Skip to Main Content
The Ohio State Universities | University Libraries | Resource Guides

Student Services

Help - Before, During, and After the Research Process

Research Strategies: Suggestions and tips about organizing and citing information; evaluating sources; searching effectively; and understanding issues of copyright.

Choosing and Using Sources: A Guide to Academic Research
Choosing & Using Sources presents a process for academic research and writing, from formulating your research question to selecting good information and using it effectively in your research assignments.

Subject Librarians are experts in their disciplines and can help with all types of questions.

Research Tutoring: Receive one-on-one research tutoring at any point in the research process, from brainstorming to bibliographies. Research tutoring is offered on a walk-in basis only; sessions are generally 20 minutes long. We are currently located on the first floor of Thompson Library, behind the Information desk. Please contact the reference desk with questions.

Citation Style Guides: Citation styles are the different ways of formatting bibliographic information of a source. Citation styles vary from field to field, and the guidelines are updated fairly regularly so it is always best to check citations against the most recent guides. The guides linked here are quick references created by OSU libraries; consulting the full guides may be necessary.

  • Refworks: Format bibliographies in seconds. Create a personal databases of references and generate bibliographies in a variety of formats.

ASK US: Have a question about the library, but can’t find the answer? Use the Ask Us function to ask a question and to see Frequently Asked Questions and answers.


Other Library Resources for Students

Course Reserves: OSU Libraries coordinates with professors to provide students with additional course materials, from online reserves to physical items (search by course or by professor).

Distance Education Resources: Students enrolled in OSU distance courses have access with their name.# to the same OSU Libraries resources and services as Columbus Campus classes.  See a list of these resources.

Online Credit Courses: OSU Libraries features for-credit online courses designed to help students improve and strengthen their research and library skills. Many of these courses are listed under ARTSSCI.

Reserve a study room: Thompson, Fine Arts, Health Sciences and Biological/Pharmacy Libraries all offer study rooms that can be reserved for small study groups, either by phone or online. You can check out all of the campus library locations. Many students choose the library as a place to study because there are fewer distractions, and many find it helpful and inspiring to be around others who are studying. There are 11 library locations on main campus and all are open to all students. Some spaces in Thompson library feature HDTVs that can be connected to a laptop, and the 18th Ave. Library features rooms equipped with Media:scape, technology-enhanced tables for collaborative projects and presentations, and videoconferencing.

Work at the Library: There are a vareity of student jobs at the library.

Technology at the Library

Internet Access and Wireless Printing: Print from your laptop to any public printer in the library. Select the library location from the map provided in the link.

Buckeye Bar: Trouble with your laptop, tablet, or with OSU wireless? Buckeye Bar on the ground floor of Thompson Library features walk-in technology consultations in Thompson Library. Hours listed on their webpage.

Find Sources for Research

Ohio State-based Resources

The Ohio State University Library system provides access to millions of holdings from OSU, across the state, and even the world. Generally, to use OSU-specific resources to the fullest capacity you need to be on-campus or logged-in to the library website through Off-Campus Sign In.

Search OSU Catalog The OSU catalog searches the volumes held by all OSU libraries across campuses. Find physical and electronic books, journals, and multimedia items. Search according to keyword, author, title, subject, and more, and use the drop down menu to search only Online Journals, Visual Media, Regional Campuses, and more. You can view the details of your library record by logging-in to My Library Account.

Research Databases are specialized research tools for finding journal articles and data. Generally databases gather multiple journals and other publications for a quick search. Research databases are arranged by subject and alphabetically. Here are a few that are useful in many circumstances.

  • Electronic Theses and Dissertation 
    Theses and dissertations can be useful research tools, and they are often not published anywhere other than electronic databases. Through these databases you can read any theses or dissertation written by OSU students and students at other universities.
  • Academic Search Complete 
    Academic Search Complete is a full-text, multi-disciplinary database. It includes thousands of full-text peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, and periodicals, and abstracts to thousands of additional resources.
  • Academic OneFile 
    Academic OneFile is a full-text, multi-disciplinary database. It includes thousands of items from the 1990s to the present; some older sources as well.
  • Credo Reference 
    Credo Reference provides access to over 500 highly-regarded, scholarly references books for all subject areas. It also has tools to access thousands of images, charts, and more.

WorldCat@OSU is a tool to find books, articles, and more worldwide on any topic. Please note: not all materials owned by OSU will appear in WorldCat@OSU searches. Learn more about the databases searched on our informational page about using WorldCat@OSU.

Interlibrary Services; Interlibrary Loan Services (ILL) offer access to materials that are difficult to access otherwise. You can borrow materials from non-OSU collections through ILL. ILL also offers electronic delivery of journal articles and similar items that are held by OSU through Article Express.  

Free, Public Resources for Research

Google Scholar ( is a specialized version of Google search that only searches academic journals, conference publications, and books. Many items found on Google Scholar can be found through the OSU library catalog, OhioLINK, or WorldCat@OSU.

Directory of Open Access Journals: A searchable database of research oriented, peer-reviewed journals.