1. Are government documents shelved like the rest of the books in the library?

No. Although the call number for government documents has both letters and numbers in it, as do the call numbers for books, it is different. It doesn’t reflect a subject but the agency that created the document.

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3. How do I cite in AMA?

The following is a citation for a journal article in AMA style. You can see more information on citation styles on the citing sources page.

1. Friedman BJ, Waters J, Kwan OL, DeMaria AN. Comparison of magnetic resonance imaging and echocardiography in determination of cardiac dimensions in normal subjects. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 1985; 5:1369-1376. Available from: Science Direct. Accessed January 15, 2013.

4. How do I cite in APA Style?

Here is a citation for a journal article in APA 7th edition.
Curtin, J.A., & Robinson, P.D. (2007). Blue blood. Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health, 43(3), 184-185.

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical,                      volume number(issue number), pages. https://doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyy

And a book:
American Psychological Association. (2020). Concise guide to APA style: The official APA style guide for students. American Psychological Association. 

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Publisher Name.
DOI (if available)

More information

5. How do I cite in Chicago Style?

The two citation systems of the Chicago citation style are widely used in academic institutions; the choice between the two is based on a specific discipline and subject.

  • The notes and bibliography system is used for citing sources in literature, history and the arts
  • The author-date system is used for citing sources in physical, natural, and social sciences

For additional information on both systems visit the Chicago citation style website

For a guide with examples check out this quick guide.

6. How do I cite in IEEE?

IEEE reference lists are in order of first apperance in the paper. In text they are noted with a number in  brackets, [1]

An example of a periodical citation:
[1] J. K. Author, “Name of paper,” Abbrev. Title of Periodical, vol. x, no. x, pp. xxx-xxx, Abbrev. Month, year

Get more information

7. How Do I Cite in MLA Style?

Here are two citations for journal articles in MLA.
Gorman, David. "The Future of Literary Study: An Experiment in Guesswork". Modern Language Quarterly, vol. 72, no. 1, 2011, pp. 1-18.
Fang, Karen. “Britain’s Chinese Eye: Literature, Empire, and Aesthetics in Nineteenth-Century Britain”. Victorian Studies, vol. 53, no. 4, 2011, pp. 751-3. Academic Search Complete. 27 Oct. 2015.

And a book:
MLA Handbook. 8th ed. The Modern Language Association, 2016.
Call number: REF Z253.G53 2016.

More information

8. How do I cite in my paper or project?

Paraphrase or summarize a thought by rewriting it in your own words. You will still need to cite it, but not as a quote.

Example: In a test of 21 “normal” volunteers, the University of Kentucky study found that neither, Echocardiography or magnetic resonance imaging expose the patient to ionizing radiation. 1 (p.1374)

You can also quote a resource. Depending on the length of the quote and the citation style you are using you may need to separate quoted text from the rest of your document.

Example: “Cardiac chambers and vascular structures were clearly defined with both echocardiography and gated magnetic resonance imaging during systole and diastole in all volunteers” 1(p.1372)

It is common to use a combination of these techniques in your projects.

More Information

9. How do I find a government document online?

If you are unsure of what type of document that you would like, but know you want to find government information, try USA.gov. This search will narrow down your documents to things published by the US. A new search provided by the government printing office is GPO Metalib. This search will narrow your results to federal documents only while still allowing you to search multiple agencies.

10. How do I find a specific online journal?

If you have a specific journal title in mind, we might already have it! Go to Electronic Resources on the right side of the Library home page and scroll down to E Journals Search. Click on the link and type the journal title in the search box.
E Journals Search

11. How do I get the whole article online?

All library databases and the library catalog have a link (in databases it reads "Find it at Oregon Tech") that accompanies the article record. This link will open an online form for you to fill out. Most of the time all the information about the article is already in the form. Submit the form, and the link to the article will come to you in the email after 3-4 days.

12. How do I invite a librarian to come to my class?

Oregon Tech librarians are happy to come to your classes for course- and assignment – tailored instruction. To schedule an instruction session, fill out this online form. You can find it among other services provided to faculty here.
Please allow us at least 2 weeks’ notice to prepare for the class. It is always helpful when instructors send us a copy of the syllabus, a specific assignment and a list of topics chosen by your students.  It will help us to tailor the library session to your assignment and your students' needs.

