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The CSU Online Library supports the CSU community with access to information and research assistance. The online collection contains resources chosen to support the programs of study at Columbia Southern University. Library resources can be accessed at any time through the library website.
The CSU Online Library is staffed by professional librarians ready to help during each step of the research process. The three main avenues of library support are phone, email, and chat. Phone and email assistance are available during regular business hours, and chat is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays. Students can request a one-on-one research appointment via video conference or screenshare. Students who visit CSU’s campus are also welcome to schedule an in-person consultation.
How do I access the library?
To access the CSU Online Library, log into the myCSU Student Portal and click on
“CSU Online Library” or navigate from the “My Library” button found in each course
in Blackboard. You can also visit the library homepage at
What resources are available in the library?
The CSU Online Library provides users with access to a variety of source types as well as tutorials and research guides that provide helpful information on how to navigate and use the library.
The Discovery Search box allows you to search many of our databases at once. The Databases button redirects you to our A-Z Databases list, which contains links to all the databases to
which we subscribe. (For a complete database list, see appendix 1.) The E-books button will take you directly into our e-books database. The Specialized E-Journals contains a list of additional journal titles.
The Doctoral Dissertations and Vietnam buttons provide specific resources for DBA students
and Vietnam students, respectively. The Helpful Library Tools button and Research Guides section both contain links to valuable resources on using the library, including video tutorials
on a number of research processes.
What types of sources are available
in the library databases?
Databases are electronic platforms maintained by outside vendors that contain collections of searchable electronic resources. The different databases to which we subscribe cover academic disciplines and subjects by varying degrees. Some focus on just one source type, such as dissertations or e-books, while others feature thousands of journal articles and news sources in multiple formats, including multimedia sources. Some of the more common types of sources include the following:
What are peer-reviewed articles?
Peer-reviewed articles are published in scholarly journals that use the peer-review process to select articles for publication. In the peer-review process, an article written by an expert in a particular field of study is submitted to a scholarly journal on that academic subject. The article is then reviewed by a panel of individuals who are also experts in that academic subject; they are the scholarly peers of the person who wrote the article. The panel members use a strict set of standards to determine the quality of the article and ultimately decide if the article will be published in that journal. This review adds an element of authority and validity to the article due to the confirmation from other experts within that field.
How do I search within a SPECIFIC database?
The A-Z Databases list contains links to all of the online databases in our collection. Use the database titles and the brief descriptions in this alphabetical list to help choose the right database. Then click on a database title to go inside it and search for articles.
Although the databases in our collection vary in design and format, many of the features of searching inside them remain the same. Typically, search terms used in database searching should be limited to keywords and short phrases, and each of your search terms should be typed into a separate search field. Correct spelling is crucial to a search as well.
Short phrases generally will work better when enclosed in quotation marks. Doing this tells the database to search for the entire phrase, not its individual words. Also, make sure you know what limits should be placed on a search. Do you need peer-reviewed articles of a certain length? Should your search be restricted to a specific time period? Knowing the answers to these questions before you search will help tremendously.
For more information on searching inside our online databases, see our video tutorials,
“How To Find Journal Articles” or “Searching Library Databases”.
Sample search using the ABI/INFORM Collection database:
Sample Search using the Business Source Ultimate database:
How do I access and download an
article from a database?
In order to download an article from a database, you must ensure that you are searching for articles that are available in full-text format. The databases in the CSU Online Library are set to automatically select the “Full Text” option, but verifying the check mark is advisable, especially after executing several consecutive searches. NOTE: This check box may appear in different locations depending on which database you are using—look for the different Full Text check boxes in the search examples on the previous page.
Once you perform a search within a database with the Full Text option selected, you will find that all the results listed will include at least one full-text link. Click on HTML Full Text or PDF Full Text to be redirected to the article, or click the title to be redirected to the Article Record page, where you will find other access options. (See sample article record page below.)
How do I save an article in a folder
within a database?
