'll give you a hand with it. Their phone number is (207) 581-1641


The library is confusing! How do I find things?

Check out our floor maps and directory.


I need help with my research.

We're here to help. There are many ways to reach us during our reference hours for any question you have. If you would like to sit down with someone and have an in-depth conversation about your topic, the next steps to take, or finding material, you can make an appointment with your subject librarian. Check out our list to see who to contact.


Why am I supposed to use journal articles?

One of the most important parts of research is making sure that the information you have is good and reliable. Scholarly and peer-reviewed journal articles have been vetted extensively by people highly familiar with the subject, are written by scholars in the field, and carefully document how they reach their conclusions. While there are many other reliable sources of information, journal articles are generally some of the better and more reliable resources.


How do I find books? What do the call numbers mean?

Books are organized on the shelf by subject, and are identified by a "call number" written on the spine of the book. The Fogler Library uses the Library of Congress classification scheme to order books on the shelf. Learn more about how to read the call numbers.


Why do I need to cite my sources? And why does it have to be so difficult?

You might find it a little tedious to properly cite all your sources in your research, but it's one of the most important parts of research. Anyone who reads your work needs to know how you reached your conclusions, what research you based your research on, what conclusions you're working from, and how to go back to your sources to take a look for themselves. While you might just write down some basic information like the author, title, and URL, it can be very confusing for the reader if your citations are not in the same, consistent form. Other students and academics are highly familiar with the primary citation forms for their field (like MLA, APA, or Chicago), so will expect to see each type of information in the same spot each time. This is even more important when you use a variety of sources such as video, journal articles, books, and websites. You'll get used to the citation style over time. Luckily, there are some great ways to make this process a little easier. Check out Citation Help for more information on the different styles, and for links to software that can help you manage the process.

The library doesn't have what I need

Luckily, the library has access to much more than just what we have in the building. If the item is available at other libraries in Maine or at other Maine universities, you can request the book to be sent to Fogler Library. They usually arrive in a few days, or up to a week. If you need an article or a book that we don't have or isn't available to request, you can request that it be found as an Interlibrary Loan (ILL). This means that our librarians will search for the item throughout the country, and have it sent to our library for your use. 

There are some items that we won't be able to find. Typically, these are textbooks or very rare books. While we wish we could provide all the resources you could use, there are financial constraints to what we provide. Regardless, we're more than happy to try to find the item you need or provide you with some alternatives.

5729 Fogler Library · University of Maine · Orono, ME 04469-5729 ; (207) 581-1673

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