13. How do I invite a librarian to participate in my online class?

Every term Oregon Tech librarians participate in online classes. Contact Erika Veth or Carrie Dickson at the Online Education Department to invite a librarian to your online class.

14. How do I order a book or an article from another library?

If Oregon Tech Library doesn’t own a book or a journal you need, there is an option to order it from another library. The Library catalog provides links to the online form for you to fill out. Another way is to go to Find tab on the Library home page and from there to Borrow From Another Library. Select the option Request Using Our ILL Request Form. You will get notification by email when the book arrives at the Library. Document Delivery service for articles will send you the PDF of the article by email.
Borrowing From Another Library

15. How do I pick a topic?

There are many ways to pick a topic, A good paper or project often comes from a topic that interests you. Try some of these suggestions:

  • Look through a general source such as an encyclopedia
  • Brainstorm things that interest you
  • Look through the class text for something of interest
  • Flip through some journals relevant to the topic
  • Talk to your professor and classmates
Watch a brief video for more information

16. How do I put materials on reserve for my students ?

Contact Access Services Manager, Jan Abeita at 885-1778 to put your print or electronic class materials on reserve for a particular term. The course reserve materials will be available to your students for a 2-hour checkout inside the library only.

17. How do I request a book purchase for my class?

The Library Services for Faculty here have a link on the right to send a request for a book purchase to libtech@oit.edu

18. I just want a book in the library.

Try searching the library catalog. Select Oregon Tech only from the search scopes, and books from the tabs available. When you see your results, if you only want to see physical items, select available at OIT on the left side of the results screen. 

19. My Program is a joint program with OHSU. Are there extra resources I can access?

Yes. You may use the OHSU library resources. You will first need an OHSU ID, then just go to the library page at: http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/education/library.

20. What are government documents?

A Government document is a work published by any government agency. That includes anything from your local government to state, federal, and other countries.

Government documents are much more than simple records of what happens in legislation, they can be detailed reports on subjects of interest such as renewable energy, they can be brief public service documents or instructional manuals such as a Know what to do about the flu or a drivers manual, they can be patents of inventions new and old, and much more. The legislative documents describing what happens in congress including speeches, and voting records are also quite interesting.

More information on Government documents

21. What are nested citations and how do I use them?

Nested citations allow a writer to group citations on a specific topic. For example, if your paragraph mentions concepts from three articles on cholesterol testing chemicals, you could use an endnote at the end of that section in the text. Then at that end note in the reference list, include all three articles. Fore example:
1.(a) Jones, J.; Jones, B.; Smith, S. Transfusion 2011, 51(4),1120-1133. (b) Smith, P. Clinical Chemistry New York, NY. Pearson 2014. (c) Anderson, T.A.; Reeves, K. Che. Matrix Bul. 1999,  20(6), 9-14.

22. What are some ways to search?

Boolean operators: using the words AND, OR, and NOT to connect your search terms will get you more or less results. AND gets less results, Or gets more results. Use these to connect search terms instead of searching for a phrase.

Synonyms: The people who decide what subject and keywords describe each item in your search results may not think like you or I. It is helpful to think of some synonyms for your search terms if you are not finding useful results.

Subject terms: Subject terms are the resource specific terms used to describe a source.  Look for a thesaurus for the resource you are searching in. This will help you identify subject terms for your topic. Many electronic resources also offer suggested subjects based on the keywords you enter in your search.

Citation searching: This type of search is useful if you already know a bit about what you are researching. You can look up to see who has cited a specific source, as well as looking at that sources reference to see where they got their information. Another form of citation searching is finding articles that cite the works of a specific author/ creator. This is useful when you know the name of a subject expert .

23. What are systematic reviews?

There is a hierarchy to the published evidence found. The higher on the Hiearchy of Evidence Pyramid the better the evidence for decision making. THe pyramid includes filtered and unfiltered resources.

Filtered Resources appraise the quality of studies and often make recommendations for practice. Types of filtered sources:

Systematic Reviews / Meta-Analyses (Available in Multiple databases)

Authors of a systematic review ask a specific clinical question, perform a comprehensive literature search, eliminate the poorly done studies and attempt to make practice recommendations based on the well-done studies. A meta-analysis is a systematic review that combines all the results of all the studies into a single statistical analysis of results.

