Research Quest: Find Books, Journal Articles, and More

Review the instructions below, or download and print a hard copy version of this quest.

With over 100 billion searches a month1, it’s clear that many turn to Google as a source for answers. It’s a search engine that can help you find a dentist, the lyrics to a song, and a Wikipedia page about raining animals. Still when it comes to helping you with your research, Google may leave you high and dry…

Photograph of gold compass with lid openAt some point in your college career – if it hasn’t happened already – your instructor will request that you write a paper using peer-reviewed journal articles. These articles have been reviewed by experts to ensure they contain accurate, trustworthy information. The lengthy peer-review process, along with a few other factors, can make these articles quite costly when found through Google. Fortunately they are available at no cost to you through your library’s databases.

You library can also help connect you to valuable print and audiovisual materials. You probably already know that you can check out books for free from your library, but did you know ebooks, audiobooks, CDs, and DVDs from a variety of libraries are available to you to check out at no cost? If you used each resource once a semester, you might experience a savings of close to $200 a year.2

Learn more by completing the research quest.

Your Library homepage is a great place to embark on your research. Visit the Library Portal to get underway.

Step One

Any research journey needs a good navigator, and your librarian knows all the best routes. If you run into trouble, locate the Contact Us link from the Library homepage and ask your librarian for help.

Step Two

Graphic of a lifesaver raft with a rope around itAn explorer always prepares for their journey. Make sure to have your username and password handy. If prompted, this will allow you to login to the databases. Hint: Your username and password is the same one that you use to get into MaineStreet, Blackboard, and your student email.

Step Three

Databases have a wealth of treasure; you just have to know where to look. To get started with your research, find Academic Search Complete from the list of databases. Hint: Most library databases contain mainly articles. Look for a link that will guide you to Find Journal Articles. From there use the A-Z List feature in the yellow box on the right to sort the results alphabetically.

Step Four

Use the search term “gold” to find peer-reviewed journal articles in Academic Search Complete. How many peer-reviewed journal articles did you find on the topic?  Hint: After you run your search, look on the left hand side for the option to limit your results to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals.

Step Five 

Photograph of a treasure chest that is shutPiracy doesn’t just happen on the high seas. Using someone else’s ideas without proper citation is stealing. Generate an MLA citation for the first article in your results. Which authors name appears first? Hint: From the search results page, select the first article title. Use the Cite tool on the right corner of the page. Scroll down to the MLA citation.

Step Six

Keep track of where you’ve been. Saving relevant articles means you won’t have to retrace your steps later. Try saving an article to your computer. Hint: Different browsers allow you to save articles in different ways. Open up the PDF Full Text version of an article. Try right clicking on the PDF, hovering your mouse in the bottom right corner until a save icon appears, or navigating to the save icon on the top of the page.

Step Seven

Magellan’s search took him halfway around the world, but you can have almost everything you’re looking for sent straight to your email through interlibrary loan. When the full text of an article is not available in a database, you can request that the article be emailed to your inbox. What is the name of the interlibrary loan service provided for free to students? Hint: Visit the Library homepage at Under Popular Resources select the Request Unavailable Articles link. The answer is in the second paragraph.

Step Eight

There are oceans of information out there. One way to save time is to search almost all of the library’s databases, books, and more at once using the OneSearch tool. The OneSearch box is available on the Library’s homepage. Enter the search term provided to you from earlier and then select your campus – if available – from the list. From the search results page, navigate to the left of the screen to limit your search to Full Text Online materials. How many results do you receive?

Step Nine

8465-illustration-of-an-anchor-pvMany explorers have relied on a network of trading routes to succeed in their journeys. In the same way you can take advantage of the library networks throughout the state of Maine. Request a book, DVD, or other material from any other library in the URSUS Catalog. From the Library homepage follow the link to the URSUS Library Catalog. Search for the title Consuming Ocean Island. Where on the page is the Request button that will allow you to have this book sent to your library, center, or site?

Step Ten

Dive right in. eBooks can be accessed just as quickly as anything on the World Wide Web. However the eBook collections picked out by librarians for their scholarly content ensure that you won’t go astray with reputable sources. In the URSUS Catalog search for Atlantic Salmon in Maine, and select the eBook version from the results. Search for Ellsworth within the book, and list the pages on which mention of the city appears. Hint: Connect to the book by selecting your campus from the list. Select the Ebrary link. The Read Online button on the left of the screen opens up the book and allows it to be searched. After running the search for Ellsworth, scroll down the left side of the screen to find the pages on which Ellsworth is mentioned.


You’ve made it to the end of this research quest! We hope you’re found that your library has a treasure trove of resources waiting to be explored. If you have any questions, please contact a librarian at

Answers: 4) Answers may vary, but if you put the search term in quotations it’s likely you’ll receive 91,994 results. 5) Penchev, Alexander 7) ILLiad 8) Results will vary based on campus 10) 68, 74


1Page, L. (2013). 2013 Founders’ Letter. Retrieved from

2 Maine State Library (n.d.) Library Use Value Calculator. Retrieved from