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Archive for the ‘Database Tips’ Category

Using Google Scholar Off-Campus

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Google Scholar is an easy-to-use, web-based database that indexes and searches peer-reviewed journal articles, books, theses, pre-prints, and technical reports from all broad areas of research.

When you search Google Scholar from on the UB campus it recognizes that you are entitled by licensing agreements to view full-text articles. If you are a current member of the UB community and using Google Scholar from off-network, you need to complete the following steps:

  • Go to Google Scholar and click on Settings in the upper-right corner
  • This should bring you to the Scholar Settings page
  • On the left side bar, click on Library Links
  • Type University at Buffalo in the search box; click Search
  • A result list should appear under the search box; select University at Buffalo
  • Click Save
  • Start searching
  • When you link to a full text article from off-campus you will be presented with a log-in screen. Log-in with your UBIT name and password.

Keep in mind, that although Google Scholar is a great starting point for your research, it should not replace the library catalog or  subject-specific databases available to you through the UB Libraries.

Primary and Secondary Sources: What’s the Difference, Anyway?

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[The following post was written by Amanda Morrison, a recent graduate of the Department of Library & Information Studies.]

The Libraries can help you find the best materials available for your research and projects.  As you prepare to start a writing or research assignment, it’s helpful to be clear on what you are looking for.  Usually, two kinds of sources are necessary:  primary sources and secondary sources.

What’s the difference?  Primary sources are the materials, documents or texts that you are studying or commenting on. They can be recordings of particular events, photographs or even manuscripts of literary works. Examples include:  the Declaration of Independence and the U.S Constitution, Civil-War era photographs, or recordings of political events or speeches. A full description can be found at You can find many primary source resources available through the UB Libraries here: (look under the tab called “Primary Sources”).

Secondary sources are materials that analyze, comment on or respond to primary sources and artifacts.  Examples include:  scholarly articles about the Constitution, the introduction to a facsimile edition of Finnegan’s Wake, or the catalog notes to an exhibition.

Other blog posts highlight some of the excellent databases you can use for secondary sources:  JSTOR, Academic Search Complete, and Project Muse.  These are all available from the Libraries database page.  For help understanding what secondary sources are and finding the right ones for your work, ask your librarian.  We are here to help!

What is the Library Skills Workbook?

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The Library Skills Workbook is designed to help University at Buffalo students develop their library research skills. It is a General Education requirement for all UB undergraduate students, including transfer students. All undergraduate students are required to complete it during their first year of study at UB.

In addition to the general Library Skills Workbook, we now offer 5 discipline-specific versions. Any UB student may choose to complete one of the discipline-specific versions or the general version; any one of them will fulfill the General Education requirement. Students should complete only one version. The 5 discipline-specific versions are: Architecture, Engineering, Health Sciences, History and Music.

For more information about the Workbook, including how to enroll, please visit:

Start the research process with Research Tips!

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The Research Tips site is an online guide designed to help you perform research in the University at Buffalo Libraries. This guide will help you understand basic research skills including:

  • selecting a topic
  • locating books and periodicals
  • locating full-text articles
  • evaluating resources
  • citing sources

This guide is designed to help you with the research process from start to finish, but if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask a librarian. Contact us via email, chat, phone, text, or in-person. We look forward to working with you!