24. What are the databases included in Cochrane Library?

  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Cochrane Reviews)
  • Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (Other Reviews- Health and Social Care) DARE ceased adding materials in March 2015.
  • Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (Clinical Trials) 
  • Cochrane Database of Methodology Reviews (Methods Reviews)
  • The Cochrane Methodology Register (Methods Studies) 
  • Health Technology Assessment Database (Technology Assessments) 
  • NHS Economic Evaluation Database (Economic Evaluations)

25. What is a copyright notice?

A copyright notice is an identifier placed on copies of the work to inform the world of copyright ownership. The copyright notice generally consists of the symbol or word “copyright (or copr.),” the name of the copyright owner, and the year of first publication, e.g., ©2008 John Doe. While use of a copyright notice was once required as a condition of copyright protection, it is now optional. Use of the notice is the responsibility of the copyright owner and does not require advance permission from, or registration with, the Copyright Office. See Circular 3Copyright Notice, for requirements for works published before March 1, 1989, and for more information on the form and position of the copyright notice.

26. What is a government document?

A government document is a work published by any government agency. That includes anything from your local government to state, federal, and other countries.

27. What is a Scholarly journal?

  • Scholarly journal’s cover and pages are usually plain in design. They do not have advertisements, but the text might be accompanied by graphs, tables and charts
  • Journal title may include terms such as "journal," "review," or "bulletin"Authors always cite their sources using footnotes and/or a bibliography
  • Articles are written by an expert in the field and usually reviewed by peers for accuracy prior to publication
  • Scholarly journals tend to use specific terminology, required by the field of knowledge they represent. In order to fully understand the contents of a scholarly article, the reader should have a high level of education in the discipline
  • The main purpose of scholarly journals is to publish reports on original research, to describe experiments involved in it, in order to make this information available to the scientists and academics interested in getting the latest and most accurate data in their field
  • Articles may include these sections: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, and bibliography
  • Pages are consecutive throughout each volume
  • Many scholarly journals are published by specific professional organizations
  • Journals tend to be published less often, (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually)

28. What is empirical article?

Empirical research article reports on original research based on observations or experiments. It provides facts from actual experience rather than from theory or belief. To ascertain that the article covers empirical research, look inside. See if it includes a study, an observation, an analysis or a number of participants or subjects.

29. What is Evidence-based Practice?

What is Evidence-based Practice?
Evidence-based practice (EBP) is the conscientious and judicious use of current best evidence in conjunction with clinical expertise and patient values to guide health care decisions." Cook D. Evidence-based critical care medicine: a potential tool for change. New Horiz. 1998;6(1):20–5.
      Research + Clinical Expertise + Patient Preference = EBP

See Evidence -based Practice Subject Guide.

30. What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary Loan or ILL is a way that the library can get articles and books for you that we don't have. The services is free to you. (except in rare circumstances and we will let you know if that happens.) It takes a week or less for most articles, which are then emailed to your Oregon Tech email, and a week or two for most books which will be placed on the hold shelf at the campus you selected for pick up.

More information and item requests

31. What is Summit and what is ILL?

Both are services that you can use to receive items from other libraries. Summit is the combined catalog of the Northwest libraries that belong to the Orbis Cascade Library Alliance. The courier service it utilizes brings you the ordered items much faster that the Interlibrary Loan service that contacts libraries outside of the Northwest region.
When to expect your items? On average, it takes a week for Summit items, 7-10 business days for standard ILL items. The Library will hold the books for 1 week for you; videos and other media will be held for 3 days. 
There are no renewals on Summit-requested items, with 6-week check-out on books, and 6-day check-out on videos and other media. Renewals for the standard requests through ILL could be possible.  It is up to the lender to grant the renewal or not.  ILL-renewal requests should be made within one week of the due date, but not less than 3-days before the due date.
Please address your questions to the Access Services Manager at 885-1778.

32. What is the process for critical appraisal of research studies?

Critical appraisal enables you to assess a study's usefulness and if it is trustworthy. One can use the various checklists available to test a study by its type - Diagnosis, Harm, Prognosis, and Therapy, and/or by a research design from the Levels of Clinical Evidence Pyramid: case report, case control study, cohort studies, randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews.  Be sure and use what is recommended by your instructor when completing assignments. Some sources are the Evidence Based Medicine website and CASP. There are three general questions you will want to consider:

  • Is the study valid? Some questions to get you started:
    • What type of study is it?
      • Is it on a clearly focused topic?
    • Is the methodology unbiased?
      • Were subjects recruited properly?
      • Was the follow up of subjects complete or long enough?
  • What are the results of the study?
    • How were the results expressed?
    • How precise are they?
  • Will the results help in caring for my patient? 
    • Is the study covering a population similar to my patient?
    • Can I apply this valid evidence safely to my patient?