Database research is a process of exploration that can be methodical at times, which is why you may wish to save articles that you have found for later use. Many databases provide an option for saving articles to folders, which can allow you to access saved articles from within the database without having to replicate the search in order to find the same articles again. Look for the “Add to folder” option in the sample article record page above.
In order to save articles to folders inside a database, it is first necessary to create an account within that database. This is separate from your CSU login/ID because these database platforms are maintained by outside vendors. NOTE: If you DO NOT sign in to a database before saving your research, all saved searches will disappear when you exit the database. For more information on saving articles within folders, see our video tutorial, “Creating Personal Research Folders in Library Databases”.
What if I encounter errors when
accessing database articles?
If you have trouble accessing a database or a specific article inside a database, try the items on this list or contact a CSU librarian for assistance.
How do I locate an e-book?
eBook Academic Collection is a database that contains an extensive collection of e-books that are available for reading online and, in most cases, downloading. To access eBook Academic Collection directly from the library homepage, click on the E-books button.
To start a search from the main search screen, simply type in your keywords or title of the book you want and then click Search. (Remember to use quotation marks around titles and phrases.) For more control over your search fields, or to search by subject, author, or title, select one of those search fields to the right of the search boxes.
ONE IMPORTANT NOTE: If your class includes an eTextbook, look for it in your Blackboard course instead of eBook Academic Collection.
How do I read or download an e-book?
After running a search, click on an e-book title in your results list to be redirected to the e-book’s detailed record page. Here you will find a number of access options. From the detailed record page, you can choose to read the e-book online, add it to a folder for later, or download it to your computer or mobile device. NOTE: To add e-books to a folder within eBook Academic Collection, you will need to sign in or create an account.
Click a Full Text link to read the full e-book on demand while online and also search within the e-book for keywords and phrases. You will, however, need an internet connection to read an e-book in this way.
Choosing the download option is essentially the equivalent of checking out a book. You will have a limited number of days in which you can read the e-book on your computer or mobile device while offline, and a one-time software download is required by, and available through, eBook Academic Collection.
To get started, click on Download, choose your preferred format, and follow the on-screen prompts to install the necessary software and download an e-book. Note that you will need to be signed into your database account in order to download an e-book to any device.
To download an e-book to a laptop or desktop computer, you will need to download and install Adobe Digital Editions. This free software is different from the more common Adobe Reader.
To download an e-book to a mobile device, you will need to download and install the Bluefire Reader app, available in the app stores for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire devices. You will also need a free Adobe ID to read this book on a mobile device.
For more information on searching in and accessing special features of eBook Academic Collection, see our video tutorial “How To Find E-books”.
How do I access video tutorials?
The CSU Online Library maintains a growing list of brief video tutorials that cover many aspects of navigating and using library resources. For a complete list, please click on the Video Tutorials button at the bottom of the library homepage.
How do I access Dissertations?
A dissertation is a long essay or research study on a particular topic primarily written to
fulfill the requirements for a doctoral degree. For a selection of full-text master’s theses
and doctoral dissertations on many topics, including business, search the Dissertations & Theses Full Text: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection database. For links to some of the DBA dissertations completed by CSU doctoral students, click the Doctoral Dissertations button on the library homepage.
What are research Guides?
Research guides are collections of resources created by CSU librarians to provide assistance during the research process. These specialized guides are tailored for academic subjects, programs of study, and some courses and may include quick links and tutorials on how to access materials, including academic journals, e-books, websites, and more. Access to a complete list of our research guides can be found near the bottom of the CSU Online Library homepage.
Research Guide example:
What IS INFORMATION LITERACY?
Information literacy is the ability to find and evaluate information to help you make sound decisions in life, whether for academic, professional, or personal purposes.
Using information literacy to make decisions about your academic research assignments involves applying the research process of information literacy.
The research process of information literacy is a repetitive process, meaning that instead of moving through the process sequentially, as in a checklist, you may repeat steps of the process as necessary in order to discover the best information to support your topic.
Appendix 1: Database TitLes