33. What is the Superintendent of Documents Classification System?

A system used to classify government documents. For more information see   http://www.oit.edu/docs/default-source/library-documents/government-documents/sudocs-ordocs.pdf?sfvrsn=4

34. What Library of Congress Classifications schedules may be of interest to communication researchers?

  • HM, HN - social aspects of communication, social history, and public opinion
  • J - political aspects of communication
  • KF - law and legislation
  • P90 - communication and mass media
  • PN4700-5639 - journalism

Other relevant areas include:

  • HF5717-5734 - business communication 
  • HF5801-6182 - advertising
  • PN1994 - motion pictures
  • Z218-550 - publishing and book selling

35. What Library of Congress Subject Classifications schedules may be of interest to communication researchers?

  • HM, HN - social aspects of communication, social history, and public opinion
  • J - political aspects of communication
  • KF - law and legislation
  • P90 - communication and mass media
  • PN4700-5639 - journalism

Other relevant areas include:

  • HF5717-5734 - business communication 
  • HF5801-6182 - advertising
  • PN1994 - motion pictures
  • Z218-550 - publishing and book selling

36. What should I consider when evaluating my sources?


This is the first check when evaluating your sources, and probably something you are doing already. Make sure the source has something to do with your topic. If you are doing a project on early detection of heart murmurs, you would not cite The Oxford Guide to Library Research. The electronic resources, Library catalog, and search engines you use will start this process for you when you enter your subject or keywords. You can increase the relevancy of articles you are finding by using a few search techniques.


The date of creation or publication of the resource could be very important depending on your topic. If you are researching the history of a topic older resources may work perfectly fine. However, if you want the newest technique, you will also want the latest resources available.


There are many types of resources you can use. These get into more detail than book or periodical, and each one may be a little different than the last. 


See who wrote and who published the resource. Authors and creators tend to leave their opinions in their research whether they intent to or not. As for publishers, some specialty publishers and organizations look for materials that align with their beliefs. An example would be the Christian Science Monitor, or the National Rifle Association.

37. What types of resources may I use?

These are some general types of resources - You can use them all. Make sure to double check the assignment guidelines.

  • Books – Tend to be more detailed and take longer to write and publish than journal articles.
  • E-books – While access may be easier with an e-book, publishers are treating them the same as print books when it comes to publication time.
  • Images – a photograph or drawing can say a lot.
  • Lecture – Whether attending a class or listening to a special speaker, a lecture is information given by an expert in the field.
  • Popular Magazine – This is something you would pick up for general interest or entertainment reading.
  • Reference books – there are different types of reference books such as the encyclopedia or the almanac. In general, reference works will have an overview of information on a topic.
  • Scholarly Journal – This is where you would find current research in a field. A subset of the scholarly journal is a peer reviewed journal. Peer review means that the articles have been blind reviewed by other experts in the field before publication.
  • Trade publications – These are generally published by an organization such as the National Paramedic Society.
  • Website – A website is a group of pages published electronically on the internet. While many organizations and publishers have websites, it is important to note the ease of which an individual can create their own website with content on any subject  

38. Where do I search for journal papers published from direct funding from the National Institute of Health?

PubMed (Remember: searching through the OIT LIbrary will include links to paid subscriptions and full text articles.)

PubMed Central 

Medline (EBSCO Medline with its searching and sharing capabilities is available through the OT Library A-Z list.)

Google Scholar


40. Where do I find government documents in the library?

Both Federal and State government documents are shelved behind the reference area, next to periodicals. If you are unsure about finding a specific document, ask a librarian at the Research Assistance desk.

41. Where do I find the meaning for abbreviated titles of journals in NCBI Databases such as PubMed?

NLM Catalog: Journals referenced in the NCBI databases (e.g. PubMed)

42. Why would I want to use a government document?

Government documents are much more than simple records of what happens in legislation. They can be detailed reports on subjects of interest such as renewable energy; they can be brief public service documents or instructional manuals such as a Know what to do about the flu or a driver’s manual; they can be patents of inventions new and old, and much more. The legislative documents describing what happens in congress including speeches, and voting records are also quite interesting.

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